About a week and a half ago, I went on a mushroom walk and got hideously lost. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it because the area wasn't that big and it was surrounded by relatively well-traveled roads. How lost could I possibly get?
Very lost it turns out. I could not get myself back to the main path to save my life. I had wandered deep into the forest looking at cool mushrooms like that chicken mushroom shown above. I had already consumed all of my snacks and most of my water. School was letting out in an hour. The kids have been told over and over again what they're supposed to do should they find I'm not at the bus stop at the appointed time, but previous dry runs have shown little to no retention of the information. Suffice it to say the confused and noisy gesticulations observed from a short distance come at the expense of any actionable plan. I really didn't want to miss the bus.
Luckily, I had my newfangled smart phone with me. I tend to use it more for its navigational capabilities than its intended communication purposes. I'd walk a few steps, check my phone, walk a few more steps, check my phone again, and then proceed onward assuming the path would keep going straight, which it never did. Round and around I'd go in ever-widening circles, never in the direction I planned. By now, I was getting hopelessly thirsty knowing that the only source of water was a stagnant pond teeming with parasites real and imagined. I tried to remember how Survivorman created his own personal urine still from a piece of plastic wrap while trapped in the desert. I saved my snack baggie just in case.
I was thrashing from one side of the path to the next, praying for deliverance, when I came across this mushroom.
Long story short, I made it back just in time for the school bus. BUT...
I got poison ivy all over my face again. I shit you not. Nowhere else, just my face! This time, though, I sought medical attention earlier rather than later, and the damage wasn't nearly as bad as the first time around. Still, I've been banned from the woods until further notice. At least until my book appearances are over. Turns out nobody feels hungry for dessert once they've gazed upon my festering, urushiol-ravaged face. Losers!