That night I soaked in a tub, counting painful red welts, nursing two Benadryl and two beers before passing out into a dry-mouthed slumber for twelve hours. From that point forward I decided to include Benadryl in my hydration pack and First-Aid kit.
I was not as unfortunate as our friend Jeff Papenfus, who died, or his riding buddy, Elizabeth Morse who tried to save him, who were both stung a hundred or so times. It’s unclear as to what happened to Jeff first and what actually killed him since so very much went wrong on what was at some point a blissful ride.
I am very much against killing something in its own house, which is why I think it’s wrong to tear out vegetation, toss out banana peels, and leave any other trace. However, I think I’m going to add a can of hornet spray to my pack so that the next time I come across a hive that attacks on the trail, I’m going to be sure it doesn’t happen to someone again the next day.