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Elessar
11-02-2016, 02:54 PM
Hey,

I was reading a magazine about gold prospecting and came across some info
for Alaska. It mentioned one place I believe you once referred to...Tallkeetna.

Have you ever delved into panning or prospecting up there?

NightTrain
11-02-2016, 03:04 PM
Hey,

I was reading a magazine about gold prospecting and came across some info
for Alaska. It mentioned one place I believe you once referred to...Tallkeetna.

Have you ever delved into panning or prospecting up there?



I've dabbled with panning. It's interesting, but contrary to what the huge amount of reality shows display, it's brutal, backbreaking work.

Really, the only way you're going to make a buck is to get set up with a small dredge and follow the trail up a promising creek somewhere looking for the jackpot.

I had a friend that was a lineman years ago. He got bitten by the gold bug and began devoting all his free time to working a little claim up in Turnagain Pass, about 80 miles from Anchorage. He found color, and kept working up the creek as the color got better.

After about 3 years of this, he finally hit a monster gold deposit where all the previous gold had come from. It was substantial enough that he quit his job and moved to the Lower 48 and bought a house and a top-notch diesel pusher RV.

The cool part about gold mining is that those that hit it big do the smart thing and don't report it. You just dip into it as you need - it's money, after all. He's set for life.

NightTrain
11-02-2016, 03:14 PM
Another friend of mine used to fly out to the bush all the time for his job as a sales rep for an Anchorage lumber yard. He stopped in on a trip to Nome to catch up with a couple of old buddies of his who were operating a mining claim, and they were just doing a cleanup from their operation that was running a couple of D9s - it was a big operation up there. They took those big dozers and cut a huge trench along a creek down to bedrock.

In a normal mine, NO ONE is allowed into the cleanup room except the bosses. They made an exception for my friend, because they could trust him to keep his mouth shut.

Over against the wall was a few 5-gallon buckets filled with paydirt, with dirty water on top. One of them said, "Hey, bring me one of those buckets, willya?", and he walked over to grab the bucket & about ripped his arm off - he could not lift the bucket off the floor. He tried. His buddies, the owners of the claim, were in pretty high spirits - they'd hit a jackpot with a D9 dozer and had millions sitting in those buckets.

Officially, of course, it was probably another slim year as far as the IRS was concerned. :laugh:

He told me this many years after this happened, and he never did find out exactly how much they'd scored on that one cleanup - nor did he ever ask. Some things are better left that way.

Elessar
11-02-2016, 03:54 PM
I have tried a little panning in the Sierra's, Klamath River, Trinity River, and the Rogue River.

You're right! It is backbreaking, but interesting none the less!

In the Sierra's it is all over the place going up along CA 104 to Kennedy Meadows, but it is
flour gold, and not worth the effort for a panner to waste a day on unless they have a
very serious obsession!

You're right though...if you find a hoard, keep it quiet! Stake a claim perhaps??
But keep quiet!

NightTrain
11-02-2016, 04:14 PM
I have tried a little panning in the Sierra's, Klamath River, Trinity River, and the Rouge River.

You're right! It is backbreaking, but interesting none the less!

In the Sierra's it is all over the place going up along CA 104 to Kennedy Meadows, but it is
flour gold, and not worth the effort for a panner to waste a day on unless they have a
very serious obsession!

You're right though...if you find a hoard, keep it quiet! Stake a claim perhaps??
But keep quiet!

All those pics I've posted from Disappointment Creek upriver from my cabin on the Talkeetna is an interesting site. The name doesn't come from the fishing - it's from many different miners who have gone bust trying to get gold out of there. The miners have been trying to make it work since the early 1900s.

Apparently the geology points to a SURE THING!!!! according to those that know where gold is likely to be, but Disappointment has beaten them every time.

Good for me, though, since that's my favorite fishin' hole! D9s would kind of ruin the atmosphere, but I wouldn't begrudge a guy giving it a whirl - there's other spots to fish on the river.



Also, if you're into prospecting - a tip I got from an old grizzled miner once : if you have a small backpack dredge, work the culverts under those backcountry roads. The riffles in those culverts are awesome gold catchers! He showed me a nugget the size of his thumbnail from a culvert out of Fairbanks from a tiny, unnamed creek.

Gunny
11-02-2016, 06:20 PM
I've dabbled with panning. It's interesting, but contrary to what the huge amount of reality shows display, it's brutal, backbreaking work.

Really, the only way you're going to make a buck is to get set up with a small dredge and follow the trail up a promising creek somewhere looking for the jackpot.

I had a friend that was a lineman years ago. He got bitten by the gold bug and began devoting all his free time to working a little claim up in Turnagain Pass, about 80 miles from Anchorage. He found color, and kept working up the creek as the color got better.

After about 3 years of this, he finally hit a monster gold deposit where all the previous gold had come from. It was substantial enough that he quit his job and moved to the Lower 48 and bought a house and a top-notch diesel pusher RV.

The cool part about gold mining is that those that hit it big do the smart thing and don't report it. You just dip into it as you need - it's money, after all. He's set for life.

I've meant to ask you about those shows. I find some of it interesting but I try to see past the "reality show" part. NatGeo would be one of your 5 channels in the hospital.

One guy whined about getting his feet wet for an hour. I understand the whole hypothermia thing. I'm also pretty sure the camera dude has his spare boots on a loaded down sled we never see.:laugh:

NightTrain
11-02-2016, 06:29 PM
I've meant to ask you about those shows. I find some of it interesting but I try to see past the "reality show" part. NatGeo would be one of your 5 channels in the hospital.

One guy whined about getting his feet wet for an hour. I understand the whole hypothermia thing. I'm also pretty sure the camera dude has his spare boots on a loaded down sled we never see.:laugh:




All the reality shows are bullshit. The made-up drama, the "dangerous" situations, all of it is phony.

I'm not a miner by trade, but I have been around a few operations and one thing I can say with certainty is that the cameras are not around when the real cleanup happens. No one is but the bosses.

Gold Rush isn't bad and I'll watch it, but there's still a load of BS going on constantly. The real allure to that show is the operators on the heavy equipment - they are amazing, until one of the producers of the show have him get an excavator "stuck" for the show and then they handle the rig like a 1st year apprentice. That's when I get pissed.
I'm decent on an excavator, but not a master like those guys are, so when I see some silly shit going on I want to yell at them to use the bucket for the love of God!!! Just reach over and pull, you dumb sonofabitch, you've done it a million times! ZOMGWTFBBQ :laugh2:

Right about then I get a rolleyes from the wife.

Elessar
11-03-2016, 07:39 PM
The worst of them all, 'Reality' Shows, is "Axemen". All they do is cuss and fight!:laugh:

Gunny
11-04-2016, 02:22 PM
So y'all got a bunch of goofballs that pile in with their Home Depot snow kit because TV makes it look easy to live there? :laugh:

My daughter keeps saying she wants to move to AK. I', like you're from S TX and can't even get into the spring-fed rivers here. :laugh: