Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tips and Ticks

I found one lousy cache this week. That meager accomplishment is dwarfed by the fact that I went after three others. Ugh, it just wasn't a good week for caching.

On the upside, I learned something new. I thought I'd seen it all when it came to light pole caches, but I was wrong. As you can see in the photo above, there is no skirt for the cache to hide under. This cache was a magnetic hide-a-key hidden up inside the pole. I think it's common knowledge that I don't like to stick my hands in places I can't see, so it should come as no surprise that I found this cache by sliding my mirror around at the base of the pipe. Then I stuck my hand in, but at least I knew there was a reward.

This was one of the muggliest caches I've done. It's at a big box store everyone knows and loathes. I was able to park right next to the cache and just had to wait for a lady to finish loading groceries into her car. It took less than a minute to locate the cache, but as soon as I did there were people everywhere. You know me, I played it cool. I took the cache back to my car and waited for the muggles to clear out. I always wonder what people think when they see a chick in "business casual attire" roll up a piece of paper, stuff it into a baggie, and hide it in a light pole.

Now, let's take a moment to talk about geohazards. It's serious business. Only by the grace of God have I gotten this far without much more than mosquito bites. Most recently EyeoftheSeeker was stung by a wasp (ring finger) and ZykoMike had a run in with some poison ivy. I'm still itching fire ant bites, weeks later.

A few weeks ago Vikki4FSU started feeling ill. On Thursday she was admitted to the hospital and was told she may have had a stroke. They discharged her on Friday with no information. Unsatisfied and still feeling crappy, she went to a different hospital today. The diagnosis is Lyme disease.

This is the adult deer tick, the harbinger of Lyme disease. To prevent Lyme disease, Wikipedia recommends wearing long-sleeved shirts, trousers, and a hat. Light colors are recommended because they allow you to see the ticks if they do hitch a ride. Pants should be tucked into boots or socks...but unless you're a commando, that looks pretty dweeby. I don't personally recommend it. Plus, I can tell you from experience, ticks go right through socks. You don't want them exposed. Wikipedia also recommends reducing the local deer population. I suppose you could take it upon yourself to do that.

If you do find a tick with it's head burrowed into your skin, pull it out with tweeezers. And for God's sake, don't twist! I've always heard you should apply a flame to the tick to make it back out, but I would imagine that is advised against. Brian's preferred method is "draining" the with a needle. Or, "pop it like a grape," Brian says.

So, what's next for Vikki4FSU? Lots and lots of antibiotics. Even after treatment she may experience fatigue, joint or muscle pain, and neurocognitive symptoms. But since she reads this blog, I'm going to say she'll be just fine :)

Let that be a lesson to all you neo-cachers. Spiders aren't the worst things out there.

1 comment:

  1. vikki4fsu here, first of all let me assure geocachers everywhere that I am not quitting caching! I would like to give one more piece of advice though. If you do any bushwhacking during what I am now calling buggy season. have someone do a thorough inspection of your body and especially head. I will be buying a fine toothed comb to go through my hair after every entry in the woods. Trust me on this that little bit of effort could save you alot of misery. from what I have been going through has definatly been misery!