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Worst Travel Experience

At a lake in South Dakota, my family and I were camping on the way to the Black Hills. The mosquitoes were SO awful. I tied my sweatshirt hood down over my face (though it was in the heat of summer) leaving only my nose exposed, and a mosquito landed on the very tip of my nose! That night, my brother slept with his arm leaning against the mosquito netting, and he woke with his forearm a solid mass of bites.

A few years later, my brother and I were on a canoe trip in northern Minnesota. We took a short cut on an old portage, to save a few miles of paddling. The portage was so overgrown it took both of us to carry the canoe. We put it down on a small lake and returned for our packs. When we came back to the lake, the canoe was gone. It was getting dark, so we bivouacked for the night, with no tent. It was unseasonably warm and the mosquitoes fed all night. I crawled deep into my sleeping bag, for a sweat-soaked steam bath. My brother lay partly out of the bag, and got eaten up, hundreds of mosquito bites. We arose before sunrise, found the canoe and left the feeding frenzy. Turns out there were two tiny lakes, same size and shape. We had put the canoe on one, got disoriented in the underbrush, and returned to the other lake.

Most of my bad travel experiences relate to mosquitoes and other biting insects: black flies, no-see-ums, deer flies, horse flies.




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