The Journey to the Polar Sea, by John Franklin

 -  Their fears however on this occasion
were fortunately groundless.

By noon on the 12th, the boats and their cargoes having - Page 70
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Their Fears However On This Occasion Were Fortunately Groundless.

By noon on the 12th, the boats and their cargoes having been conveyed across the portage, we embarked and pursued our course.

The Saskatchewan becomes wider above the Grand Rapid and the scenery improves. The banks are high, composed of white clay and limestone, and their summits are richly clothed with a variety of firs, poplars, birches and willows. The current runs with great rapidity and the channel is in many places intricate and dangerous from broken ridges of rock jutting into the stream. We pitched our tents at the entrance of Cross Lake, having advanced only five miles and a half.


Cross Lake is extensive, running towards the north-east it is said for forty miles. We crossed it at a narrow part and, pulling through several winding channels formed by a group of islands, entered Cedar Lake which, next to Lake Winnipeg, is the largest sheet of fresh water we had hitherto seen. Ducks and geese resort hither in immense flocks in the spring and autumn. These birds are now beginning to go off owing to its muddy shores having become quite hard through the nightly frosts. At this place the Aurora Borealis was extremely brilliant in the night, its coruscations darting at times over the whole sky and assuming various prismatic tints of which the violet and yellow were predominant.

After pulling, on the 14th, seven miles and a quarter on the lake, a violent wind drove us for shelter to a small island, or rather a ridge of rolled stones thrown up by the frequent storms which agitate this lake. The weather did not moderate the whole day and we were obliged to pass the night on this exposed spot.

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