rills and lake-like pools on it, we made fast with an anchor to its edge to wait developments. The fog partially cleared again, so that we could see a mile or two ahead, which induced us to make another short push ahead, but our hopes were again and again baffled, when at length we turned back, meaning to get to the outside of the heaviest of the ice and wait a general calm and clearance. This we accomplished easily and came to anchor in 22 fathoms. A piece of wood 27 inches long, cut with a sharp axe, was picked up in the morning within perhaps 25 miles of Wrangel Land. It was evident by its length and by the way it was split and cut, that it was intended for firewood. IT seemed clearly to be the work of white men, possibly of some of the Jeanette’s crew. But the grand excitement of the day apart from the untrodden shore we were seeking, was caused by 3 polar bears, magnificent fellows, fat and hearty, rejoicing in their strength out here in the bosom
Original journal dimensions: 11.5 x 21 cm.
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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist