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Appalachian Trail – August 31st, 1013

I failed to mention that one of the highlights of the Eliza Brook experience was the discovery of my bed bug bights. At least, I think they were bed bugs, according to the reader input I received later. I had been itching out of town and lifted my shirt at the shelter to ask if there was a bite on my back. The gasps of horror immediately resulted in the request that I take a picture, and below is the result. That lousy little bug had a feast! I was asked not to include the image in my blog, but I could not resist. It was a memorable part of the hike.

Bed Bug Bikes on the Appalachian Trail

The rash itched when I got up the following day, but I ignored it. I had vast experience with Poison Ivy, and these little bites paled compared to Evil Ivy’s itch. The difference with the edges was that I had never gotten poison ivy on my back, under a pack, while hiking. Thirty minutes into hiking, I squirmed and tried to shift the load off the bites. The burning sensation was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, so I decided to change plans and head for relief.

I continued to Kinsman Notch, passing at least 15 NOBO’s slack packing up the mountain. They were all in good spirits and wearing exciting outfits. My favorite was the fellow with the water cannon, wearing the pink furry hat. He grinned and winked at me as he practically ran up the mountain. I decided he was either a lot of fun or very obnoxious to hike with. My guess was probably a little of both.

I made it down the road in Kinsman Notch, waiting for a shuttle I had called. Getting dropped off in town, I went down to the Rite-Aid. I walked back to the pharmacy and asked for something for my bites/rash. The pharmacist asked what kind of rash I had, and I twirled around while lifting my shirt simultaneously. “Good gosh, girl,” she said. I felt this was an appropriate rash response and said, “yeah, itches.”  I could tell the other customers were trying to sneak a peek and quickly dropped the shirt.   The pharmacist recommended Allegra and Calamine lotion. I grabbed both, headed to get my pack, paid, and stuffed all the medication in my pockets. I could feel the extra ounces.   I was already debating the need to keep the Calamine lotion. Any extra ounces to carry had to be an absolute emergency. Weight is critical on these hikes, and I began to obsess over the weight as I started the food search.

I finally found Gypsy Cafe, and the lunch menu looked good, so I entered and asked to bring my pack. Some establishments had no pack issues, but others could sometimes be prickly. The backpack was a little large and a little stinky. So I ordered two lunches and sat eating while I watched it pour outside. It was not weather I wanted to hike back in, and it was getting late.

I could not stay at the bedbug motel again, so I called for another motel. Being Labor Day Weekend, there was not much vacancy, but I finally found a room at the Parker’s Motel, similar to the Bate’s Motel in both name and ambiance. But it was empty, clean, and on the way back to the trail.

I settled in for the evening, ordered more food, and watched TV while flash flood warnings ran across the top of the TV screen. It was good not to be back out in the rain on the mountain. It was also good to be able to shower and try and apply my medicine to my back with strange, awkward yoga moves.   I packed and relaxed for the evening. Everything was ready to go, and I would be heading out early.

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Bed bugs and the Bates Motel | Average Hiker