The Great Outdoors Pissed Me Off (Long Post)
It’s Monday of Memorial Weekend and I’ve had just enough wine to share this post with you about my hiking trip yesterday. This post features whining and bugs. Consider yourself warned!
A little background:
If you follow me on Facebook, you know I post an unwarranted number of disheveled selfies after exercising. Disheveled being the polite way of saying unkempt, sweaty beast shots no one asked for. And apparently these disheveled selfies are somehow motivating, so I’ve continued posting more. I guess images of no-make-up, fat woman really scare your ass onto a treadmill, eh? Well, whatever works. I’m glad I can be that catalyst for you. No, really. I AM glad, and so I’ll keep posting because I love you all.
If you follow me, you saw my post yesterday that I’d hiked eight (8) miles in Brown County State Park, through two (2) thunderstorms, did the equivalent of one-hundred and forty-one (141) flights of stairs, and drank three (3) liters of water.
In any case, this whole hiking thing is a type of bug for me these days, with my end goal being the Grand Canyon (to the river and back up). BUT yesterday the great outdoors decided I needed a different sort of bug. That bitch.
From the beginning:
I decided Indy 500 Sunday would be the ideal day to hike over Memorial Day weekend because Indiana people would be inside. I further noted the forecast called for thunderstorms around 2pm. Packing my rain gear (yes, the hiking bug insisted I buy rain gear), I headed southeast to Brown County. But first I downloaded offline maps to the program I use to record hikes, All Trails, filled my water reservoir with 3liters of water, packed a lunch meat tortilla wrap, sprayed myself with bug spray, and texted my mom that I’d be hiking alone. I made the hour+ trip to Brown County State Park and used my brand spanking new Indiana Parks annual pass to get in.
I went in the West gate because it was the first I passed. And I parked at the West Lookout and then checked the map. I wanted rugged trails only which is why I skipped McCormick’s Creek Park and went straight to Brown County. Trail 8 from West Lookout would take me to Trail 9, a rugged trail. Perfect!
Except…I overestimated how much my body could hike in one sitting. By the time I checked the AllTrails program, while still on what was deemed the “Trail 9 extension” I’d hiked 4 miles. In other words, I hadn’t reached the actual Trail 9 and had already hiked 4 miles, had eaten half my lunch, sucked in most of my water, and sweated through everything I wore (the temperature was 80+ degrees). I made the choice to start back because I was tired and still had to hike the 4 miles back—through terrain that had lots of ups and downs but not a whole lot of cool things to look at. Multitudes of flying bugs buzzed me, particularly if I had the gall to stop for a rest. Which meant I didn’t rest for more than three minutes at a time.
During my 8 miles, two thunderstorms hit. I paused to change into my rain jacket and rain pants only to have both storms basically fizzle out. For the second storm, I chanted “You’re all bark and no bite” because I really wanted to test out my rain gear in actual rain instead of a piddly spray the trees allowed in. Ten minutes later I thought I heard a weather siren and laughed because after all my chanting, I deserved that. Alas, if it was a siren, nothing came of it.
After the hike:
I reached my car without incident and drove back to Bloomington en route to home. After my grueling nearly four hours of up and down hiking, I decided dinner at a sit-down restaurant sounded like a good idea. Sweaty and disheveled, I walked into Cheddar’s to check-off two items on my craving To-Do list: Santa Fe Spinach Dip and Chicken tenders. While I waited for my food now back in civilization with real Internet, AllTrails decided I’d only hiked 7.5 miles. I resisted the urge to flip it off and curse in public. Okay, fine. So I only surpassed my previous record by a half a mile? It was still a new record.
Belly full with yummy food, I got back on the road. But realized I hadn’t visited the restroom. So I stopped for gas on the way at a Speedway and used their restroom.
Doing my business, I glanced down and saw something black. On my thigh. That didn’t belong there.
And not just any bug. No, this fucker was small, black, and possibly DUG into my skin. I had a quiet freak out in the gas station restroom, and then said, “oh, of course,” because honestly, how hadn’t I run into motherfucking ticks thus far?
Grabbing toilet paper, I alternated between the ick factor of touching a bug (ewwwh!) with the need to get the tick OFF my body (Yipe!). Fortunately, four tries were all that was needed before the pest came loose. I squeezed it in a bunch of TP, threw it in the trash, washed my hands three times. and then got back on the road. When I got home I did a thorough check for pests. The only thing I found was hair I needed to tweeze and that my “bug” spray only worked on mosquitoes.
Right as I was trying to drift off to sleep, I had the overwhelming urge to google search “what to do after removing a tick.” Apparently I did all right. And there will be no Lyme disease.
Still, Great Outdoors, you’re kind of a bitch.