Thursday, May 21, 2009

Klondike Gold Fields

Prospectors at the Klondike Gold Fields in Alaska. This picture helps see why they called it a Gold "Rush". It is amazing to see the line of people going up the mountain, in search of riches. Probably the guy who owned the little store shown in the picture did better than most all the rest of them.

16 comments:

  1. PJM:

    You're probably correct re the financial success of the store as opposed to all of the hopefuls trudging up the hill.

    Great photo.

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  2. Strictly speaking, this is not "The Klondike Gold Fields". They are many long, hard miles ahead. This is the Chilkoot Pass on the Chilkoot Trail out of Skagway, Alaska. Prospectors were closely monitored by the RCMP. The were required to have enough supplies to last a year. I've forgotten the exact amount, but it was a lot. The supplies had to be carried up the pass. Some who could afford it hired others. Later, there was a tram. At the top is a lake. They built boats to go across the lake and down the Klondike River. Mitchner's "Alaska" has a good description of this whole episode.

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  3. My bet is that toilet paper was expensive at that store.

    And it seems that just getting to the Klondike Gold Fields was a somewhat pricey undertaking.

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  4. My bet is they didn't buy toilet paper. Takes up space. Being a old country girl, I didn't even know you could buy toilet paper until I was 9 or 10 years old.

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  5. Oh my....I don't think I could survive without the convenience of toilet paper! I actually have a six month supply in my basement. In Indiana you never know if a snow storm or truckers strike or whatever will make such things as toilet paper scarce at the grocery and I don't ever want to run out. Of course I also have about 6 months worth of food storage too so in an emergency you can all come to my house - I'll share!

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  6. Actually, the Chilkoot Pass started in Dyea, Alaska, the White Horse Pass started in Skagway, but both ended at Lake Bennett.
    The hill in the picture is 2.5 miles long, climbing 1600 feet. The RCMP required each person entering Canada to bring a minimum of 1150 pounds of supplies, one winter’s provisions.
    The “little store” is probably the weigh station… or a bar.

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  7. For this week's theme, let's not forget Robert W. Service "The Bard of the North". Please check out the verses at this link.
    http://www.internal.org/list_poems.phtml?authorID=10

    If we can't mine for Yukon gold, we can mine the deposits of fascinating literature about those days. Does anyone have favourites of American or Canadian literature from these days?

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  8. I've seen pictures taken from the other end of whichever pass this is and the suttler could easily (and probably did) restock his supplies from what got discarded on the way up the hill. Tough haul for the 98% (wag) who wound up not finding any gold or dying along the way.

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  9. heather,using my tie while fishing always makes me blue behind the gills,and a little off my perch,ha ha,,
    oldbear.

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  10. Don't feel bad Old Bear, I'm always a little off my "perch" too.

    You sound like you are quite the "angler" when it comes to fishing. I've heard a lot of women "carp" when their men go off fishing (which I think is "crappie"). When I was little I always loved it when my dad would come back from fishing all day with a bucket of fish. I admit to being somewhat "koi" when it came to cleaning them, but in my opinion, nothing "smelt" better than those fish frying in the pan.

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  11. heather,,when i wrote that,i knew,i neeewww,youd be back,with all your cleverness,i am impressed,i really liked how ya worked in the smelt.
    oldbear.

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  12. I just had to respond:
    Six months supply of toilet paper? I once went more than six months without toilet paper. South America, back in the 70's, hole in the floor, you get the picture. The point is,it is survivable.

    Those tough (or soon to become tough) gold prospectors were probably grateful to have the snow for many reasons.

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  13. Hi George. I grew up in a very unorganized family that constantly lost things and ran out of necessities. It became a huge pet-peeve of mine, so I over compensate a little....okay, I over compensate A LOT LOL!

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  14. Very cool blog. I think I'm going to mention it in the book I'm writing: 101 Quick and Easy Secrets for Using Your Photographs.

    --Matt Bamberg
    Also author of http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Secrets-Create-Winning-Photographs/dp/1598639021

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  15. I had a cousin that fought on Iwo Jima. I just remember bits and pieces of the conversation.They were pinned down in fox holes that filled with water. They couldn't move for several days.
    I was just a kid asking stupid questions.
    Of course,I asked how could you sleep? How could you go to the bathroon?
    He survived, less one leg and a bunch of machine gun holes in his arms, a couple in his face and other leg and other parts. He was one of eight, out of a hundred and some that lived.
    He lived to be eighty-three and always seemed to enjoy life and had a happy attitude.

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  16. These trenches resemble those of war.

    I'm from Ballarat, which is a mining town in Australia that had a gold rush of its own in the 1850's. It's interesting to see these historic pictures of a similar event, a world away..

    This site is fascinating, keep up the good work!

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