The Klondike, Zach Worton

I picked up this graphic novel while I was at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Depot in Regina, SK this summer. Perhaps I should have picked up something more Mountie-ish, but the draw of the Klondike was just so appealing. I mean, I live in Edmonton where we have (had?) a festival dedicated to the gold rush. Klondike Days, which became K-Days, which became Capital Ex, which is now back to K-Days (I think?). It’s actually interesting, because there is a part where they talk about the route up to the north from Edmonton, and by all accounts it was a terrible route!! So many people and horses died! It really wasn’t mapped out at all. It was just promoted as a quicker way to go, when in fact it was probably the slowest & most deadly route.

This story is based around real people who lived in the Yukon and Alaska back in the late 1800s, and yes, there are Mounties! The first Mounties, in fact, that came up to that region of Canada. This includes Sam Steele, who was very strict with the rules and was also very fashion savvy (from what I could make of his clothing on display at the Depot museum).

It was a fun, but educational read. It’s the wild west, but with gold and sub-zero temperatures. There are tons of unsavoury characters, murder, cheating, stealing, drinking, scurvy, and race issues. That was the time, no excuses, it just sucked up there in gold country. But, real people stuck it out, all for that promise of sweet, sweet gold (or for taking advantage of the people who wanted that sweet, sweet gold).

Books read: 12

klondike

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