To armchair travelers, especially in the United States, few places have a stronger allure than far-off Alaska. Now that the "wild and woolly" west is really alive only so far as it serves to accentuate our historical heritage, this land of the far north has become our last frontier. To the geologist, mineralogist, and, I might add, even to the layman, one of the most interesting features of the territory is its large placer gold deposits. Every American boy has heard of the Nome gold rush, and the more literarily adventurous have undoubtedly delved into the sagas of Jack London.
Like most lands which have been glorified in the popular mind, many erroneous notions have arisen about Alaska. While I am still a green-horn as far as the North is concerned, my picture of this territory has, since my brief visit to Alaska, changed considerably. Part of what is said here is a reflection of this change of mind.