-C. . ,$5-
Sunday, the 2nd of July, found us in camp on the bank of this
river, at the foot of the lower fall-a wild and beautiful cataract.
The weather was very warm and the black flies and mosquitoes
swarmed in the woods and about camp, nor did they appear to have
the customary aversion to a smudge, for dense smokes were made, and
the flies only appeared to revel in them.
Some photographs were obtained of the flies and the falls, whilst
during the morning at the foot of the rapids our fishery department
secured a number of magnificent whitefish and trout, two of which
latter measured 3 ft. 2 in. and 3 ft. I in. in length respectively.
Our camp was not only situated at the foot of a beautiful water-
fall, but in consequence was at the lower end of a rough and rocky
portage, which was found to be three miles in length.
We had, at this early stage of our journey, in the neighborhood
of four thousand pounds of cargo to be transported, and unfortunately
one of our men, Jim, was laid up with a gash in his leg; but on Monday
morning, being fresh and in high spirits, the men went at their work
with a rush, notwithstanding a 200 feet rocky hill which had to be
climbed and a deep muskeg which had to be waded through. Before
night, spirits were away down, and every man's feet in the party,
excepting those of Jim,'who had already a game leg, were fearfillly
Each packer had carried six loads to the opposite end of the
portage, representing a walk of thirty-three miles, eighteen of which
were travelled under heavy loads.
Camp was pitched with some satisfaction at the upper end of
the portage. Two more loads for the party, however, remained at
the foot of the rapids. On the following morning these were carried
by our limping, back-aching packers to camp, and thence our traverse
of the river. was resumed.
Early on the afternoon of the same day we reached the upper
fall of the Stone River, and found ourselves at the foot of a second
long portage. On account of the condition of the men, camp was
now ordered to be pitched so as to give them a chance to rest, but
my brother and I walked across the portage, which we found to be
three and one-half miles in length. Its upper end terminated upon
the shore of Black Lake, where it was thought we might see some
native Indians who could be hired to assist us across the portage;
but in this we were disappointed, finding, instead of Indians, only
old forsaken tepee poles and blackened fireplaces.
The weather being extremely warm, and ourselves very weary,
we tried to rest for awhile upon the shore of the lake, but the flies
swarmed about us with such frightful fury that we were obliged to
beat a retreat and seek rest where alone it could be found, viz, be-
neath our mosquito nets at camp.
By the way, there is a Chippeweyan tradition which credits the
Great Spirit with having first made black flies upon this very port-
age. (I have not the slightest doubt as to the truth of the legend.)
About two days were occupied in portaging our outfit to the
shore of Black Lake; then on the 7th instant, starting out in a north-