We didn't follow the trail clear down, but to make the trip shorter, Ray picked his way down a steep water-fall in the cliffs. He tested every foothold carefully, all the while holding onto me. Safely down we proceeded northward and by evening arrived at an Indian Inn, cold, drenched, and tired out. (This was probably Dick Sharp's hotel.)
Had to stay with the Indians several days, as the Queets River wasn't in the right condition for poling a canoe upstream. The Indians were good to me, and were very fond of handling my little gold watch. But I was uneasy. Besides, their religious ceremony didn't appeal to me. While going up river in a canoe I saw Indian graves along the banks.
The forests and natural scenery are unsurpassed. There are rapids in the river and canoes have to be handled with skill.
The first white settlers we came to were McKinnons. Here Ray Northup left me for his own home on the Clearwater. Mrs. McKinnon kept me there several days before taking me to Donaldson's ranch, further up river, some nine miles from the mouth of the Queets.
Mrs. Donaldson with her Scotch brogue welcomed me. She had a boy and two girls near my own age. I met other young folks here, and right away made friendships that lasted through the years. I taught there three months, boarding with Donaldsons, then went six months to another district further up river. In this district were pupils from Streators, Glovers, Newmans and Sorensens. I boarded with Sorensens.
No teacher ever had nicer or more scholarly pupils than I had in the little school cabins on the Queets. They provided the wood for the schoolrooms in all kinds of bad weather, never even expecting the teacher to build the fire. The hospitality of these settlers couldn't be beaten. I had delicious Johnny cake, deer meat, strawberries and cream, and everything good to eat.
At that time there were no roads on the Queets - just trails. The primeval forest and beautiful scenery were wondrous. A wonderful country, shut out from the rest of the world, it was - an Arcadia of the Northwest.
Jane Donaldson Streater says that when the Donaldsons moved into the Queets in 1892 they found the Indian Dick Sharp's hotel at the mouth of the river, and Tisdale's store west of where the Queets bridge now is. Also a great many more families than are now there. Most of these settlers belonged to Banta & Sharp's colony.