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Newspaper Page Text
tundra or moss a foot thick and
oozing with water, you appreciate to
a nicety the origin of that descriptive
On sight there'ssomething amus
ing about a man stumbling over tun
dra in heavy boots in chase of a few
young ptarmigan in an attempt to kill
one with a club, but when you find
out, from personal experience, that
the man's life depends on his ability
to hit the birds or starve you cease
to see anything funny in his wob
At midday when nearly everyone
in camp was on the jump, I came
Carl Witham, Who Staked the Sec
ond Claim at Shushanna.
upon a man lying in the sun on
"Just taking a nap," said . he.
"Lost my blankets in the Nabesna, so
I have to sit up by a fire all night and
do my mushing around in the morn
ing and sleep when it's warm."
In out-of-the-way spots all over
men could be seen sleeping in the
sun. But what do they do on cold
days? Well, it was "cold days" and
lack of food that drove 1,500 of the
first 2,000 to reach Shushanna out of
camp and "back home" penniless.
Speaking of food, the amount of
that commodity consumed per day
penman in Shushanna is undoubted
ly greater than in- any 'othervgold 1
camp in Alaska, and that's going
The high altitude, together with
the fact that trails around camp lead
over rough ground, gives every one a
Here's a sample meal for two men:
Four pounds of Alaska sheep chops,
ten slices of bacon, a pot of beans,
three cups of tea each, ten flap jacks
and a -pot of rice!
And two hours later another meal
just as big is welcome!
In some camps they keep mulligan
stews going all the time eating
them as fast -as cooked. Six ptar
migan make a fair meal for two men,
and a ptarmigan is about the size of
a 'spring chic' en.
Some day vhen you haven't much
to do put eighty pounds Of wheat in
sack and walk upstairs with it.
Then you will realize the strength of
those "skookum" lads who packed
that much over Scolai Pass, and part
of the going on "Scolai" is steeper
than a staircase!
Of folly there is no end-in this gold
stampede. Only men insanelwith the
lust of gold will try to ford a glacial
Stream waste deep with a pack on
their back. That only four were lost
in the Nazena and Chitistone river
was not the fault of the stampedersl
Men who under other circum
stances would hesitate to walk two
blocks without rubbers and an um
brella "mushed" all day. in wet
clotheB with their shoe packs full of
water. Men who had never been in
Alaska before started across Russell
glacier in a blizzard!
"The Dyea trail to the Klondike
was a paved street compared to the
goat-trail over Scolai Pass after the
blizzard of August 30," said an old
timer whcrought to know. He crawled
over Scolai on his hands and knees,
digging holes in the ice with a hunt
ing knife! v
Easy money? "
There isn't any such in. Alaska!
Somebody pays for every ounce of '