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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/469

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A YEAR'S PROGRESS IN THE KLONDIKE.

in the space between the gun cotton and the side of the can, occupied by the water, three distinct sets of waves were produced, having an increasing amplitude from the center proceeding outward. It is evident that many curious effects can be produced with explosive substances, and I do not doubt that useful applications will be found through a close study of the phenomena attending them.

 

A YEAR'S PROGRESS IN THE KLONDIKE.
By Prof. ANGELO HEILPRIN.

TWO years ago the difficulties of reaching the Klondike were thought to be of such a nature as to preclude the probability or even possibility of Dawson ever becoming a place of permanent habitation. The trials of the Chilkoot and White Passes were exploited in magazine and journal from one end of the continent almost to the other, and the wrecks of humanity, and particularly of the thousands of beasts that lay scattered along the trail—the tribute to the Sahara turned to shame—were appealed to as grim testimony of the almost insuperable barrier which separated man from the object of his search. To-day, and since July 6th of the past year (1899), a steam railway traverses the full forty-two miles of the White Pass trail, and the traveler enjoys the beauties of the subarctic landscape in much the way that he enjoys the trip through the Alleghany Mountains in the East, or of the prairies in the West. Deposited at Bennett, on Lake Bennett, at virtually the head of navigation of the mighty Yukon River (otherwise known as the Lewes), he engages passage on one of several commodious steamers heading down stream or northward, and with one change—at the Miles Cañon and White Horse Rapids, where there is a five-mile portage—reaches Dawson after a voyage, delightful in its change of scene and novelty of experience, of from four to six days. It is a fact, therefore, that with a strict timing of departures the traveler from New York may make the journey to Dawson in summer time in twelve days, and exceptionally even in less; and the journey has indeed been made in eleven days and a half. Such is the change which the effort of less than two years has accomplished.

The Dawson of 1899 is no longer the Dawson of 1898, and much less that of the year previous. The thousands of bateaux that were formerly lined up against the river front, in rows six


    Note.—Acknowledgment is here made to Mr. E. A. Hegg for the use of most of the photographs accompanying this article.