I have been called a city girl a lot since I moved here two months ago. It’s sporadic and usually accompanied by a chuckle and a head shake. It happens when I blast my Jay-Z CD when the weather gets nice. Or when I scrunch my face up when someone mentions grits or biscuits and gravy for breakfast.
It has been a small struggle to fit in. And I thought I was doing well. That was, until I took a day trip to Land Between the Lakes.
Hiking isn’t something I have ever enjoyed, even on the well-manicured “trails” in New Jersey. I went last weekend in an effort to continue the “Cori Experiencing New Things” tour I initiated. First stop: LBL’s trail along Honker Lake.
The first mile or so of the hike was a pleasure walk. I took pictures and enjoyed the scenery. The first wave of “city girl” comments came when I was remarking at how big the lake was or when I would stop in my tracks if I heard even the smallest rustle in the leaves.
Silly city girl, nothing is coming to get you.
Two and three miles in, there were a lot of hills. I saw a pair of wood ducks, then learned a lot about the different types of trees that grow in the area. The weather was perfect, but no one wants to walk straight up hill.
Silly city girl, if you had worn the right shoes maybe your feet wouldn’t hurt as much.
By the fourth mile, my shoes had already gotten wet. And I was sweating — oh the horror! I was over taking nature pictures and more concentrated on the signage that told me how far it was until the end of the hike.
We were walking across a dam when I saw them: hundreds of thousands of spiders. All along the rocks of the dam there were small, quick-moving specks. First I thought it was just me. There couldn’t be that many spiders in one area. Each rock had at least 20 spiders on it. There were webs sewn from one side to another, which I walked through. My mild panic attack elicited more head shaking.
Silly city girl, they are just spiders. They aren’t going to kill you.
By the end of the hike, I could just about identify every tree there was in the forest. I saw a frog and some turtles. But my day wasn’t over. Alas, I had to be indoctrinated into the wonderful world of off-roading and gun shooting.
After a full day of being outdoors, I collapsed onto my couch and ate dinner. My feet ached, and I was tired and whiny. I have had enough camping for the time being.
Silly city girl, there is so much more to see. We are going again this weekend.
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff reporter, at 270-575-8652.