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GOLDEN ALASKA.

ROUTES TO THE YUKON GOLD-FIELDS.

The gold-fields of the Yukon Valley, at and near Klondike River, are near the eastern boundary of Alaska, from twelve to fifteen hundred miles up from the mouth of the river, and from five to eight hundred miles inland by the route across the country from the southern Alaskan coast. In each case an ocean voyage must be taken as the first step; and steamers may be taken from San Francisco, Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., or from Victoria, B. C.

The overland routes to these cities require a word.

1. To San Francisco. This city is reached directly by half a dozen routes across the plains and Rocky Mountains, of which the Southern Pacific, by way of New Orleans and El Paso; the Atchison & Santa Fé and Atlantic & Pacific by way of Kansas City, and across northern New Mexico and Arizona; the Burlington, Denver & Rio Grande, by way of Denver and Salt Lake City; and the Union and Central Pacific, by way of Omaha, Ogden and Sacramento, are the principal ones.

2. To Portland, Oregon. This is reached directly by the Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line, via Omaha and Ogden; and by the Northern Pacific, via St. Paul and Helena, Montana.

3. To Seattle, Wash. This city, Tacoma, Port Townsend and other ports on Puget Sound, are the termini of the Northern Pacific Railroad and also of the Great Northern Railroad from St. Paul along the northern boundary of the United States. The Canadian Pacific will also take passengers there expeditiously by rail or boat from Vancouver, B. C.

4. To Vancouver and Victoria, B. C. Any of the routes heretofore mentioned reach Victoria by adding a steamboat journey; but the direct route, and one of the pleasantest of all the transcontinental routes, is by the Canadian Pacific Railway from Montreal or Chicago, via Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the coast at Vancouver, whence a ferry crosses to Victoria.

Regular routes of transportation to Alaska are supplied by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, which has been dispatching mail-steamships once a fortnight the year round from Tacoma to Sitka, which touch at Juneau and all other ports of call. They also maintain a service of steamers between San Francisco and Portland and Puget Sound ports. These are fitted with every accommodation and luxury for tourist-travel; and an extra steamer, the Queen, has been making semi-monthly trips during June, July and August. These steamers would carry 250 passengers comfortably and the tourist fare for the round trip has been $100..

The Canadian Pacific Navigation Company has been sending semi-monthly steamers direct from Victoria to Port Simpson and way stations the year round. They are fine boats, but smaller than the others and are permitted to land only at Sitka and Dyea.

Such are the means of regular communication with Alaskan ports. There has been no public conveyance north of Sitka, except twice or thrice a year in summer in the supply-steamers of the Alaskan commercial companies, which sailed from San Francisco to St. Michael and there transferred to small boats up the Yukon.

Whether any changes will be made in these schedules for the season of 1898 remains to be

seen.

Special steamers.—As the regular accommodations were found totally inadequate to the demand for passage to Alaska which immediately followed the report of rich discoveries on Klondike Creek, extra steamers were hastily provided by the old companies, others are fitted up and sent out by speculative owners, and some have been privately chartered. A score or more steamships, loaded with passengers, horses, mules and burros (donkeys) to an uncomfortable degree, were thus despatched from San Francisco, Puget Sound and Victoria between the middle of July and the middle of August. An example of the way the feverish demand for transportation is found in the case of the Willamette, a collier, which was cleaned out in a few hours and turned into an extemporized passenger-boat. The whole 'tween decks space was filled with rough bunks, wonderfully close together, for "first-class" passengers; while away down in the hold secondclass arrangements were made which the mind shudders to contemplate. Yet this slave-ship sort of a chance was eagerly taken, and such space as was left was crowded with animals and goods. Many persons and parties bought or chartered private steamers, until the supply of these was exhausted by the end of August. Two routes may be chosen to the gold-fields.

1. By way of the Yukon River. This is all the way by water, and means nearly 4,500 miles of voyaging.

2. By way of the seaports of Dyea or Shkagway,

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