Document 21: Letter from R. Hunter Fitzhugh to His Father
Robert Hunter Fitzhugh Collection, Box 2, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Telegraph Creek, B.C.
February 24, 1898
After a long and tempestuous voyage of 31 days on the ice I am safe again in Telegraph, much to my satisfaction....We had about 1200 pounds to take up the river, and it was the worst deal I struck as there were only two dog teams, and they could not manage more than 400 pounds each. We had to pull the other stuff ourselves, and nobody who hasn't tried it can imagine what that means....it snows and blows almost continuously, and as the snow if from four to nine feet deep and no trail, we floundered along at an average rate of 2 1/2 miles a day....We figured on making the trip in 15 days, but were that long going 40 miles....
But the loads did nothing but turn over in the snow about twice a minute, and monkeying around a dog sled in seven feet of snow, with snow-shoes on, trying to "right" a 400 lb. load is one of the great trials of life....Work, work, work. Everything is work here...I have not had my clothes off for 31 days....This is a jerky, badly written letter, but I am somewhat worried.