Wednesday, June 22, 2011

#15 Mosquito Mutiny

There can be a number of causes of insanity. In Alaska, mosquito induced is one of the worst. I was inflicted with this insidious disease on a float trip one summer.  It even led to mutiny, I call it a mosquito mutiny. 

Picture a beautiful river, winding through wilderness, just the right size, not too many rapids, enough to keep the boat moving and exciting. Not too many bears. Add an abundance of fish; grayling, dollies, and the most beautiful fish in the world, the rainbow trout. Now think of salmon, giant king salmon, 20, 30, 40, pound creatures making their final life's journey. These giant creatures looked like dolphins magnified in size in this small river as they surge out of the water or lay on the bottom like alien beings.

Looking at a map of the surrounding area you see the symbol for marsh, wetland, for miles and miles on both sides of the river. You have to time the trip when those prized king salmon are there moving up the river. The birds have it timed, for millions of bird babies are born  when an abundant and unlimited food source can feed the offspring. You know what that abundant and unlimited food source is, don't you. Yeah, mosquitos!


There were times on that four day float trip I didn't think about them. A couple of hours one day the wind came up and we took a river bath and dried in the sun, and those few hours fighting kings, trying to coax one of those giant sea creatures to shore and into my landing net. But most of the time, they had my attention.


You have to eat and when I lifted the mosquito net that covered my face to stick a spoon of food in my mouth they came with it. Sleeping in the tent, talk about nightmarish. First of all, in your sleep, don't push your hand against the tent mesh opening. That is if you sleep at all. The buzzing, no, more like the roar of a massive machine. Multiply the sound a mosquito makes as it's nearing your ear by a million. Okay, multiply that by another million. Now try and sleep. Can you rest knowing that only a thin nylon fabric separates you from them, an abundant and unlimited them.  The mesh door darkened the midnight sun, turned black by their buzzing bodies.

The next part,(I'm trying to recall a worst experience in my life, I can't) Hey, it's something we all do, hopefully everyday. Now picture it there. Ok, the peeing was scary. But The the other thing, yeah, number two; dropping your pants, giving them your most (I wanted to say virgin but in most of our cases that won't fit) protected area. Come and get it, never to have been bitten upon flesh. OMG have you ever tried to take a crap with 5000 mosquitos biting every millimeter of your nether region?

You can understand the mutiny now. The slaying of the boat captain was considered justifiable homicide, because in Alaska they understand what that type of sickness can make a person do. And that is why I call it a "mosquito mutiny".

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