Mosquito Camping - July 2019
Holiday weekends are both a gift and a curse. A gift because we have additional time from work to get outside, explore, and enjoy the best that nature has to offer. The curse… so does everyone else…
So, it’s a toss up. Head out and hope for the best, or plan your trip to avoid crowds and traffic. My wife and I chose to plan accordingly for this holiday weekend in the form of leaving late and coming back early. Since it was just the two of us (and the 4-legger), the time lost on both ends was okay with us and well worth the trade-off versus spending all day Sunday sitting in traffic to get home.
I planned for us to spend a night in Tahoe National Forest, in an area I was familiar with from trips before. Seldom are there people around, less those traveling through the area on their OHVs. I had an expectation of there being more folks camping in the area with it being the 4th weekend, and I was right. Most of the campsites that I knew of were already ‘booked’ by those who had been there for up to a week, enjoying life off-the-grid. I couldn’t blame them, if I had that time and a larger camper I would probably be doing the same thing!
Thankfully we found a little campfire ring on a side road, just a short walk from the nearby river. It would do for the night, and would provide us with a great theatre for the Sierra wildflowers and thunderstorms. It would also provide us with an ungodly amount of mosquitos. Something I knew might happen, but it did, and it sucked. We put our best game faces on and layered up, along with applying some hefty bug repellent. It was better than nothing, but still didn’t override the fact that we were getting eaten alive. Looks like I need to read up on better mosquito repelling techniques for future trips that might be longer.
We weren’t about to lose the evening to the mosquitos, so we headed down to the river to go for a swim and to bring some water back to drown the campfire later on.
Back at camp, I got a fire going which provided a good smoke screen from the bugs allowing us to hang out, enjoy some dinner and play cards. Which for me means losing at cards.
In the morning, I hoped for a reprieve from our bug buddies after a night in the tent (mosquito free sanctuary). Within a few minutes outside the tent, I was met with the all-familiar zzzzzzzzzzzz sound as I was honed in on by a number of them. “Still here!” I yelled back at the tent. Bri’s sigh was audible enough to hear from about 20 feet away. We broke down camp quickly, and vacated the premises. Sorry to leave such a great spot so quickly, but it wasn’t worth it if we couldn’t enjoy it.
We stopped for some sight seeing nearby on our way out to the main road before heading back home. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but it’s important to try hard to make the best of any situation because you took the effort to get there in the first place. We will be back, maybe in human sized mosquito nets, but we’ll be back.