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Posted by Murrisk on September 10, 2003 at 00:27:31:

As I sat on the mountain side overlooking Bennett Lake I couldn’t help but remember, as I looked down on the emerald green lake, of the tens of thousands of Stampeder men and women who trekked through here on the way to the goldfields at Dawson having crossed the Chilkoot Pass. Each person was required to have one ton of supplies before being allowed to proceed by boat, and occasionally on foot. Bennett Lake is long and narrow, the Yukon River has many treacherous rapids and Lake Labarge (where Sam McGee got warm) is open and windswept. The White Pass & Yukon rail line, which opened in July 1899, still functions as a tourist attraction between Skagway and Carcross. The Caribou Hotel in Carcross was famous for its foul mouthed parrot. When the hotel burned down around 1905 it was replaced by a hotel dragged for tens of miles over the ice from Conrad City on Tutshi Lake. The dreams of Conrad City have long since disappeared leaving only some old mine workings as tourist attractions. We stopped at the present Caribou Hotel for a beer with some old acquaintances and the talk soon turned to memories of old times and friends no longer with us. The evening meal was delicious roast moose.

Paddy Pass is a prominent valley in the area and there used to be a village called Pavey on Bennett Lake. Today, it is remembered as “Pavey Mile Post 46.6”. The two names got me wondering about the Irish who had passed this way. If I remember correctly Pavey was the name for a ‘traveler’ who sold cloth. There was also an Irish musical group around Dublin in the 1960’s/70’s called the Paveys. I think Finbar Furey and his brothers played with this group at one time.

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