August 8, 1874

The water of Old Wives Lake is deeply impregnated with sulphate of soda. It emits a disagreeable smell to the windward as of decayed weeds steeped in brine. The effect of the odour is very nauseating and one cannot stop long upon the banks. Men and horses were actively purged by it. This sulphate of soda is found as a thick deposit on the shores of most of the small neighbouring lakes. No grass grows in the neighbourhood; it is a Dead Sea country. Shooting, however, is very plentiful. Pelicans, ducks, geese and bastard plovers were in abundance. The colonel killed a pelican of immense size and all white, measuring eight feet from tip to tip. About five miles onward. along the shore of the lake, we met Major Macleod who had that morning arrived from the special mission to which I referred previously. He brought with him 4,000 pounds of pemmican and a cartload of dried meat. He did not succeed. however, in getting horses on account of the exorbitant prices demanded for them: $200 were asked for a small pony.

Henri Julien - travelling with the NWMP

Students Filming the 1874 NWMP Trek West

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