Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
VIII. The River of Doubt
ON February 27, 1914, shortly after midday, we started down the River of Doubt into the unknown. We were quite uncertain whether after a week we should find ourselves in the Gy-Paran&á, or after six weeks in the Madeira, or after three months we knew not where. That was why the river was rightly christened the Dúvida.
We had been camped close to the river, where the trail that follows the telegraphline crosses it by a rough bridge. As our laden dugouts swung into the stream, Amilcar and Miller and all the others of the Gy-Paran&á party were on the banks and the bridge to wave farewell and wish us good-by and good luck. It was the height of the rainy season, and the swollen torrent was swift and brown. Our camp was at about 12° 1´ latitude south and 60° 15´ longitude west of Greenwich. Our general course was to be northward toward the equator, by waterway through the vast forest.
We had seven canoes, all of them dugouts. One was small, one was cranky, and two were old, waterlogged, and leaky. The other three were good. The two old canoes were lashed together, and the cranky one was lashed to one of the others. Kermit with two paddlers