Mosquito at 11 o'clock!

posted Jun 24, 2015, 10:06 AM by Paul Wagner
The lake and reflections ©http://ba​ckpackthes​
In mid-June at 10,200 feet, Roosevelt Lake was a wonderland.  And it was also wondrously full of close encounters of the flying kind.  The mosquitoes were so bad that we were not only wearing insect repellent, we were also fully clad in headnets. 
Yep--it was a buggy trip~! Here we are modelling the latest in designer headwear on the North Fork of the Kings River. But the flowers were stunning, the place was amazing...and thanks to the bugs, we saw a total of 14 people in five days.©

And after enjoying a stunning sunset and the alpenglow on the peaks, we were ready to escape the bugs in the safety of our tent.  We nimbly ducked through the mosquito netting and zipped it up quickly and carefully behind us. 

P settled into his bag and closed his eyes.  It had been a long day of off-trail hiking, and he was ready to sleep.   M was soon to follow, and there was a wonderful stillness in the tent as she lay down to rest. 

And then she sat up again.  

"There's a mosquito in the tent!" she cried.   

P tried to rest as she pulled out her headlamp and started scanning the tent for the offending skeeter. As he opened his eyes, P saw the beam of the headlamp slowly panning across the ceiling of the tent without success. 

the last rays of sun '©http://ba​ckpackthes​
He surrendered, and pulled out his own headlamp and added it to the search pattern.  Quietly, out of the side of his mouth, he began to make the slow, mournful siren of the air raid horns from London in the Second World War.  The searchlights continued to pan across the ceiling in a random pattern.

"There it is!" M called out as she took a swipe at the MO-109 flying mosquito.  She missed. 

Again the lights searched the sky.  Again the air raid siren wailed to life. 

"Got it!"  she said happily, as the bug got squished against the netting and fell slowly out of the sky.  We only missed the sound effects of the tailspin as it went down. 

The searchlights went off.  The siren signaled the all clear.  And we settled in for a quiet night's sleep, protected against the enemy by a thin wall of gauze.