Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is for the Yukon River

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Yukon River is the longest river in Alaska, and flows from the Canadian border to the Bering Sea.

The river was one of the primary means of transportation during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1903, and was a major supply route for interior Alaska from the early decades of the 19th century on.

The Yukon is frozen from October through May, so prospectors, trappers, and missionaries used dog sleds to travel the river during the winter months. Riverboats and steamers could only be used during the relatively short summer season.

As I am a big fan of old photographs, I really like this photo of a steamer docked at Eagle, Alaska on the Yukon sometime between 1898 and 1903.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

When I see photos like this, I always wonder who was there in the picture. I wonder who was on this boat and where they were headed. Or where they were coming from.

25 letters down and one more to go! :)

My A-Z theme of Alaska is inspired by my debut novel, Polar Night, which is set in Fairbanks and the Alaskan Arctic. Click here for all the info on the book.


  1. So many old photos with no names. Wonder if our current digital images with survive to an old age?

  2. What a joy learning about Alaska and seeing all those old photos. I hope our iPhotos make it for a long time as well.

  3. This entire month your posts have been fantastic, Julie! I loved seeing and learning about Alaska. Thanks for all the wonderful information. I can't believe it ends tomorrow.

  4. I'm still shivering from reading your novel. It was like Alaska was a separate character full of cold intentions. :) Well done!

    And, no, I would not have fared well during the Klondike gold rush. Too darn cold!

  5. @Alex, I know, I wonder the same thing. I hope so.

    @LynnMarie, totally agree.

    @Cathrina, thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed the posts!

    @LG, oh, thanks! I'm so glad you liked it! :)

  6. Love the old photo, but that first one makes me want to visit Alaska.

    Y is for Yesterday (quotes & motivation)
    The Daille-y News

  7. I look at that huge expanse of river and am awestruck it could be totally frozen over in the winter!

  8. Heard of the Yukon River before and these pics are beautiful.

  9. So very beautiful!

    Can't believe we are down to one day...I've had so much fun and now I am very knowledgeable on Alaska. Might have to go there some day! (and of course your book is on my tbr list- I would have read it already except I have been writing like crazy! and trying to keep up with the challenge )

  10. I'm going to Alaska next month and I feel totally prepared from your blog.

    I also like looking at old pictures and wondering. We live near the National US Air Force Museum and I look at the picture taken during the war(s) and wonder who made it home, who didn't, what happened to them, etc.

  11. @Barbara, I thought the same thing, I love the top one.

    @Laura, it's amazing, isn't it?

    @Sheena, I'm glad you liked them.

    @Rebecca, oh, thanks for adding it to your list, I appreciate it! Congrats on your writing, I know it's been a crazy month!

    @LD, oh, I hope you will share about your trip on your blog, I'd love to read about it!

  12. Cool photo of the steamboat !

  13. That water looks cold.

    I like looking at old photographs, too.

  14. Old pictures are neat! That would be a lovely river to travel.

  15. I love old photographs. It's time travel. I've seen some movies made by Edison at the turn of the century. It's like a whole other world - horses, carriages, the dresses, a few cars.

  16. Alex posed a great question: What will happen with the digital photos? Will they stand up to time?

    Like you, I love the old photos and wonder about the people who were there.

  17. Wow, love that old photo! No wonder you couldn't resist sharing it. :)

    Hard to believe there's only one letter left for this challenge!

  18. @Brinda, I agree!

    @Carol, it really does LOL.

    @Christine, I think so too.

    @Mary, oh, you're so right, it is like time travel. I would love to see those movies.

    @Susan, I wonder that too. I hope so.

    @Heather, it is hard to believe but I am also totally ready to be done LOL.

  19. Oh cool...I like those old photos, too and always love hearing about the Gold Rush.

    Interesting stuff :)

  20. I'm a big fan of old photos too. They always look so elegant. You're almost there!

  21. Once again, you've come up with the most interesting photos. It really made me feel as though I had traveled back in time.


  22. Are those canoeists I see in that first pic? That would be cool to do. Looks like a very stunning and dramatic landscape.

  23. I understand that feeling of wandering about people like you do in that picture. I remember when I was little and looking out the window of the car when my mom was driving, who were in the other cars and what they're lives were like. It's that same kind of mystery.

    Thanks for all your lessons on Alaska. Looking forward to know what your last lesson will be. :) Writer’s Mark

  24. I'm the same as you: I love those old photos and will spend hours at the local fairs going through boxes of black and white photos from the region.

  25. @Mark, glad you liked it!

    @Michael, I can't believe we made it now. :)

    @Julie, that's what I love about them too.

    @Nick, oh, I didn't even notice the canoes. That would be awesome, although I would probably capsize the canoe since I am hopeless at that sort of thing haha.

    @Nancy, oh, I used to do that with people in cars too! I had actually forgotten about that, but I loved doing that.

    @Lynda, yeah, I never tire of looking at them, there's just something so fascinating about seeing people from such different times.

  26. Hi Julie .. fascinating post about the Yukon - loved seeing the pics and getting some of the news .. I hadn't realised the Gold Rush only last 7 years .. I bet so much change ensued then and the area was opened up so much ..

    Cheers Hilary

  27. @Hilary, I know, it's amazing to imagine how that area must have changed in such a short time.

    @Elizabeth, me too, just love them.

  28. I've heard and read about the Yukon River. Great black and white picture.

    Writer In Transit

  29. There was mention of this river in the books I recently finished reading - Species Imperative - I'm fairly sure. :)

  30. @Michelle, I loved the pic too, so cool.

    @Trisha, oh, that's interesting! I'll have to look that up.


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