Handsome and I hiked The Twins up near Waldo Lake.
Even though the hiking book and a few people warned us that there were mosquitos in July, Handsome wanted to go anyway. He was sure that, with enough DEET, we would be fine.
We sprayed it on—quite liberally—and brought extra with us, just in case. Also, I had on long pants and hiking boots. Plenty of protection, right? Eh, not so much.
The mosquitoes were everywhere! Buzzing and biting.
I was freaking out!
A lifelong mosquito affliction
I hate mosquitoes. Residual childhood trauma from having angry, red welts all over me each summer that, of course, I would scratch and then end up with numerous scars on my legs. Nobody seemed to understand that mosquitoes have a strange, rather frightening affinity for me. They LOVE me in that obsessive, destructive kind of way where if I could get a restraining order, I would.
They LOVE me in that obsessive, destructive kind of way where if I could get a restraining order, I would.
My whole family would be outside, and I would be the only one with eight mosquito bites. It was not fair.
The trail that never ends
The trail is really steep at times, with few solid footholds. I was thankful for my hiking boots that gave me some traction, but it didn’t diminish the sensation that I might tumble down The Twins at any moment.
Handsome had carried the backpack with the water. He was too far ahead of me most of the time to even see him. I think he was trying to outpace the mosquitoes. I’m thankful for the two times he waited for me (well, stopped and paced around to give the mosquitoes a moving target) so I could have some water.
When I caught up with him at the top, my legs were shaking badly, the bugs were buzzing around my ears which drove me crazy, and I was so hot. The sun was beating down. He wanted to keep hiking when I finally yelled, “I NEED shade!!”
I had hoped for a moment of relaxation but, even in the shade, the bugs wouldn’t allow for that—no rest for the weary. I had to keep going.
I got a video and a few photos of the view, but we couldn’t even stop and enjoy it because the mosquitoes would swarm around us.
Are we done yet?
We were both miserable. Granted, I was the most verbal about my misery. He wanted to continue hiking to a higher peak to the East, and I refused, wanting to head back to the car.
He went to the higher peak alone, and I tried to wait for him and outpace the mosquitoes, but they were determined to make me a meal. Finally, I made my way back down, but my legs felt like they had turned to jelly. I had to go slowly to minimize tripping and hurting myself. Handsome caught up to me and passed me quickly enough.
It felt like it took forever to get down the trail. I’ve never felt so thankful to see a car in my life. I managed to change my shoes and shirt. Then, I collapsed in the passenger seat, sighing with pleasure when the air conditioner kicked on.
More bites than Handsome…a LOT more
Handsome was angry at me. Not just during the hike but the rest of the day because, as he put it, I was acting as if I was the only one affected, the only one who had a terrible time.
To be clear, he ended up with six bug bites. I ended up with over 71 mosquito bites* and a sunburn on my neck.
I didn’t want to go back outside for a week afterward.
While he never said he was sorry, Handsome didn’t seem as angry after seeing my legs and back. He even helped me rub cortisone on all those bug bites. I think we are good now. Although he does keep teasing me with, “Agh! These (six) bug bites are driving me crazy!” Really buddy? You want to hear about crazy…
So let my tortuous experience be a lesson to all. Avoid The Twins trail in July!!
* I had more than that, but after 71, I decided to quit counting because getting to 100 would not have made me feel better.