Friday, August 26, 2016

Hayes Lake State Park

If I had thought the mosquitoes at Old Mill State Park were bad, it was nothing compared to the show of biting insects at Hayes Lake State Park. It's a shame too, since the park is very pretty and features the very photogenic Hayes Lake. I managed to complete the Hiking Club trail there, but just barely.

I realized how bad the bugs were the second I stepped out of the car into a buzzing swarm. Still, I headed over to the trailhead of the Pine Ridge Interpretive Trail.
start of trail
Immediately a view of  Hayes Lake presented itself,
view of Hayes Lake
complete with wildflowers decorating her shore.
black eyed susan
Then the trail headed into the woods, the cool, buggy woods.
the buggy trail
There were interpretive signs, but the prospect of standing still and donating my blood to the bugs kept me from reading them. When I reached the swimming beach I decided to take a plunge in the water to escape the mosquitoes.
going for a swim
The water was cool and refreshing, but as soon as I made my way back to the beach I had to deal with the pesky mosquitoes again.

I enjoyed a few last views of the lake
Hayes Lake view
and then decided to hike the road back to my car. I figured there would be fewer bugs in the sunny center of the road, right? Wrong. They were still bad. I stopped to take a quick picture of this fringed gentian
Fringed Gentian
and then made my way back to my vehicle as quickly as possible without running. In the few seconds it took to get into the car, literally about 20 mosquitoes followed me inside. I spent the next 5 minutes squashing the little buggers,
dead mosquito
some of which stained my car's upholstery with blood. I had itchy welts to scratch all the way back to International Falls; reminders of my trip to Hayes Lake State Park. 

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