backpacking
4 days ago

Backpacked in to spend two nights camping at Yoran Lake. Started the hike mid-afternoon. Trail was good - mostly dirt with an occasional dry stream bed crossing, and very well shaded most of the way. A lot of overall uphill, but not very steep and fairly easily done, even with packs. Bugs were present, mostly toward the second half of the hike, so spray was a must. Two nice lakes along the way before reaching Yoran Lake and our campsite of choice along the east side of the lake. Great view of Diamond Peak, and amazing reflection when the weather and wind is calm. Pleasant evening overall. And then the sun went down, and it was at that point that our nice little time by the campfire made us start hurriedly preparing for night and dashing to our tents.

Once the light dimmed, from the depths of Hades came a surging battalion of swarming, bloodthirsty mosquitos. Hellbent on annoyance, misery, and overall just plunging their proboscises wherever they could find bare skin, these little bastards would not be deterred by campfire smoke or deet, or anything else we could do to drive them away. It was a clear night, and I’m sure the stars looked amazing if we were brave (or dumb) enough to venture outside to have a look. There was no choice but to fall asleep to their whiny hum, and the same sound greeted us upon waking. The situation did not improve upon morning, and their tenacity and sheer numbers forced us to leave post haste a day early, making packing up camp a miserable experience.

In spite of the bugs, it was a good area to be overall. The views were great, the lakes were beautiful, and the trail itself was a good leisurely stroll. Simply hiking it is probably not a bad idea this time of year, but if you plan on spending a night or two, unless you want to be turned into a human pincushion or look like you have some freakish skin disease, the mosquitos make that decision one likely best made for late September or early October.