2010-05-26 18:42:57.000 – Cynthia L. Terry, Summit Volunteer
There is beauty in the consistent inconsistency about this mountain. Approaching a decade of volunteer work the one thing I know is I’ll never know enough about this area; it is full of surprises for a Pennsylvania gal. I found an unwanted one this trip.
After a week of the most unbelievably great, clear weather I have ever had, I took a leisurely jaunt to one of my favorite places, Sphinx Col. This is a very scenic valley between Mt. Clay and Mt. Jefferson. Just below the sign that pronounces a rather dramatic drop down into the Great Gulf via the Sphinx trail, there is a rock strategically placed as a comfortable backrest allowing the hiker to take off socks, shoes and sweaty shirts and pause a while to watch the ravens soar.
From the Great Gulf onward, I picked up a nasty swarm of small black ‘gnats’ that loved to dive bomb about my face and neck. They didn’t seem interested in biting me but were a nuisance especially around my glasses. There was a bit of relief when I stopped at the Col and I was able to have a small bit of refreshment without the ‘critters’ bothering me.
On my return trip, they were back in full force. I had to remember to breath through my nose on my uphill trek back to the summit. I lost them just above the Cog and wondered how the men working on the trail that day were fairing with these ‘buggies.’
The next day I was describing these insects to my colleagues at the summit. I seemed to now find small welts about my forehead, neck and behind my ears. These things just seemed to know my soft spots as I now had a array of red spots on top of the welts. After many years of hiking the Whites and Greens of New England, I now had my first introduction to the black fly.
Cynthia L. Terry, Summit Volunteer