When we drive back to Easton I look forward to seeing friends living there. It is also fun to shoot on familiar ranges and train on well-worn running courses. So far, this trip has played out pretty much as expected.
Shooting at Cypress Creek is always warm and friendly. So many harsh winter days were spent firing away on their range. Throughout the winter, Charlie and Harry gave me frequent tips and pointers. Both are experienced bow hunters and accomplished competitors.
Shore Sportsmen was my second indoor range to visit. Much closer to my home in Maryland, about 2 miles, it is my choice to practice where “shooting short” is not going to matter. Their attic range distance is only about 16 yards.
Running our neighborhood offers it’s own adventure. Not so much for the run course, but for the interactions with people along the run. However, the backside of the 3 mile loop is adjacent to protected land that has several miles of trails. Running the trails increases the distance from 5 to 10 miles depending on how I run it and where I exist.
The real entertainment comes from greeting the people that live here. We live in a “retirement” community in Maryland. Most, rather all but perhaps three, of the people that live in our community either don’t or can’t run. I can and do run. That causes suspicion among the people that live here.
Rarely do the neighborhood folk venture too far out and their travel is almost exclusive to where they can go while sitting – in their cars to someplace else where they can sit. Runners, those that live outside of our community, occasionally pass through the subdivision. The entrances are marked with “Private Property”, “No Trespassing”, “No Soliciting”, “You aren’t wanted here”, and other non-welcoming signs.
When I run, I wave, smile, greet people and often run with my dog, River. This infuriates other residents. They are certain; I don’t belong anywhere within their boundaries.
I’ve been approached, as I near lawns of others here with questions like:
“Did you see the signs? Can you read?” a-hole neighbor.
“Yes, I did see them. I can read. Do you need me to help you read them?” me.
“Hey! Are you lost!” a grumpy old man yelled and hacked in my direction.
I couldn’t think of anything catchy to rebuke and only said, “Nope” and kept running. Looking as I turned the corner, “Nope” was perfect. The old man was clearly outraged I had not stopped for further redress.
Once, someone sic’d the community manager on me. She chased my down by golf cart to warn me off the property. As a resident, I assure you, I was no way pleasant or polite to her false claim against me. If she had asked whether I was a resident my attitude and manner would have been calm and polite. However, she accused and threatened – that has never worked against me.
Running with River pisses off the neighborhood. Especially when she poops. I clean it up, of course, I always carry poop bags. Poop happens, just pick it up and keep on going, is a dog owner’s mantra.
Once, River pooped on a strip of public land between the community and a road. A neighbor, unfamiliar with clandestine techniques, pulled her car over to observe whether or not I’d clean up the mess. Of course, I could see her.
I walked over to the pile of poop. Took the empty poop bag, bent over the poop, reached down next to the poop, and grabbed nothing into the bag. The old woman in her car was too far away to confirm or deny my retrieval of the feces.
As see watched, I straighten, reached my free hand into the empty poop bag, pulled my hand free of the bag, and acted as if I was consuming what might have been in the bag. Even from 40 yards, I could see her mouth fall into her lap and her eyes bug out. It was a performance I have laughed over many times.
Not everyone living in our Maryland subdivision is a jerk or acts self-entitled, but too many fit that bill. In NC, where it is extremely rural, on those rare times when I pass someone while running they always smile and wave.
Running through the Easton neighborhood is always a treat one way or another. Shooting at Cypress Creek and Shore Sportsmen will forever be enjoyable and leave me with great memories if not some improvement in my shooting.