Beautiful by day, northern Iowa and southern Minnesota lake country makes for not only beautiful but interesting driving just before sundown. Rolling hills, green, lush pastures, streams, marshes and lakes lit by the evening sun’s hues of pinks, purples and blues. We had just driven through a series of late afternoon and evening showers when we entered northwestern Iowa lake country. As dusk set in and the shadows lengthened, we again heard the pitter patter on our windshield of . . . it wasn’t rain. Luckily, we paused before turning on the windshield wipers. Bugs – tiny bugs! Hundreds, probably thousands of them, were pelting and sticking to our windshield, grill and headlights. One swipe of the window wiper would have made visibility impossible. First opportunity, we pulled off at a gas station to clean the windows with professional equipment, and in the process discovered that the mosquitoes were a well fed welcoming committee. Lovely. We speculated that locals encourage tourism in the area to give themselves a break from the miniature vampires – fresh tourist blood. Evening driving in southern Minnesota offered the same results. My advice when driving in the evenings in lake country – check and double-check before turning on the wipers – is it rain or something else? Enjoy the view and drive safely!