Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, 2014
This campsite on an island in Cherokee Lake was a refuge for us in at least two regards. Like any of the other campsites in the Boundary Waters, it was a refuge from the harried pace of our hyper-connected, electronic world. This particular site, though, also gave us a welcome respite from the murderous mosquitoes. On the lakes, we hardly ever saw a single one. The other extreme was the portage trails through the woods' interior, where we were consistently swarmed within seconds. (Long sleeves, long pants, and a headnet while portaging were essential.) Most of the campsites fell somewhere in the middle, as they were inevitably on lake shores and in the trees but not too far inland. The mosquitoes, though, rarely ventured out of the trees and onto the rock slab at this campsite, making the rock an ideal place for enjoying the view, eating a backcountry meal (in our case, steaks and fried northern pike and lake trout), and stargazing. Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.