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The Trail of a Sourdough Life in Alaska   By:

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The Trail of a Sourdough is a captivating memoir that takes readers on an extraordinary journey through the untamed wilderness of Alaska. Authored by May Kellogg Sullivan, this book offers a firsthand account of her experiences and challenges as she forged a life in one of the most unforgiving environments on Earth.

Sullivan's vivid descriptions transport readers to a bygone era, where life was dictated by the raw power of nature. From the biting cold of winter to the breathtaking beauty of towering mountains and vast wilderness, every page of this memoir is filled with awe-inspiring imagery. Sullivan's ability to paint a picture with her words allows readers to truly understand the allure of Alaska, despite its harsh conditions.

One of the most gripping aspects of this memoir is the author's determination and resilience. Sullivan portrays herself as a strong-willed woman who refused to be defeated by the challenges that Alaska presented. From battling sub-zero temperatures to enduring isolation, she faced each obstacle head-on, determined to carve out a life for herself and her family. Her unwavering spirit serves as an inspiration to readers, reminding us that courage and perseverance can conquer even the most daunting of circumstances.

The memoir also delves into the day-to-day struggles of living in Alaska during a time when modern amenities were scant. Sullivan provides a fascinating glimpse into the resourcefulness and self-sufficiency necessary for survival. From hunting and fishing for sustenance to building shelters from natural materials, her accounts of adapting to the Alaskan lifestyle are both educational and enthralling.

The Trail of a Sourdough is not without its moments of heartbreak and tragedy. Sullivan's unflinching honesty reveals the harsh realities of life in the wilderness, where death and loss were constant companions. However, despite these hardships, the author's unwavering spirit shines through, offering a testament to the indomitable human spirit.

While some readers may find the pacing of the memoir to be slow at times, the evocative descriptions and mesmerizing storytelling make it a worthwhile read. May Kellogg Sullivan's narrative effortlessly transports readers to a time and place that is both captivating and unforgiving. The Trail of a Sourdough is a remarkable memoir that not only provides a fascinating glimpse into early Alaskan life but also celebrates the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

First Page:

[Illustration: The heart of Alaska in winter ]


Life in Alaska



Author of "A Woman Who Went to Alaska"

[Illustration: ARTI et VERITATI]


Copyright 1910 by Richard G. Badger

All Rights Reserved



While the word Sourdough (sour dough) is perfectly familiar to those in Alaska and along the Pacific Coast it may not be amiss to give a brief explanation to our Eastern readers.

A Sourdough is a miner who has spent one winter in Alaska and "has seen the ice go out." Mrs. Sullivan is a Sourdough herself. In all she has made seven trips to Alaska extending over a period of ten years.

When miners are beyond the pale of civilization, with a supply of flour but no baking powder, yeast or potatoes, they cut from each batch of bread dough a little piece, to be kept until it turns sour, and then used as leaven for the next baking.

It is through this custom that the miners themselves came to be called sourdoughs.


This little book is my second Brain child. The first, entitled "A Woman Who Went to Alaska," has been so cordially received by the reading public that I have been induced to send another in its footsteps... Continue reading book >>

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