Northward: Peary’s 1908-09 Expedition

The Pole at last!!!


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Robert Peary, The Pole at Last

On the trail again before midnight though I gave 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 grey 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 travelling for 4 days, canopied with blue + lit by the sun + full moon. The going better than ever, hardly any snow on the hard granular surf[ace] 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 curled 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 Pole at last!!! The prize of 3 countries, my dream + ambition for 23 years. Mine at last.
    I cannot bring myself to realize it. It all seems so simple + common place, as Bartlett said "just like every day".
 I wish Jo could be here with me to share my feelings, I have drunk her health + that of the kids from the Benedictine flask she sent me.        

Pictured above:
North Pole, April 6, 1909, Glass Lantern Slide, ID: 3000.32.1824

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