I’ve never really thought of myself as a bug wuss. We have plenty of the little buggers running and flying around our neck of the woods, but they’ve never seemed to bother me. Even when a nasty spider makes his way anywhere close to me, I just handle the situation – no whining, screaming or crying needed. And though I hate mosquitoes – despise them, actually – since I discovered the ThermaCELL, my hunting, fishing and camping excursions have been much more enjoyable. I’ve lived in a world of bug bliss, I guess.
But it was a different story in the U.P.
The mosquitoes were a different breed up there; they would blow right through the ThermaCELL barrier, and bite the crap out of you. And while I still have full confidence in the ThermaCELL’s ability, these particular mosquitoes were convinced that they were going to eat all of us ALIVE; it didn’t matter how well the ThermaCELL barrier was or wasn’t working.
It was rough.
And then, if you managed to keep the mosquitoes at bay, the black flies would start biting. And though they’re a tiny, little bug, it still hurt like hell. The black flies around our house rarely bite, but these flies were chomping on flesh any chance they got. Thankfully, the bug repellant we had kept them at bay most of the time, but it didn’t keep them from latching on to any flesh we forgot to cover. Honestly, at times, it was pretty miserable.
Of course, black flies are nothing compared to deer flies. I’ve experienced these nasty flies before, but the sheer number of deer flies in the area we stayed in was unbelievable. As we made our way into the Seney National Wildlife Refuge to chase after some pike, they were actually swarming the mirrors of our Dodge Nitro. It took me two tries – once to test how the flies would react to my presence and another to cover myself with insect repellant – before the nasty bastards would not swarm me like I was a pile of cow manure. Thankfully, though, the insect repellant kept them away long enough for Abby, as well as the wife and I, to enjoy the refuge a little bit before they managed to carry us away to their lair.
The amazing thing about the U.P., though, is that it’s so gorgeous you forget about all the negative aspects of its beauty. No fly, nor mosquito, nor sand in places we shouldn’t mention, could keep us some visiting its awesome waterfalls, perfect beaches, or fishing holes.
It was an amazing trip.
Our legs and arms are covered in bites, but the memories from the trip will stay with us forever – if only because, at times, they were so painful.