Tent Life in Siberia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 392 pages of information about Tent Life in Siberia.
to start himself on dog-sledges for the settlement of Okhotsk, where he expected to meet Mahood and Bush.  In this way it was hoped that we should be able in the course of five months to make a rough but tolerably accurate survey of nearly the whole route of the line.  The provisions which we had brought from Petropavlovsk had all been used up, with the exception of some tea, sugar, and a few cans of preserved beef; but we obtained at Gizhiga two or three puds (poods) [Footnote:  One pud = 36 lbs.] of black rye-bread, four or five frozen reindeer, some salt, and an abundant supply of yukala or dried fish.  These, with some tea and sugar, and a few cakes of frozen milk, made up our store of provisions.  We provided ourselves also with six or eight puds of Circassian leaf tobacco to be used instead of money; divided equally our little store of beads, pipes, knives, and trading-goods, purchased new suits of furs throughout, and made every preparation for three or four months of camp life in an arctic climate.  The Russian governor ordered six of his Cossacks to transport Dodd and me on dog-sledges as far as the Korak village of Shestakova, and sent word to Penzhina by the returning Anadyrsk people to have three or four men and dog-teams at the former place by December 20th, ready to carry us on to Penzhina and Anadyrsk.  We engaged an old and experienced Cossack named Gregorie Zinovief as guide and Chukchi interpreter, hired a young Russian called Yagor as cook and aid-de-camp (in the literal sense), packed our stores on our sledges and secured them with lashings of sealskin thongs, and by December 13th were ready to take the field.  That evening the Major delivered to us our instructions.  They were simply to follow the regular sledge road to Anadyrsk via Shestakova and Penzhina, to ascertain what facilities it offered in the way of timber and soil for the construction of a telegraph line, to set the natives at work cutting poles at Penzhina and Anadyrsk, and to make side explorations where possible in search of timbered rivers connecting Penzhinsk Gulf with Bering Sea.  Late in the spring we were to return to Gizhiga with all the information which we could gather relative to the country between that point and the Arctic Circle.  The Major himself would remain at Gizhiga until about December 17th, and then leave on dog-sledges with Viushin and a small party of Cossacks for the settlement of Okhotsk.  If he made a junction with Mahood and Bush, at that place, he would return at once, and meet us again at Gizhiga by the first of April, 1866.

CHAPTER XXIII

DOG-SLEDGE TRAVEL—­ARCTIC MIRAGES—­CAMP AT NIGHT—­A HOWLING CHORUS—­NORTHERN LIGHTS

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Tent Life in Siberia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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