We’d already been in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area for two weeks, and my clients were black fly bitten, but I was feeling fit and pure.
Black flies are worse than mosquitoes. When black flies bite, they inject what seems to be a poisonous sap into the skin.
After we received the initial bites, they swell up like a tick on a dog. For the next few days the red and elevated bit ooze this pussy sap-like substance. Like tree sap, it seems to harden when exposed to air, but this is no place to worry about how one looks.
I spent two weeks up in the BWCA, and that was quite a bit of time for my long unkempt hair and red weeping bites. I would brush my long, but thinning on top, hair at night before bed, and all kinds of critters and detritus would come out, but after this many days in the woods, vanity doesn't mean shit. As a novice guide for some city living buddies, I tried not to complain.
I still complained but would try to convince myself not to while talking to myself aloud during long portages; my two friends had run out of booze after day three, and as daily drinkers, they were on edge for the rest of the trip. So, my complaints wouldn't have been heard, anyway.