Day 58

Day 58 – mile 965 to 987 – Friendly Fire Camp to Mosquito Armageddon Camp:
There was no preparing for what came today.  I sort of thought that the mosquitoes might get worse, but never this bad.
The change came first thing as I crossed Benson Pass.  Like with Selden Pass, I was swarmed by mosquitoes within seconds despite the steady breeze.  DEET on the legs and head net on the head fixed the problem without much trouble, though now there was a constant buzzing in my ears.
The trail took me up and down a couple times over the rounded granite hills that are so common in this area.  No longer on the highway of the JMT, the going was quite slow as the trail was both steep and slippery.  The climb from Benson Lake was long and hot, reminding me of happy times in the desert.  But, of course, the views were worth it and even the mosquitoes seemed to take a siesta in the midday heat.  I think I’m going to start a petition to rename Yosemite, Granite For Days National Park.  That seems to do a bit more justice to what the park has to offer.
At the bottom of the last climb of the day, I laughed to myself at all the people camping in such a bug pit.  What fools!  I had the brilliant idea of hiking higher to those small lakes above the tree line that I could see on my map.
Well, the lakes were very much below the tree line and they were the definition of a mosquito breeding pool.  Stagnant to the max.  Usually a brisk walk will keep the bugs off my legs, but in this case I had to run.  So that’s what I did.  I ran the last 1.5 miles to camp where, fortunately, someone had already built a fire.
I’m covered in new bites and have to hope that the bugs calm down tonight, or else I’ll have plenty more by morning.  Even the guy from Minnesota says that he’s never seen mosquitoes this bad before.  Does that make me feel better?


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