I check in with my back. Are you well enough to keep going today? It says…probably. The current of the river flows past as I look outside my tent. Even if I just hopped in and didn’t paddle, I could make some time. But that means another battle with the mosquitos. The one that drives me mad—the one where they bite me mercilessly while I struggle with the neoprene cover for my hatches and can’t swat them away because I have to complete my task before I shove off. It takes a great deal of mental fortitude and discipline to go knowingly into this losing battle every day. I want to ask the paddlers who have gone before me if the mosquitos get better…but I’m afraid they might say it gets worse…so I haven't asked.