Flashback to Tick Season 2006

April 28, 2008 at 10:53 am 6 comments

Last Tuesday, I received a text message from Sean:

When I woke up this morning there was a tick on my pillow! I blame you!

Before I gave it much thought, I wrote back:

Wow I can not believe ticks are already out.

But now that I think it over, I should not have been so surprised. On April 11, 2006 (ten days earlier), I encountered a whooping 4 ticks in one day!

I actually acquired my companions the day before. I landed in Wichita and with only 25 hours in the state of Kansas I wanted to get some rollerblading and geocaching done. So as soon as I checked in my hotel and dropped off my stuff, I was off! I spent the rest of the daylight hours hanging out in Pawnee Prairie Park.

It was my first time in Kansas and I found myself enamored with the “amber waves of grain”. I navigated the tall grass for some photos. I didn’t realize it, but I made myself the perfect attractive nuisance for ticks.

Me, unknowingly collecting ticks in 2006.

When I returned to my hotel, ticks were not even on my radar. I shed my clothes and threw them back into my suitcase and went to sleep. The next morning, I got my business attire out of that same suitcase and headed out to an all day meeting.

So here I am, listening intently to the proceedings and I feel an itch on my leg. I reach down to scratch it and I find… a tick!!! What should one do in that situation? Do you interrupt the conversation and announce to a room full of VPs and managers, “I HAVE A TICK!” That didn’t seem to be an appealing option. Instead I went with a maneuver that is more socially acceptable in the all-day meeting environment. I grabbed my cell phone as if I had a pressing call, stepped briefly out of the room, and escorted my hitchhiker to the toilet.

Crisis adverted, right? Well a little while later, I found ANOTHER tick on my neck. And then later I found ANOTHER one crawling on my arm. Yup, I got a lot of “important phone calls” that day.

When the meeting ended, I rushed back to the airport. Prior to check-in, I jammed myself and my belongings into a bathroom stall and I switched into my traveling clothes. Where were my fresh clothes stored? Well, in my suitcase, of course!

On planes, I try to always sit in the window seat (The curvature of the plane gives me the perfect head-tilt angle to sleep). I was drinking my Sprite courtesy of the beverage service when I noted yet ANOTHER tick crawling on me. I looked to my left. Two other passengers were comfortably drinking their sodas and relaxing with their tray tables down. I was less than anxious to bother them.

I decided to innovate. What did I have around me? Oh, I know, the Sprite! I took one last sip of the lemon-lime goodness and then I dropped the tick in.

Now I have drowned lots of ticks in my lifetime. They always swim around for while. Even when one urinates on them, those little buggers are not deterred (Yes, I know this from experience). Well, I don’t know what it was about the Sprite– if it was the carbonation, the citrus, or the cold temperature, but when I dropped that tick in, he was paralyzed instantly! He stopped moving on contact. He sunk and he drowned…at 30,000 feet.

Butterflies like Gatorade. Ticks, apparently, don’t like Sprite.

Entry filed under: Hiking, Kansas, Pawnee Prairie Park, tick, Travel.

McAfee’s Knob! Lecture: Hiking with Dogs

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clint  |  April 28, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I hate those things. I’m covered in poison ivy and Carolyn had a tick — all from our venturing into the backyard with the kitten, and ripping all the ivy off the 7 or 8 huge (300+ ft?) trees that hold up the hill that holds up our house — wouldn’t be good if too many of those died.

  • 2. Phil  |  April 28, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I wonder if Sprite would work on an attached tick? This warrants further experimentation.

  • 3. TGAW  |  April 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    @ClintJCL- Do you mean 300+ feet tall? That estimate may be a little generous The five tallest trees in the world range from 311 feet to 379 feet.


    But, I don’t doubt your trees are huge. 🙂

  • 4. geekhiker  |  April 28, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Bwa ha ha ha ha ha. *wipes tear from eye*

    That’s it, I’m adding Sprite to the list of 10 essentials. The ticks are out year-round here, ya know, and I gotta be prepared…

  • 5. Clint  |  April 28, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I suppose some trigonometry could be employed to determine the tree’s real height. But they start at the bottom of a BIG hill from my house, and still go way above the top of it. But I have no concept of what a 100 ft tree looks like.

  • 6. Aaron  |  May 2, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I found two on me yesterday after my not-so-brief stint in the woods. Which reminds me, I feel a Geocaching update coming on…


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