Friday, May 25, 2012

Gnat wars

The main reason I haven't been hiking much lately is the gnats. I'm so fed up with them I actually bought some insect repellent. I've resisted doing that because I don't like putting noxious chemicals all over myself, but I'm desperate. I got some non-deet stuff, thinking it might not be as harmful to me. Then I read the warnings on the package. It says it can cause serious but non-permanent eye damage. That's rather odd. I'm going to try really hard to not find out exactly what that means.

Does this look familiar yet?

To test it out, I went out to that spot in Bulldog Canyon where the gnats have been really bad lately. It was kind of breezy, though, so it wasn't a very good test. Still, the gnats were in my ears almost as soon as I left the truck. I put a little of the repellent on my ears and they mostly stayed away from my ears for over half an hour. I was wearing sunglasses to keep them away from my eyes so I wouldn't have to risk getting any serious eye damage. BTW, if you get it in your eyes, you're supposed to rinse your eyes with water for 15 minutes. I don't think I can carry that much water. The gnats were buzzing around my nose and mouth, too. I snorted about 3 but was unsuccessful at biting them. I wonder if I would be able to tell if I bit one. They might not be flavorful enough to tell.

It was only about 94 out there. It's been up near 110 lately, so it felt cool, especially with the breeze.

On top.

I made it to the top of the cliffs in the middle of that first picture. I wanted to go further but my legs were already wobbly after a week of hiding from gnats.

I'll have to go up there another day.

As I stood up there enjoying the breeze, I thought I could see a shortcut down. It's the kind of thing that gets some hikers in trouble. If I had taken a shortcut because I was tired and wobbly and then found a 10 foot drop in my path, I could have done something stupid like try to make it down that 10 foot drop. The more tired you are, the more you need to stick to a known path to get back. Click below for all of the pictures.



Rebecca said...

Ugh! Gnats drive me completely nuts. I'm glad you had the will to get back out there and brave them, though. The photos are fantastic!

Art Brown said...

I think any bugs that fly into your ears or up your nose are very annoying. I guess gnats do that more than any other bug. Thanks for visiting, and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.