usually made so that the triangulation and topographic parties
can operate from one camp and the organization is as follows:
1 officer 1 officer
3 men 3 men
2 horses 2 horses
difficulty in separating the triangulation and the topographic
parties is that the four horses have to be divided, and since
this is their third year together it is difficult to keep them
separated. They will invariably break away at night and return
to the base camp, leaving one of the parties without a horse.
characteristic of the triangulation is the long hikes which
are occasionally necessary to reach a station, and which supply
the principal argument in favor of horse packing over back packing.
The terrain is soft and by midsummer the heavy growth of grass
is waist high. Large lagoons, some a mile and a half in diameter,
impounded behind barrier beaches make lengthy detours necessary
to reach the inshore stations. On occasions Ensign Conerly and
his recorder made hikes of twenty miles in one day and once
went this distance and occupied two triangulation stations.
Obviously, this requires excellent stamina and much determination.
are wintered at False Pass, where they furnish much amusement
to the local residents and in turn receive a great deal of attention.
When the GUIDE arrived in the spring the horses immediately
disappeared and failed to return that evening for their oats
and hay. The caretaker said that that was the first night all
winter they had failed to return. The conclusion was inescapable
that we were not welcome or at least that they knew what our
arrival meant in the way of work. Their season started with
a 70-mile trip from False Pass to Cape Sarichef, much of it
over rocky ground and up and down steep ravines. (It was down
one of these steep ravines that "Nip" fell and was killed just
before the end of the season.) [Nipper Cove on the northwest
coast of Unimak Island is named in memory of this horse.]
has to be made "under bare poles," so to speak, with meager
food supplies for both men and horses, as it requires about
six days. Hay cannot be carried on this trip and the horse feed
is limited to oats and what dry grass they can find along the
way. The grazing season does not start until the first part
of July and prior to this time the ship has to carry a supply
of hay and land it at the various camps. Hayseed seems to get
into everything about the ship during that part of the season.
Top of Page -