Tag Archive: danger


Tropical Tromping….

I know you are wondering what is going on in the world. You are asking why the Chicks with Ticks haven’t been around.

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Kaleigh and Allison exploring the sand flats

Well, IT’S SUMMER SILLY. That’s right – kids are out of school and adventures abound. So, in honor of summer I thought we would begin to tell you what AMAZING places we have been adventuring so far.

View of the shore.

View of the shore.

We are going to start with Caladesi State Park https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Caladesi-Island. It is only the most beautiful island ever…well at least one we can paddle to.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

Alex relaxing near an old log.

So, we load up paddle boards, coolers, kayaks and 4 kids….me with 4 kids isn’t that unusual. In fact, I almost always travel with 4 kids. Just so happens that this trip included my two biologic kids and each of their best friends. IT also included loads of silliness at Wal Mart to get food and stuff, bouncy balls that flew out of the window (another story for another time) and an amazing parking spot.

Allison searching for adventure....and creatures.

Allison searching for adventure….and creatures.

We loaded up and paddled out to the tip of the island from the causeway. I recommend this for above average paddlers as there is a boat traffic pattern, channel, sand bar, and sometimes a strong current and winds. This paddling is very east most times – but occasionally it is a little tiresome for beginners – none the less – it’s a blast.

There are mangrove trails to paddles, crystal clear shallows to explore, lots of sea creatures to selfie with, clean sandy shores, bird watching, shelling, relaxing, and – our favorite – ADVENTURING. SO – don’t miss out. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards on the causeway. Also, if paddling is not for you – take the ferry – it’s affordable and fun. Bring your lunch – camera and RELAX and enjoy the amazing natural habitats of Florida beaches.

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For advanced paddlers (and drinkers) there is a marina and beach well into the islands that has amazing lunch and sangria. The beaches host tortoises and beautiful rare plants. You can paddle with porpoises sometimes and see some great mangroves.

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Looking upstream

Looking upstream

That’s right, I know you are all pouting and say, “Jacque, where have you been?” Well, I

This little guy os growing from our green logs where the creek disappears under a newly created natural bridge.

This little guy os growing from our green logs where the creek disappears under a newly created natural bridge.

have no really great story where I get chased by some wild animal or get lost deep in the forest (we wish right?). All I have is the fact that I have been running around crazy.

Looking downstream

Looking downstream

I thought you all would absolutely love the fact that I am working in a confidential area making guess what….? Ditches! I know you guys understand I believe in a lot of crazy stuff….but…NOT DITCHES.

So, I have taken it upon myself to team with my buddy and boss, Matt to stop the madness. We have begun designing what a dear friend Michelle Sims calls “conveyances”. I call them unditches.

So the basic idea is that we disguise a nasty and boring ditch or gully as a small stream segment. We give it character, habitat, shape, form, and a better function in the landscape. The bugs and fish already love it. I love it. Guess what? I got a sweet surprise birthday visit from 10-20 DEP reps.

The fish will love this pool.

The fish will love this pool.

Now, most folks hate it when they see a pack of DEP nerds coming but I get all excited. I LOVE THEM! There’s nothing like watching them tromp around in the woods downstream in the preservation

and all over the site. The smiles, questions, suggestions, and interest were fun! I love sharing what we do and why….especially with people who care just as much as I do.

This natural system will benefit from more care in the connection design.

This natural system will benefit from more care in the connection design.

It is perfect Jacque! Go Anywhere!

That’s right. It had to happen sooner or later. The guys weren’t happy being called “honorary members” so we had to come up with something worthy! We know you guys are out there! We hear you and want you to feel welcome. So, in all fairness to you all – you can now brag that you are Hicks with Ticks.

Now, we all need to remember our roles. No, I am not talking about who is in the kitchen cooking or who wears the bra – I mean our responsibility to Go Anywhere! We need to get out there and have unscheduled adventures. We need to empower others to explore. We need to enlighten those that aren’t comfortable in the outdoors. We need to entertain…hell it’s fun!

We especially need to share our experiences with other – especially young people. I once taught an adventure camp. I was dumbfounded by how many kids had never played in the mud, gone to a forest, climbed a tree, gotten dirty. I made it my job to mess all those kids up for the whole summer! That’s right – some of them will remember….some will just be more comfortable in the wilds and won’t know why. Some will probably never look at the world the same – that’s the way I want it for everyone.

Plunder Branch Hwy 62

It's Perfect! Go Anywhere!

Take some time – right now if you can – both Chicks and Hicks alike, young and old, to invite someone to share an adventure with you. Tell them that they can Go Anywhere! Show them where to go to find the minnows, frogs, park benches, trails, trees, flowers, and world! Show them that there is so much more out there and it won’t eat you!! It won’t poison you!! It will only make you feel amazed and lucky. You may see things no one else will ever see.

Then, come back here and report who and where and what and how and why and when and every little detail you can remember! Show us photos and share your stories – good and bad – happy and sad. Tell us why you are here and why you come back. Most importantly – do it now!

I dare YOU – Yes – YOU – to Go Anywhere!!

You know, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Yeah, I know good things happen to bad people too but this story isn’t about that, genius! Didn’t you read the heading? Anyway, I wanted to address some of the sucky things that can happen and what you can do to lessen their impact. Being an adventuring woman of the outdoors, I have recently had some pretty darned sucky things happen and I want you to know what to do so you don’t look as stupid as I did trying to take care of them.

  1. Pack for all occasions. – Yes, I failed to pack long socks and wore no-show footsie socks with my snake boots. There are OH so many reasons this sucks. I looked like I had a staph infection or poison ivy on my ankles for weeks. Also, I got a stinking blister where the sand rubbed my bone. Also, feels really nasty – take an extra long pair of socks and stash them everywhere – glove box, backpack pocket, office drawer, anywhere. This will prevent you from the nasty rash and stinging blister I suffered.
  2. Where a tight undershirt under a regular or over shirt. I witnessed this horrid scene….Josh looked crazy and made a weird sound or series of incoherent words of distress. I knew something was wrong and he said – “There’s a scorpion in my shirt and it stung me.” Holy crap! Those are words I never want to hear again. Sure enough, there was a very small scorpion trouncing around in Josh’s shirt. It stung him and, much to my dismay, he suffered a minor sting and no crazy things happened. I wanted there to be pus and ooze and terrors….no – just  a little sting is what he said. Too bad – makes me feel like a baby! Wear a tight under t-shirt – you can rip that over shirt off if a scorpion gets in there!
  3. Gloves are for every occasion! I found this out all too well this past weekend. I got a hedge trimmer for Christmas. I have hedges (duh) and I began to trim them. They are 7+ feet tall and I was working above my shoulders and leaves were a flying….cool! UNTIL – I felt a sting in my t-shirt (and I did NOT have an undershirt on). I reached into my shirt and a GIANT green spiky caterpillar stuck onto my right hand. The damned thing stung all three of my fingers and my left boob!! The pain was such that I was immobilized on my knees weakly calling for someone to help me. My daughter and husband came out and I could hardly tell them what happened….I only whimpered for duct tape. They brought me scotch tape (which actually worked great) and I began to shakily rub tape onto my fingers to remove the hairs….it was excruciating pain. I have never felt that before – WEAR GLOVES!!!! The IO moth caterpillar is what got me – it’s nasty – you never want to feel that pain!
  4. Sunscreen isn’t for babies! I have a 3-4″ scar on my face to prove this one. Of course, as a child of the 70’s we wore iodine and baby oil to get tan. My mom still cries when she looks at my face because she feels responsible – whatever! I never wore sunscreen as I surfed, hiked, biked, beached, swam and whatever – it just wasn’t cool! The basal cell carcinoma was a harmless little flesh-colored bump on my face that annoyed me – the dermatologist informed me that it was cancer and I had it removed in a HORRIBLE SURgERY!!! The doctor was amazing – they just don’t put you to sleep – they operate on you while you watch – the smell of cauterization is awful….the scar is horrid and I will probably have more later in life – sunscreen everyone always – you dog, your self, and remember your neck, hands, and everywhere!!
  5. Shorts with snake boots. There are times when fashion is crap! I have to tell you that there are many place where you should wear shorts with your snake boots. I know – you are saying, “But Jacque, that just doesn’t look or sound right!” Who cares! You can feel all the little creepy crawlies coming up before they get into your nether regions! Plus – you have on snake boots so are protected!! Just consider it! I think it looks rather sexy!

I am not going on further – I think you get the picture. Protection is important. When you leave the safety of the home or office – you must consider what you might encounter – whether it’s in the garden, or in the swamp – you should take a moment to make sure you have what you need to enjoy it safely. Also, having some extra provisions in extra spots ensures that you will be better prepared should you make a mistake and forget a key element. Take good care of yourself out there – You can GO ANYWHERE – but just go safely!

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