In 1916 the Government took our mail service away from us, so the only way to get our mail was to organize a volunteer mail-carrier service to Quinault Lake which was about eighteen miles across by the shortest trail. Each family would take its turn. The school teachers would hire someone. The standard price was $5.00 for a trip which took two days. Men having a horse used it. The others carried mail on their backs.
I was making the trip in the winter on once occasion. When I left home the sky looked as if it might snow before I reached Quinault. I was afoot, and the trail was through heavy timber all the way. o one lived along the trail except two or three near Quinault Lake. About noon it started snowing, and when I was about five miles from the nearest house I came out into an open place where the ground was white with snow. And there was a big cougar track about as big as a teacup. And no snow in the track! Since it was snowing hard, that meant that the cougar had probably seen or heard me coming and stepped into the brush at the side of the trail until I went by. I didn't have a gun with me either - just a hunting knife in my belt. So you can imagine how uneasy I felt.
Another experience I had on the Quinault trail was in the spring. I was sent out to open up the trail and cut the brush along the sides. When it came time to eat my lunch I was in a cedar swamp. The water had dried up, leaving the ground soft. After eating I left my lunch bucket there, intending to pick it up when I came back at night. And when I returned there were big bear tracks - about as big as a saucer - right in the trail. Again I had no gun. Just an axe. However, I didn't see the bear.
John Streater, another brother, recalls:
Once I went elk hunting with only two shells in my rifle. I used them both on a bull elk, but he kept on coming. I finally dropped my gun and climbed a tree. The elk charged and kept pawing the ground for a while, but finally left.
Two of us boys were trying to catch a litter of pigs. We grabbed a couple, and when they squealed the old sow came for us. We got up on a log, but so did the sow. So we had to let the pigs go. Then I figured out a plan. "You grab a pig", I said to my brother, 'then I'll hit the sow on the nose with a stick.' We did so, and caught the pigs.