10 Up the Ussuri
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79 Up the Ussuri Daily Routine on the Trail. The Village of Uspenka. Crossing the Ussuri. The Daubikhe and Ulakhe Rivers. The Marsh. The Bee Hunt. Battle between Bees and Ants. A Manchurian Hare. A Gold of the Yukomika Tribe. Dry Haze. Thedutiesassignedtoexpeditionmemberswereasfollows:G.I.Granatman was charged with maintaining and feeding the horses, A. I. Merzlyakov was to conduct tangential assignments as needed (such as exploring side drainages), I was in charge of ethnographical studies and cartography, and N. A. Palchevsky would head straight for Olga Bay, wherehewouldcollectvegetationsamplesuntilthedetachmentarrived, and would then join us to travel further north along the coast. The daily routine on the expedition was as follows: one member of the group, on a two-week duty cycle, woke earlier than the rest of the team. He made porridge of some kind, warmed the tea, and woke everyone else once it was ready. Packing up camp took about an hour, and we’d start on the trail between approximately seven and eight o’clock. Around noon we’d take a long break where the horses were unbridled and allowed to graze. We ate hot meals twice a day, in morning and in evening, and for a snack during the day we drank tea and ate sukhari, or ate flatbread made the previous day. We’d start off again at about one o’clock, and walk until about four. We were able to cover 15 to 25 kilometers a day, depending on the terrain,theweather,andthekindsofthingswedidalongtheway.Camp1O 80 The 1906 Expedition sites were always located somewhere near a stream. As the meal was prepared and tents set up, I had time to finish describing the route we had just walked. My colleagues dried plants, prepared bird specimens, packedinsectsinboxes,andcatalogedgeologicalmaterial.Wecombined ourlunchanddinnerintoonemealthatweateataboutfiveo’clock.After that, rifle in hand, I’d investigate our surroundings, sometimes going so far that I wouldn’t make it back until after nightfall. The darkness would catch me on the trail, and those walks on moonlit nights in the forest have left indelible impressions on me. At about nine o’clock at night we’d drink tea one last time, then the riflemen would go about their own business cleaning rifles, mending clothes and footwear, straightening the saddles, and so on. During this time I’d record observations from the day in my journal. There’s no time for boredom on an expedition. Each day is so exhausting that you can barely drag yourself to the next campsite. A tent, a fire, and a warm blanket seem like the best things on earth that no city hotel can ever compare to. You drink some hot tea as quickly as possible, then crawl into your sleeping bag and sleep as only the truly tired can. We walked every day, taking days off only as needed such as when a horse took ill, a saddle broke, and something of that nature. If our surroundings were interesting, we’d linger for two days or sometimes more. Experience has taught me that walking in heavy rain does more harmthangoodasyoudon’tgetveryfar,themenandhorsestirequickly, saddles ruin, the plane table gets wet, et cetera.1 As a result you end up hiking in the poor weather, then wasting a sunny day in a tent cleaning up, finishing a journal entry, and making calculations while you wait for everything to dry out. On May 19th, the start date of our expedition, we all woke early but ended up setting off late. This was expected, as the first time everything ispackedupalwaystakesawhile,butwithexperienceeveryonebecomes 1. A plane table, in rare use today, was once an essential tool for small-scale topographic or survey work. It consists of a piece of survey paper on a level board (often supported by a tripod). A surveyor stops periodically, sets up the plane table, and uses a measuring device (called an alidade) to create scale drawings of surroundings by measuring angles and distances to reference points, then converting this to scale using the alidade (Venkatramaiah 1996). Up the Ussuri 81 accustomedtothedailyroutine.Eachgottoknowtheirhorse,theirpack, what things they’re supposed to be carrying, what should be packed first and last, and what items they’ll need for that day’s hike and first thing at the next camp. On the first day all expedition members were cheerful and happy. It was hot and sunny, with not a single cloud in the sky, although the air was humid. The muddy dirt road between the villages of Shmakovka and Uspenka shadowed the crest of Khandodinzasy...


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Subject Headings

  • Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China) -- Description and travel.
  • Natural history -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
  • Dersu Uzala.
  • Arsenʹev, V. K. (Vladimir Klavdievich), 1872-1930 -- Travel -- Ussuri River Valley (Russia and China).
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