. . . . written on the Ralph’s receipt. The total for my purchases Friday was $13.13. I wanted to ask the cashier to take something off, but there was a line and I didn’t want to delay the people behind me. So I just exclaimed, “That is so unlucky!” as she looked at me uncomprehendingly.
Like my mother, I am very superstitious. I run like hell to avoid a black cat crossing my path, throw spilled salt over my left shoulder and make a wish, regularly chastise David and Christopher for putting a hat on a bed, and wouldn’t consider having any plant with ivy inside the house, as that would surely hasten someone’s demise.
The ominous receipt was only one indication that we shouldn’t have hiked Jones Peak yesterday. I didn’t want to go in the first place, as the description of the hike – vertical climbs, loose soil, scrambling – didn’t appeal to me at all, but David talked me into signing up.
The onramp to the 91 East was closed when we started driving yesterday morning, another warning that we should have turned back, but we went another route, making two wrong turns and arriving scarcely in time for the 7 a.m. start of the hike.
The hike leader mistook the trail, so after one very rough vertical climb we came to a 1,000 foot drop-off and could go no farther, meaning we had to scramble down and get to the right path and start again. One member of our group sensibly said adios when we got down from that initial errant climb.
The rest of us soldiered on, but David and I didn’t make it to the top. It was extremely hot, and David got brutal leg cramps, meaning that we had to stop every few minutes. What should have been a four-hour hike took us seven hours, and we didn’t even scale Jones Peak! We got within about a half-mile of the summit and decided we had to start back down, oh so slowly, hobbled by cramps, sliding down the steep incline some of the time, falling again and again.
But there’s more. Buckwheat is still blooming all over these hills, attracting lots of bees. When a few buzzed around my face, I idly swatted at them. This was a mistake. I succeeded only in driving one up my nose, where it stung me. Now I’ve been stung by a bee many times and never experienced this as terribly painful, although it’s unpleasant. But being stung in the nose produced a shocking, violent pain unlike anything I’ve ever felt. I screamed and screamed like a bloody banshee – David said later he thought surely I’d been bitten by a rattler.
After we got home, filthy and exhausted, I Googled “stung by a bee inside nose.” The first result was “The Worst Places to Get Stung by a Bee.” Evidently the nostril tops the list at 9 on a pain scale of 1 to 10, even higher than the male unit and the lip.
Now I really, really wish I’d asked the cashier to put that green salsa back.