As the gold rushers hauled their ton or more of supplies over Valdez Glacier, they
had plenty of time to evaluate each other.
Luther Guiteau wrote: "Its a great place to study faces and human nature. . . two
Virginians were very fine fellows, but too green to make a go of it on the trail.
They knew absolutely nothing about taking care of themselves out of doors, or of
camp cookery . . . they even carried with them several heavy canvas grain-sacks . . .to hold
the nuggets they had been told they could get for the picking on the Copper River
Treloar, a prospector from Carpentina, California, commented in surprise that a neighbor
he had known for years turned out not to be a good trail companion writing: "Here
is a place to test men. A man's temper is tried. One soon knows the disposition of
his partners. One may live neighbor to a person for years and never get acquainted with
him, but work one week with him drawing a sled and packing until he's near exhaustion
then go to camp together and eat there and tidy up camp and at the end of the week
you will know him . . ."
As they learned who worked without complaint, who was a slacker, who had a quick temper,
who was a good companion, who you might trust your life in the wilds with, many companies
broke up and new partnerships formed.
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