In 1897, a 21-year-old unemployed Californian named Jack London borrowed funds so he could make his fortune in the Klondike. His life prior to the gold rush had been a story of toil and lean days. He knew how to pitch a tent, start a fire with minimal effort and how to go without either a fire or a blanket if circumstances required. He had lived in close quarters with sailors before the mast, tramps on the road and even convicts in jail.Though London set sail for the Klondike to accumulate gold rather than write about it, in the back of his mind lurked a resolve to become a writer. Everywhere he wandered, his alert intellect absorbed the experiences and observations he would later organize into mesmerizing stories. His masterpieces about the gold rush--The Call of the Wild and White Fang--remain to this day the finest record of the atmosphere, the overlay of the cold, the romance and the stark nature of survival in the wilderness.Sailor on Snowshoes is at once a regional history, page-turning mystery and Yukon yarn--a ramble through Jack London's gold rush to find and preserve its tangible relics. In particular, it is the story of the search for a holy grail--the Yukon bush cabin in which London wrote his name--expertly narrated by northern historian and journalist Dick North, for whom an idle conversation in a saloon turned into a life's work. Through his painstaking research and keen intellect, North offers new insight into London as a young man and the far-off land that inspired his fame.