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Old 25-07-2016, 07:38   #1
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Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Jack London is an inspiration.

He was a real adventurer and dreamer, and his adventures and stories have always inspired more dreamers and adventurers.

From the Writers Almanac:

"It was on this day in 1897 that 21-year-old novelist Jack London sailed from San Francisco, on his way to the Klondike to search for gold. He was on board the SS Umatilla with his brother-in-law, James Shepard, who was close to 70 years old. Shepard and his wife, Eliza, who was London's sister, mortgaged their house to afford the passage and gear for the two men. They had a smooth eight-day trip from San Francisco to Juneau, Alaska, and then took boats to Dyea Beach, the start of the Chilkoot Trail. The Chilkoot Trail was a difficult 33-mile journey through the Chilkoot Pass, but it was the most direct route from the coast of Alaska to the Yukon. When Shepard saw the Chilkoot Pass, he realized that there was no way he would make it. He gave all his gear to London and went home to California.

The Chilkoot Trail was brutal. The trail rose a thousand feet in the last half mile, and men had to carry all their gear on their backs because it was too steep for animals. Prospectors climbed in one single-file line. If anyone faltered and got out of line, they were not let back in. So many men were unable to survive in the Klondike that the Canadian Mounted Police mandated that all prospectors bring one ton of supplies, the minimum for a year there. So London had to climb up the Chilkoot Pass over and over, with 100-pound loads each time.

Once London made it over Chilkoot Pass, he was in Canada. From there, it was 500 miles to Dawson City, the outpost of the gold rush. After hiking through a frigid marsh up to his knees, London arrived at Lake Lindemann, the beginning of a web of rivers and lakes that would eventually lead to Dawson City. London reached Dawson City just as the Arctic winter was setting in. London came down with scurvy due to the lack of fresh vegetables, and was forced to head back to the ocean. He was not alone in turning back. Of the 100,000 potential prospectors who set out for Dawson, only about 30 percent made it, and of those, about 4,000 actually found gold.

London returned to San Francisco sick and depressed, but he started writing about his adventures in the Yukon. The Atlantic Monthly accepted his story "An Odyssey of the North," in which he wrote: "On the bottom there was a cabin, built by some man, of logs which he had cast down from above. It was a very old cabin, for men had died there alone at different times, and on pieces of birch bark which were there we read their last words and their curses. One had died of scurvy; another's partner had robbed him of his last grub and powder and stolen away; a third had been mauled by a baldface grizzly; a fourth had hunted for game and starved - and so it went, and they had been loath to leave the gold, and had died by the side of it in one way or another. And the worthless gold they had gathered yellowed the floor of the cabin like in a dream." In the year 1899, London published more than 50 pieces - poems, essays, and stories. Early in 1900, he published his first book, Son of the Wolf, a collection of short stories based on his adventures in the Klondike, and that led to his book The Call of the Wild (1903), which made his career."

~The Writer's Almanac
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Old 25-07-2016, 07:49   #2
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

The Sea Wolf was my favorite.
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:11   #3
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Yes, he was an amazing author.
Amazing life.
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:35   #4
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

The Cruise of the Snark is a wonderful read. I try to reread it each year.
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Old 25-07-2016, 11:49   #5
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Here is a very short video clip that shows the infamous Chilcoot Trail Pass that London described. In the video you will see still photos of the mountainside trail, snow covered, with a line of miners making their way up the trail to the pass. It also shows what waited for them on the other side, a frozen lake. Harsh conditions.

https://youtu.be/7LFZjKDoubA
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Old 25-07-2016, 12:32   #6
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Steady,
Jack London was ,perhaps, America's greatest writer and today, sadly, has been all but forgotten by contemporary generations. He was a true adventurer and outdoorsman and wrote some of the cleanest, most realistic and profound stories dealing with Nature, the human condition and existentialist Man. His prose is "All American" and was much revered at one time in our History and was undoubtedly an influence in a young Hemingway's life. I have read all his novels and like most sailors have relished "The Cruise of the Snark"--London's real-life journey from California to Hawaii and the Solomon Islands aboard his 45-foot sailboat-- a must read for all sailors. But, in today's world of fast food, fast computers, I-phone addiction and Facebook fantasies, why would anyone take the time to read a novel or adventure story by one of America's greatest writers? And there are promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep. Captain Rognvald in reflection
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Old 25-07-2016, 12:53   #7
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Come on. Give me a break.

if you believe in Jack London fantasy, I have some swamp land to sell.

The truth? His REAL The Cruise of the Snark is a moral lesson on how to go financially bankrupt sailing. Of course, as a writer, he needed to embellish to make a buck and sell his craft to whomever would publish it. It's as big a lie as TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE.

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Old 25-07-2016, 13:02   #8
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Good stuff. Another old read I like is: Log From the Sea of Cortez-Steinbeck. Not such high adventure though for sure!
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Old 25-07-2016, 13:39   #9
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Jack London was a frequent visitor to the local waterside saloons here. His farm (worth a visit) isn't very far north of here either.
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Old 25-07-2016, 14:22   #10
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Good stuff. Another old read I like is: Log From the Sea of Cortez-Steinbeck. Not such high adventure though for sure!


Cheech,
This is one of my favorites as well. A novelist's perspective on the Sea of Cortez . . . an outstanding read! Good luck and safe sailing. R
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Old 25-07-2016, 14:47   #11
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Come on. Give me a break.

if you believe in Jack London fantasy, I have some swamp land to sell.

The truth? His REAL The Cruise of the Snark is a moral lesson on how to go financially bankrupt sailing. Of course, as a writer, he needed to embellish to make a buck and sell his craft to whomever would publish it. It's as big a lie as TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE.

Welcome to California.

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Perhaps, Salty, since you have such strong sentiments about the artistry of Jack London, you might share some authors with whom you respect and have an affinity . . . perhaps the novels: "Johnathon Livingston Seagull," by Richard Bach or "Love Story," by Erich Segal or perhaps even an imaginative pseudo-science as "Chariots of the Gods" by Erik Von Daniken? Can you add a few more to your list? We're looking for a good plot, credible artistic writing, depth of characters, and a universality of the human condition. You mention Balzac but I'm fairly certain that you've read nothing written by him and have just lifted his quote from WikiQuotes. Perhaps you can share some insights on one of the most prolific French writers to have existed comparing his works to those of London. I'm anxiously awaiting your learned response--Dr. Rognvald--an academic in despair.
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:04   #12
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

On the adventure side, rognvald, or is your real name DH?

Wind, Sand, and Stars, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1939)

Endurance, F.A. Worsley (1931)

Coming into the Country, John McPhee (1976)

The worst journey in the world, Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922)

Anythnig about Sir Richard Francis Burton

A few more but start there

Fiction? Too many to list, and mostly Victorian which is an era I adore.
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:04   #13
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

"Chariots of the Gods" by Erik Von Daniken was a classic rognvald
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Old 25-07-2016, 15:18   #14
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

This is what happens when you teach a monkey to read ;~>

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Old 25-07-2016, 15:43   #15
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Re: Jack London - An Inspiring Example for Adventure

Having read the books ,enjoyed cruising around Dyer and Skagway.Put two vessels on trailers (42' and a50' and dragged them up the White Pass to Whitehorse and on to Tuktoyaktuk . Went past Lake Labarge ,Sam Mcgee waved us on. The Dempster had just opened and I was first vessel over the top of North America.My own gold rush.
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