Encounters

Some people aren’t morning people. It takes me about an hour and a half from the time I get up before I am willing and/or capable to perform any meaningful interaction. I was in the middle of waking up this morning over some chocolate spread and black tea, when someone pounded on our apartment door. It was a very important sounding pounding. As I was, unshowered, hedhog-like hair, in my lounging clothes and not even there yet (aka a pretty sorry state) I tip-toed to the door and risked a peek through the peephole. I saw a massive man in uniform which I presumed to be a police uniform, so I opened the door. “Do you own a white Prius?” the officer asked. (We do, as I suspiciously responded, fearing the worst – even though I don’t know what the worst in this case could have been – stolen and ran into a tree? Broken into and defecated all over?) He informed me that some sort of emergency had occurred in front of the building where Karl parked the car last night and kindly asked me to move it. I only heard “emergency”, slipped into some fancy hiking sandals and followed him downstairs as I was (aka disgusting). He said “Whoa, you don’t have to be that fast.” Turns out, a pipe had broken and the City needed to place their fixing-pumping-vehicle where we were parked. The whole group of workers and tenants was really happy to see me coming down the street with the officer, which kind of brightened my morning.

The past weekend we spent camping in Catoctin Mountain Park, a national park about an hour and forty-five minutes from Annapolis. We took it pretty easy though since I had caught a mystery cold (no idea when and where) and only went on a little hike on Saturday. Which itself was cut short by a nasty group of insects. We were heading towards a vista up in the mountains, and a family of four plus two dogs was coming our way. When we were about twenty yards away from them, the mother let out a terrible scream. And then another. My first thought was a black bear, which there were warnings about in the park. “RUN!” she yelled. “BEEEEES!” Her family took off and so did we. I felt terrible running away while at the same time thinking “We should probably help them”, but I couldn’t come up with a very good plan on how to help. A little further down the trail we stopped and Karl went back to them to offer his first aid kid. The woman was still screaming in pain; she had been bitten about eight times, and her husband once right on the kisser. Karl wanted to still try and get to the vista, I suggested to first wait a half hour and let the presumed bees calm down a little. After a food break we headed on up again. Karl was walking a couple of steps ahead so just in case, I would still have time to run with my weakened immune system. Everything went well, we came by the spot where we had seen the family, and Karl said “Seems fine” and I decided I might as well close up to him, when I suddenly heard him yell “F*CK!” and saw him jump up and run in a bunch of big black flies around his legs. I turned the other way and ran. On the other side Karl met a couple of people who had all been attacked on their way up there and led the expedition back through the woods off trail, making a big circle around the spot where the what we now believe to have been some extra mean horseflies patrolled the trail. We also put up a warning sign and decided to head back to camp. Luckily, Karl only got bitten once, but there were several people with multiple bites that had swollen to some impressive sizes. Weekend was fun anyway.

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