Lately I have been enjoying this Australian television series even though it was several years old. Three teams of gold prospectors endured great obstacles including intense heat in pursuit of gold. I know I couldn’t survive the high temperatures but what I fail to understand is how some could wear rubber boots and heavy felt hats. I could only assume that they were well adapted to the hostile environment. Some of the gold discoveries have been quite stunning.
I have several copies of my grandfathers school notebooks from 1903. In one, there is a study of the Australian continent. When my great grandfather urged his son Gordon to emigrate to a country with a better climate than the coal-choked air of Great Britain, I’m glad he chose western Canada. He raised his family in the dry belt of southern Alberta for roughly twenty years, then moved them to the cooler foothills closer to the Rocky Mountains for another twenty or so, and finally retired with his wife Mary, and youngest son to Cordova Bay on Vancouver Island, BC in 1954. They enjoyed their final decades breathing fresh coastal air and living in a time when the world wasn’t so crowded.
Maybe the Australian gold deposits are superior, but I think the southern prairie of Alberta was less harsh. It’s difficult to imagine the realities gold hunters (and people in general) faced in the 19th century but if we don’t get climate change problems properly addressed, life could get a lot more difficult for us all in the near future.