National Geographic : 1951 Jul
66 Wrestling a Canoe Through Gull Island Rapid Requires a Mountain Goat's Footwork For 34 days last summer a four-man National Geographic party paddled and portaged across Labrador's wilds. A few tough situations brought discomforts. In shallows the men dragged their craft against the current. Here, on the raging Hamilton, they check a canoe's downstream plunge (page 98). bec-Labrador iron strike area, flew our Na tional Geographic party into the interior. This courtesy let us start canoeing at the top of the country. The LEC flies DC-3's between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and an airstrip ten miles by road from their Burnt Creek base camp (page 74). Trucks, jeeps, bulldozers, heavy mining and construction machinery, as well as hundreds of men and the food to feed them, all have been flown in over the "Labrador hump." By jeep from Burnt Creek we visited the iron deposits whose metal soon may find its way into American automobiles, structural steel, refrigerators, and rails. Dr. Albert E. Moss, geologist, took us to drill sites where crews worked round the clock, mapping limits of the ore bodies (page 75). The LEC had 'dozed out 150 miles of roads to their iron beds. A road to Astray Lake in the Ashuanipi basin sped our plunge into the bush. A truck bounced us out to the tip of that last antenna of civilization. On a Sunday afternoon we launched our canoes and slipped away into the silent wastes. John Michelin, our head guide, took the helm and Andrew Brown the forward paddle of bright-red Loon, Leslie Michelin the stern and Ralph Gray the bow of sky-blue Trout. A few times during our journey we shifted canoes for photographic purposes. The guides always protested; they became attached to their respective craft. We leaned to our paddles; clear water boiled from the blades. Wooded points and islands lured us into the unknown. The canoes raced side by side through the unfold ing beauty and majesty of an unspoiled land.