I first learned about The Hulk from Andre Pope, an irreplaceable friend we lost recently.
I know what you’re thinking: “You are a man in your fifties who didn’t know about The Hulk?”
Not so fast. The Incredible Hulk was my go-to comic book hero, and in fact prompted my Marvel mania and comic book collecting when I was eight years old. That collecting went on until the early 1990s until I sold the whole enchilada to a dealer for fast cash – and got screwed, of course. But to my eternal regret, I took the money anyway.
The Hulk I am talking about is the pet name for the Horry County Bike and Run Park, which is nestled into a parcel of land just outside Myrtle Beach – it’s seven miles of trails that snake across 72 acres in between Carolina Forest (a Grand Strand community) and the Intracoastal Waterway, and a go-to for cycling groups like The Myrtle Beach Area Mountain Biking Association as well as The Grand Strand Running Club.
I hadn’t thought about The Hulk for a few years, but lately my girlfriend has had the urge to head outside to an area that might at least be construed as woods (she is a mountain girl, after all), and it occurred to me that this spot might, well, hit the spot.
We had already had a nice outing to Vereen Memorial Gardens – but it was time to get out again, and the Hulk was only a few miles away.
Despite a bit of a warning from the SC Trails website about potentially being mowed down by herds of bicyclists, we found the place refreshing – a different world, but right in our own back yard – and we set off on the trail marked “run.”
Along the way – I think we must have walked more than three miles – we encountered a few groups of cyclists, but Brenda heard them coming before I did – and they whizzed right by us, giving us polite but businesslike nods as we quickly stepped aside.
We spent a couple of hours there – and Brenda stopped frequently to admire the greenery and to educate me a little about the local vegetation. Ever since I have known her, she has always cautioned me about poison ivy – and with my lack of focus, that likely saved me a lot of grief.
It’s nice to know that pockets of tranquility like The Hulk still exist in an area where the most recognized bird is the (construction) crane.