that we would like to go home with them, to which they consented and started to guide us across the ice to where they had left their dog teams, one of them kindly giving me his balancing stick. Even the natives slipped at times and hesitated cautiously in choosing a way over the roughest hummocks. Up and down, poising on narrow edges, leaping from block to block and occasionally sinking with an awkward slump in angular hollows between the blocks that were concealed with soft snow, we at length reached a comparatively smooth part of the ice where the dogs were left. Then they were straightened out, disentangled, and the Captain invited by signs to seat himself on a certain sled belonging to the Indian he had been talking to chiefly, while the tallest of the group made me seat myself on a pile of ebar skin on the rear end of his, while he sat in front with his legs over the side, ready to jump off at bad spots to keep the sled from upsetting. Joe had a team to himself, while its owner rode with some of his companions. There were 11 teams and sleds in all, with nearly a hundred dogs, making quite an imposing cavalcade, relieved vividly on the white ice. Some teams were just arriving from the village as we were going to it. When we met the dogs passed each other to right or left as they were told by their drivers, who kept flourishing a whip and jingling some iron rings that were tied loosely to the end of a short stick that had an iron goad in the other, and of which the dogs all too well knew the use of. The distance to [Drawings – “Near the S.W. end of St. Lawrence Island.” And 2 others]
Original journal dimensions: 11 x 18.5 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist