“What a land of extremes we had seen, with its highest mountains, deepest snow, gloomy darkness and dazzling sunshine, summer heat and intense cold, riches and poverty, feast and famine . . . While we had made little above expenses, we had fared much better than the great majority, who lost all. Was it a waste of time? I have never thought so, for the whole trip was so full of interesting experience.”
So Writes Basil Austin, a young man who, like thousands of others, journeyed to Alaska in 1898. Lured by the promise of wealth, adventure, and independence, Austin found a rugged terrain that gave him the opportunity to test his personal mettle.
Austin’s memoirs perfectly encapsulate the experience of the Alaskan prospector, from his journey aboard the schooner Lizzie, to the arduous trek over Valdez Glacier into the Interior. First published in 1968, The Valdez Museum & Historical Archive presents a new edition with photographs and sketches by the author, while preserving Austin’s original colorful and humorous prose.