For Queens and 11-Year Old Girls
Scenery? Seen It. When Do We Eat?

Why Are There Mosquitos?

Ca_road_trip_5 One of my favorite things to do in Yosemite is bicycling.  There are twelve miles of off-road, paved bike trails, through areas with facilities and then through more natural areas like forests, meadows, and even over streams.  All flat too.  Biking uphill is a bummer.  If I can’t have it all downhill, I’ll take flat.  Somewhere on the way to Mirror Lake, my son spotted a rattlesnake crossing the trail.  That’s a bit unusual for a heavily trafficked area.  We got within six feet of him in order to get his picture.  Do you think that was dangerous?  I thought of that later. 

One thing we did not count on this year were mosquitoes.  They aren’t usually a problem, as during the Summer there isn’t often much standing water in the valley.  There is this time of the year though.  The Sierra Nevadas had an unusually heavy snow pack this year, and as it is now melting, it enters the valley in streams and creates wetlands and bogs.  That makes for spectacular waterfalls, but getting bit by these blood-suckers is no fun, so we purchased OFF, shed the mosquitoes, and all smell the same now.  I think I can bear the mosquitoes for such amazing waterfalls.  My daughter wants to know why God made these annoying insects, and I told her  had no idea.  I’d rather He hadn’t.  I suppose this mystery will be cleared up one day.  Actually, I don’t care if it’s cleared up or not; I just don’t want them in heaven because they seem better suited for hell. 

As I ride the trail here I realize that what looks so natural around me is, as I have said, deeply impacted by human activity.  For example, there used to be many inns in the valley catering to tourists.  All gone now.  You can walk across a meadow and realize that probably not one square inch of earth in that meadow has not been walked on by someone at some time.  And yet, that’s OK.  In a way it makes it more special.  The whole valley is like an historic home bequeathed to us to preserve and protect, each generation changing it a bit, and yet each generation retaining a preserving it’s special and historic character. 

The water has flooded the trail.  I just ran my bike through 18 inches of water.  I enjoyed it, but my shoes are soaked.  What was I thinking?  Whatever it was, I hope I do it again.

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