“Fort Reliance was reached on the 1st of September, and Forty Mile River (Cone-Hill River of Schwatka) on the 7th. In the interval between Fort Reliance and Forty Mile River there were several days lost by rain.
“At Forty Mile River I made some arrangements with the traders there (Messrs. Harper & McQuestion) about supplies during the winter, and about getting Indians to assist me in crossing from the Yukon to the head of the Porcupine, or perhaps on to the Peel River. I then made a survey of the Forty Mile River up to the canon. I found the canon would be difficult of ascent, and dangerous to descend, and therefore, concluded to defer further operations until the winter, and until after I had determined the longitude of my winter post near the boundary, when I would be in a much better position to locate the intersection of the International Boundary with this river, a point important to determine on account of the number and richness of the mining claims on the river.
“I left Forty Mile River for the boundary line between Alaska and the Northwest Territories on the 12th September, and finished the survey to that point on the 14th. I then spent two days in examining the valley of the river in the vicinity of the boundary to get the most extensive view of the horizon possible, and to find a tree large enough to serve for a transit stand.
“Before leaving Toronto I got Mr. Foster to make large brass plates with V’s on them, which could be screwed firmly to a stump, and thus be made to serve as a transit stand. I required a stump at least 22 inches in diameter to make a base large enough for the plates when properly placed for the transit. In a search which covered about four miles of the river bank, on both sides, I found only one tree as large as 18 inches. I mention this fact to give an idea of the size of the trees along the river in this vicinity. I had this stump enlarged by firmly fixing pieces on the sides so as to bring it up to the requisite size. This done, I built around the stump a small transit house of the ordinary form and then mounted and adjusted my transit. Meanwhile, most of the party were busy preparing our winter quarters and building a magnetic observatory. As I had been led to expect extremely low temperatures during the winter, I adopted precautionary measures, so as to be as comfortable as circumstances would permit during our stay there.
“I will now give, from my own observation and from information received, a more detailed description of the Lewes River, its affluent streams, and the resources of the adjacent country.
“For the purpose of navigation a description of the Lewes River begins at the head of Lake Bennet. Above that point, and between it and Lake Lindeman, there is only about three-quarters of a mile of river, which is not more than fifty or sixty yards wide, and two or three feet deep, and is so swift and rough that navigation is out of the question.