"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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September 29, 1926

September 29

There was no particular event to mark the day, other than that we were all pretty well tired when we reached the point with the fine view where we camped with Saleh on the night of the 25th. I have been going pretty fast as I want to get our three cripples back to camp where they can get a better dressing for their wounds and can give them a rest. If there is a worse trail anywhere in the world than the one we have just been over, I don't want to try it. We had our noon meal at the stream which flows at the foot of the big quartz cliff. Here it cuts through a formation of gray gneiss which is studded thickly with big square crystals of pyrites. Many of the crystals are more than an inch across. I should like to have brought back some samples of this rock filled with crystals but we have too much to carry as it is, so I contented myself with a few big crystals, which are easily separated from the rock. This evening, as before, from here we watched the rain sweeping down {p. 276} the two big canyons to join at this point. However, today it was much later in reaching us. I am anxious in the morning to get another clear view of the mountains and check back over the region we have just travelled. Every morning the mountains are clear until about 8:30 A.M. and the canyons below [are] filled with a sea of white fog.

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