Monday, June 15, 2015

Mosquitoes and weather and tent, oh my.

Seeing that I'm stuck in Sault Ste. Marie due to weather, I might as well tell ya a story.

The second leg of my journey, the "Tag, Lake Michigan. You're It" portion, has been dictated by weather, and I don't mean the good kind.

I started out in Texas, barreled through Oklahoma, and made it to Hutchinson, Kansas only to find that the state park where I was hoping to stay was designed just for RVs, and tent campers that showed up could use the field along side it, next to the restrooms and really nice showers.

With me being the only tent camper, I had the field all to myself.

And then the weather said, "hello."

The plan was to head northeast through Iowa, then up to SS Marie, but because Mother Nature cooked up 100 percent of nastiness and dumped the whole plateful along my path, I diverted instead to Fargo.

It wasn't so bad.


The next day, after a late start because I couldn't find a Walmart to buy some breakfast bars (like the ones I accidentally left home without), I headed to Superior National Forest in western Minnesota to spend the night.

And how many times did I get lost going from Fargo to my night's stopover?

Don't ask.

After a peaceful night in a nice spot, I headed south to Duluth, into Wisconsin and made my way to  Porcupine Mountains State Park in the Ottawa National Forest.


And how many times did I get lost getting there?

Why do you keep asking?

If  I added up all the miles I rode trying to get to the places I was trying to get to but couldn't because I took Highway 94 instead of Interstate 94, which were only a few blocks apart and went in completely different directions, I could have gotten myself home by now, mowed the yard, and downed a big glass of iced tea while sitting on the porch swatting at a few mosquitoes.


Do not -- and I repeat, DO NOT try to go tent camping in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during the early summer, or probably at ANY time, because the mosquitoes will suck the blood out of you, your tent, your shoes, and the motorcycle you rode in on.


They use it to land on.


They think it's a food item.

LISTERINE splashed all over your face and neck and hair and hands?

You've got to be kidding.

I tried it all, over and over again, and over again, and eventually the only solution was to dive into my tent at 5 p.m. and swat at the unlucky ones that got trapped inside, all looking for a way out, but couldn't before I slapped them to death, the little buggers.

And then it rained.

And the rain ran under my tent because I put the tarp down wrong; it seeped through the tent's floor, and I woke up at 1 a.m. to find myself on Thermarest Island surrounded by Lake Superior.

I saw my backpack float by and thought, "Well, this is a pickle."

(I would tell you "The Blind Camper Lost in the Forest" story, but it's too horrifying for me to dredge up at the moment. Maybe another time.)

Long story short -- I'm in a hotel, all dried, clothes washed, I just ate some Michigan biscuits and gravy, a cheese omelette and three sausages, two glasses of orange juice, and after I edit this all and add a couple of photos, I'm gonna fix me some coffee, watch some Netflix, and maybe mail a few postcards.

I head off Tuesday morning to end this sorry portion of my journey, through rain, high water, and whatever comes -- and hopefully will be home Friday (to start the NEXT leg of this adventure).


(If you want to see some more of my photos of this trip, head here to Flickr. Thank ya very much.)

1 comment:

  1. Lets see, what shall my comment be?? Be careful? Take care of yourself? Make it home in one piece! You've already heard all of that!! --- Oh yeah, "Have a good time!" Love ya, Shirley