May. 21st, 2017

nosrednayduj: pink hair (Default)
So, it's May in Maine. I forgot about blackflies. I didn't realize how badly they'd bitten my legs Friday evening until sometime on Saturday when the welts made themselves known.

On my bike ride, 23.63 miles, just about what Google predicted, I discovered that blackflies go about 4-5mph. If you're only going 3mph they can do more than just keep up, but also get some nips in. There was one very steep pitch in which I lost my stride because of waving my arms (alternately) to keep the flies from my face. I tried to get back on the bike but the flies were just too thick. So I sprinted a little bit with the bike to get out of the cloud, and then walked up to the top of the hill (only a few hundred feet). I really wasn't going much slower walking than riding.

There were a LOT of uppy-downies. It's all glacial there... I must have gained and lost the same 150 feet five times between Sweden and Waterford. (There's also a Norway, ME, which I saw signs for, but it wasn't on my route. Sweden is, well, let's just say "don't blink on the way through".) Despite my claim that I wasn't going on any roads that I hadn't street-viewed, I did in fact go on such a road, which was paved for the first two miles. The next mile was dirt. It was tolerable.

Lunch at the general store in Harrison, then back to Bridgton to pick up the car. There was a lovely park in Bridgton, and surprisingly there wasn't a blackfly problem there, because there was a stiff breeze coming off a lake which kept them away. So I read my book for an hour there before heading back to the camp to pick up the aerial rig.

Blackflies were a terrible problem there too, trying to tie the mat onto the car, I would do a little tying, then duck inside the car to wait it out (a few flies came in with me but not too many), or, after I'd got it partially on, I drove a few hundred feet and started the next bit of work where there were new flies who perhaps didn't know about me yet and I'd get 30 seconds of respite.

The drive was much calmer. Ducktape does not stick when it's hot, the adhesive melts. I think that was a big problem on Friday, with it so hot. Everything stayed in order the whole drive back, at 65 degrees max. Still, I arrived after 11, pretty exhausted from the entire thing.


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