Eric was finally over the car ride and ready to go for a bike ride. I suggested riding down to Vereen Gardens in Little River, a marshy area with trails through the woods. It also would allow us to say we rode from North Carolina to South Carolina, which sounds like an impressive bike ride until you realize it’s only a few miles from Calabash to Little River.
Bike riding through Vereen Gardens had a charm we hadn’t yet seen on this trip. First of all, hundreds of fiddler crabs jostling each other on the marshy shore. What the heck were they fighting over, we pondered. The terrain was challenging enough as we rode over tons of tree roots and through sand, which slowed us down.
I opened my big mouth to ask, “What kind of wildlife do we have to watch out for here? Snakes? Alligators?”
“Yeah. But for you, dogs.”
Oh, come on. The idea of crossing a snake’s path didn’t bother me, but an encounter with an excited dog was still fresh in my mind.
Sure enough, barking began. I froze. “What do we do?”
We rode and rode until the barking stopped, but then saw a guy with his dog about to cross our path. And the dog wasn’t on a leash.
Dog and owner passed with just friendly greetings. My body parts were all still attached. I exhaled.
“Hey, that dog didn’t really scare me.”
I remembered the difference. Dogs that jump all over you barking and going crazy = pure terror. Peaceful dogs = peaceful response. I might actually pet them and we’ll get along just fine, like PB&J.
The kids are now playing in the waves with their cousin while I type and I just saw an older guy jog by. Light bulb! I could do some push-ups and stuff in the sand. It might involve sand in the face and curious looks, but let’s go. Hold on…
Ah, I tried to convince Eric to join me to no avail. “If I’m doing it alone, I’ll look like a weirdo. But if you’re doing it with me, it’ll look like we’re working out.”
“I’m doing something.”
He was playing in the sand.
“You can go back to your shark after.”
“It’s not a shark, it’s a sea monster!”
Okay, okay. Well, I went off on my own and did 100 walking lunges and five sets of 20 push ups. But I know what you’re really intrigued about now is the sea monster. It was shaping up to be something really cool. It had three scaly lumps coming out of the water and a head like a dragon and seahorse mixed. We laughed (and secretly) marveled at the giant sea monster. And then, the rain returned.
I know what you really want to see right now is a picture of the sea monster. I wanted to get a picture, but Eric stopped me since it was unfinished. Sand artist code, I presume.