Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Thursday July 30

Got up early this morning to find it had frozen during the night.  This is the only place we have found frost.  There were little cow birds which looked very much like the ordinary sparrows hopping around the horses and came within half a foot of us without any fear.  We got away about 9:30—there was no sign of our Indian guides. They had evidently become tired of waiting for us.  The trail was well marked so we took it.  We forded the Nose which wasn’t very deep and up the bank on the other side.

Passed more Indian graves, some just out by themselves with their roof like tops and enclosed fence.  Then we went through first alders the forest of pine and white poplars.  The sun could not penetrate through the spruce but when we came to the poplars it shone bright thought on the deep undergrowth beneath the trees. We passed a company of Indians, about two dozen men, women and children.  Their pack bags were made of hide with the hair on the outside.  Each woman had children tied on behind her and also in front.  They all wore straight black straw hats with usually a bright red flower in them.  We later found where they had camped cutting spruce boughs for a bed.  

About one o’clock we met three men who had come from Beaver Lodge and who were on their way to the mountain.  They said they had been travelling since 9 a.m and that we were only half way to the Jasper ford and that they knew nothing of this new ford.  Later we met two Indians who said to watch for blazes on the left and this trail would take us there.  We went on through woods where strawberries and blueberries were growing, also found cherries.  The saskatoons could be reached on horseback.  We reached the new trail which took us over a lot of swampy grass and through dense alders.  Then down a steep hill and around many roots of tees.  This trip has been hard on the horses because of going over so many stumps and dead fall.  

After we had come down the steep hill for ages we came to the Wapiti.  We gave the horses a drink and then started to ford the river, Judd in the lead.  We did not have to have the men lead our horses this time. It was a good ford and although we were quite wet it was because of the splashing.  Fording a stream is just like having a horse sidestep through the water to the bank from which you started till you wake up and find him on the opposite bank.  On the other side we came to a saw mill and later a house belonging to Mr. Lingrel.  Judd went to inquire for a good camp and we were kept busy keeping our horses and the pack hoses from rolling in the soft ground.  Leslie’s horse, finding himself not allowed to, began slowly to sink, so slowly that Leslie didn’t notice it and he was half way down before someone noticed him there with bended knees and Leslie quite unconscious of it on his back.  

While the macaroni was cooking, Marion, Isabel, Monica and I went down for a bath.  Our trips lasted till 4:30 and we were all pretty tired but after a huge dinner we sat late around a campfire while Judd and John swapped stores of the war, but remembering some of the stories which they have already told us we are not going to repeat any of these as really authentic.  Tomorrow will likely be a short trip.

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