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My new ebook, Echoes of ’98: Hiking the Chilkoot Trail in the 21st century will be released shortly!
It was in 1999 that I first fell in love with the Klondike, after being short-listed as a history major for a summer position in Dawson City. It took a full decade, but I finally made it to the fabled gold fields of my dreams. What a wonderful way to celebration the adoption of Dawson City as my new home base than by hiking the famous trail that I had yearned for all those years!
Echoes of ’98 is my pictorial ode to the Chilkoot Trail. With a milestone by milestone description of the journey from Dyea, Alaska, to Bennett, British Columbia, the tome is as much about the thousands of landscapes of the trail as it is about the thousands of nameless and not-so-nameless faces that helped immortalize the meanest miles in history. It features more than a hundred photographs, tips for hiking the trail, and plenty of trivia.
Here’s a sneak peak:
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Several people have followed my link to the Sea to Sky website page about the Chilkoot hike and commented that the cost for the trip is very high. Someone even used the word ‘exorbitant.’ I couldn’t disagree more; the trip was a bargain!
In cold hard numbers, the trip cost $1569.75 and covered essentially eight full days, for a total per diem of $196.22.
Just think, I had no responsibility whatsoever beyond getting my personal items together. Everything else was taken care of for me, from coordinating train schedules to gathering together the necessary permits to putting together meals. This enabled me to focus on getting in shape.
All meals except for the dinners in Skagway and Whitehorse were provided, including an additional snack for the train ride to Alaska. We were extremely well fed, with fresh produce every day, and tons of treats being brought in for us at Lake Bennett. I met a couple on the trail who were eating freeze-dried food exclusively and going through about $80 worth of the stuff each per day, for a total of $160 that closely reaches Sea to Sky’s per diem!
We had two guides for a group of five guests when the industry standard is one guide for five guests. I chose to help them out on occasion with meal preparations, doing dishes, or hauling water (they were, after all, only human and as tired as the guests!), but I didn’t have to, which turned a very strenuous hike into something more closely resembling a ‘vacation.’
All transportation from Whitehorse and back was included and we even did a 5K detour on the way back to drop me off at my cousin’s place (I hiked out to the South Klondike Highway on the day out).
Finally, the hike required some equipment I don’t have and didn’t feel I could justify purchasing for this one trip when storage is at such a premium in the RV, so Sea to Sky provided me with a larger pack, an inflatable sleeping pad, a tent, and a hiking pole, saving me hundreds of dollars.
In short, it’s easy to look at a number like the one on the website and blink, but when you add it all together, it’s surprising that the cost for the trip is so low!Share on Facebook