Da Goddess @ 16:29

I’m excited about the mini-series Klondike! I can barely wait to see it. I have long had a love affair with prospecting, rock hunting, and rugged people doing things in dangerous places.

Plus, we get great cast: Sam Shepard, Tim Roth (whom I bumped asses with and sweated alongside last weekend at the photo exhibit), Tim Blake Nelson (I will watch anything he’s in!), and Ian Hart as Soapy Smith (which, TRIVIA!! I used to work at a restaurant called…you got it! Soapy Smith’s).

Set in the Yukon during the last half of the 1890s, the gold rush was only for the hardiest souls. No modern conveniences. No forced air heating. No mega parkas. No heavy machinery to help with the digging; everything was done by hand. Men and women set out to make their fortunes in the most formidable environment. Horribly primitive living conditions in extreme cold and people crammed into small spaces meant diseases spread quickly. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One of the lists of suggested supplies for those seeking their fortunes (as provided by the Northern Pacific Railroad) is as follows:

150 pounds (68 kg) bacon
400 pounds (180 kg) flour
25 pounds (11 kg) rolled oats
125 pounds (57 kg) beans
10 pounds (4.5 kg) tea
10 pounds (4.5 kg) coffee
25 pounds (11 kg) sugar
25 pounds (11 kg) dried potatoes
25 pounds (11 kg) dried onions
15 pounds (6.8 kg) salt
1 pound (0.45 kg) pepper
75 pounds (34 kg) dried fruits
8 pounds (3.6 kg) baking powder
8 pounds (3.6 kg) soda
0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) evaporated vinegar
12 ounces (340 g) compressed soup
1 can of mustard
1 tin of matches (for four men)
Stove for four men
Gold pan for each
Set of granite buckets
Large bucket
Knife, fork, spoon, cup, and plate
Frying pan
Coffee and teapot
Scythe stone
Two picks and one shovel
One whipsaw
Pack strap
Two axes for four men and one extra handle
Six 8-inch (200 mm) files and two taper files for the party
Draw knife, brace and bits, jack plane, and hammer for party
200 feet 0.375-inch (9.5 mm) rope
8 pounds (3.6 kg) of pitch and 5 lb (2.3 kg). of oakum for four men
Nails, 5 pounds (2.3 kg) each of 6, 8, 10 and 12 penny, for four men
Tent, 10 by 12 feet (3.0 m × 3.7 m) for four men
Canvas for wrapping
Two oil blankets to each boat
5 yards (4.6 m) of mosquito netting for each man
3 suits of heavy underwear
1 heavy Mackinaw coat
2 pairs heavy woollen trousers
1 heavy rubber-lined coat
12 heavy wool socks
6 heavy wool mittens
2 heavy over shirts
2 pairs of heavy, snag proof rubber boots
2 pairs of shoes
4 pairs of blankets (for two men)
4 towels
2 pairs of overalls
1 suit of oil clothing
Several changes of summer clothing
Small assortment of medicines

The list was a suggestion of equipment and supplies sufficient to support a prospector for one year. The total weight is approximately 1 ton, and the estimated cost amounted to $140

Can you even imagine? I can’t. Which is why I was merely a rockhound of the casual variety in my day (sporadic in nature but obsessive in practice when given the opportunity). I dreamt big, yet let the dream fade into the ether when circumstances changed. Totally fine with me. I drove my parents crazy enough as it was with my relentless pursuit of treasures on family vacations. Believe me when I say I tried everyone’s patience as I just HAD to have another 15 minutes of rock pickin’. Honestly, I think I can still hear my mom encouraging me to look UP from time to time. I did. I know I did because I saw all manner of glorious things. But my souvenirs were on the ground and I HAD to collect ’em. About the only time all family interests converged was on our Great California Adventure when we stopped somewhere to learn how to pan for gold. I was in absolute heaven the entire time!

Also, once in 1991, on a road trip from Denver to San Diego and back again, my friend and I (she was as bad as I was regarding “treasures”) added considerable weight to my truck as we loaded the bed up with pretty things.

So, yeah, Klondike is right up my alley. I can watch from the comfort of my home while dreaming of being a different person at a different time and place, discovering riches beyond imagination.


  1. Dangit! This is why I mourn cable.. at times. Maybe in a year or so it will come to Netflix…

    Comment by pam — 2014/01/16 @ 16:50

  2. Maybe a friend with cable will invite you over for a viewing if you bring dinner each night.

    I would. If you leave now, you could be here by next week. We’ll dvr it and watch it in one fell swoop.

    Comment by Da Goddess — 2014/01/16 @ 16:56

  3. If I could, I would! :D

    Comment by pam — 2014/01/17 @ 06:33

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