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During the Alaska gold rush, one way to reach the Klondike was over the Chilkoot Pass. A stationary camera is placed to see a ways down the curving trail. A pack train comes into view and passes in front of us, led by a man on horseback. Eight loaded mules follow, then another cowboy on horseback and a man walking, then eight more laden mules, another cowboy, then nine more mules, a cowboy, and still the pack train stretches as far as the eye can see. A solitary man watches from atop a hillock. Written by
This short but interesting footage uses good composition to communicate the feel of watching a mule train traveling along Chilkoot Pass, which was frequently used by gold miners in the 1890s. The pass connects Alaska with the Yukon Territory, and it is the location for some ruggedly beautiful scenery.
The fixed camera field is set up so as to catch a lengthy portion of the pack train as it moves around a bend and then comes towards the camera. The footage makes the considerable length of the train quite clear to the viewer, and the effect of the mules moving towards the camera also works well.
The scratchy, faded condition of the surviving print is unfortunate, because in its original form this might have been quite attractive to look at. You can still see just enough detail to get an idea of what the setting really looked like. There is also a curious stretch towards the middle, when a lone figure walks into the picture from a vantage point a bit above the level of the train. It would have been interesting to know what he was up to, and whether his presence was intended. But in any case, it's a pretty good little feature.
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