I’m reading a book about Alaska and thinking about travel. There are 3 places in Alaska I’d like to see. One of them is Adak, which is among the Aleutian Islands near their western end. The island at the end is Attu. Ten years ago Attu became the largest uninhabited island in the United States and remains so. The characters in the book I’m reading complain about the mosquitoes. I can count on one hand the number of times insects have bothered Ruth & me while traveling. Alaskan mosquitos were the worst of the 3 remembered examples.
We were driving from Nome to Council. Like a character in the book I’m reading, I was being bothered by mosquitoes. They were fierce that day. The landscape was unlike any I had ever seen. The road was deserted, probably because of the mosquitos. We kept stopping to admire the landscape, but each time we got out of the rental we were swarmed. The mosquitoes seemed as large as small birds. A character in the book is swatting and complaining too, and his companion reminds him that mosquitoes are only a problem in Alaska for a few weeks each year. Some comfort!
There were 2 other times bugs were a nuisance. Ruth was bitten by bedbugs but not where you would expect. They were not in hotel room bedding but in a blanket she used on a plane. She really suffered. You do not want this to happen to you. We stopped in the Colorado National Monument to enjoy the scenery and take photos one beautiful summer morning when I was swarmed by black flies. They left welts but, luckily, did no permanent harm.
One time I was on a trail alone at what is called The Devil’s Marbles in Australia’s Outback. In a country known for an abundance of poisonous snakes and insects, I looked down and saw the ugliest, most menacing bug I had ever seen. It was huge and threatening. I ran looking for someone who could come and identify it but could find no one, so I’ll never know what it was or if it was dangerous.
Bugs, however, can be fun. One of our favorite attractions is The Bug Zoo in downtown Victoria, BC where both Ruth and I have held creepy crawlies in our hands and let them slither up our arms. We have told many travelers about this notable attraction, and have taken several people to see it. The best was Ruth’s cousin Judy. She didn’t want to go in but finally agreed to. She never touched a bug but ultimately agreed that she found the experience fascinating.