Klondike

You come to get rich (damned good reason);

You feel like an exile at first;

You hate it like hell for a season,

And then you are worse than the worst.

It grips you like some kinds of sinning;

It twists you from foe to a friend;

It seems it’s been since the beginning;

It seems it will be to the end.

Robert Service was one of the first story-tellers to spin tales about the Yukon. Tonight is going to be the beginning of a new tale, and it has a lot of us Yukoners excited. Klondike is a mini-series on Discovery Channel, telling the story that takes place during the Klondike Goldrush of the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. It is exciting enough that a major network is showcasing the Yukon on television, but it is who is involved in the project that is adding to the excitement.

Ridley Scott is the main actor, a face better associated with the character Robb Stark in Game of Thrones. The other cast members have been in some highly touted feature films in recent years, several have been nominated for Academy Awards. The acting should be top notch.

The story is based on a book, Gold Diggers: Striking it Rich in the Klondike by Charlotte Gray. From the site:

Her tale brings to life the story of six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small frontier town in the remote Klondike.

This man-versus-nature tale places our heroes in a land full of undiscovered wealth, but ravaged by harsh conditions, unpredictable weather and desperate, dangerous characters including greedy businessmen, seductive courtesans, and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their people and land by opportunistic entrepreneurs.

Visit the Discovery Channel’s website for more information about the cast, behind the scenes videos, and more about the history of the Klondike.

You may also be interested in these other sites and books:

  • Dawson City – the site run by the Klondike Visitors Association
  • Dawson City Music Festival – the signature event for the summer in the Yukon
  • Skagway – the other Gold Rush town in Alaska where most of the pioneers started their journey north to Dawson.
  • Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush) – a historical book full of anecdotes from the great Canadian author, Pierre Berton, who’s parents were early settlers of the Yukon. Berton was born in Whitehorse before moving to Dawson City as a child.
  • Poems of Robert Service – the Bard of the Yukon. The Cremation of Sam MacGee and The Shooting of Dan McGrew are his two more famous poems.