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"The most outstanding characteristic of the people of the Arctic Circle, we found out this past summer, is their hospitality," asserted S. K. Platt 2L in an interview with a CRIMSON reporter yesterday. Platt, with three other University graduate students, A. E. Driscoll 2L, A. P. Leeto 2L, and Pierce Onthank 2 G.B., travelled the waterways of Northern Canada and Alaska during the last summer vacation.
Alone for months at a time, these men were dependent upon their wits and their own energy for life and safety. They went up the Mackenzie river, to its mouth, cut across the Continental Divide over 65 miles of rapids on the Rat river and descended the Yukon to the Pacific.
"We found the Indians of the North and the occasional trappers we met both interesting and friendly," continued Platt. "They always received us with invitations to 'tea' which means in that region the largest meal the home can afford. Their hospitality exceeded that of the most generous families in the South of the United States. In one Indian home in McPherson, a village in the Arctic Circle, Driscoll happened to mention his fondness for apple pie and that evening there were three freshly baked ones awaiting us before we left.
Are Not Inquisitive
"One interesting survival of the Alaskan gold rush of 1848 is the fact that no one in the North ever asks you where you are from. This is a result of the influx of a number of questionable characters during the gold strike, men whom it would have been dangerous to question. Nearly all of the trappers in Arctic Canada and in Alaska for that matter, are gold miners who entered the territory 28 years age and have not been able to leave it. Most of them make from $3,000 to $1,000 a year selling furs to the Hudson Bay Company, but in spite of their comparative prosperity, they do not wish to leave.
Encounter Great Difficulties
"When we started our trip over the Continental Divide these trappers and the Takudhkutchin Indians, who live just south of the Eskimos, predicted that we would never be seen again. When we reached the long rapids of the Rat river, we were inclined to believe them. After losing guns and cameras in upsets in the freezing water and living on short rations, we finally reached Fort Yukon in Alaska. There was perpetual daylight during most of the trip and the mosquitoes were terrible, but the excitement and interest more than made up for our discomfort."
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