My soul felt in turmoil! I needed a long walk, with water and trees, a place where we could get in a good hike. Douglas found a park about ninety minutes away, close to the Alabama border with Georgia.
The drive to the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park along the backroads was wonderful, but it was the beauty of the two lakes there that sent my soul into euphoria. We walked around the lake pictured below.
We only passed one other person on the path, and that was a woman preparing for a running competition by The Twisted Ankle Runners. Considering all of the tree stumps and unevenness of the trail, I understood the name. We did see some ichthyophagous men, fishing for their dinner, but they had no masks on, so we kept our distance.
It was the second trail where I rediscovered a little of my old self, the one that loved to explore new places, no matter how much effort it took. There was a marble mine, and to reach it required Douglas and me to hike nearly two miles straight uphill. After about 20 minutes, I wasn’t sure that I would make it to the mine, and Douglas was willing to turn back.
But, I hate to cause him to miss interesting places because I lack half a left lung. Moreover, when we travel, often I miss the very best hikes because I get tired so fast. I was determined that I was going to keep going to the mine, even if it took the rest of the daylight hours, and it was slow going.
Yet, I stayed the course, sweat falling off me like a waterfall, which seemed to attract thirsty insects that didn’t bother Douglas. My husband thinks it’s because I am a diabetic that insects tend to bite me more, as though sugar is pouring from my veins, and I just smile and let him have his theories, crazy as they may be.
I did it, by golly! And it was worth the trek up there, too. It wasn’t a big mine, just the remnant of a mine. There was a waterfall, and we could walk behind it. There was a small pond, and when you were still, the incessant noise of the cicadas and birdsong made the place feel magical.
It was the first time in a long time that I felt such peace! I praised the Lord with all my heart, thanking God for helping me reach the mine and then making it so worthwhile. Below are some pictures I took of that wondrous park.
We rounded off the day by stopping at Wendy’s for hamburgers and senior drinks, which are free drinks for people over 65 years of age. I put Weight Watchers aside and enjoyed the marvelous taste of forbidden food. It was that kind of day.