Monday, June 3, 2019

Arrrgggghhh Ticks

Our rainy Spring didn’t let up last week as we had another five straight days of wet weather. Fortunately we got a break on Friday as I headed up to Vermont for a training weekend with a few of the girls. Jennifer and Amy drove up to join me on Friday, arriving at the cottage mid afternoon. Unfortunately, the lower pasture was still wet and muddy and Jennifer’s car got stuck, but we were able to get it out late in the day.

The mud turned out to be the least of our concerns. Not more than an hour after their arrival, Amy pulled a tick off her clothes. And then another. And another. Soon I was doing the same. I changed my clothes and a tick fell out of my bra while a fifth was attaching itself to my bare thigh. (I felt a “tug” on my skin when I brushed him off). Argggghhhh. I put on a long sleeved shirt, tucked my jeans into my mud boots, tucked my shirt in and sprayed my exposed skin with Deet. Walking to the brook to turn on the water, I brushed tick #6 off my boots. By the end of the night, Amy was up to seven tick encounters, I had six, and Jennifer none. (She claims her Mediterranean blood wards them off. I’m not sure if she was joking.) Doing one final tick check before bed, I found one buried in my back below my shoulder blade that needed removal. Damn it. How did it get on my back? I was covered! It was unsettling.

On Saturday, we headed to the mountain and hiked the Swoops and Loops mountain bike trail. It was a great trail and I’m excited to go back and ride it! I wore permethrin treated hiking clothes and new Hoka Speedgoats, also treated with permethrin. No ticks! After our hike, we returned to the cottage to do some chores, (mowing, trimming, and repairing some of the ruts in the road), before Jaclyn’s arrival. The three of them were registered for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon on Sunday, although Amy had to pull out with a foot injury. We had zero tick encounters on Saturday with the combination of Deet and permethrin.

Jennifer cut the grass in our war on ticks
Jaclyn arrived at 3:30 and we headed out to dinner in Claremont soon after. When we returned to the cottage, Jennifer sat down on the porch to read her book and a tick fell from the porch roof onto her lap. They were on the porch! It was raining ticks! The worst. We retreated indoors and spent the night inside, heading to bed on the early side.

The next morning, Jennifer and Jaclyn ran the half marathon while Amy and I rode our bikes up the course for a few miles, (as far as we were allowed to), to cheer them on. It was a damp, overcast day, which was typical of this Spring. My training weekend turned out to be less than what I really needed to get out of it — I needed to get some elevation training done — but the ticks really rattled me. We closed up the cottage after returning from the race and headed home.

Will borrowed my car the next day and caught a tick crawling on my steering wheel. There’s no escaping them.

Is this one from Massachusetts?
Or did he hitch a ride from Vermont?