There are three ways of going upriver in a canoe: paddling, which works as long as the current is slower than 5 inph; lining (illustrated above), when the terrain and vegetation of the bank allow it; and poling, which the Indians once practiced extensively, and which requires a great deal of expertise.
The territory once belonged to Russia, which sold it in March 1867 to the United States for *7. 2 million, a pittance.
After the gold rush, which lasted until the early 1900s (and the international success of Jack London's novels), Alaska became strategically important in containing the Russian giant. The gold gone, Alaska saw an oil boom, and a pipeline was built across eight hundred miles of country from Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez, where the black gold is loaded onto tankers.