Into the Beautiful North!
My Yukon housemate, Andreas Horvath, made a wonderful documentary about the current Gold Rush in Dawson City. It’s called ‘Earth’s Golden Playground,’ and it is opening this week in New York City! From the Times review: “Mr. Horvath shadows two diggers in Dawson City, a desolate, ramshackle town that was home to the Klondike gold rush of the 1890s, chronicled by the writer Jack London. One man who lives in a shack and resembles a spiritless Tommy Lee Jones jackhammers and shovels away at his stake in the wilderness; a woeful shot at home shows a plastic baggie of documents labeled “child support.” His wealthier counterpart uses excavator machines and workers to move tons of earth in search of gold flecks. We also learn about corporate interests that control untold acres.”
It was fascinating watching Andreas at work. I thought that some of the process was a bit dangerous as one of the prospectors he was filming was extremely angry much of the time and 60% of his verbal communication was profanity. He ended up in jail during the filming.
One fine February morning, Andreas announced he was leaving for a four day trip into the Yukon wilderness with a prospector. I tried to get as much information as possible about where they were going, but that consisted of: “up river to a tiny cabin in the woods, with no cell service.” Andreas took off with his camera and minimal supplies and he was plopped onto a dogsled with a full dog team. The prospector jumped on a snowmobile and asked Andreas to follow him. They headed out of Dawson, down a slope and onto the frozen Yukon River. Andreas was a novice dogsledder and when they hit a sharp curve, he plowed straight into a big snow bank. The prospector dug him out and put Andreas on the snowmobile. I was relieved when he returned, looking like a grubby, tough prospector who’d been sleeping on the floor in a tiny cabin with out running water or any other amenities.