Some miles from Afognak the baidarkas drew up side by side in a long, even line, our baidarka joining in. Drasti and Chemi came to me from all sides, for I had from time to time met most of the native hunters of this island, and they seemed to regard me as quite one of them.
[Footnote 6: Russian and Aleut for “How do you do?”]
When all the straggling baidarkas had caught up and taken their places in the line, the chief gave the word Kedar ("Come on"), and we all paddled forward, and just as the sun was rising above the hills we reached our journey’s end.
Two days later my friend joined me. He also had been successful, and had killed a good sized male bear in Little Uganuk Bay on Kadiak Island.
Our bear hunt was now over, and we had been fortunate in accomplishing all we had hoped for.
THE WHITE SHEEP OF KENAI PENINSULA
The last of July Blake and I sailed from the Kadiak Islands, and one week later were landed at the little settlement of Kenai, on the Kenai Peninsula.
The mountains of this region are unquestionably the finest big-game shooting grounds in North America at the present day. Here one may expect to find four different kinds of bears—black, two species of brown, and the Alaska grizzly—the largest of moose, and the Kenai form of the white sheep (Ovis dalli).
These hills lie back from the coast some thirty miles, and may be reached by one of several rivers. It takes a couple of days to ascend some of these streams, but we determined to select a country more difficult to enter, thinking it would be less often visited by the local native hunters. We therefore chose the mountains lying adjacent to the Kenai Lake—a district which it took from a week to ten days to reach.
On August 14, shortly after noon, we started up the river which was to lead us to our shooting grounds. One cannot oppose the great tides of Cook Inlet, and all plans are based on them. Therefore we did not leave until the flood, when we were carried up the stream some twelve miles—the tide limit—where we camped.
The next morning we were up at daylight, for at this point began the hard river work. There was much brush on the banks, but our natives proved themselves most expert in passing the line, for from now on until we reached the lake our boats had to be towed against a swift current.
That day we made about eight miles, and camped shortly after five o’clock. It rained hard during the night, and the next morning broke cloudy. The river for the first two days wound through the lowlands, but from this point on the banks seemed higher and the current perceptibly swifter, while breaking water showed the presence of rocks under the surface. The country back from the stream began to be more rolling, and as the river occasionally made some bold bend the Kenai Mountains could be seen in the distance.