MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Attack of the Black Flies in the North Woods

Quickly checking in from the Northern Woods of Wisconsin.  Mother Nature decided to celebrate my birthday with me!  I got thunderstorms, thick fog, gigantic swarms of biting black flies, and a supermoon...well, I missed the moon, but I heard it was great.  My plan was to spend the 23rd on Lake Superior seeing the Apostle Islands, the fog had other ideas, the back up plan of seeing the shipwrecks was defeated by the pouring rain that stirred up silt.  That is why it is good to have a 3rd alternative (or seek advice from the local park rangers.). I hopped the car ferry to Madeline Island and took for to Big Bay State Park.  And while the hike along the bay view trail was full of the fabulous views of the famous flat rock coastline, I had to balance my desire to take pictures with the need to swat the stinging flies.  The flies were so dense that you would have sworn I was wearing black pants.  A walk in the sand brought my toes in contact with the Lakes's 42 degree water....

Today I tried for the tour again.  It was a beautiful, warm day.  Perfect for a boat ride around the islands.  Well, perfect until the boat slowed down by Devil's Island to view the sea caves.  While idling, we must have drifted over a multivoltine hatch because the boat was swarmed by thousands of biting black flies!  We spend the whole trip back swatting, jumping and moving around.  The poor boat crew used vacuums to try and suck them up, Windex (since they say the flies don't like it), and offered free "Off", though I swear it does not work.

It wasn't all bad though.  The views were stunning.  Frogs sung me to sleep at night.  I saw a bald eagle drive for food-talons out and ready.  I heard coyotes and wolves howling in the woods.  I met a very nice family from Minnesota who celebrated my birthday with me.  I had a a fun ghost tour...and I took my camera out and might have gotten off a few god shots.  I will post them when I return (and hopefully you can't see the flies).  Now I am off to the big city - Milwaukee here I come.

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