National Geographic : 1956 Jan
27 Snowshoes Anchor His Tent and Clothesline. Campfire Melts a Hole in the Snow campsite until we could stand on it without the webs. We chopped enough firewood to last all night. A storm threatened, so we turned the raft on edge for a windbreak, then ran up a tar paulin between raft and ground, lean-to fashion. We built a platform of green logs as a "floater" to lay the fire on; otherwise it would drop into a pit of its own melting. Then we cleaned the whitefish we had caught. This fish tastes best when skinned. With the temperature hovering around zero, it was a painful job to take off our gloves and use knife and pliers on frozen fish. Like other minor hardships of winter camp ing (for instance, getting out of warm sleep ing bags in the morning to start a fire), this one paid off. Camp pitched and darkness setting in, we relaxed completely, watching the whitefish slowly turning golden in the pan. It was a winter float trip that showed us a rare woodland drama. We had tied our raft to the bank and pushed up a side canyon looking for signs of porcupine and snowshoe rabbit. Snow, deep and fluffy, slowed our progress on webs. We halted for a breather in a clearing among the spruces.