Memorial Mosquito Camping (Video)
In an appropriate karma-reversal from last year’s Memorial Day camp trip (the trip where we coincidentally hiked into Virginia’s extraordinary Strawberry Festival), this trip was met with blood. Mosquito blood.
Looking to top last year’s mile-or-two trek, the camp gang woke up at 6 AM to reserve the pleasure of hiking along Assateauge Island for six miles. Christine and I were ready. We bought new knapsacks from REI the night before. But little could prepare us for the horrors beyond Assateague’s bayside.
We barely made it to our reserved patch of Zika before the group scattered. Even our fearless leader, Jenna, found no reasons not to abandon the mission.
Our sun-soaked and bug-bloodied group sat in defeat before Christine and Jillian mustered up enough chutzpah to find a beach bro with enough kindness and enough truck to tow the nine of us back to our initial campsite. Pushing our luck even further, the girls convinced the folks sitting at our old spot to allow us to setup camp for one more night. We pitched our tents, licked our wounds and added aloe overtop our layers of bug spray and sun block. The trip came full-circle to full-blown car camping. And it was glorious.
Truth be told, I’m not sure why Assateague Island even has a “backcountry.” Maybe as an elaborate joke that locals play on out-of-towners. Maybe as a breeding ground for experimental, pony-killing mosquitoes. Or maybe as a training simulation for the next Hunger Games. Whatever the reason, let this post serve as a warning for all interested campers — stick to the frontcountry.
More photos on SmugMug.