Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Blues: Tick

So, if you are reading this you're probably something of a regular here, whether that be monthly, weekly, or that one person who checks in every day, and you know that yesterday was GMR Clean-up Day. Once it was decided to participate in that, it didn't take much additional thought to make a day in the area by riding the Monroe Truck Trail (MTT). Or at least the portion up to Mystic beyond which, I figured, things might get a little challenging for the mrs. "We'll see", I thought.

Well, we did not have an opportunity to "see" because we never got that far. As you know the beginning of the MTT, when you start from the lower end and ride up, follows along the bottom of Little Dalton Canyon where there is much plant growth and many stream crossings. Most of the year - no problem. But add a little winter rain or, as we have experienced lately, a lot of rain, and that canyon bottom can become quite an obstacle. The stream channel shifts, cuts a new course, washes out sections of trail in places, and trades places with sections of trail in others.

crossing afoot


trail?




to ride or not to ride, that is the question


unless willows suddenly need sun protection, I think someone lost their glasses

We biked and, too frequently hiked, as far as the old mine which, admittedly, is where this ride gets easy for a while. But that is where it happened. You know, I first started hiking and backpacking in scouts as a pre-teen, and in all the years of hiking and biking since then, I have never picked up a tick. At first I didn't recognize the stinging bite for what it was, and pulled up the bib cuff to scratch at the inside of my right leg. But the black thing there would not budge. It looked like a piece of fabric, but I could not conceive what was causing it to stick to my leg like that. Then, "damn-it, a tick" and, by the feel of it, in there pretty good. The mrs. was already frustrated by all the hike-a-bike and, as close as we were to the rocky end, the tick proved decisive. With no way to remove the little 'F'er' it was time to turn for home. If anything I have now learned that tweezers will make a fine addition to my collection of tools and other stuff stuffed into the Camelbak. 

the old mine


how could it be so cool, yet so warm at the same time?


The Real List


I assure you that black splotch on the flat part of the tweezers is a thoroughly charred tick. After pulling it out I took great glee in holding it over an open flame.

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