Ever have one of those times where you’re about to go somewhere and you think to yourself “Maybe I should _____ just in case.” And then you contemplate it a bit more and think, “Nah, I’ll be fine” only to wish you had done that thing you didn’t feel like doing in the first place? Ever do that? This was me approximately three and a half hours ago as I contemplated whether or not to wear full-length jeans instead of shorts while hiking in the woods. XD
So why did I hesitate? The reason I hesitated at changing into jeans is this: it’s 70 degrees F and humid. I was already hot in my t-shirt and shorts, I didn’t even want to think about what I would feel like after I changed. Besides, what could happen in the woods? If we got eaten up by bugs we could spray ourselves with bug spray. If we ran into poison ivy, well, we wouldn’t because we would just say on the path–right? (right?!)
We arrived at the nature trail we were going to hike through and started out on it. The bugs weren’t too bad and I was really able to admire God’s handiwork as we meandered through the trail. The afternoon sun was shining through the canopy of trees that were tall above us. It was beautiful out. But it was when we turned off the gravel path and onto the less-traveled one that I started second guessing myself about my choice of attire.
I knew my brother had a destination in mind: he wanted to see if a certain area of the river would be good for fishing, and at first we were fine. The wide gravel path narrowed into a skinny woodchip one, and we stepped over the occasional log that had fallen in our way, no biggy.
And then suddenly we were making our own path, foraging through the thick of the jungle, exploring unknown territory where no man has ever gone before. … Well, maybe that’s a (slight) exaggeration. I’d been back on this particular path many times before but that was months ago (one of which was the time I saw a muskrat) and it wasn’t that overgrown.
“It’s really different back here,” I said.
My brother, who had been smart and worn jeans, kept moving ahead of me. “Why, what was it like the last time you were here?”
“Dead. Well, not dead, but not this grown yet.”
Our woodchip path dissolved into one of our own making as we stomped through the tall grass. And then I saw the dreaded leaves of three. And there was no way I could leave them be, because that was exactly where I needed to go! So I just carefully stepped and hopped over them, wishing I had worn the jeans because I’ve done the poison ivy bit before and didn’t feel like going through it again. My brother showed me where to step so I wouldn’t get into poison ivy, but I don’t think it could be avoided, not with how much poison ivy there was and me without full-length pants on.
We climbed over a tree that had fallen in our path (which was actually kinda fun) and then–hallelujah! A clearing! We were out of the woods. For about a minute, and then we dove straight back in so we could get to the spot at the river we were headed towards. It was riddled with poison ivy. I have no doubt in my mind that I touched some, because there was no avoiding it. After a while I wondered why I was even trying to avoid it anymore, we went through so much! LOL! 😀
But I tried really, really hard not to complain. I tried to think of the positives. It was an adventure, and I love adventures! I was in God’s wonderful creation spending time with my sibling. (Yes, mosquitos and all. I thought bug spray was supposed to discourage them??) I even had something new to write about on my blog. (teeheehee)
At last we made it to our destination, an open area where there were few trees and even less poison ivy! My brother searched around for worms to use for fishing bait, but all he found was a slug and a lot of ants. And without bait you can’t do much fishing. We were there about 15 minutes before he decided we should just turn back and head home.
I planned what I would do back at home as we walked back the way we came. First I would make a mental note to wear jeans the next time I’m going to go traipsing through the woods. I’d drink a tall glass of water (another note for next time would be to fill a water bottle) and then I’d douse myself in Dawn Dish Soap. Because, little fun fact, Dawn Dish Soap (or Fels-Naptha laundry soap) breaks down the oil of the poison ivy so that it can be washed away.
And I got home and did just that. I’m scratched up from thorny bushes and itchy from mosquito bites–but no poison ivy yet! And hopefully it will stay that way. Time will tell, I suppose! 😉
A little friendly advice from the blogger of Majestic Adventures? While adventures are fun, poison ivy is not. Jeans might be a good idea when hiking. Either that or have plenty of Dawn Dish Soap on hand!!! 😉 (Oh, and bug spray. It’s mosquito season, you know!)
It is now two days later and I am here to confirm that, yes, I have poison ivy. The day after writing this post, my ankle started itching with what I thought were mosquito bites. But upon further inspection…it’s poison ivy. Aack!