Klondike Letters Project

Translating experience into memory through inspired creation.

Category: Artwork

Yukon artists you should know

I want to introduce you to two Yukon artists Thom and I met at the top of Chilkoot Pass.

The first is singer/songwriter Kate Weekes, who was guiding a group of hikers up through the trail. When she’s not out in the wilderness, she puts on a dress and makes some awesome music. Check out more on kateweekes.com

Corrie with Canidian Artist/park Warden Stephine Ryan

Next is painter Stephanie Ryan. I met Stephanie in 2012 at the top of the pass and hung out in the warden’s hut for a few days. Stephanie is still patrolling the trail and finding inspiration for her prismatic paintings in the landscape of the Yukon and Alaska. Check out stephanieryanart.ca


The trail journal returns.

Trail Journal - 28 June, 2016

A beautiful day for a flight to Skagway. The glaciers were in fine form, as was the Lynn Canal. There will be a week of wedding hoopla before I hit the trail. My sister, a ranger for Klondike-Goldrush National Historic Park, is getting married, which is as good an excuse as any to return to Skagway and the Chilkoot Trail!

On the flight to Juneau, I reread all my trail journal entries from the 2012 residency. Back then, I was a mountain girl from Montana and Alaska was just an extension of my home environment. Now I’m a city-girl from Baltimore, and I have a feeling I will see the trail with new eyes.

Chilkoot Pass – Then and Now

when I stood on top of Chilkoot Pass, the vast, empty stretch of Canadian wilderness before me, it was hard to imagine a bustling, fluctuation community of thousands occupying the small saddle. Having a pencil in my hand, makes imagining easier! Here’s a look at some scenes from the first animated postcard from Chilkoot Pass. Soon I’ll have the entire animation up, but for now, scroll down and read some of the postcards travelers wrote on the top of the pass.

Chilkoot Pass then

Top of the Pass on a busy day in 1898.

Chilkoot Pass now

A wild, lonely day on top of Chilkoot Pass, 2012.


Photo Essay!

The winter edition of Mountain Outlaw Magazine just hit the stands here in Montana. If you manage to get your hands on a copy, turn to page 52. You might see someone you recognize – me! I’ve contributed a photo essay about my 2 weeks as Artist-in Residence on the Chilkoot Trail. It’s full of interesting historical facts and some of the artwork I created on the trail.

If you aren’t passing through Montana anytime soon, you can read the full article online here: Postcard from Chilkoot Pass  And you can flip through the entire magazine, an excellent read, at  explorebigsky.com

Capturing the footsteps of the past

I’ve begun editing and selecting photos for an upcoming photo essay in Mountain Outlaw magazine. Beyond documenting the beautiful landscapes of the Chilkoot Trail, I am also attempting to capture the undercurrents of history that have settled into the trail over the centuries.  Below is an excerpt from my artist’s statement on how I approach photography:

Landscapes, both internal and external, affect me. The emotional experience of a place is a human mystery which fluctuates with each visitation. While geology and architecture do not get up and run away from the camera, a moment can be just as reticent to be photographed as a shy child. I bring the eye of an animator to the stillness of the page with the hope of entering into an alternate perspective: What would it be like to see as the mountains do, with eyes that span the seasons for centuries? In photography, time is a tangible substance for artistic manipulation and when time stops and continues simultaneously we find ourselves in a new dimension.

More photos to come.