By way of background for this story I have to tell you about my daily walking/running habits. I walk/run (trying to make it more run than walk - my goal is a marathon each week) here…
and here (only in inclement weather)
BUT my favorite place to walk/run is right in my own neighborhood ……
Now I realize that regularly walking/running at the cemetery may be a bit odd to some (or even most) but I love it.
It is quiet and serene and I rarely run into another soul – I mean person there.
There are maintained paths to walk/run on and for the most part it is just like a country walk. I try to be very respectful of the fact that it is the final resting place for beloved ones.
Last Saturday I still needed to get in 2 miles to complete my marathon for the week so I could take Sunday off. I LOVE taking Sunday off! I planned to get in those miles early in the day but things kept coming up. When I finally took off for the cemetery, I was a bit later than usual, but I was determined to run that 2 miles. I knew I should probably just headed to the Y, but I am trying to get in all the outside time I can before the time changes and it is simply too cold or too dark for me outside in the evenings. So, I knew I was going to be pushing the limits……
I really wasn’t too worried about it though – I already have scoped out 2 different points that the fence has an opening in it that I easily can walk right thru if I ever was locked in and needed to. It does get a little dark after dusk, but I carry a small flashlight with me. I keep to the paths and besides, I had my trusted companion and walking partner, Josey with me.
The run was glorious – the trees spectacularly garbed in their fall attire. It was so peaceful and Jo and I were having a wonderful time.
I was emptying my mind and allowing my body to just enjoy the tempo of the run. We passed the halfway point and I was looking forward to making the final loop that would take me back towards the entrance and the sight of the beautiful sunset. I reached that loop -- the back stretch, which opens up to a large country field and I stopped dead in my tracks. There ahead, standing right in the path was a HUGE gang – maybe 20 of them. I wasn’t sure if they saw me yet and I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to proceed. I’ve seen their type before and I wasn’t sure how they would react to me and Josey coming upon them like this.
While I stood there paralyzed, it became obvious that they knew I was there. They started moving in my direction – slowly at first, the larger ones leading the way and then they picked up their pace and were quickly closing in on us. I had to make a quick decision, do I turn around and head back the way I came? Do I attempt to plow right thru them? Or do I do something I have never done before – leave the pathway and run thru the graves? The gate was closest if I took option 2 or 3 and honestly, plowing thru them wasn’t really an option.
Josey and I took off like a flash, dodging headstones and urns and trying to be careful of not actually stepping on graves, but I am sure we failed miserably in that – all the while, they were in hot pursuit.
When we finally dared to step back into the path and I looked behind, I could see them silhouetted in the small amount of light that was left. They were walking back towards where we encountered them. We had escaped – not without having the dickens scared right out of us but we were still in whole condition.
As we made it to the entrance, the city guy was there getting ready to lock the gate. I reported our altercation to him – he told me they had given chase to his truck a few nights before and seems they have decided that back stretch of path is their new turf. I just hate it when the hoodlums take over. I’ve learned my lesson though. There are scary things laying wait for you in the dark – especially in the cemetery. I won’t be doing that again any time soon.
Well, I actually dared to go back the very next evening, camera in hand, and found my pursuers congrated in the back field and very so quietly I took their pictures -- they did not see me this time, so there is no harrowing tale (tail) from the second night, lol!
A group of wild turkeys is called a rafter or gang!