Whenever I change shoes, I endure a period of time when my feet have to press themselves into the insoles and teach my new chassures their ways. The friction and the emptiness between them leads the balls of my feet to fill with fluid which grow large and painful. Then they pop. An annoying flap of skin hangs in their place.
My mother used to tell me about how Calvin Coolidge’s son died because he popped his own blister with a needle. I have since learned that this isn’t bad if you have a clean needle, but recently I did something very stupid: I stripped the loose skin where the blister had been and paid for it in soreness and risked infection.
Only after I performed my little surgery did I learn that one shouldn’t do that. The skin forms a natural bandage and eventually reconnects with the foot to form a callous. I had to rub the exposed spot with antibiotic ointment and cover it with a bandage. When a large blister formed on the other foot, I left the skin in place, covered the area in ointment, and held it in place with a bandage. Oh, what a difference it made!
Joel, this will seem a silly question, perhaps. Do you feel safe hiking in our mountain lion country alone? Which times of day do you feel safest? Once I was mountain biking with my son on the Arroyo Trabuco trail at dusk. Shortly after we sighted deer, my hair stood on end. I had the distinct sensation that we (and the deer) were being watched, stalked actually.
I don’t have a lot of fear — I hike at all times of the day, but I do my best to be off the trails by sunset. The one time I did meet a mountain lion was at dusk on the Edison Trail in Whiting Ranch. It jumped out of some foilage and ran at the sight of me.
I generally stick to the main-traveled trails when I am out at that time. I’ve noticed that the park keeps the bushes where the lion leaped out trimmed way back now.
Sometime, I have to tell the story of the first time my wife saw a rattlesnake….