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    T r a v e l R e p o r t-S e i t e  2
 
 
 
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The Yukon: In the Footsteps of the Gold Rush
 
 
 
 
  By the larger lakes Deep Lake and Long Lake, we happen upon the first warm, dry rocks in the sun, and we are able to dry our sleeping bags, which got soaked during the night.
 
 
 
 
 
 
As it's the beginning of spring and the river is slowly triumphing over the icy fist of winter, we can't always faithfully follow the indicated way along the river.
 
 
 
When we eventually reach open water, it's still not possible to use the boat and we have to be patient. The impressive waterfalls and rapids would quickly spell the end for our journey.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quite a few adventurers lost their lives in the rapids of the river's upper reaches, as we have gathered from a memorial stone in Linderman City. The inscription by Robert Service, >the Bard of the Yukon<, reads:

>>This is the law of the Yukon that only the strong will thrive.
That surely the weak shall perish and only the fit will survive.
Dissolute, damned and despairful, crippled and palsied and slain. This is the will of the Yukon-law how she makes it plain!<<

We are still confident that we belong to those who survive.

 
 
  In the evening of the fourth day, we finally arrive in Bennett, the end of the trail. Today, Bennett only consists of one inhabited house and an old, restored, wooden church. During the Gold Rush's boom time, 30.000 people lived here, mainly in tents, while they were getting ready for the boat journey towards Klondike.
 
 
 
  We, too, want to start our boat journey at this legendary place, but first, we need to haul our gear from Log Cabin, which is 12 kilometers away, to the riverbank.
 
 
  In Log Cabin, we build a sled out of wooden planks at a deserted railway station. Peter fashions runners out of strip steel to reduce the friction on the rails. Unfortunately, we discover after a few hundred meters that we can't transport our entire gear in one go. It takes us about two days, during which time we come pretty close to understanding what the adventurers went through 100 years ago.
 
 
 
  On the very evening of our arrival, we get into our inflatable canoe and paddle the first kilometers. There is a convenient tailwind that pushes us from behind. At the same time, however, small waves are starting to develop, which we'd been strongly warned about before.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had originally allowed three days to cover the 50 kilometers across Lake Bennett. But due to an ingenious sail that we have made out of driftwood and an inner tent, thus converting the strong tailwind into speed, we are able to reduce this time to six hours. We steer the canoe through the almost meter-high waves without difficulty, and only once do I have to stop it from capsizing when a wave proves too high.
 
 
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Last update: 03/14/09
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