Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 9, 2011

Their coming to take me away Ha Ha

No not the funny little men in the white coats but the mosquito’s. I have been hunted by the dreaded black flies in Alaska that would attack in such mass that they would block out the sun. And I have been hunted on a much smaller scale by other flying critters. But Northern Iowa is horrible for mosquito’s and little no see um Gnats as well as horse flies. I have been trapped in my tent for the last 4 hours in the hot sun unable to properly ventilate my abode. Why do you ask, I will tell you it is these bleeding little, or big depending on your perspective, mosquito’s. I weighted down my tent so they wouldn’t carry it away. They hover on the mesh ventilation panels blocking the fresh air. Mosquito’s hunt and locate their prey through sensors that allow them to follow your CO2 respiration. Since I ride my bike and breath a lot of oxygen I obviously give off a lot of CO2 leaving a scent trail that has attracted mosquito’s from as far away as Minneapolis. Well maybe not Minneapolis but at least Mankato MN and all of Iowa. If I leave my tent again I will need a transfusion. I have found though that after a mosquito has feasted on your precious body fluids their weight triples or quadruples and they fly much slower so at least I have been able to exact my revenge on some of those that have feasted on me. My blood spattered body clothes and tent resemble a surgeon in an over run triage center following a major catastrophe.
At the park where I was staying last night the city had a weenie roast for all of the 5th 6th and 7th grade kids in the area. Apparently a lot of kids do not like hot dogs so they had a lot left over and I was able to feast on these unwanted wieners cookies and potato chips. I also got about a gallon and a half of orange drink.
I got up early this morning but didn’t hit the road until about 08:00. The ride was casual flat and boring but I was having a lot of difficulties after the first 15 miles. My arthritis chose today to burst back onto the scene in all of it’s fury, screaming at me and torturing me.
But did I listen to it ? Yes! Did I allow it to dictate the terms by which I led my life today ? HELL NO ! Actually I tried to do what it wanted but was unable to find a suitable place to camp for the night. So I bravely pedaled on through the pain and through the hot sun, searching for my camping spot for tonight my own little paradise where I could lounge naked on the shore of a crystal clear sweet water lake in the cool breeze. I searched for that spot where the gently lapping waves would wash over me and massage all my aches and pains away.
And then reality set in as I rode by a hog farm and was down wind so the smell that in my memory from my youth seems much less over powering and much more inviting nearly stopped me dead in my tracks.
Again I pedaled on through this hardship still reeling from the pain of my RA and the smell of the hog farm. I finally reached Mallard Iowa a town full of friendly ducks, or so the sign says and everyone has been friendly to me. Mallard is a sleepy little town of 247 persons so it was easy enough to find the town hall/community center/library. I walked in and found only 1 person it was the librarian Annie who was quite friendly. She said I could camp in the city 🙂 park and also let me fill my water bottles and since the rest rooms at the park are closed I was able to take care of that need also.
It was during my 1st trip around the park that is about the size of 2 home lots in south west Denver that I was spotted by the man eating mosquito’s so I beat a hasty retreat. But they followed me unrelenting in their blood lust. After going back to town hall where I mustered up the courage to wade into the fog of mosquito’s again I went back to the park and very quickly pitched my tent and crawled inside. They followed me inside where we did battle and I eventually prevailed although I was seriously wounded. While nursing my wounds I became aware that I had my directions mixed up and had plotted the course of the sun incorrectly and the spot I thought would be in shade all day was suddenly back in the blazing sun. Bravely I stepped back out into the fray and was met with a full blitzkrieg by the great mosquito force. Squadrons of the beasts attacked me from every direction feasting on any exposed surface of my body and some that were not exposed. Quickly I moved my tent and then ran back inside my fortress where  I again did battle with those that were able to infiltrate my defenses. But again I was the victor, though I believe  a transfusion is probably in order.
I do not believe that I will have the courage to leave my fortress again until it is time to leave my little paradise. That may be a while since Annie told me that rain is expected tomorrow.
At least there were no hills to climb.



  1. Ewwwww! I hate flying critters and particularly ones that bite. I would tell you to bubble wrap yourself but alas…that would leave your face exposed (one must breath) and you probably would sweat to death while riding. Did someone say…wait til Fall. Didn’t think so. Hope your next patch is an easier ride than this last one. And the pig farms…the worst smell around. I lived in SC for years and had the opportunity to whiff one every now and then. Yuck! And if the skitters could at least carry you, the tent and your bike in the right direction…well than maybe you could call it even stevens. Good luck! Love reading your trip posts 🙂

  2. Actually it was suggested I do this in the fall but then I would probably have to deal with snow in the high mountains. As for the bubble wrap these beasts could probably pop the bubbles.
    I am glad you enjoy the posts. But I am the lucky one because I get to do what I enjoy, usually, and then I get to write about it which I really enjoy also. This blog started as 1 thing but has metamorphosed into so much more.

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