Walking Through Webs

Most of my friends know that I hate spiders. Some even enjoy posting photos and videos of enormous, harry arachnids on my wall, and I silently wish for your early demise when you do. Most of you also know that I love to hike and camp, so you may ask yourself, “why do you spend so much time in the woods if you hate spiders, Cory?” Good question. The serenity and beauty I experience on backpacking trips far outweigh the few spiders I see in the woods. I really don’t see that many while I’m on the trail…except for this past weekend.
I don’t know if the weather was ideal for spiders, or if there was some sort of Arachnid Convention that I was unaware of, or maybe Spiderpalooza was in town, but the amount of spiders and webs on the trail last weekend were of epic proportions.
Our group of four hikers had to take turns leading the pack (we resorted to calling this “Spider Duty”) because it was such a chore to clear the webs that had been constructed over the trail. We must have looked like blind people in unfamiliar territory, constantly waving our trekking poles in front of us as we walked. Some of the webs had spiders in them, some did not. Some were big enough to see…sometimes a ray of sun caught the web before I strolled through it and I was able to knock it down, but sometimes I didn’t see it at all…I only felt it after I walked right into it. Yes, apparently the height at which bugs most commonly fly is the same exact altitude as my face – because that’s how high all the spider webs were. The first thing that comes to mind when I catch a spiderweb to the face is “where’s the spider? It’s on me, isn’t it? Oh, God, it’s on me!” I had those thoughts about 926 times over the trip.
By the end of the hike, my arms were tired from swinging my trekking poles in the air like a mad person, and I had enough silk wrapped around my head to knit a sweater.
I just thought I would share a little of my private horror and prove that hikes are not always just the pretty pictures you see after it’s all over, and there are some “minor inconveniences” to overcome along the way, but it sure is worth the trouble.

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