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Diamond Lake
Pictures for Pam
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Diamond Lake, Oregon

A Forced March on the Howlock Trail at Diamond Lake

A Forced March on the Howlock Trail at Diamond Lake 

(+5 insets) (please view large to see extra beauty of this trail!) (sorry for the blown out bits on some pictures!) (oh, and get a cup of coffee...it's STORY TIME! :D)

Even before Steve and I made reservations to stay at Diamond Lake, we were told that there was one serious problem with it:

This place is absolutely notorious for MOSQUITOES.

In fact, we met a State Park camp host earlier on our trip who mentioned that the mosquitoes were so bad that when she stopped for a visit a couple of weeks previously, she and her friend were swarmed by blood-suckers before they even got out of the car. They actually had to abort their visit because they couldn't get away from them.

Steve and I couldn't believe this lady wasn't exaggerating, and even though we read a lot of comments from other visitors who stated the same thing, we didn't want to believe them. Confound it all, we wanted to go to Diamond Lake! A few mosquitoes were nothing to be scared away from, right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! <--- That's a maniacal laugh, one followed by many more…oh, so many more!

It turns out that this camp host was 100% accurate. When we pulled into the campground, we stopped at the registration booth to check in. Steve was greeted by mosquitoes before he even entered the building. When we got to our site, we were soon surrounded by bunches of 1"+ blood-thirsty monsters which quickly drove us into the trailer. We couldn't stop repeating, "OH MY GAWD!! THE MOSQUITOES!!!" We sprayed ourselves with mosquito repellant and to our relief, that kept them at bay. Sort of.

Did you know that mosquitoes are perfectly happy to push their sharp proboscis' through your SHIRTS and into your skin? Wherever we didn't have repellent, they'd land and attempt this sneaky method to separate us from our life's liquid.

If they couldn't land on us, they would fly around us in boisterous clouds. We noticed to our disgust that they would land on us anyway staying as long as they could before being repelled by the noxious fumes, ever-seeking a tasty meal.

Somehow they knew to swarm around the door to our trailer so we'd have to dive in and out as fast as possible to keep them outside. We were unsuccessful. At least they were large enough that we could see them easily. They were also slow-moving, which helped too. Still, we began to accumulate bug bites, especially Steve. For some reason he attracts mosquitoes much more than I do and he was extremely unhappy about his popularity and the resulting bites. One morning he woke up to feel lots of itchy spots on his back. I counted them. TWELVE BITES in one small area, the poor guy!!

Thank goodness for our method of treating itchy bites: all it takes is a wet paper towel that's been heated up in the microwave, and then pressed on the bite. This burns out the histamines that cause the itching and stops it completely for several hours or more. If only we'd known this simple trick as kids! For multiple bites, a hot shower does the trick. Steve had plenty of those during our stay--I mostly got bites on my hands so could just run them under the hot water for relief.

I am usually very tolerant of mosquitoes. "WHATEVER" is my usual response, but these guys were relentless! They follow you all over the place! When I went down to the creek to take pictures, it was just incredible and I was finally driven back to the RV to get away from them. Insanity!!

On our last day before heading home, we decided to go on a hike. The day before we'd ridden our bikes around the lake and it was MARVELOUS! What a glorious ride! It's true that the mosquitoes would begin to swarm if we stopped for too long but once we got going we quickly left them behind. We figured a hike would be the same situation.

We forgot some extremely important logic: our bike ride was just an hour and change, along with the fact that riding our bikes quickly left the mosquitoes behind. But hiking…not the same thing. Not at all.

There was a lovely hike we discovered that led from a trailhead just a few miles from our campground and meandered up onto the side of Mt. Thielson for an out and back of about 10 miles. The pictures were wonderful and we were really excited as we set out that morning, our backpacks readied with bottles of water and a wonderful lunch. I even brought my Sony so I could take pictures on the way back. Little did I know I'd never take it out…

Have you ever participated in a relay race? Run with a baton, pass it to the next person, they take off and so it continues. Now, picture a pack of mosquitoes. Imagine Steve and me, walking along a trail with a cloud of mosquitos following along behind us. As we walk along the path, the first mosquitoes eventually get tired and slow down. BUT WAIT! What's that I see? Why, there are NEW mosquitoes standing by to take up the chase! HOORAY!!! *glower*

The hike started off well enough--what a BEAUTIFUL TRAIL!!! Dappled shadows captivated me, flowers were here and there to delight me, and there was even a beautiful creek to enjoy.

We stopped to drink some water. Within seconds we were surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes, so we took off again as soon as we'd had a few sips. I stopped to look at the creek below and…omg…THE MOSQUITOES!! "KEEP WALKING!!" Steve cried, and off we went. Anytime we stopped walking, we were soon surrounded. What's more, where sweat had washed away repellent, the mosquitoes landed in droves. Frantic slaps would often resemble blood baths. I usually keep calm about bugs flying around but they were landing on my face and hands, my arms and everywhere else that didn't have a lot of repellent. I simply couldn't believe this assault! Steve got the extra strong lotion and I slathered it on everywhere. STILL THEY SWARMED! We took off at a fast walk and finally left them behind.

We were not quite to the half-way point, which was where we would stop and have our lunch. We were both very hungry after several hours of hiking and we needed a break--we hadn't paused for more than 30 seconds since we began this walk. But just as we were about to sit and enjoy a much-needed rest and break, the mosquitoes caught up to us again. Suddenly we realized our biggest mistake:

The mosquitoes would not let us rest. They would not let us eat our lunch. They would not stop. Ever…until we were lifeless, dried husks. All kidding aside, we were hungry and tired and never planned on a non-stop hike without a break. And yet, that was exactly what was forced on us.

No way would we get to the turn-around spot--we turned around right then and began heading back. Each of us had a bag of mixed nuts to eat as we walked, and we drank water on the move as well. I was in front and Steve told me that there were dozens of mosquitoes following along behind me, and undoubtedly they were behind him too. Neither one of us had ever encountered such a situation in our lives.

Nor had we walked so long without a break. In the end we would walk about 5 hours without stopping. We were so exhausted that we had to be very careful about where we placed our feet. It's times when you're tired that you are most likely to hurt yourself and we both knew it. We stumbled plenty but did our best to keep our heads on straight. Thankfully we got back to the truck without a problem but both of us were dead in the water when we got back to the RV. It's funny--we would have been able to hike for many more hours, many more miles, had we only been able to stop for even a moment.

It's too bad about the mosquitoes because the hike was just lovely…the pictures I'm sharing today aren't the best because they're from my phone and suffer from overexposure. But you get the idea.

Bottom line: if someone warns you about mosquitoes, LISTEN TO THEM!! :D We've since learned that the mosquitoes leave in late August and don't come back until spring, and that's why we didn't notice them the last time we'd visited--it had been the end of September! We'd love to come back to this beautiful place but we'll never return during mosquito season!!

Pam, have you ever had to deal with a mosquito invasion like this? I pity anyone who had had to deal with relentless clouds of these blood-sucking monsters!! *tosses a mosquito net your way along with a hug*

Explored on 7/10/19; highest placement, #10.

HelenaPF, appo-fam, fifi, Peggy C and 58 other people have particularly liked this photo


37 comments - The latest ones
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Très belle photo avec notes. Mais quelle aventure avec ces moustiques!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Nicole.
11 months ago.
 cammino
cammino club
A really inviting hiking trail through a quiet forest!
11 months ago.
 Ruth
Ruth club
A wonderful image Janet but I couldn’t go there. I have an allergic reaction to mosquito bites, they turn really nasty, like huge big boils that weep and burn. I have to be very careful where I go on holiday, otherwise I end up at the doctors. We went to Greece a couple of years ago and on the first night there I had 150 bites that all became inflamed. It’s no fun so I tend stay away from places that are known for them.
11 months ago.
 ╰☆☆June☆☆╮
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
Good work. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
11 months ago.
 Helmer Lortz
Helmer Lortz club
Ein schöner, wilder Wald Janet!
11 months ago.
 uwschu
uwschu club
schöne Serie von der Tour
11 months ago.
 Maeluk
Maeluk club
I once made the mistake of camping beside a river in Dunoon in Scotland during the midge season. It was swarming with them and we got plenty of bites. Never again! I won't visit Scotland during their season now.
11 months ago.
 Nouchetdu38
Nouchetdu38 club
Very nice!*****
11 months ago.
 FotoArt
FotoArt club
Eine wunderbare Natur mit wunderbaren kleinen Insekten, die auch mal stechen!
11 months ago.
 Kawasirius
Kawasirius club
Que de belles photos de ce lieu infecté de moustiques vous nous faites voir ! J'admire votre talent pour prendre des photos dans les conditions effroyables que vous avez vécus ! A la lecture de votre récit je m'immaginait vivre votre aventure et je ne sais vraiment pas comment j'aurais réagi !
Exceptionnelles photos !
Bonne soirée Janet !
11 months ago.
 Boro
Boro
Superbe **********
11 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
Must be very nice for a walk there ! Beautiful nature beautifully captured !
11 months ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Lovely play of light and shadow.
Looks like a nice place for a walk.
11 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
Am I really bad to have laughed out loud reading this story? It's just that I had this mad picture in my head of you two being chased every which way by mosquitoes, who thwarted all your efforts to be rid of them. Sorry :-))

Anyway, I'm glad that you finally got back to the RV safely and were able to get shelter!

Under the circumstances, this series of images are really good - but there isn't a single mosquito in any of the shots!
11 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
Oh I can fully sympathise with Steve - while I was in Turkey I got bitten on my arms, 14 on my left arm and 24 on my right arm!!! I wish I'd known about your hot water on a flannel for soothing the irritation. I was slathering on anti-histamine gel like it was going out of fashion. Apparently the council there went round spraying the ground and area with anti-mozzie spray. I also put loads of lemon cologne on me, I like the smell, but the mozzies don't apparently, so I hate to think of how bad it would have been had I not done that.

The area looks fantastic but I think if you could pop back there after September and take the pictures instead of in July!!

PS I just love your hilarious description of the mozzie attacks!!
11 months ago.
 RHH
RHH club
Great story, Janet, but a spoiler as far as that beautiful scenery goes. The photos are incredibly beautiful. It's a place I would love to see but maybe we'd better wait until winter. Thanks, too, for the tip on dealing with bites. Never heard that before. We had only two places on our trip where the mosquitoes were bad, but otherwise did pretty well. Remember Alberta a couple summers ago, though - when we stopped the car it would be covered with them all trying to get in and suck us dry. Nancy doesn't mind them as much as I do, but I'm like Steve, if there's one mosquito around it'll come for me and probably bite. Crater Lake is especially bad during snowmelt time and it got to the point where I wouldn't even get out of the car. Every time Nancy got out she would run around the car several times and then dive back in, hoping she had outrun them and that none of them would get in the car. Have another mosquito story from the east coast but that will have to wait. Need to get a bit of work done.

Back again. We camped years ago at Assateague Island on the east coast. Found so many mosquitoes on the landward side that the kids were screaming, so moved to the other side where there were no mosquitoes - until evening came and the wind changed and started blowing the mosquitoes our way instead of towards the mainland. We took refuge in our tents until about midnight when a storm came and blew down my brother's family's tent. They took refuge in our tent but only until the storm blew ours down as well. We took refuge in the cars and about then the storm stopped, but it was very hot and very muggy and we dared not roll down the windows. We would hear thumps from the other car and in the morning the white interior was full of blood spots, ours too but you couldn't see them as well. We survived the night only by starting the car from time to time and going for a ride so that we could open the windows. That was a vacation never to be forgotten.

I, too, enjoy the give and take and hope others do as well and I'm glad I remind you of the brother you loved. It would indeed be nice to meet and talk. I'm impressed by Steve. He seems to be a jack-of-all trades and master of them all as well. We lived in a mobile home when we were first married so we know how cheaply they build trailers of any kind. We did a lot of work in ours before selling it, but it was still a trailer when we finished - fine for traveling but not much for a permanent dwelling. We've also owned a pop-up camper and that wasn't much better. That was sold years ago and now, as you know, our van is our home away from home.

The photos of Mount Adams and Mount Hood brought back a lot of memories, too. We went once to Mount Adams and it is remote! We were driving on roads where the bushes were rubbing both sides of the car and where we probably shouldn't have been with our van. The mosquitoes were bad there, too. Mount Hood we visited two years ago and really enjoyed that. There was still a lot of snow but that meant fewer people and we drove all the way around doing some hiking and sleeping in the van as we usually do. The whole area around Mount Hood is spectacular - Mount Adams, too, if you can get there.

Guess that had better be it. We're going to a concert in the park tonight and daughter-from-Ireland is bringing pizza for everyone. The Eastern Washington University orchestra puts on these concerts.
11 months ago. Edited 11 months ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
beautiful trail and forest!
11 months ago.
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
Wonderful images from the forest and a great trail Janet

Thank you for posting in the group
www.ipernity.com/group/magicalsunlight
11 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club
SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

NEAR KING'S LYNN IN NORFOLK YOU GET SIMILAR WARNINGS !!!! THOSE BTIES MAKE YOUR JOINTS SWELL UP !
11 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
A lovely path it looks well used, not to sure about your flying friends !!!!!!!! I'm assuming they don't carry any nasty diseases :(((
11 months ago.
 neira-Dan
neira-Dan club
Encore une merveilleuse série
Voilà un sentier que l'on a envie de suivre
Bonne semaine Janet
11 months ago.
 ROL/Photo
ROL/Photo club
Un très beau sentier de promenade
11 months ago.
 Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins club
Lovely shots, Janet! The main picture reminds me of a trail I used to walk with a friend years ago. Couldn't do it now sadly. When we went camping as a family, in the South Island, we didn't have mosquitos, but lots of sandflies and they seemed to find me more juicy than anyone else. I was always well bitten, but your experience was much, much worse. What a shame that it cut your tramp short. Your hint on how to reduce the itch will be most welcome if I ever need it. I wish I'd known that back when!!
11 months ago. Edited 11 months ago.
 polytropos
polytropos club
A shady trail, now in these hot days! Beautiful!
11 months ago.
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Fabulous series!

Admired in:
www.ipernity.com/group/tolerance
11 months ago.
 tiabunna
tiabunna club
A lovely view up the trail and in inset images, Janet. Very sorry to hear about the swarms of malevolent mossies, which certainly would have been a real negative - then again, I'm also a little surprised that you didn't pull out your trusty macro lens and catch one in the act of taking a transfusion. (LOL). We had a similar experience some years ago in Vanuatu, where (no exaggeration, trust me) they were the size of helicopters... another story!
11 months ago. Edited 11 months ago.
 Frank J Casella
Frank J Casella
Nice light and leading lines. very inviting image.
11 months ago.
 Ruesterstaude
Ruesterstaude club
O Janet, das ist ja eine dramatische Geschichte! Ich habe einmal etwas ähnliches erlebt und zwar mit Stechfliegen (Bremsen). Wir waren zu mehreren unterwegs in einem Seengebiet, haben uns gegenseitig die Bremsen verscheucht, aber nur mit geringem Erfolg. Bei euch war es wohl schlimmer. Aber Hauptsache ihr wurdet nicht ganz ausgesaugt. -
Du zeigst eine schöne Landschaft mit Wanderwegen, wie ich sie liebe. Aber was ist mit den vielen trockenen Bäumen, gab es zu wenig Regen? Wir haben hier auch seit dem letzten Jahr mit einer großen Wasserknappheit zu kämpfen und man sieht verschiedentlich auch bereits vertrocknete Bäume. Vielleicht ist das nur der Anfang durch den Klimawandel?
Viele Grüße und ein schönes Wochenende!
11 months ago.
 RHH
RHH club
No need to apologize for not being on Ipernity for a few days. Plans are more important than Pixels. We probably won't be on for a few days next week. Have to go to a camp for about thirty youngsters (two grandkids are going) and it's out in the sticks in Idaho. Will be making some plans as well, though not as extensive as yours. We have one day to ourselves (they are going to a waterpark and I'm am uninterested in paying money for a waterpark or spending time there, so we are going hiking and I have to find some hikes.

Everyone has mosquito stories, I see. Great reading them all and here's another. We hiked to Skyline Divide in the Cascades some years ago. It's a ridge near Mount Baker with beautiful views of Baker but the mosquitoes were bad and when we got back home we discovered that every photo had blurry black spots in it - couldn't take a photo without getting them in too. Hoping they are not too bad next week, though it's been dry and they've been bearable. All the ponds and standing water by us has dried up.

The dryness is bringing fear of wildfires, however. A truck fire started a grass fire about two miles away along the highway last week. They spent most of day putting that out. The neighbors were upset, too, on the Fourth because someone was lighting fireworks, illegal in the county and a huge fire risk. Don't know if they ever found out who it was, but I'm sure they reported them if they did. People are almost paranoid about fire around here and rightly so. The whole area is liable to go up in flames.
11 months ago.
 Susanne Hoy
Susanne Hoy club
What a crazy story! I hate mosquitoes. It must have been terrible. But the path through the forest looks peaceful.
11 months ago.
 Josiane Dirickx
Josiane Dirickx club
Merveilleux rendu et partage ! un véritable tableau ! *******************
11 months ago.
 David Michael
David Michael club
Oh yes we get Midges this time of year in Scotland ...and in Skye. "Relentless", what a great way to describe them. Our first camp on the trail, we called it Midgeville. We were armed with repellant (dubious efficacy) and midge nets for our hats and mesh gloves. Luckily the tent inners are midge proof pretty much as long as you don't let them in....
11 months ago. Edited 11 months ago.
 Janet Brien
Janet Brien club
ROFLMAO, guys, I just have to say THANKYOU for all of the amusing stories about biting insects! It's so funny to read from another perspective!! :D
11 months ago.
 Valfal
Valfal club
A gorgeous footpath, Janet! I will come back to read your blog when I have more time. I am so glad you are enjoying your journeys through nature!
11 months ago.
 Eva Lewitus
Eva Lewitus club
What a beautiful trail ! .. Thank you for letting us enjoy it with no mosquitoes.
11 months ago.
 Herb Riddle
Herb Riddle club
A lovely trail Janet. One of such type of trails that I love and regularly try to walk too. Lovely light and shadow here. Well done. Herb
11 months ago.
 slgwv
slgwv club
I'll remember that next time we're in the Crater Lake area! We rented a boat on Diamond Lake years ago, but it was September so I guess we sheer-dumb-lucked out on the timing!

I have a similar tale, tho--we once stayed in Flamingo, on Florida Bay in the heart of the Everglades, in midsummer. The person I talked to for reservations at the motel was incredulous--do you _know_ what the mosquitos are like here? she asked. Turns out that time of year Flamingo is visited only by clueless tourists or diehard anglers. When we checked in they issued us, as part of the package, those mosquito hats with the netting hanging down off the brim all the way around. And they were useful! It turned out you could get away from the skeeters on the shore, due to the sea breeze, and while riding the excursion boat up to the Everglades. Otherwise-- The outside bar was screened in with mosquito netting, and enough _still_ got in you wanted to keep your netting-hat on!
10 months ago.

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