Sunday, December 28, 2008

Must be cattle nearby....

Or not. Sometimes if something looks a little out of place you may just want to stop right where you are before what you smell becomes what you wear. There are OPSEC indicators all around and you don't need to be military to pick up on them. I went mountain biking today on a new trail with a new friend. Mountain biking is a term used very loosely here since there are no mountains nearby. We went to the Harwoods Mill Reservoir park in Newport News.

Since the temperatures jumped into the 70s here today and the sun was out it seemed like an ideal plan. Both of us were a bit impaired having been at different parties the night before so we had an excuse. The trail system there is actually a lot of fun and fairly easy. The problem was that we were trying to follow the signs from one trail to another. We stopped to talk for a moment and try to figure out where we needed to go. I tend to meet ALL of my problems head on. This has gotten me into trouble more than a couple of times.

It was obvious that horses frequented the area. OPSEC indicator number 1...piles of manure. It looked like a lot of horses frequented the area. OPSEC indicator number 2...lots of piles of manure. In fact, the smell was almost overwhelming. OPSEC indicator number 3....the obvious smell of a large quantity of farm animals without any being actually present. Since neither one of us were exactly sound in the digestive department from the night before, we hastened to get past the smell. The path before us looked a little like dried mud and so we proceeded. I noticed that it appeared someone had been throwing manure at the signs and trees. I found this very odd, but I was little more concerned about getting past the smell. OPSEC indicator number 4...people or animals almost never throw manure anywhere.

It was about then that Chris made the connection I did not want to. We were riding through a very thick swath of manure. Our nobby mountain biking tires were sinking into this crap, molding to it, clinging to the tires until it couldn't anymore and came flinging up on our legs. Knee deep in horse shit. Not just the trail, someone somehow managed to coat the trees. My best guess is a manure spreader of some kind...but I would almost swear it looked like it had come from the sky. I could see this kind of thing out in a field...but a service road? We made it through and had a much more enjoyable ride once the manure had all finally flung off the tires. Makes for kind of a shitty end to the year though. :-)

I suppose it could have been worse. I could have led us through poison ivy or poison oak and ended up like Rachel.


  1. First, darling CCD, it's not the end of the year yet! C'mon now, let's be positive!

    Second, I sure hope that you had a nice hot shower after that... whew!

    Thanks for the sweet link love.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a day you had! And you still managed to hold your breakfast down? Bravo!

    Maybe, the day before your ride, was the day pigs decided to fly? Fly and poop?

  3. Rachel,
    Actually Chris took it all in very well and laughed about the whole thing. I was just using "shitty" as making fun of what happened and not really how I feel about the end of the year. Honestly it has been a great year and the ending was not too bad all things considered. More on that later though.....

    Yes, I do believe that a large gathering of farm animals flew over that copse of trees and service road. It was a great day overall really.


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