All About the Klondike Gold Mines by J.A. Knox and J. G. Pratt
“The man who wants the Yukon gold should know what he is going to tackle before he starts. If there is an easy part of the trip I haven’t struck it yet.
“Eight of us made the trip from Juneau to Dyea, 100 miles, on the little steam launch Alert. The steamer Mexico reached Dyea the same morning with 423 men. As she drew so much water she had to stay about three miles off shore and land her passengers and freight as best she might in more or less inaccessible places on the rocky shores. Then up came the twenty-two foot tide and many poor fellows saw their entire outfits swept into the sea.
“We camped the first night at Dyea. It is a most enjoyable thing, this making camp in the snow. First you must shovel down from three to six feet to find a solid crust. Then you must go out in the snow up to your neck to find branches with which to make a bed, and then comes the hunt for a dead tree for firewood. Dinner is cooked on a small sheet-iron stove.
“Always keep an eye on the ‘grub,’ especially the bacon, for the dogs are like so many ravenous wolves, and it is not considered just the proper thing to be left without anything to eat in this frostbitten land. At night it is necessary to tie up the sacks of bacon in the trees or build trestles1 for them. But to the trip.
“The second day we went up Dyea canyon. It is only three miles long, but seems fully thirty. This is true of all distances in this country. About one hundred pounds is about all a man wants to pull in this canon, as the way is steep and the ice slippery. So camps must be made short distances apart, as you have to go over the trail several times in bringing up your outfit. Remember an ordinary outfit weighs from 500 to 800 pounds, and some of them much more.
“But the summit of Chilcoot Pass, that’s the place that puts the yellow fear into many a man’s heart. Some took one look at it, sold their outfits for what they would bring and turned...