Klondike Letters Project

Translating experience into memory through inspired creation.

A Team Backpacking Trip

First but not last, team backpacking trip!

Thank you so much for making me come on this trip! Why do I love you? Because you make me do things and I think you’re awesome! You are killin’ it!

P.S. Mama Bear you are a power-house!

The Truth Is…

Erin-

You will probably remember this trip as beautiful and amazing, but the truth is that it was hard and scary! So what can you learn from that? Sometimes the most ridiculously awful things can also be the most beautiful!?!

Hope Now and in the Future

The Summit: 5:30am – 6:30am, 7/08/2016 – With hiking partner “Bear” 15lbs. Poodle mix, and not a troublesome quality does he possess. His spirit buoyed spirits of all he met, including my own…

This is my 34th northbound hike of the Chilkoot Trail, and each time I anticipated my first glimpse of the interior I have, shared this one thing with perhaps all travelers.”Hope” must be common to all who have stood here, and it ranges from a promise of downhill terrain, to vast riches in the hands of many. Perhaps all had hope for the future! I like that thought…

Today my own, lies in the hope, that the dramatic sunrise will stay with me through the 15 miles in the distance. Thousands of imagined voices will stay with me also on this portion, they always do…

Gold Is Out There

Dearest Gus,

You did it. Keep doing it.

Gold is out there somewhere.

Regards,

Jiott

Exhausting!

I want to learn from my mistakes and stay home instead next time, On the upside, if I were to hike this again, it probably couldn’t be any worse than this time.

EXHAUSTING!

Help me!

His Creation

Chilkoot Trail 2016.

God is a lot bigger than a rigid, apathetic, uninvolved, sovereign monster. We have the opportunity to enjoy Him in His creation, rather than just paying homage to what was made. We are enjoying Him through soaking up what’s ultimately His.

Can’t Wait For the Decline

Hey there, future me!

What’s going on? I made it up to the summit of Chilkoot Trail! The Scales and the Golden Stairs were tough and long, but rewarding. Very scary in the wind and fog! My knees are hanging in there but the climb certainly took its toll – can’t wait for the decline!

Our eight days in Canyon City was awesome. Climbing that trail is the hardest work I’ve done, but so much fun. Off to Deep Lake tonight!

– Becca

The Feeling at the Top

Hey there future self,

Your past self is sitting in the warming hut at the top of the Chilkoot Summit Pass. It’s foggy and cold but damn do you feel good! You are 15 days into a 3 week trip that you’re leading through Alaska. With you are 9 awesome teenage girls who are happily snacking on snicker bars as I write this. You are 21, you feel strong, you feel beautiful despite the sweat and dirt that coats your hands and face, and I never want you to forget how incredible it feels to be up here.

Keep climbing, hope you are happy and healthy!

Love,

Abby

Sourdough

Wow, what a great start to our Kickstarter Campaign! I’m gonna take the opportunity to tell you about one of our weirder rewards – The Sourdough Zombie!

Sourdough starter is amazing – it’s a live culture that can transform a bit of flour water and salt into the most delicious loaf of bread. It can be frozen and stored for months and then brought back to life with a bit of gentle thawing and feeding. You can divide it and share it with friends (or Kickstarter backers). Thom and I got our sourdough starter from my dad, who got his in Skagway, Alaska! After 5 years, and 3 moves, it’s still going strong and makes a wicked loaf of bread! We had a little fun doing a Facebook live video the other day of the baking process:

The Stampeders were required to pack a literal tons of goods and equipment over Chilkoot Pass and into Klondike. Their piles of gear were dutifully checked my Canadian Mounties stationed at the pass to keep an eye on the gold-hungry crowds rushing for the goldfield. On the recommended list of goods is 400lbs of flour for that daily sourdough bread.¬†Once a stampeder had survived a winter in the Klondike they were dubbed a “sourdough”, ostensibly because they had managed to keep their sourdough starter alive and consequently been able to feed themselves through the lean months of the year. When I first hiked the trail I met a family from Fairbanks who were carrying their sourdough with them, so they could say their sourdough had come over the Chilkoot Pass! I made a little animation of my conversation with them because I just loved the idea of a sourdough zombie!

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Those Who Have Passed

What a hike!

How did the prospectors get a ton of goods over this pass? It took me 5 1/2 hours from Sheeps Camp with only 45 lbs and in good weather. The tenacity of those passing this way in 1897-1898 was incredible. Those hauling, engineering and building the tramway were incredible too. We seem so small in comparison.