If I could sum up my camping vacation last week with two words it would be these.
I have never experienced mosquitoes as bad as I did last week in northern Wisconsin. The heavy winter snowfall, late melt, and abundant spring rains created perfect conditions for mosquitoes and biting flies. They were relentless. I even heard that 70-80% of loons in northern Wisconsin are abandoning their nests because of the heavy infestation of black flies. Thankfully I had two good things going for me: a tent with a screen room, and some interesting bug repellent my nephew’s wife gave me to try. Made with only natural essential oils, it did work pretty well. I actually came home with less bug bites than I have from past trips when the bugs weren’t so bad. However, because there were so many bugs around, it really didn’t do anything to prevent them from buzzing around your head, in your ears, and trying to bite where the repellent wasn’t applied (like the top of your head). Trying to cook was the worst, as mosquitoes are attracted to the heat and gasses from running the camp stove.
Rain was the other dominant aspect. Every day last week (except for Thursday) there was at least one thunderstorm that rolled through the area. None were severe, and most storms only lasted an hour or so, but such is life in the outdoors. The rain did give me some time to do some reading, catch up on podcasts, and go to town for a few good meals. Nothing wrong with any of that.
Sure mosquitoes and rain overshadowed my vacation, but it was still great to spend some time in the north woods.