Klondike Gold Rush - Middle

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
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45
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Trip End Jun 16, 2007


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Flag of Canada  , Yukon,
Saturday, July 7, 2007

Whitehorse - Part 2

I stayed here going up as well - not that there's a choice. It's hard to get lost in Alaska and Yukon since the roads are few and you have to go through several of the same towns coming and going.

Now for a quick, and I mean quick history lesson.

Gold was found in the Dawson City area in 1897. Word traveled to Seattle and the rush was on. Over 100,000 people hit the soon to be towns of Skagway and Dyea to head for the Yukon. From Skagway one went over the White Pass and from Dyea over the Chilkoot Pass. Both landed you at lakes where you spent the rest of the winter building your boat to ride down the Yukon River to Dawson City via Whitehorse. 30,000 people made it to Dawson and the town boomed overnight. Where Skagway was full of con men, thieves, and considered hell on earth, Dawson was relatively crime free thanks to the presence of the Mounties.

In 1899, gold was found in Nome, Alaska and the rush moved on. The boom was over within 2 years. Gold is still being mined in the Dawson area but most industrial mining went belly up in the 1950s because the price of gold was fixed but the price of equipment and labor was rising. Alaska has some of the largest deposits of placer gold anywhere in the world. I also learned a lot about dredge mining, which was also very cool.

It's been an education for sure and fun to boot.
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