Status: Indexed

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traveled east, for you will see on any map that the farther east you follow
the coast of Wrangell Island the farther away you are from the Siberian
coast. To one who considers traveling over sea ice dangerous or difficult,
the obvious thing would be to go west where the southwest corner of Wrangell
is only between ninety and a hundred miles from the Siberian coast
where the traders and natives live. But we must remember that the party was
going on Knight's advice. Knight's judgment was necessarily based upon his
experience and he had traveled so many months and so many hundreds of miles
over shifting sea ice that it had no special terrors for him. The diary
shows that the objective was Siberia only incidentally and Nome primarily.
Traveling east you get nearer and nearer to Nome. He probably thought also
that the ice in the straits between Wrangell and Siberia would be the most
broken and mobile where the channel is narrowest, and on that basis it is
reasonable to go east before crossing.

Contrary to some other commentators, I find nothing in
this plan of Knight's to disagree with until several days later they decided
to turn back. I would have been in hearty agreement if this had meant dis-
continuing any attempt to go to Siberia, for I should not have considered the
possible gain from that trip to be worth the trouble and effort. But having
traveled east and still keeping in mind the purpose of going to Nome, they
should certainly have struck south at all hazards when their farthest east
was reached. Going west again and making a fresh start from the southwest
corner of the island would necessarily tire the dogs if it had no other
result. As provisions were not abundant, it was not easy to feed up the dogs
to bring them back again to their original strength and freshness. For dog
feed like man food has to be adequate not only in quantity but in kind. They
seem to have had little for the dogs at this stage except hard bread and seal
oil, which will do for a few days as an emergency ration but will not keep up

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