Saturday, October 14, 2006

Seed Tick Beach

Seed Tick Beach is a destination along the Florida Trail. I've been there several times, but never thought much about the name before today. Crystal, Sue, Jeff and I started the hike out of Medart on this lovely cool fall afternoon. I hauled all my photo gear having never brought it along in past hikes through these flatwoods, saltmarsh, and Gulf views. The "beach" itself is really a shoreline of saltmarsh with large expanses of flats, It is very beautiful and there is a ruin of an old saltworks dating back to Civil War days. Several miles into the trek, we crossed a creek, and Sue felt a compelling intuition to look down at her pant legs where she found what she most dreaded: hundreds of seed ticks crawling up both legs. "Yikes!" Naturally, the first thing the rest of us did was to look down. Sure enough, we were all loaded with hundreds of the tiniest pinpoint-sized ticks making their ways up our trousers. That is, except for Crystal. She had on shorts, so her legs were covered in ticks. What to do? Peel off the infested clothes, pick and scrape off the bulk of bugs, then hightail it back to the car. With shoes tied to the roof rack and clothes balled up in the back, we raced back to our outdoor shower where we spent a good half hour with dish detergent, hot water and a stiff scrub brush debugging from head to toe. We have all experienced the persistent itchy bites of these tiny varmits (and will likely refresh that memory starting tomorrow). Some days, like today, photos are a bust.

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