Lost Hills - Welcome , Health and Safety
- Category: ***World Champs 2019 at Lost Hills***
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Welcome to Lost Hills
There are several things you should be aware of if you have never visited the Lost Hills area and flying field.
One of the problems with a desert climate such as Lost Hills is sunburn. This can occur quite easily, even when it is overcast or hazy. It is recommended that you apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF before being exposed to the sun.
In relation to the above water consumption is very important. Dehydration occurs when body fluid levels get low. An axiom is: if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink, dehydration has already started. This problem can affect one’s performance and is potentially dangerous. Be sure to stock up on plenty of water before each day.
There are several animals that can cause problems. Rattlesnakes are present and are poisonous. They blend into their surroundings and make a rattling sound to warn of their presence. They are very much afraid of humans and do not want anything to do with us, but if provoked they will strike. Do not reach into heavy grass or bushes without a clear view first. Do not lift items (rock, tires, and other debris) on the ground that can offer their concealment.
Scorpions have a poisonous sting and can be aggressive. Campers should shake out shoes before putting them on. There are several kids of spiders. Tarantulas are large, hairy spiders that are quite timid. October is their mating season so they are very active. They are not poisonous, but are very fragile and should not be picked up. Black Widow spiders are shiny black and are about the size of your finger tip. They are poisonous and their bite could be dangerous if left untreated. They like to hide in portable toilets. It is important that you look for webbing across the seat of the toilet to detect them. If you are bitten by any of these creatures try to remain calm, reduce your physical activity and seek immediate medical attention.
The Desert Kit Fox and Coyote are both members of the dog family. The fox will dig holes in the ground for their dens. You may hear the bark of a fox or the cry of the coyote at night.
It is best to leave all these creatures alone and not touch them. If you must observe them please do it from a distance.
Valley Fever (Acute Coccidioidomycosis) is a medical condition that can occur in the South Western part of the USA. Most times it appears like a cold or flu. It is not a cold or flu but a fungal infections caused by bacteria in the soil. For most people this is not a serious condition. Mild cases of valley fever usually resolve on their own. In more severe cases, doctors can prescribe antifungal medications that can treat the underlying infection. If you feel these symptoms (fever, cough, chest pains, night sweats, fatigue) after visiting Lost Hills and need to see a doctor you MUST tell the doctor that you have visited this part of the USA and it might be Valley Fever. The reason is that Valley Fever is not known in other parts of the World (or even the USA) and the medicine such as an anti-biotic that would normally be prescribed for such a condition like this is NOT appropriate for Valley Fever and may even make it worse.
Here are some references to Valley Fever https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/features/valley-fever.html
Watch where you drive
One last recommendation is that when retrieving on a motorcycle, golf cart, or bike, please keeps your focus in front of you. There several hazards on the field that can cause a bad fall and injure you. Some places have ruts or holes from cars being stuck during the rainy season. There are also pits where the land has been mined. You also should be aware of models laying flat in the grass ahead of you. They are often hard to see. Please keep the speed down and ride safely.
Charlie Jones, Contest Director