Paying The Price: The Joys of a Poison Oak Rash
- Category: Dad's Dirt Roads: A Blog
- on Sun Aug 15, 2010
- by Mark Stephens on Sun Aug 15, 2010 - (4) Comments
The life of an outdoor adventurer is all about those small things that leave a lasting impression: finding a creek side rope swing, that cold beer after a solo afternoon ride, hiking in a summer sprinkle, campfire time after the kids are asleep, morning songbirds, hot coffee, and . . . DRUMROLL . . . the fantastically orgasmic relief of a humongous morning camp pee.
Then there are the small inevitable bummers that we find funny. Like slipping on your convertible pants and seeing that what was once a nice looking, water-shedding pair of Columbias that can be zipped off as shorts are now disappointingly expensive two-tone snazzy pants because you've failed to wash the legs. Then there's always the obstinate, indomitable example of Chaos Theory known as campfire smoke. And chiggers in your ears.
I've never been exposed to poison ivy, oak, or sumac before. Three weeks ago, I hiked Devil's Chasm knowing full well that poison oak lives there. I didn't bother to refresh my memory on what it looks like though. About five days afterward, I found a small rash of tiny hives on my shin that I mistook for bug bites. A few days later, my other shin developed a similar rash. And finally (God, I hope) on this past Thursday the tops of my hands broke out in fiery eruption.
You know the saying, "Leaves of three, let it be." If you didn't, now you do. The saying is clever, but I never noticed the plant. It got me good.
What you can't get a sense of from the picture of my hands is the burn. The itch. It woke me up in the middle of the night and I rubbed my hands raw because I didn't want to get out of bed and find the calamine. I'm going to look like a freak for the next week or so.
This is the kind of thing for which there is no make-it-go-away cure. You just get to itch and burn for some indeterminate amount of time. It's so awesome. I can't wait until this is funny.