Friday, December 17, 2010

Alaska Gold Rush

Tonight Helen noticed a new program on the Discovery Channel. Alaska Gold Rush follows a group from Oregon trying to strike it rich in Alaska. We were amazed to see that it's a golf field that we visited in July of this year. In fact, I mentioned it in my blog of July 20th. The going was rough, even in my little Jeep, and to see these people crossing a bridges that terrified Helen is awesome. The jeep with the two of us would weigh close to 4000 pounds. Helen noticed how a lot of the planks on the bridge were rotten or missing. These guys were hauling a 100,000 pound rig across the bridge. The bridge creaked and groaned, but didn't fail.

Later they towed their travel trailers in and again I'm in awe. There was barely enough room to drive my Jeep. How that drove in all their equipment without severe damage. Their claim runs down to a river and they showed their neighbor on the other side of the river.

This is the neighbor across the river, where we were on July 20th.

Another view of the neighbor's place, no one at home when we were there.

We were told that there were a few people still working the gold fields even today. Most noted is a woman who lives out there year round, coming into "civilization" to sell her gold and buy supplies. We saw one operation that was still operating under the blue glow of a huge tarp. Again, we could see the evidence of recent work, but saw no one. Thinking back on it, I don't know if there was someone back in the woods with a gun, waiting to see if we would molest his claim.

It's just funny to be watching a TV program and discover that we were right there.

The group from Oregon doesn't seem to be too attuned to life in the wilderness. A black bear came into camp and took a box of graham crackers let out by one of the kids. The men are SURE that it's a grizzly and a menace to the group. Shooting a bear is not allowed unless it is truly a menace and these guys have convinced themselves that it is so. I find it funny because at the first sight of a human, the black bear makes a quick exit. Only interested in the crackers, when the crackers were gone, the bear had no reason to stay. When one of the men spoke sternly to the boy who left the crackers outside, his father came to his aid and told the man to leave his son alone. I guess that back in the lower 48, he backed up the boy if a teacher had a complaint.

It will be interesting to watch this program evolve. So far, they don't seem to be too capable of sustaining themselves in this area.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really neat coincidence, and yes you are right, the boy should have been told, the right way without the father contradicting it. That's the problem as a whole with our society today. He to bad you didn't know, all you would have had to do is find one little piece of gold and put it under the nose of your highly trained smellers and you and Helen would have been on easy street just letting Jodie & Coco smell out the gold. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....