About 15 miles S.W. of Icy Cape there is quite a large settlement of Eskimos on the low, sandy, storm-swept shore. Cool and breezy must be their lives, and they can have but little inducement to look up, or time to spend in contemplation. Theirs is one constant struggle for food, interrupted by sleep and by a few common quarrels. In winter they hibernate in noisome underground dens. In summer they come out to take breath in small conical tents, made of white drill, when they can get it. They waved a piece of cloth on the end of a pole as we passed, inviting us to stop and trade with them. From Cape Lisburne up the coast to Point Barrow there is usually a two-knot current, but the wind and the ice have completely stopped the flow at present. The sun is above the horizon at midnight. July 22. A dull, leaden day; dark fog and rain until 4 in the afternoon; rained but a small fraction of an inch. About noon we once more sighted the ice-pack. The heavy swell of the sea is rapidly subsiding and the wind is veering to the N.E. We hope it will move the ice offshore and allow us to round
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist