Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
trees were covered with yellow-white blossoms. Others bore red blossoms. Many of the big trees, of different kinds, were buttressed at the base with great thin walls of wood. Others, including both palms and ordinary trees, showed an even stranger peculiarity. The trunk, near the base, but sometimes six or eight feet from the ground, was split into a dozen or twenty branches or small trunks which sloped outward in tentlike shape, each becoming a root. The larger trees of this type looked as if their trunks were seated on the tops of the pole frames of Indian tepees. At one point in the stream, to our great surprise, we saw a flyingfish. It skimmed the water like a swallow for over twenty yards.
Although we made only ten kilometres we worked hard all day. The last canoes were brought down and moored to the bank at nightfall. Our tents were pitched in the darkness.
Next day we made thirteen kilometres. We ran, all told, a little over an hour and threequarters. Seven hours were spent in getting past a series of rapids at which the portage, over rocky and difficult ground, was a kilometre long. The canoes were run down emptya hazardous run, in which one of them upset.
Yet while we were actually on the river, paddling and floating downstream along the reaches of swift, smooth water, it was very lovely. When we started in the morning the day was overcast and the air was heavy with vapor. Ahead of us the shrouded river stretched between dim walls of forest, halfseen in the mist. Then the sun burned up the fog, and loomed through it in a red splendor that changed first to gold and then to molten