A city formed by marketing, the small town prior to the Klondike gold rush was not particularly notable. However, a ship (the Portland) docked in 1897 carrying 2 tons of gold from the Klondike mining region and the local Seattle newspaper hyped up the story, sparking the gold rush and selling Seattle as the only place to get your supplies. The Klondike area is so unhospitable that the Canadian government insisted prospectors came with at least a year’s supply of food, so Seattle provisioning was not small business. Treacherous rafting (many built their own) alongside difficult trails passing through the mountains (Dead Horse Pass was aptly named) with thieves and rogues waiting to steal your goods and horses made for a very difficult journey. A bit like lottery winners, nearly all the miners that made a fortune (over $15,000) had lost it within a year.
There were a lot of homeless people here, on drugs, fighting, yelling and screaming at each other; we didn’t like the feel of the city. Our main visit apart from the Klondike gold museum was to Pike Place (in 1,000 places to see before you die). Whilst we had a nice, but overpriced French style meal, it was just too touristy for us. Thankfully we came on a ferry from the lovely Bainbridge Island, so were able to disappear back to the gentle pace of small island life.