This historical novel is based on fact. The basic characters are fictional. The gold rush to the Yukon in 1897 was a great experience in our American history. The labor wage was $1.00 a day, so the lure of finding gold in the Yukon, drove the men and women north. They landed in Dyea Alaska from Seattle. From this point north these hardy souls had to travel 33 miles north to Lake Bennett. The Canadian customs just above the Chikoot Pass dictated each person coming into Canada had to have 1150 pounds of food per person, this was plus his gear. The men and women had to leap frog their equipment and supplies each day, either on their back or by sled. This meant each day they had to move all their supplies and tent as well as firewood to survive the cold nights. After about 16 miles up the trail they arrived at the Chilkoot Pass. This pass was over 3000 feet above sea level. Now they had to pack all their supplies up these 1200 steps. This pass was called The Golden Stairs. This part of the north was native to the Tinglet Indians, they came to be hired as packers. They were small, but very strong. When these Indians saw the white men and women packing up the stairs, they called them :Cheechakoes" meaning Greenhorns. The first men at the pass made 1200 steps with shovels, and had a rope along the steps. They stood at the bottom of the stairs and charged each man 25 cents per day to use the steps. The weather was horrible that winter. The men had to stash their supplies at the top, to make the many trips to transfer all their gear and supplies Many men lost track of their stash because of the snow. After the men made their trip up the pass, they would slide back down the troughs for the next trip. After passing through customs, the trail was more level then hilly. When these hardy people arrived at Lake Bennett they had to build a boat to take them to the gold fields. Their were some saw miles in the area. Most men took off down the shore, found a stand of hadry Spruce trees. These trees were cut down, dragged to a spot along the lake. They build a stanchion to place the logs where 2 men could stand one above the other to cut full length 1 inch boards. These boards were used for the boat construction. From this point, the gold prospectors had to travel 500 miles down the Yukon River to Dawson City. These poor souls had to pass through a number of terrible rapids on their way. 30,000 brave men and women traveled this route in 1897 and 98. On June 3rd 1898 7124 boats headed down lake Bennett on their way to Dawson City. When you read on you'll find these brave souls had many hardships in their quest for gold. After the characters arrive at the gold fields, they find many disappointments, hardships, thievery, romance and some success.Most people have a hard time putting this book aside.
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Born and raised in the Midwest. Managed to get through 9th grade. 37 months in Korean War. Studied Commercial Art , 4 years NYC. Worked in art field for 10 years. Returned to Iowa for 7 years. Moved to N. Minnesota in1971. Owned a real estate business for 20 years. All the year I painted for my pleasure. This is the reason I made all the illustrations for the book
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Book Description BookSurge Publishing, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX141962783X