National Geographic : 1898 Apr
116 OVERLAND ROUTES TO THE KLONDIKE creek over to Teslin lake the trail will be opened and operated by the Canadian government. A wagon road will be constructed and a bill has already passed the House of Commons granting subsidies for a railway. The road at present is estimated to be about 150 miles long and can be traversed in ten days or less. The way is wooded and has no dangerous features. At Teslin lake is a saw-mill and lumber for rafts or boats can be purchased and the rest of the journey made by water. The Ashcroft trail and the Kamloops route, which is practi cally the same in character, is alluring. It begins in a genial climate between the coast range and a spur of the Rocky moun tains, and is therefore somewhat like eastern Washington in temperature and rainfall. After leaving Quesnelle the trail plunges at once into the wild country, and to those who are fond of sport and adventure it will offer a special charm. There are frequent stopping-places, and the Indians are friendly and if properly treated will be a source of aid in case of necessity. The advantages of this route are offset, however, by obvious disadvantages. It is very long. According to the most liberal estimates, it will take forty days from Quesnelle to Telegraph creek, though it can probably be done in less time, provided there are no delays for bridge-building. It will be possible to go in light, sending part of the outfit by way of Victoria to Tele graph creek, and by leaving an advance order for supplies with the Hudson's Bay Company to be delivered on a certain date from their stores at Hazelton. It will not do to leave Quesnelle until the grass comes, say by the 10th of May. Before that time, even though it might afford a fairly good " nip," it would still be watery and without suffi cient nutriment. After the 10th of May the Ashcroft trail will be a comparatively cheap and easy route to the Cassiar and Teslin Lake mines, with no duties and very little toll to pay. In the matter of outfitting it is probable that Kamloops, Ash croft, and Quesnelle will be able to furnish complete outfits for a limited number of pack-trains, and being upon the Canadian Pacific Railway, supplies in case of need could be hurried forward by telegraph from Victoria, Vancouver, or Winnipeg. It is safe to count on about fifty days' time from Ashcroft, and while the expense will be light, probably not exceeding three hundred dollars for transportation and a year's provisions, it would not be well to start with less than five hundred dollars in hand or within reach at Teslin lake.