Continuing on our northbound route after weeks of hiking and socializing, our next destination was Provo, Utah. We had lined up several tasks, including an annual chassis maintenance for Betsy and maintenance for the car, plus we wanted to re-stock our fridge and cabinets after so long “in the sticks.” Our home base was at midge fly-infested Utah Lake State Park (read Steve’s review here) where we enjoyed wonderful views of peaks still covered with snow the first week of June.
For unknown reasons, the Freightliner shop hadn’t made sure they had all of the parts for the maintenance, which Steve covered in detail with them previously. That meant we had to either spend a night in their noisy trailer lot (no hookups) while the part was overnighted, or get the air filter replaced elsewhere. Since this shop was over 35 miles from our campground and we didn’t want to re-schedule elsewhere, we decided to bite the bullet and spend the night in Salt Lake City.
When we returned to the state park the next afternoon, I requested a different site away from the trees where I thought most of the midge flies were hanging out. There were fewer flies, but we ended up in the blazing sun for a week during the heatwave because the new site had no trees.
After first thinking those buggers were mayflies, I learned they are actually midge flies. They belong to the Chironomidae family, and individual adults will live about seven days, depending upon the species and weather conditions. Fortunately they don’t bite like mosquitoes or we would have been in big trouble.
Found near lakes and ponds, they’re known by many common names including blind mosquito and fuzzy bill. They were perched all over Betsy, and Steve thought they preferred the darker colors.
We observed them flying in swarms or “clouds” overhead, filtering through rays of the setting sun – especially near the trees.
On the plus side, many of my feathered friends made the state park their home. But sometimes there were so many of them they became annoying!
And then it happened…
With all our business completed we began exploring the park on a sunny Saturday morning. We were walking leisurely toward the lake when BAM! I slipped and tumbled on a concrete walkway, of all places. My face, camera and elbows were saved, but not my left knee. It hit hard, and by the time we struggled back to Betsy it had blossomed quite nicely.
After three days of elevation with ice packs, I visited a doctor and got X-rays. Fortunately no broken bones or fractures on my knee cap. Whew, I thought my hiking days would be over for a long time. But doctor’s orders were to take it easy for at least a month while continuing with ice and elevation when possible. The upside is that I’ve been able to catch up on my blogging even faster!
And with a loving and attentive caregiver, being couch-bound for a few days wasn’t too bad at all!
So hiking is out of my agenda for a few weeks, but the journey continues. We have passed by many good trails, and it makes me sad to miss them. Fortunately this is an area we’ll definitely be coming back, so we have that to look forward to.