Big Sur, 5/10/03
Matt had a tick on his arm. It was unclear whether an operation would be required. Our collective knowledge of tick lore amounted to the following:
1. Ticks are bad
2. Lyme disease
3. Something about vinegar
While technically correct, this information was too vague to be useful. I remembered something about burning it off... or was it vinegar you were supposed to pour on? We didn't have vinegar, but we did have a bottle of Skyy Vodka.
We doused the tick with alcohol, but the little drunkard wouldn't come off. Patricia squeezed it firmly between her fingernails and yanked once, twice, a third time, and finally it came out. We poured on more vodka to sterilize the bite, which had swollen to the size of a penny. Although Patricia reassured us that ticks only get you if you brush past trees, we still shook out our sleeping bags more thoroughly than normal that night. I fell asleep wondering about the Lyme disease. Didn't that girl from the Real World have it? She was a total bitch... was that a symptom?
In the morning as we were hiking out, our minds were put at ease when some other campers told us that the ticks in Big Sur don't carry Lyme disease.
Things we forgot to bring on our camping trip:
Things we remembered to bring:
fig a: az. also remembered to bring her 'camelpak'. have you noticed that people who buy these get really fanatical about them? me, i prefer to guzzle my water from a canteen, like a MAN
fig b: a MAN. (canteen not shown)
In spite of our haphazard planning, the trip worked out perfectly. We made it to Big Sur station around 3. A four hour hike from the trailhead there took us to our camping spot, where we set up our tents in the shade of an enormous redwood. Terrence Creek burbled near by. The water sounded like a powerful fan from inside our tent.
Building a fire is difficult unless you have newspaper or something to start with. We settled for a cardboard granola bar box. We gathered what wood we could, and even though a lot of it was wet, it did the trick. No luck finishing this rhyme:
Wood, wood, wood, and not a log to burn
Wood, wood, wood, and still the ___ did ____
In the morning we did a longer hike out that took us through the forest into a clear space where we could look out at the endless ocean. (That's where I took the picture in the last entry.) The sky and sea merged into one, with no clear horizon visible. Lots of purple wildflowers.
Our running bet was that Matt wouldn't be able to eat all the food we'd brought. Initially it seemed impossible. We had pounds of trail mix, tons of salami, avocadoes galore. Half a dozen bagels, bag of apples, big triangle of brie, etc. etc. But Matt proved capable, and suspense grew as we neared the end of our hike. By the time we got back to the trailhead parking lot, only a few items remained. He raised a fistful of salami to his mouth, paused dramatically... and put it down. For reasons even now I cannot understand, he chose failure over indigestion.
fig c: i don't know if you can tell from the picture, but that is a BIG salami sandwich.