Alaska: the land of the Iditarod; Mt. McKinley; eskimoes; igloos; and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes from this beautiful land have taken on mythical proportions, with jokes being made about the "Alaska state bird" actually being the mosquito instead of the willow ptarmigan. Though Alaskan mosquitoes are not really able to carry away small children, sometimes it seems like they might! Mosquito repellant, also known as "bug dope," sells in abundant quantities and varieties, as ineffective as it may prove to be.
Hearing about Alaskan mosquitoes and actually "experiencing" them are completely different. We found that out the hard way. On our day off, we were all set for a leisurely stroll along the trail at "Earthquake Park" in Anchorage. It wasn't a beautiful day, but it wasn't too bad; a little cool with cloud cover, but no rain in the immediate forecast. So, we set off.
The first clue we might experience a problem was when my husband got out of the "rig" (our vehicles in Alaska are unique, to be sure) and was immediately attacked by mosquitoes. Being the determined people that we are, we still unloaded everyone and headed towards the trailhead. Within minutes, my husband's back was literally COVERED with mosquitoes! Before we returned to the car, he was bit multiple times, even under his pantleg above his sock!
Though the constant buzzing and swarming was very annoying, it was not so distracting that I missed the hilarity of the moment. The site of my 6'5" husband and five daughters of various sizes hightailing it to the car with arms flailing was just too much!! I had to stop my own urgent escape of the pesky predators because I was laughing so hard! The novelty the situation was, however, lost on my husband. He did NOT share my perspective or my humor. He was worrying about how much blood he'd lost and whether he'd need an emergency transfusion!
In the end, everyone survived their close encounter with mosquitoes, and I have some hilarious memories of the adventure! Not everyone shares my perspective, but I'm sure that will change in time, once all the itching stops and the bumps have gone away.