Since, by my reckoning, today is the last day of Summer, I thought I would take a moment to share a funny story. I have added a category called “Bobby-C’s Follies”, to tell of some of the humorous predicaments I have found myself in over the years. This is the first of those stories.
In an earlier post I told you all about my return trip to the Au Sable Point Lighthouse. I mentioned the special, nostalgic feelings and how I recaptured the same pictures I took back in the year 2000. But, I didn’t tell you much about the hike to the Lighthouse.
For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a large guy. Too large by every chart or estimation by a physician. We large guys have an issue when it comes to hiking – namely chafing. If I am not careful, and I go for a hike of a few miles or more, the effects of friction in tender areas can become a problem that stays with me for days after. I have used powders and ointments to combat this issue in the past.
The most successful prevention for the “swampies” that I have used is to wear a pair of under armor briefs. They go to my mid-thigh, and do a great job of both keeping things in place, and preventing the skin-on-skin rub that inevitably leads to problems.
When we woke up on the day of the Au Sable point visit, I knew that a hike or two were in the plans. So, I dutifully donned the “man spanx”, as I like to call them. We started our day with the drive up to Grand Marais, enjoyed lunch, hiked to Sable Falls, and then decided to make the trek to Au Sable Point.
The hike we chose was to go from the Hurricane River campground to the light. It is about 1.5 miles on relatively flat land along the Lake Superior shoreline.
We were about 1 mile into the hike when I noticed a pinch in my upper, inner, left thigh. I did a quick, discreet adjustment, and assumed all would be well. As I walked the next few hundred feet, the problem quickly escalated. What started as a mere pinch was developing quickly into an all out assault on my most tender skin.
My wife noticed my distress, and its accompanying silence, and asked what was wrong. I told her, and tried to soldier on. The pain only got worse. There was no one within eye shot of us at this point, so I decided a quick hand down the pants to investigate was in order.
When I slid my hand into an area that should have been inside my shorts, but outside my underwear, I was horrified to discover that I could feel a LOT of bare skin. It turns out that the under armor had split along a seam from the waistband to the bottom of my crotch. The pinch I had felt was where the next seam came together, and was definitely becoming a real problem. There was no way I could continue like this, but what to do?
As fate would have it, we came upon a set of stairs leading to the beach to offer views of shipwrecks. We went down the stairs (I gingerly), and formulated a plan. The idea we hit upon was that my wife would reach up under my shorts, and pull the underwear down, past my shoe to free them from my right leg, then I could just slip them out my left leg, and continue on “commando” style for the remainder of the day.
She knelt in the sand, facing me, and reached up. Because I needed to stand on one leg, I balanced myself by putting my hands on her shoulders. It took some effort, but she was able to free them from my leg, and I was able to complete the maneuver, ball up the wounded warrior, and shove it into my cargo pocket.
Just then, not 3 seconds later, a family of four teenage boys and their parents from Indiana descended the stairs and joined us on the beach. They missed by mere seconds the site of my wife kneeling in front of me yanking at my undies. While looking to see shipwrecks, they nearly happened upon the train wreck that was our predicament. To say we averted true embarrassment is a great understatement.
I continued the day with my underwear in my pocket. Occasionally I pointed out that the crisp UP air was a bit colder than I expected. Thankfully we arrested the issue before it ruined our day, and we were able to enter yet another adventure into the annals of our trips.