Ruby Horsethief Mosquito Report? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-29-2019   #1
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Ruby Horsethief Mosquito Report?

Hi, everyone! I’ve been planning to take some co-workers on a trip down RHT July 7-9. Given the recent drop in water level, I’m worried (to an irrational degree, honestly) that the mosquitoes will be horrible. Since fires are not going to be allowed, it sounds like there won’t be any escape from the itchy bastards. Can anyone give me a bug forecast of sorts? Are the mosquitoes as bad as I’m imagining?

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Old 06-30-2019   #2
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 380
yes they are out in numbers was watching my girlfriend walking and a whole swarm was behind her we had to run to the car to escape at loma boat ramp
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Old 06-30-2019   #3
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 47
With apologies to HST, and you buzzards;

“We were somewhere around Banjo on the edge of the desert when the chemicals began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should oar . . .”And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge mosquitoes, all swooping and screeching and diving around the boat, which was going about 7 miles an hour with the bimini down to Cisco. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”

Then it was quiet again. My first-mate had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. “What the hell are you yelling about,” he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. “Never mind,” I said. “It’s your turn to oar.” I Took a single strong down river stroke back and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the eddy of the brown slug of a river. No point mentioning those mosquitoes, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.

It was almost noon, and we still had more than 5 miles to go. They would be tough miles. Very soon, I knew, we would both be completely twisted. But there was no going back, and no time to rest. We would have to ride it out. Our group was already at camp serving strong Paloma’s at Blackrock 5 for the night, and we had to get there by 4 to claim our perceived soundproof tent site. A fashionable sporting magazine in New York had taken care of the reservations, along with this huge red Hyside we’d just rented off a beach on the fruita stretch of this brown slug of the Colorado. . . and I was, after all, a professional oarsman; so I had an obligation to cover these river miles for good or ill.

The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous chemicals. The dry box of the oar rig looked like a mobile police weapons cache. We had two bags of citronella candles, 75 pellets of Pre emergent larval killer, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a saltshaker half-full of permethrin, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored organic, truckstop, scentless hunting, and new age crystal bug deterrent lotions . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw DEET and two dozen amyls.

All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of high-speed driving all over Mesa and Delta Counties — from Palisade to Paonia, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious bug repellent collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

The only thing that really worried me was the 100% raw DEET. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an DEET binge. And I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon. Probably at the next eddy. We had sampled almost everything else, and now — yes, it was time for a long slathering of DEET. And then do the next 5 miles in a horrible, slobbering sort of spastic stupor. The only way to keep alert on ether is to do up a lot of amyls — not all at once, but steadily, just enough to maintain the focus at 7 miles an hour through Cottonwood camps.

“Man, this is the way to travel,” said my first mate. He leaned over to turn the volume up on the radio, humming along with the rhythm section and kind of moaning the words: “One toke over the line . . . Sweet Jesus . . . One toke over the line . . .”

One toke? You poor fool! Wait till you see those goddamn mosquitoes.... “
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Old 06-30-2019   #4
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 377
Perfect! HST would be proud...
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Old 06-30-2019   #5
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glenwierd, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 9
This is the main advantage of DEET: it makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel... total loss of all basic motor skills: Blurred vision, no balance, numb tongue - severance of all connection between the body and the brain. Which is interesting, because the brain continues to function more or less normally... you can actually watch yourself behaving in the terrible way, but you can't control it.
I'd take that deal N Crawfish, then drill that ol devil in the ass.
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Old 06-30-2019   #6
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 90
I was riding Mack and Loma trails last weekend and looked down at the Cotonwood Sites. 1 and 2 were totaly under water and 4 and 5 didn;t look too much better. The slough behind the camps was full to the brim, which meant that camp 3 was pretty much surrounded by water. I can't imagine what that was like when the sun started to go down.

Camp on a beach as far away from the tammy as possible and bring plenty of DEET.

Oh yeah, and the sand flies also start to come out as they lay their eggs in wet sand.
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Old 07-01-2019   #7
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 14
I was on Ruby this past Tues and Wed nights. It took a screen house, bug repellent and full bug suits to keep us somewhat sane with the swarms of skeeters out there!
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Old 07-01-2019   #8
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 14
oh yeah, I forgot e burned a citronella candle, too.
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Old 07-05-2019   #9
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9
Strange memories on this nervous night on Ruby Horsethief. Has it been five years? Six? It seems like a lifetime. The kind of peak that never comes again. The Colorado River in the middle 60,000's was a very special time and place to be a part of. But no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time in the world. Whatever it meant. There was madness in any direction, at any hour, you could swat at mosquitoes nearly anywhere on your body. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that I think DEET was the handle. That sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil... Not in any mean or military sense. We didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum. We were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. ...So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill along the Colorado River and look west, and with the right kind of eyes, you can almost see the high mosquito mark. That place where the bugs finally broke, and fell back.
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Old 07-22-2019   #10
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
Any additional mosquito reports for Ruby? Considering launching on Friday but may pull the plug if the bugs are bad.
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