NA next day we parted. Udeheytsy got into the boats and wishing us luck, pushed off from the shore. When both ulimagdy reached a threshold, udeheytsy again sent us greetings hands and disappeared in the stone trap. We were alone, and immediately felt cut off from the world, inhabited by people. Now we had to perform the most difficult part of the journey.
I did not want to waste time and suggested to my companions for the journey. By making heavy knapsacks, we went on a little key Uolyani Zhang, is a mountain stream in the twenty miles long and flows through raspadku between two spurs of the main divide. The western slope of the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, facing the river Gobilli, covered with mixed forest, which bore the marks of the fire. On the ground, the fires grew tonkostvolnye birch at the age of fifteen to twenty years. Trees grew strangely, in a highly inclined position, other vertices quite crouched to the ground, which can probably be attributed to icing in the winter. At the very beginning of a river split into three small brook. Mindful indication udeheytsami this, we went to the right. Climb to the crest of the Sikhote-Alin mountain was so steep that forced us to move in zigzags and climb on all fours, clutching at the roots of trees. Best pass was a saddle height of 1 200 meters above sea level, covered with forest, consisting of spruce, fir, birch and larch. When he reached the top, we sat down to rest. Zhang Bao lay down and immediately stood up.
- Sui nude (water is) - he said confidently.
We began to listen, and, really, somewhere deep under the ground trickle water flowed. We quickly began to throw stones and a few minutes from the new source of pure water ice. Here we spent the night.
The next morning everyone got up before the sun and divided into three parts. I and Zhang Bao went south along the watershed.
Sikhote-Alin is a high ridge, which extends in a direction from north-east to south-west and is composed of a series of flat tops covered with talus. The wreckage of the rock are so evenly and firmly, that you might think, as if on purpose to anyone Fit together. At the crest of the watershed forests not only the vast tundra reindeer moss scattered solitary bushes of wild rosemary and cedar stlantsa. I expected that after the rain clears the atmosphere, but beyond all expectations of the air was filled with mist. It sank not only distant hills, but those that were in the vicinity. The sky and clouds were big then open and close the sun, making it cheerful panorama taken, the gloomy view, in conformity with this instilling in us the hope that doubt.
I sat on a rock and began to sketch the profile rising above the mountain ranges in the distance.
For a while, I sat still and looked at the tablet. When I raised my head, I suddenly saw - on top of a nearby animal slate-brown color with a strange elongated head and large branched antlers. It was a reindeer. He apparently sensed me and fled. A minute later the animal was hidden in a hollow, overgrown with pine stlantsem.
By the way, a word of reindeer. The southern boundary of its distribution in the Ussuri region extends from the river upstream through Salas Khungari, then Anyuya, upper Mines and tapers at the sea near Cape Assumption. But even in these places, it is small and rests on the tops of mountains Goltz, where there is enough food.
Orochi call it Yew and kill him only when he accidentally falls under the shot.
On Friday, July 27, we started walking down the watershed. The next day I spotted chronometer correction, and in the afternoon took the altitude of the sun.
The silence of the woods, echoes and gloomy sky heralded bad weather. When we made camp, began to rain. Despite the bad weather, were all cheerfully set. The knowledge that we have passed the Sikhote-Alin mountain range and is now going down the water running to the sea, pleased my companions. But their joy was premature, because the success of our company depend on many factors and mainly on how soon be able to find the Orochi River Hutu.
The eastern slope of the Sikhote-Alin is flatter than western, and is composed as by several large terraces. Mountain Brook, served us a clue, then dash down down small cascades, then seeped under the moss, zabolachivaya soil, sometimes for a considerable distance.
August 2nd our little party reached the place where the party runs into Booth. Before us there was a large swampy valley, on all sides by low hills furnished, having a form of diffuse hills. A landscape that is typical of the foothills of the Sikhote-Alin. Broad, slightly hilly plain was covered with sphagnum moss and rare larch. There was no sign of beasts, no birds, no insects. Whistling of the wind running through the tops of trees poluzasohshih, further aggravated the impression of forest wilderness. Passing swamp, I somehow separated from the squad, and looking from side to his companions, he saw that each of them is surrounded by a cloud of light as mist. It hovered above them gnats and mosquitoes. In the evening we reached the mouth of the river Parga. After the rains, it has spread in many places flooded swamp.
Five kilometers gradually began to take shape again nature of the mountainous country, became drier, but started dating nepropuski. The reader, perhaps, does not know what "nepropusk." It is a mountain spur, appropriate to the river closely. At the foot of it is formed by deep water, and therefore bypass it from the river can not. Necessary with heavy knapsacks climb steep slopes.
Nepropusk to take one, sometimes it takes half a day time and a lot of strength.
This transition seemed very tedious, in particular, he was given hard SF Gusev, who has got into the forest for the first time. Venerable geologist did not had a sense of orientation, often fall behind, lost our trail and go to the side. Every time I had to look for it and wasting your valuable time. Shortsighted, he could not see without my glasses, and the glasses are lost, and then he had absolutely nothing to see. Dry spruce Gusev took over the cliff, and talked to stump and jumped over a ditch, where it did not exist at all. But the most biggest weakness was his utter helplessness. There are some people that happen all sorts of nasty stories. Tent collapse on anyone else, but it is him. Once he got his bare foot into the pot of porridge, the second time he dropped the soap in the river, and, reaching for him, he fell into the water. Not noticing that one strap stretched, Gusev has long carried a knapsack over one shoulder, causing suffering physically. Once we have given him to carry an aluminum pot. Gusev tied it so that the lid wobbled and rang. I expected to kill any animal in a way, but its ringing Gusev prevented hunting. He led the way, and I take the shot and a little behind. I asked the Cossack catch Gusev and bind bowler, as it should.
- No, - said the Cossack. - Let him go like that. If he loses, it will be easier to find in the forest.
Absentmindedly Gusev, going on a journey, took with him unequal underwear sets: three pants and an old shirt, one that will soon tear up. Then he took the initiative and managed to put on pants instead of a shirt. On his chest he made a saltire with the buttons, and behind the bubble, inflatable wind. Footstraps white trousers he cut and tied around the hands, so that turned puffed sleeves. In this strange garb Gusev was like mercenaries. First, we all die laughing, but then got used to it along.
The reader should not think that Gusev was a laughingstock of my companions. We all treated him with respect and sympathy of his unfitness and tried hard to help him. I was most to blame myself, because a man took, little suited to the wandering in the forest.
August 5th we reached the mouth of the Adelie Booth. Hence it was possible to sail boats. We decided to peck two ulimagdy. Found suitable trees, piled them and strip the bark off. In the manufacture of boats took four days.
By the way the dawn began at the silence in the woods and quickly running clouds in the sky could be seen, which is again going to be foul weather. Indeed, at eight o'clock in the morning the first drops of rain hit the ground. Lack of food forced us to hurry. The river was muddy and was on the profit, and the boats were made skillfully enough, heavy, clumsy. On the first day a small ulimagda crashed on the rocks. People had time to get on the windfall, and the tent, camera and much of the food died. Then we split into two groups: one with loads followed by boat, and the other was on foot. By the evening of August 11, we reached a high rocky hill. Cossacks began to organize a camp, and I went up the mountain to see if there were any smoke, indicating the presence of people. Top I would be clearly seen Valley Booth. Near the left rocky shore on the rocks foaming water. Low right bank came forward edge. The river makes a turn. At the end of the low-lying coast, bent, grew a big old tree. Back at camp, I said Krylov, so tomorrow he kept the boat close to the old eating and away from the left bank, where a lot of dangerous rocks.
I must say that a trip on Ussuri region, and especially sailing through mountain taiga rivers, associated with such a surprise that in advance to be sure of the performance of the planned route is not possible. So it was with us. At night, the old - "Natulya" fir fell into the water and got stuck on top of the rocks on the left bank, and we, suspecting nothing, got into a boat and sailed down the river, trying to keep the right bank. At the turn ulimagdu picked up a strong jet of water, and this time I saw the unfortunate tree. Her butt was on the shore, and the trunk was almost touching the water, twigs were turned adrift. We had not time to grab the poles as spruce speed fast running train bearing down on us at once. Next happened something which I could not quite aware. I remember the water around him, then went to some green stripes and stones, like drums, put on each other. Something to hold me by the shirt, but soon released. Then I came up to the surface and breathed in deeply. In front of the water seemed oblomlenny bow, next sailed poles and some other things. I realized that we should go with the flow, going to the beach. Soon my hands touched the floor, and I stood up.
Accident without its casualties. With great difficulty we got the boat out of the fin. It was empty and so broken, that was not suitable for swimming. All property is lost: guns, food, camping equipment, spare clothes. It remains only that which was consuming; I - belt knife, a pencil, a notebook and zasmolennaya jar with matches. Used the whole day in search of a drowned property, but found nothing.
Was a sad picture of our camp. Everyone understood the seriousness of the situation: cut way back, on Gobilli had no boats, no people. There was one - to go ahead without any hope to find help. We had to decide which side of the river to keep. Undoubtedly, further river becomes wider and wet, and the crossing will be difficult. Somehow, it seemed that the more convenient to go left bank. At one point, Booth broke into two branches, piled fin on which we crossed the river. It was a mistake, as it turned out a few days later. Left coast was hilly, frequent nepropuski forced us to climb the cliff and spend their last forces.
It is difficult to convey in words the feeling of hunger. On the way to pick mushrooms, of which nausea. My companions were haggard and weak. The first was to keep Gusev. One time he did not come for a long time. When I returned I found him lying under a big tree. He said that he decided to stay here to fate. I persuaded Gusev go further, but a kilometer and a half he again fell behind. Then I decided that it was between the Cossacks that they were following him and constantly encouraged.
On the third day in the evening, Zhang Bao found dead nasty smelling fish. People rushed to her, but the dogs ahead of them and in no time eaten carrion. Exhausted, hungry people are sad, and walked silently side by side. Just to get to the river Hutu. In it, we have seen your salvation.
We all suffered terribly from midges, especially a lot of it appears in the second half of the day, when the sun began to descend. With joy we met evening sunset, twilight and darkness of night to rest from the horrible "gnats" *.
* So called Siberian midge.
On the fourth day we reached the swamp Carr, had to climb the cliff again. At this time, the young grouse Alpa caught and began to eat quickly. I ran up to her to take prey. The dog ran off and tried to eat more grouse. I yelled at her, took the bird and chewed the first time in my life pushed his foot Alps. She stepped to the side and looked at me wrong. On the same day in the evening we killed it and the meat was divided into parts. Poor Alps! For eight years she shared with me the hardships of camp life. His death, she saved me and my companions.
Meanwhile, from Gusev was something wrong. He fell into a depression and was silent for a long time, then suddenly began to rave with open eyes. Gusev went twice, the Cossacks chased him and brought back by force. Scurvy, I was not afraid, because we eat the stems butterbur and bird cherry, typhoid bacteria was not there in the forest, but from exhaustion people can be reduced to a pulp and fall to the ground. I noticed that the halts were made more and more often. The Cossacks did not sit down and just fell to the ground and lay there for a long time, covering his face with his hands.
Finally, on August 16 we reached the confluence of the Hutu and Booth. Or through one way or another through the cross was not: we had no ax, or ropes to make a raft, had no strength to swim to the other side of the river.
One time it took to transfer through the small groove pole 7 meters in length and thickness of an ordinary beer bottle. Six of us, we were unable to move it to a distance of sixty paces. She slipped out of his hands and looked incredibly heavy.
August 17 rose to their feet when I, Zhang Bao and Dzyul. My companions were in a strange state: superstitious, began to believe in dreams, omens, and quarrel over trifles. We were all as neurotic.
Some crow flew over the river and saw people lying on the beach and sat on a nearby tree and croaked twice. Gusev suddenly jumped up.
- Raven, crow! - He shouted wildly and ran into the woods for a bird.
Behind him stood up the joint and Dimov and with the same cries of "crow, raven," rushed in pursuit of Gusev. I too had fled, but suddenly came to his senses.
- Wait, crazy! - I yelled his might. - Where are you running?
Stocks stood and began to call Dimova. Little by little, everything calmed down and went to search Gusev. They found him in the bushes of down wind. He was lying on the ground face down and whispered something. In his eyes were tears. Gusev did not resist and gave the lead back to the camp itself.
It took another three days. The people were afraid to look. They are very emaciated and looked like heavy tifoznobolnyh. Persons become sallow, the skin were clearly outlines the skull. Clouds of midges wound did not get up from the ground people. I tried to keep the fire Dzyul, laying a smudge on the windward side. Finally fell to the ground, Zhang Bao. I also felt a lack of energy, legs trembling at the knees so that I could not get over fallen trees and had to get round.
Grew up on the banks of the old poplar. I bared it from the cortex and in plain knife cut out the arrow pointing to the hollow, and the hollow put a notebook in which there are all of our names and addresses.
Now everything has been done. We are ready to die.
It was the beginning of September. Autumn powerfully came into its own. Nights became colder. In the afternoon we were suffering from lice, and at night in the cold.
Our clothing is worn to the last degree, and the shoes were even more sorry state.
On the night of September 4, no one slept, all suffered bellies. Because we ate everything that came to hand, stomachs refused to work, nausea and acute pain in the gut. You would have thought that in the shallows arranged dressing station where the wounded were lying, filling the taiga their moans. I peremogal myself, but I felt I was doing the last effort.
Suddenly, somewhere far down the river, a shot rang out, then another, then a third and a fourth. All became agitated and began to argue. Some insisted on the need to somehow let people know, shoot guns, and about our plight, others say that we should by all means to cross the river and go towards the hunters, the third advised to breed a large fire. But the shots do not recur.
The night was very cold, and no one close his eyes. I looked at the fire, thinking. If fired udeheytsy, it is likely that they would beat the bear, and the presence of a bear on the shore of the river indicates the start of the course of the fish. If the natives hunt was successful, they come back, and we were lost, and if not, they will go further down the river, and we were saved. Then I thought of the Alps, and I felt sorry for her.