Transportation over Icy Trails North of The Arctic Circle, Alaska
(circa 1900)

Arctic City is near the Arctic Circle on a branch of the Yukon River. You would know by everything in view that you are in a cold climate. In the background are the snow-covered mountains with scanty growth of green trees. Near at hand are parts of a camping outfit. The tent covers are thrown loosely over  poles set in the ground. A pile of firewood is stacked at your left. The men are warmly clad. The coat collar of the leader, the man nearest to you, is covered with frost caused by his freezing breath. His feet are kept warm in Eskimo boots made of reindeer skin and walrus hide.

The dogs are the center of interest. You can tell at a glance that thay are of different kinds. The leader looks very much like a wolf. He belongs to a breed called malemute. As a matter of fact, this breed has a large fraction of wolf blood. Wolves are captured by the Eskimos when they are little puppies and are rasied with their dogs. Even when tamed it would not be safe for a stranger to come too close. If you were to lay your hand on this dog's head, the chances are his fangs would be snapping at you a moment afterwards. Most of the malemutes are half-wolf at least.

Another breed of dog you see here is called the "husky." This is a cross between a wolf and a hound. Still another is the "siwash," which is part wolf and part "husky."

You will observe that the dogs are hitched in single file. The leader is a real leader. He is master of the team and is expert at following a trail. These dogs become so used to the harness that they fight to be hitched up to the sled.


Source: Stereoview: "Transportation over Icy Trails North of the Arctic Circle, Alaska" Keystone View company,Meadvill Pa, New York NY., Chicago Ill., London England, circa 1900, #11530T

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