Oct 31 2012
Nov 1 2012
The council had asked for a report on effects on the local economy with the inbcreased mining activity.
"I'd like us to be a little more friendly to miners.We appreciate them.Mining is our thing here." Those were the words of Josie Stiles a city council member.Another member,Stan Anderson, said "I didn't know we were doing anything unfriendly."
The fact is,this town is in a boom at least as far as increased mining activity goes.The harbor is crammed with dredgesThere's room to maneuver but dredgers are tied up alongside other dredges and many are anchored in the river.At the end of the season,when most had been hauled out,it was astounding to see the number that are here and the money that has been invested.
A friend told me that Alaska Logistics,a barge service,has already booked 30 more dredges for next season.I don't know where they will put them really.
It's a risky business as well with this past season's weather keeping the fleet in the harbor for the better part.
As far as the question of how the old timers are doing,I can say this.The beaches on the west side are always there and gold keeps appearing though generally it is fine and flour gold.There seems to be a tendency to highgrade on the part of some.This is noticeable on the east side where some Russians got caught taking great quantities of pay off leo Rasmussen's property.That property is for sale and a couple of miners finally bought a lot from Leo.The Russians were told next time they would be arrested.Those same Russians left their gear on the beach over night once too often atanother location.I warned them it was not wise but they failed to heed the tip.One morning they found their intake hose missing and a fitting cut off the end of the layflat feeder hose.That crew is generally a bunch of scofflaws who will have to learn the hardway.
I had my 3 highbankers set up side by side for a good part of the Summer on my beach claims.Twice in the early hours of the morning,once at 3AM and another time at about 5AM,visitors arrived on ATV's.I had my whole setup in place with pumps and hoses ready for next day's startup.I didn't know these people and they didn't know I was sleeping under a tarp.I gave them a chance to pass on by before sitting up.On one occasion,they stayed too long indicating to me they had a shopping spree in mind.When I sat up with my pickaxe handle in my hand,the ATV drivers put it in gear a raced off down the beach.
"Oldtimers" mining inland are still mining inland and there is also more investment in equipment going on back there.There will be more and it is not all directed toward gold alone.
I don't think older dredgers are happy to see the competition but it wasn't the Discovery Channel alone that brought on the increased interest in offshore gold.Like the previous gold rush activity prior to TV,it is "telephone,telegraph and tellafriend".
Nov 4 2012
Nov 26 2012
That's to bad that you have to sleep with your equipment.
Klondike jake has it rght, California looks at the cost after it's too late.
Nov 26 2012
Now, a couple of harmless m-80s hooked up to a remote igniter (like a small ball of steel wool with low voltage DC going to it could have made memories for a lifetime.
Now Peluk - if you do any thing like that in the future, please be sure to bring the camera ! ! !
Nov 29 2012
By the end of the season,I had my boxes set up on a snow machine/ATV haul trailer.
Too many toddlers use the beach Joe.I have to be political.The Native Corp.,has now put "No Trespassing" signs up as well as "No Camping or Mining" signs on their east beach claims.I thought that "No Trespassing" warning was a bit harsh and in fact it is not enforced.It may be that their attorneys or some other consideration requires it.I'm going to look into it for curiosity.If I am mining with equipment,I won't be able to be as lenient as I am now.I want people to come and go as they please but I can't have them getting hurt.
When I'm beachbox mining,there's no problem.Tourists,family groups and kids come around to study the process and ask questions.
Incidentally,when I was talking about "highgrading",I was talking about just taking surface pay from areas which the Gold Company owns and where they allow such activity...if in fact they do.I know they allow you to set up.Taking material from other beachclaim owners, where they do not allow it,is also "highgrading" but it is illegal and carries a penalty.
I took a ride up West Beach a few weeks ago.I saw where some guys had stacked paysand.It appeared it was only marked with a surveyor's lath and hadn't been disturbed.That's the way it should be.
On that trip I also noticed a large,landing craft to dredge conversion for sale.This was the first season for that outfit I think.