Today, after one Medoc loop I just have a ton of important, new information that you runners and hikers may be interested in.
Medoc horse flies continue to change tactics every trip I'm there. Today, they were all down by the creek where no air was moving and the heat and humidity is at it's highest. And rather than the 'mass attack' they launched on my last visit, this time there were a long series of individual assaults. I'm guessing this battle tactic will be scrapped as I ended the day with 6 confirmed kills and 3 more likely kills! And my kill count would have been MUCH higher had I not started using my invention . . . but more on that later.
In Part 1 of my blogs on horse flies, I talked about the secret research grant jointly shared by Umstead State Park and Medoc Mountain State Park. I am now more convinced then ever that there is indeed some sort of secret horse fly breeding program underway. Four of the kills today were kills of a totally new, HUGE varient of a horse fly that I've never seen before. This sucker had to be 1" wide at least. And when one swooped in for the attack, you could hear it plainly and well as feeling the 'prop wash' from his/her wings! But the good news is that this new variety is slow, probably due to it's huge size. I'm guessing that this model will not end up as the terrorist weapon, as it is fairly easy to kill due to it's lack of speed and manoverabilty. But when they do bite you they really take a chunk! My fear is that with further genetic engineering, they will be able to breed speed and agility into this monster.
If Park officials are able to successfully accomplish this, summer running as we know it will likely end. We will be forced to adopt clothing similar to beekeepers. Even with hi-tech fabrics, these new summer running outfits will be hot and greatly limit air circulation.
The other issue today was the spiders. Webs as just a nuisance . . . they drive you crazy but they really aren't a problem. But there is one variety of spider that make these webs across trails that are just plan mean. They bite! Hard! And their bite is every bit as painful as any horse fly.
I'm going to do some research on exactly what the name of this variety of spiders is called, but you've all probably seen them. They sit right in the middle of their web and they really don't look like a spider at all. They look more like a little piece of black leaf . . . irregularly shaped. These little assholes were just pain eating me up today.
But necessity is truly the mother of invention.
I picked up a little stick about 15-20" long and started waving it in front of me to tear down the webs as I ran. This actually worked pretty well! But when the trail took a turn and went back down to the creek, the horse flies attacked again! So it was a dual assault . . . spiders and horse flies teaming up for the sole purpose of making my life miserable.
Since I had the stick in my hand, I started waving it around my legs and arms as well as in front of me. This proved to be enough movement to keep the horse flies from landing!
The key is to have a stick long enough to almost reach your shoes, and light enough to wave in front of you easily. True . . . you may look a little silly waving this stick around you. But the alternative is to get eaten alive!
I have mailed in a patent application already . . . so this invention is patent pending! I've got to come up with a name for this invention! Something with marketing sizzle so that every runner will want one . . . or more. I'm thinking I'll paint these in a wide variety of colors to match your running outfit! At the Medoc Meltdown on August 18th we'll be debuting these miracle inventions . . . selling for only $10 each and that price includes a individual custom fitting (color version will be just a little more). So be sure and bring your wallet or purse!
Godiva President's Column for March
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