Trail #1 - Overland Trail, Km. 45

Dooley’s Lookout

Photo from Dooley’s Lookout

Dooley’s Lookout

Bill MacBride, Freight Dispatcher for the White Pass & Yukon Route (WP&YR), described the life of an Overland Trail driver for the horse drawn WP&YR sleighs:

The coldest part of the year was from December 1 to April 10th. The stage drivers, or "skinners", wore fur coats with a long red sash tied about the waist and soft leather gloves with silk or wool liners. On cold days they might hold the reins in one hand and pound the other against their shoulders to keep up the circulation. In latter days the stage would not leave a Post if the temperature was colder than -40 but many times it would be -50 or -60 before they reached the next Post. There were very few serious accidents. Sleighs had chain rough-locks and also metal bars that could be set to dig into the road bed. Drivers had to be good, especially when a spring had glaciated across the road on a side hill and a hundred foot drop was the alternative route.


The dog buried in the little grave behind this lookout may have belonged to Mrs. and Mrs. Ernie Burwash. Burwash worked for twenty years for WP&YR on the Overland Trail and was one of their most reliable and skilful of the drivers.

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