When Mala and I started looking for homes, we listed on a yellow notepad all the things that were important to us. Like most little notes in my life, it got lost. I found it a few days after we moved into our home and was pleasantly surprised that we had gotten everything on our list, except a lake view. Not bad, and there’s a lake about a half mile from our door. One of the things on that list that we “kinda” got was “running trails nearby”. I say “kinda” because there is a trail which is just behind the back of our property, but I wouldn’t call it a running trail. It is a paved trail which runs behind the houses in our neighborhood and extends about 1 mile in total length. It is mostly through woods or along the lake, so it’s nice, but it’s not a running trail. A running trail is not paved. More importantly, a running trail goes for miles and miles, so that you can feel like you are away from (sub)urban life.
So this was one of those things on our “list” that I would say we checked off, but, not really, you know?
I went for a run recently and I can now say with certainty that this is my dream house. That paved running trail which I had been so ambivalent about eventually ends at a main road. And that’s where I thought it ended. On Thursday, I crossed the road and found a little mowed path which takes you to the local high school. And then you take a right and WOW! A huge forest with a 10 foot wide rock and dirt trail opens up in front of you. I started down this trail, expecting it to end at someone’s private property, but it kept going and going and going. It ran next to a bubbling stream with water clear enough to see the river’s bottom. There were countless little paths snaking away from the main one. I just kept running and it just got more and more beautiful. I wish I had brought my camera. It felt like a religious experience. I couldn’t believe that this beautiful, seemingly endless trail - the type of trail that I would have driven miles to get to in the past - was in my backyard. I ended up running 11 miles, which is longer than I have run since moving to North Carolina. I can’t wait to run there again. This is just another example of how I am the luckiest man in the world. I always wanted to live in a house near trails like this, but didn’t think it was possible, so I settled for a little “running trail”. Just my luck, it turns out to be the trail of my dreams :-)