Yukon Trail

Words & Music by Tim Hus
Copyright Tim Hus Music 2004

I left for the Yukon trail and I lived to regret the day
Bound for the Klondike goldfields two-thousand miles away
I paid too much for passage that much I can recall
On a steamship so overfilled it could barely float at all

On the rocky Northern coast we ran aground three times
But somehow we made it to Dyea up at the end of the line
Lured on by the promise of fortune and of fate
On the stampede rush winter of ninety-seven and ninety-eight

Up the Chilkoot Pass fourty times and back
To haul a years worth of supplies past the Mounties and the tax
Already I was done for but the trail had just begun
On the Yukon Klondike gold rush in the land of the midnight sun

I lost my soul in the search for gold up on the Yukon trail
On a cold dark night ‘neath the Northern lights
Where the wind and the wolves did wail
Some say that hell is a mountain of fire
But I know that it ain’t so
It’s the ice and the snow and the frostbite cold
When the team won’t pull and the dogs won’t go
And the curse of the Yukon gold

I spent the Winter chopping logs and planing planks and boards
Building a scow to float downriver on the Lake Bennett shore
Living in a canvas tent where the blizzard winds did blow
I never felt the cold before at fify-five below

I lost my mind to cabin fever counting the restless days
Waiting for the spring ice breakup and the chance to get underway
Through the canyons and the rapids on the Yukon River run
Five hundred miles to the North and the goldfields at Dawson

My scow was smashed to splinters and my outfit took the toll
At Five Finger Rapids I damn near lost it all
Driven on by demons I’ll never understand
Just to get a little colour in the sluice box or get a little gold in the pan


I was there on the “Golden Stairs” and all I do is curse
Those who came the Stikine route said it was even worse
And those poor lost souls who made the trek overland from Edmonton
They left their bones in the muskeg swamp under the Northern Sun

So here’s to those who went to hell and lived to tell the tale
Of the swamps and mud and black fly blood of a packhorse on the trail
Those who never did come back from the gold dust fever dream
Whose trail ended long before they ever saw the nuggets gleam

I was there on the stampede trail and I staked my claim
But something down inside me died and I’ll never be the same
When I hear the word “Gold Rush” it makes my blood run cold
And even to the very end of the world I would pack right up and go