12 Jul Sun and Mosquitoes
The beautiful weather is holding up. With all the wind, rain and clouds in the first part of the trip, this sunny break is all the sweeter now.
A leisurely breakfast is followed by our most relaxed day paddling yet. At one point, we drop Ryan off to climb a nearby hill to film from a great vantage point. We need a big shot of us canoeing down the river, showing how small we are in relation to this vast landscape. Once in position though, some clouds move in. Carl, Anthony and I pull onto a sandbar, and relax in our canoe while we play a painting game. The breeze is perfect, no mosquitoes and we are completely relaxed. Meanwhile, Ryan is running around on top of the hill being chased by mosquitoes, and struggling to put his bug jacket on at the same time. We felt bad for him… really.
Forty-five minutes later the sun pokes back out a bit, we get our shot, and continue with the flow to set up camp where layers of the permafrost earth are crumbling into the river. The sun has returned in full force, and combined with some pools of stagnant water we find near camp, the wind dying down completely, we are now officially at the buggiest camp of the trip. After a quick dinner, the mosquitoes drive us into the comfort of our tents. But before it can be too cozy, Ryan and I first have to dispatch the dozens and dozens of critters that have snuck in with us. The inside of this tent is starting to look like a war zone.
With that mostly done – there always seems to be another one buzzing by my ear after I crawl into my sleeping bag – I close my eyes and am lulled to sleep by the the hum of the swarm on the other side of the thin nylon wall.