Before the mosquitoes ate me alive. The story goes like this - My amazing boyfriend, DMG came to visit me for a week and we decided to go backcountry camping, a summer must-do for us. I picked the site and we started our bike ride in around 3-4pm. It was a 16km bike but fairly speedy and we helped contribute to some trail maintenance. When we arrived at the site, it was absolutely beautiful. We enjoyed the breeze and views for a while and we about to leave when he informed he just stepped on a bat.
We decided to hike into Gunn Lake since neither of us had been there. Best 1.9km hike in RMNP. You walk along high ridges with a beautiful creek meanderering below and tall, well spaced poplar on the other side. The tall poplar provide a beautiful green canopy while the lush, thick understory makes a nice green carpet and white trunks in between.
You arrive at the campsite and it's surrounded by the same towering poplar, the spruce on the wood rack is dried to perfection and requires no paper, no axe and under 30 seconds to get a fire going. A short trail leads you down to Gunn Lake, an absolutely stunning large backcountry lake.
And then the inhabitants of the forest come alive - the mosquitoes. At the site we were able to keep the bugs away with fire and smoke but once we got back on the trail and headed to our camp, well it was like being attacked by an army of vampires who just arose from a year long sleep and are hungry, very hungry. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzz. Our sleeping quarter was not sealed properly so they just swarmed in on us. The only things with drinkable blood in the radius I guess. Sleep was not possible as they would bite any part of your body covered or not covered in clothes, no DEET would ever keep them away and the sounds of their buzzing deafened you.
We biked out at 7am on no sleep and sore, swollen bodies from the amount of bites received. I was worried I would go into anaphylaxis because I react to badly to bites. Quite the adventure.