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Monday, June 15, 2015

Ohio Ground Cover

There's one thing you'll never have a shortage of in Ohio in the summer.

poison ivy sign

At least the label got it right. Marie and I are both highly allergic to urushiol (the oil in poison ivy). Over the years we've learned how to deal with this menace that threatens to reach out and grab not only our ankles, but arms, shoulders and neck.

It's so verdant in Ohio that we've nicknamed it the Ohio Ground Cover. Road walks are pretty good sometimes. At least you don't have to watch out for the PI unless you get off into the green stuff.

poison ivy

How do we deal with it? We've learned that urushiol breaks down quickly in plain old water. Skip all the fancy products made to wash with. Skip the Fels Naphtha soap. Just make sure that you get everything that touched it wet within a couple of hours of contact.

That meant that almost every day as soon as we were done hiking we headed to a beach on some small lake and waded in to our thighs. Yes, with boots/shoes and clothes on. We took our hiking sticks in too. We leaned over and washed faces, necks, hands and arms.

Permanently wet feet are tolerable. Poison Ivy that requires medical care is not.

Did it work? Sure enough. Marie got a mild case on her chin, and I have a few dots on the tops of my toes. That is all. If you don't consider this a success, you don't understand. With the quantities of poison ivy we walked through it's a wonder we both didn't end up in the Emergency Room.

The advantage, if you can call it that, of hiking Ohio in the summer rather than spring is that you can see the dastardly green stuff. In early spring it may be just coming up and doesn't even have leaves yet, but can deliver a real punch if you walk through the tiny stems.

Anyway, although we enjoyed the foot trail sections, we are not really sad that a lot of the Buckeye Trail is on roads and wide multi-use trails.

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vanilla said...

I have never seen a warning sign in our neck of the woods.

Secondary Roads said...

I too have never seen a warning sign in these parts.
State ground cover . . . now that's an interesting concept.

Ann Thompson said...

well it's nice that they had the warning sign although I'm sure you would have spotted it any way

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