National Geographic : 1917 Jan
Photograph by R. F. Griggs ASH SLIDES IN UPPER KATMAI VALLEY "Wherever the mountains were precipitous and too steep for the ash to stick, it slid down into the valley, covering the lower slopes with great fans of sand" (see text, page 34) of this stream as it wrestled with the pumice in its bed. Dammed up in the failure of a previous attempt, it would gradually accumulate enough energy for a new effort. Then suddenly breaking loose from its bonds, it would rush for ward down the slope, pushing a pile of pumice before it, as though to engulf the onlooker, writhing this way and that like a live thing, picking up pieces of pumice and floating them along as it came. Be fore it had gone far, however, its new load would literally choke it, and it would give up the struggle in a hiss of grating pumice stones. It was quite a problem to secure water from such streams. The water always carried such quantities of large angular pumice fragments, not to speak of sand and mud, that it was out of the question to attempt to wash in the brooks. If we tried, the pumice would so grind into our flesh as to prohibit any further efforts at cleanliness. But while washing is a mat ter of choice, one must drink whether or no. We were obliged everywhere to strain our water through one of our food bags. Often we would have to strain a quart of pumice to get a pint of water. The stream changed so rapidly that we sometimes had to move before we could fill a bucket. Straining, of course, re moved only the coarser grit. At one of the camps our water was so full of mud that Mr. Folsom refused to wash his face for three days, because he "did not want to dirty it with the water we had to drink." CAVERNS FORMED BY SNOW MELTING BENEATH TIHE ASH The day after crossing Soluka Creek we climbed the mountain to the west in hopes of seeing the volcano, for we feared lest the fine weather which had favored us would come to an end before we should attain our object. Our quest, however, was vain, for when we reached the summit we found that another sum mit, not marked on our map, cut off our view so that we could not see Mount Kat mai. This we called Barrier Mountain.