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, CEDAR AND PINE ISLAND LAKES.
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.