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The Dark Side of Camping

1 Jul

The buzzing, itching, blood-sucking dark side of camping.  exp_insect100

We were camping in the high Sierra.  We couldn’t see the water, but it was within 200 yards of our campsite.  When I walked down there the first time, I saw a lot of mosquitos and got some bites.  So, I knew we would see some at our campsite eventually.  The first three nights, we saw only the occasional mosquito.  We were able to bbq and hang out by the fire without it being a real issue.  But, then came the 4th night . . .

I was at the campsite alone.  Greg had taken the motorhome (and the kids) to dump the holding tanks (oh, the joys of camping in a self-contained vehicle!).  Ruby and I were hanging out alone.  I was hoping I wouldn’t end up sitting in the car to avoid the mosquitos and, thankfully, I didn’t have to.  It was lovely.  Beautiful breeze and no annoying buzzers.

Then Greg and the kids got back.  We parked the FMC in its spot and within about 5 minutes, we were under attack.  The mosquitos laughed at our bug spray.  It was terrible.  We were all chewed to pieces.  We beat a hasty retreat into the motorhome.  That was much better but it was 5pm and we hadn’t had dinner and I’d planned on our bbqing.  As the intensity of the mosquitos increased, we scrapped that plan.  We munched on other foods and stared in fascination at the huge number of mosquitos trying to get into our vehicle.  Taking a picture of a bug on a screen is really difficult.  But I got one that gives an idea of the number of mosquitos we were dealing with.


There were many, many more than that.  At one point, we counted at least 80 on that one screen.  They were all congregated near Greg’s arm — they couldn’t get to it but they knew it was there.  At one point, I had to run out to the car and get something (okay, okay, it was a soda to mix with gin for a cocktail!).   I opened the door, flew out, slammed it shut and ran.  As I came back to the FMC, I realized that it wasn’t just the window but the window, wall, and roof that were covered in hungry mosquitos.  It was intense.  When I’d look across the meadow (toward the creek), the setting sun would highlight hundreds of mosquitos heading towards us.  Shudder.

Here’s the really wild thing though.

After that night, we never saw anything like that again.  We got a couple more bites but nothing like the mosquito attack.  I’m sure it was the mosquito coils that I bought and we burned each night.  Sure, that’s it.

(Not my photo — borrowed from Flickr)


Wordless Wednesday

1 Jul