Update

15 Jul

“I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
– Agatha Christie

7/13 – 17.4 miles
7/14 – 11.3 miles
7/15 – 24.4 miles
AT Mile Marker – 1,213.7

Let me recap the major points of the past few days, with no attempt at organization. And with a lot of whining.

On Saturday the 13th, Bojangles got attacked by a swarm of bees while taking a #2. I was drinking some water on the Trail when he ran out of the woods with no pants on, screaming like a banshee and grabbing his butt. I gave him one of those insect bite relief sticks, but apparently I did not display nearly enough sympathy because for the rest of the afternoon, I had to field questions like this: “Do you have any idea what it’s like to get attacked by bees?” “Can you imagine what that must feel like?”

On Sunday the 14th, we only covered 11 miles because we had difficulty launching from Bojangles’ parents’ house. They slackpacked us for 80 miles over 5 days. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Bojangles!

The sweltering heat is uncomfortable, but what is really driving me bonkers is the bugs. In particular, the other day, after inhaling up my nostril the 11th gnat of the day, I erupted in a tirade (mostly directed at the Appalachian gnat population, though I do faintly remember kicking a tree stump and barking at Bojangles). The next day I was (very happily) outfitted in this:

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Bojangles makes fewer and fewer jokes about my new headgear as time goes on and our gnat following grows. I said nothing (but snapped a photo) when I saw him today with sassafras leaves affixed to his forehead (he says they are natural insect repellents):

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We cruised into the shelter last night at about 9 PM. It turned out to be one of the worst nights on the Trail. Worse than the freezing cold March nights in Georgia. Almost as bad as the searing throat pain nights in Virginia. It was hot as Hellman’s. I laid on top of my sleeping bag, which slowly soaked with sweat. Meanwhile, the mosquitos (and who knows what other creepy crawlers) had a field day chomping down on my exposed skin. Let’s just say I was ready to get up when 5:30 AM came.

What else has happened. Oh yes, only perhaps the single grossest moment of my life. I’ll spare you, but let’s just say I’m experiencing some serious gastrointestinal issues. That royally suck when you are in the woods. Moving on…

Let me tell you everything I’ve learned about hitchhiking: wave an American flag. Seriously, the flag has earned its keep.

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Here are some red mushrooms growing on a tree:

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Other pictures of late…

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Also, underarm chafing (it is worse in other areas I will leave out):

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9 Responses to “Update”

  1. fenu July 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Given a choice, Jan Vermeer certainly would have painted you in your headnet instead of that girl with the pearl earring….

    • Lucie July 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      No way!! I love that painting.

  2. Blackbird July 17, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Enough of the beauty fetishizing.
    This, ladies and girls, is why we simply don’t hike in the summertime.
    People do it, but those are stupid people. Needless suffering is senseless.
    Sometimes intelligence has to be deployed to be appreciated.
    Just don’t do it. Flip flop or something, for God’s sake.

    • Lucie July 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Blackbird,

      I have read this comment at least ten times, and I have laughed every single time — progressively harder. I am a stupid shit.

      Flipping seems like a lot of work. But I almost died of heat stroke today. Clearly things need to be put in perspective. Hmmmm.

      – “Oxy”

  3. Blackbird ~ 1,786 AT miles July 17, 2013 at 9:43 am #

    But seriously, if staying safe includes keeping inside the OODA Loop of potentially dangerous adversaries, the AT is all up inside yours. Turn the tables, use conditions to your advantage: FLIP!

  4. Jake July 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    You should try to use black walnut leaves as an insect repellent! There are two ways you can use black walnut leaves as an insect repellent. The first is simply that you can crush the leaves and rub them on your skin. The second way ( which works better in my opinion) is that you need to cut up the leaves and soak them in water overnight. In the morning boil the water for 10-20 minutes and then apply the water to your skin using a rag or sponge (after it has cooled obviously.) I hope this helps and good luck!
    ~Jake

    • Lucie July 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks, Jake! I’d never heard of this. We will try!!

      – Lucie

  5. fenu July 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    I thought that you and Bojangles may enjoy this:
    http://thenewnomads.com/?page_id=528

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