|"The morning of April
sixth I found we were in the middle of hummock ice. I calculated about
how far I had come, and I said to my self, ‘If I’m not on the Pole, I’ve
crossed it, so I don’t have to go no further.’ And I said to my Eskimos:
‘We’re going to camp here. Make an igloo.. Commander Peary was forty
five minutes behind. He came up to us as we were building the igloo and
he says, ‘Well, my boy, how many miles have we made today?’ And I
answers, ‘Too many, Commander; I think we crossed the Pole.’ So the
Commander got out his
notebook and figured a bit and he says, ‘I guess you’re right.”
||Last stop before the Pole.
Matt on far left. Notice how the dogs just curl up in
a ball to rest. Also notice the two objects near the center by a shelter
of snow blocks. Those are the alcohol stoves they used to make hot tea and warm up.
[Peary's Diary] Tuesday, Apr. 6 "On the trail again before midnight though I gave the party more
sleep at this camp than at the previous ones, as we were all needing
it, but I wanted to make the next camp in time for a noon sight if the
sun was visible.
Weather thick, like the march after Marvin turned back. A dense
lifeless pall of gray overhead, almost black at the horizon, & the ice
ghastly chalky white with no relief. Like the ice cap, & just the thing
an artist would paint for a Polar Icescape. Striking contrast to the
glittering sunlit fields over which we have been traveling for 4 days,
of my dead reckoning & indicates that I have been conservative in my
estimates as I intended, or that the ice has slacked back or both.
...The going better than ever, hardly any snow on the hard granular surf
last Summers surface of the old floes, the blue lakes larger. The rise
in the temp to -15˚ has reduced friction of the sledges 25% & gives the
dogs appearance of having caught the spirits of the party. The more
sprightly ones as they trot along with tightly curved tails, repeatedly
toss their heads with short barks & yelps. 12 hours on a direct course.
(30 miles) Can I wait to cover those other 5? Not a sign of a lead in
this march. The thick weather gives me less concern than it might, had I
not been forehanded yesterday & fearing a cloud bank in the south took a
latitude sight (89˚ 25'). This is 2 miles ahead. The wind which was from
the east when we started gradually veered to the south & died away.
While we were in camp it blew fresh from the east for some hours."