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Deer Flies are Smarter than Humans

Deer Flies are Smarter Than People

Our second day of walking started out with so much promise! A 19 mile gravel path through the Maine woods headed directly to our destination—the town of Ellsworth.

Julie was on deck to cover the first 7+ miles with Giizhik in tow, and I went ahead to do the last 12. There are a few logistical wrinkles to iron out in this kind of leapfrog relay: we have to find a parking spot in the shade near the “handoff” spot. Little Izzy can’t walk with us, and carrying her isn’t much fun, we soon found out. So, we park and send pics of the spot. We can also see one another’s location online as long as we both have a phone with us.

Being a good Minnesota boy, I packed a head net. But the first few miles of my hike there were few to no deerflies and I rejoiced mightily. But here’s my theory: deer flies know that if they swarm you too soon, you will just pack it in and go back home. So, they wait until you are as far from the starting point as possible and then attack. With a vengeance.

Anyway, the last 8-9 miles of my walk were full defense mode. Head net, balsam bough fly swatter, and of course profanity. My arms and legs were mostly bare, so they still got some flesh and blood.

(An aside about ATV folks in Maine. NICE! I’m just not used to motorsports folk being cognizant of pedestrians—hikers, skiers, bikers. So, when 98% of all 4-wheelers/side-by-sides/dirt bikes slowed WAY down so as to not raise dust I was shocked, and grateful. One guy even stopped to offer me water! I declined, as I had far too much water with me… a liter for 12 miles, but mentioned that I would accept a beer if he had one. He didn’t, but laughed his ass off.)

I had to remind myself that the process of walking across the continent was not always going to be pleasant, and so when conditions were buggy, wet, high-traffic, hot, cold, windy, hilly, flat… I can’t do as I found myself doing today—wishing away the time, looking forward to when conditions will get better. This is where I’m at. This is what I signed up for.

I get to do this.

It seemed fitting that the end of the Down East Sunrise Trail had me dumped in to the parking lot of the L.L. Bean Outlet store. Julie was a few minutes away, so I staggered in and stared at all the shiny stuff, glad that I didn’t have a payment method.

I get to do this.

Forward Progress=19 miles

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3 commentaires

14 juil. 2023

Damn it! Those frisky little bastards…


13 juil. 2023

Pretty smart deer flies you have there, here, on my bike, I just stop and they don't know what to do when they no longer can chase you.

14 juil. 2023
En réponse à

My old training partner, Jay Lee, would just run along oblivious to them as I swatted and swore. I once watched him simply spit one out of his mouth without losing a beat in the story he was telling. The difference, maybe, between a Finndian and a NorwIndian (<--not sure of the correct term.)

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