The Impossible Rescue chapters 3-7

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  • December 18 they leave Tununak and go toward St. Michael
  • Jarvis, don't worry, the first part of the trek will be quick and easy! There is lots of smooth ice.
  • Kalenin, actually, a storm blew the ice away. We had to go inland and cross a range of mountains, dragging the dogs and the sled.
  • So much happens...
  • 1. In St. Michael they trade their heavy wool and dogskin clothing for lighter and warmer deerskin.
  • 3. At Port Clarence they meet Dr. Kettleson who says the reindeer are at Cape Rodney.
  • 4. On January 12 Jarvis, Call, Kettleson, and Mikkel, a herder, leave on 6 sleds for Camp Rodney. Jarvis is almost killed when he is in an accident. He also gets lost in the snow.
  • 2. In Unalakleet they are told the dogs won't make it. They decidee to go to Port Clarence and get reindeer to pull sleds.
  • On the way to Unalakeet, Jarvis learns that the Belvedere is stuck but OK, the Orca is crushed, the Freeman is abandoned, the Newport, Jeannie, and Fearless are locked in the ice. The Rosario is on its side. The Wanderer is missing.
  • Meanwhile, in Point Barrow...
  • Scurvy! My skin is blotched, my joints ache, gums are bleeding, tired, short of breath, high fever, convulsions, disorientation...
  • Jarvis led: Bertholf, Call Koltchoff, Kalenin, four sleds and 41 dogs
  • At Cape Rodney, Jarvis needs to convince Charlie Artisarlook to give up his reindeer and lead them on a rescue mission.
  • Driving reindeer was different from driving dogs. Dogsleds need to be pushed and you walk or run alongside the sled. Reindeer are FAST, so it's ride or be left behind. Reindeer are also easily frightened.
  • Jarvis stated, "I think the 50 miles from Port Clarence to Cape Prince of Wales , the most trying and fearful of all I experienced on the expedition."
  • The inside walls of the bunks are covered in ice 4 inches thick. Some men have scurvy, lamps are lit with seal oil which makes everything, including the men, sooty, there isn't enough water for washing, no discipline.
  • Lopp agrees to give up his reindeer and lead them to Point Barrow
  • I'm going to need all deer and fawns replaced, $150 a month for myself, and my herders need $1/day...then I will leave my wife and my 4 children for months to lead this dangerous journey from which I may never return.
  • Artisarlook agrees to give his reindeer as long as: government agrees to replace the deer; he is paid $30 per month to herd the deer; other herders get paid; and his wife Mary is given food and provisions they can live on til the deer are replaced.
  • Thanks for the seal heart and liver, but what I really need is your reindeer.
  • Blizzard weather, - 30 degrees, a helper disappears, jagged ice, sled capsizes, Jarvis frozen foot, filthy hut with 15 people, darkness, Jarvis slips and falls crashing the sled.
  • Lopp was known as a "good man." He was devoted to the program of teaching reindeer herding to the indigenous people. This rescue mission would demonstrate the value of the program.
  • It's a deal! Thank you for helping on this errand of mercy to save those in distress.
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