It's got me inspired to get out and go hiking again! We've been meaning to hike more, which we used to do all the time in North Carolina. We don't really know many good hiking trails around our new area in Missouri, but we want to learn. So Josh, Maya (6 now), and I all went for a hike the other day. We almost didn't go because we had a bit of a fight that morning, and now I'm kind of wishing we hadn't. We picked up something while we were out. I didn't get any bug bites while out, but when we came home, that night Maya and I got attacked. Me worse than her. I woke up covered in bites from my toes all up my feet and legs. I mean COVERED. I've got bites in between my toes, one really heinous one on my toe cuticle, all the way up to my upper thighs, far too near special places for comfort. In fact, I no longer understand the word 'comfort' at all. I've never been so miserable in my life, although Josh claims I was the year I got chiggers (it took two years for those bite marks to disappear). He thinks maybe these were sand fleas. I worry they're still in my house. I don't know what to do. If I'm still getting more by Friday, I guess we'll try bug bombing, but we're boke now. And now I'm covered in these awful, itchy, pus-y bites, and I can't do anything to relieve them. I've been spraying down with bleach, covering myself in anti-itch cream, using this homemade bite stuff that Josh made...nothing is helping. It's awful. And here I was so happy to go hiking again.
I have since learned about permethrin, which apparently you can treat your clothes with to avoid most bugs while out in the woods. I'm going to invest in maybe a whole gallon of that stuff when I get paid. I'm just glad Maya doesn't have it as bad as me, but she still got some pretty uncomfortable bites. Sadly, I can't get anything at the moment. We've had to break down and rely on our emergency credit card these last two weeks, and we had to use it to get a new starter for the truck this week. So we'll have about $200 or more to pay down on that, and this is the first we've had to use it like that. I hate credit cards, but that (the truck, mainly) is why we broke down and got one, so I'm glad it was there. I just don't know how long it will take us to pay it down, since our light bill is due and we're still catching up the phone bill. Things are really sucking right now.
On a happier note, all this inspiration has gotten me back over to Trail Journals. I read my old posts, which I had fallen off the wagon about, and realized I've gotten no farther in my hiking goals in the past year. So I'm buckling down on that. I'm going to keep getting out there and getting back in shape, and I'm going to start investing in one good piece of gear every month. We live very near a portion of the Ozark Trail and have never checked it out. I've tried to find the access from our town and have had no luck. Our portion is also known for being the worst with upkeep, too, with markers spaced out miles apart and the trail not well maintained, so I don't want to get out and get lost. I can buy good maps from the Ozark Trail website, but they're expensive. I want to eventually do a whole thru-hike, so I need to just (eventually) invest the $100 it takes to buy the whole huge map set. That'll be on my monthly list, I guess.
Josh has found a hiking backpack at Walmart that he really likes. It's kind of pricey, so we haven't gotten it yet, but he's going to get it when he gets paid Friday. I've asked around and found a couple good suggestions for hiking trails. We're going to keep at it. And I'm going to start practicing and learning survival/bushcraft skills. We've watched the shows for years, and I thought I had decent knowledge, but I realized I do not when I couldn't even start a fire with a lighter and fluid. So time to get out there and actually start putting all that theory to practical use. I'm apparently a running joke in our house that I would die the first day of any survival show (possibly before being dropped off, even), and I don't like that. So I'm going to learn my stuff and show them all!