Blackflies 1, Granite State Walker 0

I am nursing itchy welts from about 75 blackfly bites. Serves me right for wearing short sleeves last weekend out at Windblown x-c ski area, helping clear brush off the trails. Yes, I brought DEET, but it proved pitifully inadequate to the task. New Ipswich blackflies are tough ones. (I have since purchased a much stronger DEET formula. To heck with concerns over systemic toxins.)

The Jenks family, owners of Windblown, have put out the word that their trails are open to hikers, now that the ice storm’s damage is somewhat cleared. Friends of the Wapack took care of the section of the Wapack trail that runs through Windblown, and the Jenks family did the heavy work on the rest of the property’s trails. I spent some time each of the past two weekends with a crew doing cleanup by tossing cut brush off to the trailsides.

My boots got extremely muddy, I was nibbled to distraction by the blackflies, and I had a great time. Call it a slow hike uphill through the woods on Barrett Mountain, with some light weight work thrown in as I tossed brush: low weights, high reps. I’m sure that fits some kind of workout plan.

My thanks to the Jenks family for letting me help with this!