back when blogs were pencil and paper

Today’s guest artist: Nicole.  The following are some of Nicole’s favorite excerpts from Edwin F. Glenn’s journal from the 1898 expedition through the Cook Inlet area.  Lt. Glenn, while clearly writing his journal with the intent of compiling his formal military report later, occasionally lets a little of his sense of humor and personality shine through.

12th Camp. August 4th, 98

Although the most unforbidding camp thus far (being in an narrow canon with abrupt sides) we managed to fill in between & over the rocks so that we slept well. Awoke at 5.30. called the camp. Then took a bath in the stream which was very cold indeed but I feel better. Thus far had only bathed my feet. Did not attempt to change underwear but must do so in a few days.

25th Camp. Aug 18th 98.

Slept out of doors with tent under me on a bed of spruce boughs. A splendid rest indeed. The swan & rice was excellent for breakfast. Every one ate heartily. I find tea an excellent thing to drink in the evening & especially when getting into camp to warm up on. Mendenhall failed to get colors in the creek this am. Left camp with train at 9.35 a.m. in crossing the creek the bell mare fell down & would not get up. After lifting her up bridged the creek & brought all the stock across. The travelling was very heavy so much so that we were unable to travel more than a mile per hour. The stock was weary & many of the mules have cut & skinned their legs and especially around the fetlocks. Even on the steep hill & mountain sides we find the travelling heavy from moss & boggy ground. In places a great amount of high willows that are so thick as to require trail cutting. Several miles of small brush intervening kept us in brush all the time. This is very hard on clothing & many days of it will make us all naked. My underwear is playing out rapidly and will scarcely last until my return. We crossed a foothill with an elevation of 3700′ (about 400′ below its summit), and as the stock was worn out and every one wet decided to go into Camp. The brush when wet makes one passing through it wetter than to wade a stream. Schoonhoven put up my tent for me & after putting on my mud shoes I cut some pine boughs & crawled into my sleeping bag quite dry & comfortable where I had a good nights sleep. Drying out in the rain after such a march is neither easy nor amusing. The trail of the last three days is passable but scarcely practicable ­–

52nd Camp Sept 16, 98

This is one of the most picturesque and interesting spots thus far seen in Alaska, and the trail thus far is practicable and as it joins the other about 15 miles from here below all the impracticable parts of the other route have no doubt it will be all right. Hicks remained in Camp all day on account of suffering from piles (his 1st experience) and Billy our indian boy was quite sick yesterday but three com­pound Cathartics fixed him up today. Sheep meat affected me considerably but not enough to stop my eating it thus far.