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great many clothing skins, so our outfit should be comfortable. A large number of ducks and gulls seen."

September 27th the ocean was still free of ice and snow was still lacking for sledging over the land. But on that day for the first time since the arrival of the party the thermometer failed to rise above the freezing point, the maximim being 30° and the minimum 18°, Fahrenheit.

Knight does not tell us the exact date upon which enough snow fell for sledging but this was evidently sometime after the 10th of October, for on that day he says: "This morning Galle went eastward to the three bears killed, intending to bring back a ham from one of the cubs, but he returned with the information that the cubs had been nearly all eaten by the foxes. Hitched up the dogs for exercise but did not go far for lack of snow." This entry reminds us again of the optimistic feeling which the whole party seems to have shared with Knight that there was no particular need for saving what meat they had. The inference from "the cubs had been nearly all eaten by the foxes" in that the meat of the old bear, less palatable no doubt but still good dog feed, was as yet uneaten, and still they neither carried it home on their backs nor hauled it home on the sledge, a thing that can be done even when snow is absent. Galle had just gone to fetch cub meat because they thought it would be a change in their diet and he seems to have returned without any of the meat at all just because the most palatable parts were missing. We emphasize this because it shows that they were firm in their optimism and that laziness did not enter. A farmer in a remote district may buy a carload of groceries when he goes to the village but most of us buy only a little at a time because we know where we can always get more. That is evidently how the Wrangell party felt whether about bears to be shot or bear meat to be fetched home.

October 11th was "rather a good day for us. About 1:30 P.M.

Last edit 13 days ago by Samara Cary
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Galle saw a bear to the north of camp. He and Maurer went after him but the bear saw them and ran to the west. They gave chase, as the bear had been wounded when he started to run. When about three miles west of camp the pursued bear was rapidly gaining when a female bear with two cubs was seen approaching from the west. She came to where the boys were hidden and they killed the old bear and one cub, the other cub getting away. I went to help them. After finishing skinning, Maurer returned to camp and Galle and I lay in wait for a large bear and a cub approaching from the west. Darkness, however, coming on and the approaching bears' course rather uncertain, we returned to camp. Eight bears were seen to-day and literally hundreds of tracks."

On October 13th: "Galle and Crawford were just starting to take a walk to the westward when Galle, who seems to always see things first, saw a bear near camp to the east. (They) immediately shot and wounded her slightly and she took to the water. I ran along the beach abreast of her and shot her through the head. She was about a two-year-old with not as much blubber as the bears we have killed formerly." On October 14th "Crawford and Galle took a walk to the westward and did a little exploring. We had an idea we were perhaps nearly to the west end of the island. They are sure that they saw a mountain at least thirty miles farther west. We think now that we are a little east of Doubtful Harbor."

It is possible to infer from the entry for October 17th that by then enough snow had come for sledging. But the sea was still free of ice and sealing, therefore, impossible.

On November 3rd "Crawford and Galle, each with a back pack, started for . . . . . to climb the large mountain north of our camp. We have been calling this Berry Peak but east of us can be seen another mountain which may be Berry Peak. The explorers will leave a record and monument on the mountain and Crawford intends to do some geological work." But next day's entry tells that the party returned late that evening and that "it was blowing

Last edit 13 days ago by Samara Cary
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so hard in the mountains that they could not climb the highest of them." It is to be inferred from the same entry that, while sea ice was beginning to form, it was not yet stable enough to be safe or suitable for hunting.

On November 6th we read that "dog feed is getting low" and a few days later we read that they are cooking up groceries into dog feed. From various entries of that sort during the winter it appears that the amount of supplies taken to Wrangell Island must have been a great deal in excess of what we had planned together before they sailed north. It had been our feeling then that full rations of groceries for six months would be all that it was reasonable to take towards the two-year program of a party who believed that they could be self supporting indefinitely by hunting. In other words, we considered that the supplies for six months were luxuries and, as luxuries, were about all they should reasonably allow themselves. At that time they had been saying that they preferred to spend what money we had for phonographs, of which they were all fond, and for candies and chocolate, to which some of them were partial.

There had been two motives for planning that fox trapping should be carried on energetically throughout the winter. We were not quite certain of getting Government support next year and we desired to demonstrate that an occupation of the island could be made profitable along such oldfashioned lines as have been followed by the Hudson's Bay Company and other traders in the Arctic. Not that we were much concerned with the value as a trapping island, but rather that we wanted to show that this additional merit also was present.

The entry for November 7th indicates that a good many traps had been set already but references to them throughout the winter show that, while foxes were numerous, the trapping was not very successful. This is not very surprising, for the two experienced men, Knight and Maurer, had never seen trapping done. They had been members of a scientific expedition

Last edit 13 days ago by Samara Cary
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which had attached to it a few Eskimos. From the zoological point of view we had wanted foxes and these had been caught for us chiefly by the Eskimos or by one or two old white trapers who were with us. I do not suppose that either Knight or Maurer had ever set a trap. The theory was so simple, however, that success might have been expected. But one peculiarity of the Wrangell Island weather brought a difficulty which they do not seem to have successfully solved. So far as we can judge from the diary, the traps seem to have been set in such a way that would have been successful in a forest where the snow lies soft on the spot where it falls. But in an open island like Wrangell the wind will blow more or less almost everyday, the snow is light and dry, and the wind will pack it into and over a trap set without a cover. Even when a thin cover or snow is used, the location has to be carefully chosen to prevent more snow piling on top and making the cover so thick that the light feet of a fox go over instead of breaking through. Although there were a good many foxes actually caught, they were evidently only a small fraction of the numbers that could have been secured. From the point of view of the safety of the expedition and its success, this was really of no consequence. As a safety factor the meat of foxes amounts to little. One bear is worth a hundred foxes. As to showing the value of the island, the observations of the men while trapping were as valuable as the skins actually secured, for what we wanted was information as to the abundance of animals that are commercially valuable.

On November 7th: "Galle went to his traps and found two gone (they had evidently been badly fastened and the foxes caught had carried them off). He got one fox and coming home in the dark got slightly lost and saw a bear while wandering around trying to find his way home. He did not shoot it although we are rather short of dog feed. He says that he did not know where he was, so he let the bear go." This was evidently felt by the whole party as a misfortune, for the bears seen were much fewer now than they

Last edit 13 days ago by Samara Cary
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had been earlier in the year and they began to be keenly conscious of the importance of getting any that came around.

Since the party had decided not to kill until there was ample snow for hauling the meat at home, the exceptionally late winter was a misfortune to them. Apart from that, their preparations for the winter seem to have gone smoothly and much according to plan. The outer house with the tent inside proved to be a comfortable dwelling and there was plenty of dry wood for fuel, a circumstance which Knight mentions frequently. He seems to have considered it almost too good to be true, for it differed so much from his previous arctic experience.

Before they sailed north we had frequently discussed the plans for winter. It had been the experience of our various expeditions and it has been the general experience of polar explorers that when a number of men lie idle in camp waiting for winter to pass, there is tedium, quarreling and even general decline in health. No matter how good the cooking or varied the diet, the men get tired of their food, and no matter how congenial they may be ordinarily, they also become tired of each other. Some explorers, even in recent years, have considered it necessary to keep the men in camp during mid-winter, thinking the storms, darkness and low temperature too disagreeable to be faced. But through my early training with the Eskimos, I learned from the very beginning of my work to look upon the mid-winter as essentially a time for travelling and other activity, and Knight was, therefore, used to that idea. Maurer had had experience of being confined in a ship both when he was on an arctic whaler and later when our flag ship,the Karluk, and he was equally of the view that every man should be outdoors, occupied in some interesting and profitable way every day of the winter except when a special gale was blowing. On this basis we had agreed that the party should establish at least two camps about then or fifteen miles apart. We had discussed the possibility of there

Last edit 13 days ago by Samara Cary
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