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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Skagway....Garden City of Alaska

.....our second port of call. We traced the route thousands of gold rushers used on their way to the Klondike looking for gold via the White Pass route. We rode the White Pass and Yukon Railroad! It climbs from sea level to almost 3,000 feet in just 20 miles! Because the curves are quite tight only a narrow gauge railroad could be used. Building the 110 miles of track was quite a challenge, beginning May 29, 1898; it required cliff hanging, thirty-five thousand men and 450 tons of explosives. Work on the tunnel at mile 16 took place in the dead of winter with heavy snow and temperatures as low as 60 below! It cost approximately $10 million dollars to build and was completed July 29, 1900. One hundred thousand men & women headed north, but only 30 or 40 thousand actually reached the gold fields of the Klondike. Four thousand or so prospectors found the gold, but only a few hundred actually became rich. Now that is what I call persistence!

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