National Geographic : 1899 Oct
LIFE ON A YUKON TRAIL of soft snow and waited for the rain to cease in order to get out of the mild coast belt and proceed over the snow up the river. The few days of waiting on the island were enlivened by sights and incidents of some contemporaneous human interest. The place seemed to be a reservation for the exhibition of many amus ing features of human crankery. All sorts of business ventures, more or less quixotic, were in evidence, from the saloon-keeper who intended to haul a barrel of whisky up the river on a hand- STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ON RUNNERS--DESIGNED TO DRAW LOADED VANS OVER THE SNOW sled to the man who was taking along a 60-foot steamboat in sections for launching on Teslin lake. One of the most extra ordinary manifestations of genius for impracticabilities was Cap tain Armstrong's snow train. This was nothing less than a steam locomotive on runners, designed to draw heavily loaded vans of freight for 300 miles over the surface of the snow by means of a windlass and steel-wire cable carried ahead to anchorage. The snow train was hauled after incredible exertion eight miles up the river and there abandoned.