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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 371

his northern contemporary. At the many carries or portages the light birch-bark canoe or its modern representative, the canvas-covered canoe, can be picked up bodily and carried by from two to four men for several miles, if necessary, while the log canoe has to be hauled by ropes and back-breaking labor over rollers that have first to be cut from trees in the forest, or at great risk led along the edge of the rapids with ropes and hooks and poles, the men often up to their shoulders in the rushing waters, guiding the craft to a place of safety.
  The native canoe is so long and heavy that it is difficult to navigate without some bumps on the rocks. In fact, it is usually dragged over the rocks in the shallow water near shore in preferance to taking the risk of a plunge through the rushing volume of deeper water, for reasons stated above. The North American canoe can be turned with greater facility in critical moments in bad water. Many a time I heard my steersman exclaim with delight as we took a difficult passage between two rocks with our loaded Canadian canoe. In making the same passage the dugout would go sideways toward the rapid until by a supreme effort her three powerful paddlers and steersman would right her just in time. The native canoe would ship great quantities of water in places the Canadian canoe came through without taking any water on board. We did bump a few rocks under water, but the canoe was so elastic that no damage was done.
  Our nineteen-foot canvas-covered freight canoe, a type especially built for the purpose on deep, full lines with high free-board, weighed about one hundred and