Got to Chicago about 3 P.M. Mar. 11th. Went to musical comedy
"Sometime" that night but didn't get to see it thru.
Left Chicago at 11:45 P.M. On Olympian, a C.M. St.P. train.
Enjoyed every minute of the trip across. Saw some fine scenery.
Met a member of the Lost Battalion and a Norwegian engineer
studying certain things in this country. He was on a mission
for his government. An ex-soldier was taken off the train
at Butte, Montana, almost dead. Poor fellow was on his way
home. Got to Seattle at about 9 P.M. Mar. 14. Stayed at Frye
Hotel that night. Next morning reported to Capt. Pratt at
sub-office. Reported aboard Surveyor about 10 A.M., Mar. 15th.
The officers aboard are Capt. Hardy, Mr. Sobieralski, Dailey,
Mower, Lewis, Bond, Healy, Overton, Locke, and myself. Sullivan
left for the East a few days ago. Was with Mower in Miami.
He lost practically all his goods on the Isis. The Surveyor
has been outfitting for Alaska and so have I. Locke got my
rifle and some other stuff for me at cost thru the purchasing
agent of the Alaska Engineering Commission. Mrs. Locke and
Mrs. Bean were down for dinner night before last. I spent
last Sunday afternoon with Wilbur out at the University of
Washington, and took dinner with him. This brings me up to
the present time. The foregoing is a poor and brief sketch.
It only touches on the high spots, and on a very few of them
at that. There are single days which deserve pages, and which
have not been touched at all. I will only say that if the
seven months which I expect to spend in Alaska prove as eventful
as the past seven months have proven, I have a lot of adventure
far as today's events are concerned; they consist of an exhibition
of guns, a visit by Wilbur, and an addition made to our graphaphone
records by Mr. Sobieralski, who brought some real classical
ones down. I wrote to Auntie and Roro and Lowrie today. Didn't
set foot off the ship the whole day.
moved around to the Standard Oil Dock at about 9:30 this morning
this morning to take on oil. After dinner I took a working
party of eight men over to the locks to help Capt. Pratt move
some boats to the place where he was having a shed built.
Went aboard the Explorer, which was just outside the locks.
Saw Jack Senior and met Ratti. Saw Matthews on the dock. Got
back at about 5:10. Ship was at Lander St. Dock. Went to "Maytime"
tonight and got stuck on the front row. Enjoyed the show very
today, the last day we expect to spend in civilization for
about 7 months. Made a couple of trips to the Union Oil Co.
Office. Jones, of the Explorer, came around and took supper.
Dr. Soule came aboard at supper time, and brought his wife
and two daughters, who took supper with us. The doctor is
certainly a whopper. As O.D. it fell to me to search the belongings
of a steward who left tonight. However, he didn't have any
belongings except those on his back, so I got out of an unpleasant
job. Wrote five letters and six cards today.
off for Alaska at 11:20 A.M. Wilbur was down to help cast
off our lines. Frost this a.m. Hear that there was sleet last
night. Soon after dinner something like a mixture of hail
and snow came down. Saw a little snow on the banks of Puget
Sound, so I can imagine what it will be up north. Admiralty
Inlet was a slight bit choppy. Felt inclined to get sea-sick,
but got into smooth water before I did. We had an abandon
ship and a fire drill this afternoon. The scenery is something
grand. We passed between a large number of islands this afternoon.
Far ahead could be seen a snow-clad range until darkness shut
it out. The night revealed a large number of lights. I drew
the 4-8 watch with Healy. Some water got thru my porthole
onto my bunk this afternoon. Just escaped a wet bunk.
I came on we were on a long, straight course. The water was
very smooth. On both sides could be seen the outlines of mountains.
As the light came on, snow could be distinguished on the distant
mountains and trees on the nearer mountains. The most impressive
range was a long, jagged, snow-covered one on the right hand
side of Georgia Strait. I was on the bridge when the sun first
peeped over the mountains, waiting to catch an amplitude at
its first appearance. Before I could see the sun itself, I
could see its light on a high snow-covered mountain on the
left-hand side of the Strait. The pink coloring on the snow
is impossible to describe. I received a thrill which was deep
and genuine. All the scenery that I have seen in the East
is tame compared with this, and I suppose I have seen the
East's best. When we were close to Cape Mudge we slowed down
to swing ship, as we had a couple of hours to spare in order
not to reach Seymour Narrows before slack water. Saw the old
clipper ship "Dashing Wave" on the beach near Cape Mudge.
Went thru Seymour Narrows in a few minutes. The Narrows look
to be only about as wide as Enoree River at Musgrove Mill.
After going thru the narrows I saw snow falling on the mountains
on both sides of the channel. At about 11 A.M. it came down
to the water. It stopped snowing in the afternoon, but started
again. At 5:10 P.M. we anchored in Alert Bay. There is a village
on the bay of a few scattered houses. A cannery is located
here. There are a number of totem poles along the beach, the
first I ever saw outside of captivity. We had a regular wardroom
powwow tonight. Healy is a prince. Glad that I come on watch
with him. Seafaring has brought out the best sides of him.
He is very polite and considerate,-never speaks louder than
a moderate tone, so far at least; but I would hate to reckon
with him in a scrap.
underway at 5:30. Water rough in Queen Charlotte Sound. Got
seasick. We passed between timbered mountains most of the
day. Light snow was down to the water's edge. Heavy snow on
the tops. Day clear and cold. Anchored at 6:08 in McLoughlin
Bay, near Bella Bella. Saw some Indian graves on scaffolds
just before we got into the bay.
up at 3:30. Got underway at 4:00. Passed the old "Sidney" at
about 4:45. At about 7:30 we entered Klemtu Pass. It looked
as if I could have thrown a stone ashore on either side with
my left hand, but they say that appearances here are deceiving.
Anyhow, we passed thru much more narrow water than Seymour Narrows.
During the morning the snow line came right down to the water.
Just after dinner it started snowing lightly, and continued
off and on until night. In the afternoon several waterfalls
were passed. The scenery today was magnificent. Great spruce
covered mountains came right down to the water on both sides.
Great gaping draws led back between the mountains to the Lord
knows where. Most of the mountains had a thick mantle of snow
on top, with snow of more or less thickness all the way down
to the water. On account of the snow it was decided that it
wouldn't be safe to go on tonight, so at 6:26 we dropped anchor
about 3/4 mile south of Kennedy Island. On all sides of us are
mountains of the same kind that I have already described. It
seemed that every mountain had its slides. I suppose there were
hundreds of slides seen. In places the faces of mountains consisted
largely of sheer, bare rock. This is the country for me. I have
been hearing the call of the wild stronger and stronger. I suppose
that it is in my blood.