3 December 2013

History Lesson: Jack London

This past summer, we took a road trip for our honeymoon, to Alaska.  We got to see so many interesting sights and places.   It was the trip of a lifetime. 

To be able to travel to Jack London's cabin, in Dawson City, Yukon, was a dream come true! 

I don't recall how old I was when I got my hands on a copy of Jack London's Call of the Wild.  But I read that and White Fang in short order. 

Reading London's books made me fall in love with the idea of mushing dogs.  I would walk my poodle through the snow, one day dreaming of having a dog team of my own.  
I believed every word in those books, soaking in every detail.  The rest they say, is history.  

Outside Jack London's Cabin, in Dawson City.  He wasn't home.
As a young man, Jack London wrote and prospected for gold in this cabin.  Which was built in 1898, a year after arriving in the Yukon.  He lived in the cabin, and abandoned it after the gold rush.  Jack never made it rich by prospecting for gold, but he certainly struck it rich with his stories. The cabin was found later, in 1936 by trappers,who saw the author's signature on the back wall.

"Jack London, Miner, Author, Jan. 27, 1898.”

In 1965 the cabin was dismantled and taken out of the bush, by dog sled. Two replicas were made from the original logs. One is in Dawson City while the other was re-made in Oakland, California London’s hometown.

River-dog and I try out luck panning for gold.

While we were at London's cabin, it started to rain.  So we biked back to camp with the dogs.   Biking through Dawsome City with our own dogs, caused a group of local dogs to chase us down the street.  I felt like I was right in the story, being chased by a pack of local huskies.  What a thrill!

If you go to Dawson City, you can find out more about London's cabin here. 

I still read London's books, while I know that not every detail is true, on a clear winter night, when the dogs are running hard, and our breath hangs heavy in the air, my mind often wanders and I can hear The Call of the Wild.