In terms of the traveling, I flew into Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, which is eight hours south of Dawson City. I met a girl named Jo who was also trying to get to Dawson. We hitchhiked the rest of the way, listening to a man tell us all his conspiracy theories. I arrived in town a few days before summer solstice and stayed with Justin Apperley, an amazing human and artist, before heading to the plant nursery where I would work for the rest of my time.
I spent the majority of that summer on the farm—weeding, pruning, pollenating, and taking photographs. Every few days, I'd hitch a ride into town. There's no cell phone service, so to find your friends, you just walk into their house or, if they weren't there, you check the riverside or the bar. Some nights would be spent drinking moonshine or listening to a friend play the banjo while sitting on a shipwreck, or swimming in freezing rivers and lakes, or a combination of all of those things. You don't need electricity when the sun doesn't set, which during this time of the year, it never does. Running water isn't that much of a necessity when you're surrounded by rivers.
You've got something in common with every person you meet in the Yukon, because no one ends up there by accident. It's the legion of the lost.
Suzanna Zak is a photographer currently living in Los Angeles. This work, titled Life Lived on Life, just opened at MICA in Baltimore and was created with a grant from the Meyer Traveling Photography Fellowship. The series investigates the way that fiction enters into our reality by examining the lasting influence of Jack London's Call of the Wild, both of which take place in the Yukon. Check out more of Suzanna's work here.