Senitram Road Trip 2022 : Part Two

In the Senitram road trip part one, I explained how we traveled across the country to visit my homestate of good ‘ol Nebraska. I’m from Omaha, but we kept going out to the western part of the state where we spent $500 to stay in a WWII POW camp, which was previously a Calvary Fort, back in the day.

I know gas is pricey to be travelin’ ‘cross country, but we got a hybrid, so it’s basically half price. Hybrids used to be expensive, but now they pretty much cost the same as a regular car, but use 1/2 the gas, so why not?

Before I forget…

You can Ask Bob a Question! I have a degree in S-c-i-e-n-c-e.

Anyways, we’re in western Nebraska and decide to take a gander at those hiking trails that reach toward the mountain scapes that edge that part of the country. We drove to the hiking parking spot and headed our merry way.

It was nice day for a hike around 70 degrees, 75 as we hit higher elevations. It was neat to go from grass fields to a mountain scape, where the trail ended. But on the return trip, instead of taking the trail the way we came, we traveled a few minutes to an area where the trail split. The alternate route traveled down a revine where it was foresty. I checked the map, and it looked like the alternate trail lead back to the area where we parked, so it was a go.

Down to the forest area we went. Some of the downhill trails were rough, but neither the ‘ol lady, our daughter, or me fell, so it was all good. Then we reached the bottom of the revine, where there was plenty of vegatation, but the ground was still sandy. Kind of a mix of dirt and sand and plenty of bushes and trees on both sides. We were walking in this sany area, when my daughter noted that the ground ahead was really dark, almost black.

“This is weird how it just changed all of a sudden.” I commented. “Follow me!” I said as I forged forward, leading the pack.

That when my daughter stopped before she reached the darker ground. “Dad…” she said with a worried tone. “The ground…its moving.”

I looked down to see, thousands, no millions of tiny bugs crawling around on the ground below my feet. They were starting to crawl on my shoes. “Get back, get back!” I yelled, as I walked backwards. When I reached the sandy edge, I stomped my feet and shook ’em to get the bugs off. But they seemed to be hanging on the the fabric of my shoes.

“They’re everywhere! I shouted back, “RUN!”

My daughter high-tailed back the way we came, but my wife must thought I meant, run thru the trail with bugs. So she ran right into the thick of things.

“I yelled, “No go the other way!” But she was too far to hear, so I ran after her.

Soon I had caught up. She was standing perfectly still and frozen with the bugs crawling up the legs of her pants. There were so many of ’em, it looked like black paint moving up her pant legs. When I reached her, I brushing her legs and pulling off those tiny bugs by the handfuls. They were ticks, but there were so many of them I could litterally grab ’em by the handfull.

“Why did you stop?” I asked as I brushed off more and more bugs from her pant legs. “Stand on this log.” I instructed, as I pointed to a fallen tree. Paralyzed by fear, she slowly stepped onto the log. “We need to go back…what are you pointing at?” I asked.

She just stood on the wood, silent, eyes wide open and pointed toward the path.

That’s when I saw it, the queen mother of all ticks. It was about two feet wide and at least a foot tall. It’s tick legs were as thick as my fingers. And it started advancing toward us. Then it started running.

“Run!” This time I pointed the direction to run and we both took off thru the tick filled ground.

“They’re everywhere!” She screamed as she seemingly emerged from a fear induced trance.

“Keep running!” I yelled as we made it to the higher ground where our daughter was waiting.

“Run!” I yelled to my daughter.

She took off and yelled back, “What is that thing?”

“I don’t know! I think it’s a giant queen mother of all ticks great and small…”

“Ticks don’t get that big!” The ‘ol lady yelled.

“I know, I know. Maybe it’s an alien-queen-tick-thing!” I replied as we had approached a safe distance.

The queen wouldn’t travel past her hive, so now we seemed safe, but our clothes were still covered in ticks.

“Keep running and get those clothes off.” I suggested as I pulled off my shirt, then my T-shirt.

“I’m not taking off my clothes out here.” my wife replied as we jogged up the trail.

“It’s the only way to get rid of these alien-space-ticks, they won’t let go.” I said as I hopped on one leg to get a pant leg off over my shoe. Then the other pant leg, I dropped my pants on the trail.

“I’m not taking off my clothes!” my wife insisted.

By then, I just wearing underwear and shoes. My wife was behind me and called out, “You have ticks on the butt of your underwear!”

So I took them off, as we scampered back to the car.

The ‘ol lady called to our daughter, “Don’t look Ethel!”

It was too late, she had already been mooned.

When we got back to the cabin, I mean prison camp, my wife pulled off as many ticks as she could. Then the ‘ol lady and kid took off their clothes, including shoes and put them in a garbage bag. Then we took turns in the shower to wash off ticks before they latch on and start draining blood. I went first, since I was already naked.

When we were all clean, we inspected each others hair, but found no ticks. Then I put the garbage bag with their clothes and I put them in another bag to double seal it. Once settled, I realized none of us had spare shoes. This trip was just a couple of days and we traveled light.

So bare foot, I went to the front office where they sell souvineers, I was hoping they had flip flops or somethin’. I didn’t want to travel the next day in socks. Fist thing I heard when I entered was, “Hey, what happened to shoes…”

I explained to the clerk what had happened, minus the giant tick part. She directed me to town where there was a Dollar General, which sold shoes. So off we went.

The next day we drove home in our stylish $4 shoes.

According to my google search, the best way to get rid of ticks is to burn the ones you find, and then put your dirty clothes and shoes in the dryer for 10 minutes on high, that dries up and kills those pesky buggers. So I took my trash bags of infested clothes to the back porch, lit up the fire pit, and picked out all the ticks I could find one by one and dropped them in the fire. Then I put those clothes in the dryer for 30 minutes. Just in case alien-ticks are harder to kill than regular ones. Then I washed the clothes…that was the last we saw of ticks.

Just talking about it gives me the willies and now my hair itches.

As for the alien-queen-mother. I’m sure western Nebraska is totally engulfed in ticks by now and the queen mother is feasting on an unsuspecting hiker as we speak.


Song in my head:

Coming Next: It’s Melissa’s turn to contribute!

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Bob Senitram

Webmaster and editor of I obtained a bachelor's degree in micro-biology around the turn of the century but was quickly tracked down and forced to return it to its rightful owner and pay a $25 fine. *** A fan of science fiction, I started this website in 1999 as a portal for science fiction stories that have never been published. *** Completely devoid of talent, I decided to call on the public to supply content. Shortly afterwards Stephen and I started writing weekly columns and have continued to this day.

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