Document 4: Martha Purdy, Chilkoot Pass, 1898

Melanie Mayer, Klondike Women: True Tales of the 1897-98 Gold Rush (Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press, 1989), p. 102-103.

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I had felt that I could make no greater effort in my life than the last part of the upward climb, but the last two miles into Lindeman was the most excruciating struggle of the whole trip. In my memory it will remain a hideous nightmare. The trail led through a scrub pine forest where we tripped over bare roots of trees that curled over and around rocks and boulders like great devilfishes. Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! Tearing boots to pieces. Hands bleeding with scratches...My brother put his arm around me and carried me most of the last mile....I had actually walked over the Chilkoot Pass!....I would never do it again, knowing now what it meant....

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest