Young Alaskans in the Far North
"Well, that's hard to say," replied his elder relative. "I'd like to start to-morrow morning. It all depends on the stage of the water. If a flood came down the Athabasca to-morrow you'd see pretty much every breed in that saloon over there stop drinking and hurry to the scows."
"What's that got to do with it?" asked John.
"Well, when the river goes up the scows can run the Grand Rapids, down below here, without unloading, or at least without unloading everything. If the river is low so that the rocks stand out, the men have to portage every pound of the brigade stuff. The Grand Rapids are bad, let me tell you that! It is only within the last fifty years that any one has ever tried to run them. I'll show you the man who first went through--an old man now over seventy; but he was a young chap when he first tried it. Well, he found that he could get through, so he tried it over again. He and others have been guiding on thos