Sunday, December 9, 2012

Can you tell me?

Double, Rainbow, Alaska, Summer, Sterling, Hwy
Alaska is an amazing place to live, work, play and raise a family it.   Every day is full of new experiences.   There is almost no way to describe the wonders every day will bring.  You could go outside on the deck and find that a mother moose has calved twins and get to see them take their first wobbly steps in this fantastic place.  You could be driving home at night and have to pull your car over to park so you can watch the northern lights dance through the sky.   When the trees have the hoarfrost on them and they look like they were pulled out of some fairytale book, you just have to stop and admire.  The photo in this post I was just driving to town to pick up some groceries and I had to pull over and take a picture, if you look close you can see the double rainbow.  Go ahead and write a comment about your favorite things that you experience where your from.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What happens in the evenings?

We are going to try a post without a picture today.  At the end of the day, after all of our equipment has run out of fuel.   We perform our clean up, eat dinner, then it is time to sit around the fire and talk about events that took place during the day.  My Mother-in-law usually wants to do an evening exploration trip to an area of the mine we have not been to in a while.  When she heads out she usually takes my wife along with.   My father-in-law and I sit around the camp fire and discuss ways to modify our equipment to make it work better, places we think that we need to dig test holes.  We discuss how we are going to run the operation more efficiently with our small crew.   Once my mother-in-law and wife return from their expedition we will then start the wine tasting, the in laws make their own wine.  Most of the time it is great wine, sometimes you just have to spit it back out.  After a couple glasses of wine it is usually time for everyone to hit the hay for the evening, then rinse and repeat, we do it all again the next evening.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What is a Gold Miner?

Gold Mine, fall, dad, comforting
The Gold Miner is not always searching for gold.  There are things much more precious to him.  Those precious things require much more attention than the ground under his feet.  In this photo a little girls feet left the ground while in a flat out run, ending in a very painful fall.  The Miner is first and foremost a father, then a husband, a son, a brother.  The gold miner may have hard hands, but they are comforting hands, hands that heal wounds and will pick you up when you fall.   A Gold Miner is a friend for life and will always be there if family or friend is in need.  I am a gold miner.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It Finds Gold.

Trommel, tray, loading, gold, washplant Trommel, pullys, belt, gold, wash plant
Trommel, loading,tray trommel, expel, discharge tray

This here is our little trommel wash plant that we use to run samples in. It a bit clunky, not quite round, but hey nobody is perfect and it works just fine just the way it is. How it works, we will set it up at base camp and after I have dug a sample Hole I will fill my backhoe's excavator bucket up with the dirt of interest, carry it back to where the trommel is located and then shovel the dirt from the bucket into the trommel. Once we have run the whole bucket through the trommel the we perform a clean out, it is never a lot of gold, but what it does is give us a snapshot of what the ground contains, gold wise, and depending on what we get out of the trommel we will decide to dig or not to dig?......Boy, that seems like a recurring question in this blog. This trommel seems to have very good gold recovery. We did have some grounding issues when we first started operating, if you would touch the trommel you would get a nice electric shock from it. As you all know electricity and water does not mix well. We have since solved that issue because getting shocked every time you touch the machine, just won't do. These photos are prior to having any of the pluming installed. I will try to find a picture of the complete unit to show off.

Monday, December 3, 2012


wife, mining, sleeping, caughtYou know, I can't help that I am an early riser and like to start my day as soon as possible.  I have a passion for gold mining, maybe its being outdoors all the time with my family on a mission of sorts. Well no matter what it is I like to work as long as there is light, which is quite a while in the summer here.  My family says that I am a slave driver and that I work to hard.  I always tell them they are welcome to stay at camp and I will go out by myself.   They always come with.  Then they say that I work them to death, I say you look like your still walking around to me.   Well the photo here is me catching my wife sneaking in a standing nap hoping no one would notice she was catching a few z's if she was standing up.  Well someone noticed and got a great picture.  I am not a slave driver!  I cant help if everyone wants to fallow me out in the morning and stay out late, until the equipment runs out of gas.  (They don't know I sneak extra fuel into the equipment so it will run a few more hours, Ssssshhh, it will be our secret.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Our Monochromatic Friends

Bald, eagle, homer, alaska, spit
Well, this is one of those other Tidbits. One day we drove down to homer to see the masses of eagles that that grouped around where the Eagle lady would feed them in Homer, AK. We went because we had heard that she had passed on and that another individual was filling in for her. Also We heard that the City of Homer was ending the program and not allowing this group of eagles to be fed by people any more. So this was kind of the last time we would be able to see the groups of eagles down on the Homer Spit before they dispersed. This particular Eagle landed right next to the truck, and he had such a great backdrop I had to take a couple pictures. There are Still Lots of eagles on the Homer Spit Just not all in one spot anymore. You don't have to look very hard to find them up here in Alaska. If you really want to see one while your here and have not seen one close up yet, just stop by the local landfill. There are plenty of them there, They are scavenger birds after all. They are beautiful bird and if you have never taken the time to stop and watch them you are really missing out on a opportunity to view the majestic national bird.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

May the Hydro-Force be with you!

Father-in-law, Operating, Hydro-force, hydroforce, mine, bedrock
First off I want to apologize for yesterdays post. It was a bit to far out in left field so I will try again today to make a post that is a little more worthy of re-posting.This Photo here is My Father-in-Law operation a very cool Device, it is a dredge nozzle that allows dredging on the dry ground instead of in the water. It is called a Hydro-force Nozzle. It works great for cleaning the bedrock once you have reached it. It works just like a dredge nozzle except there is a little diverter valve so that you can fill your hole with water and initiate suction. Once you have a good suction going in the water then you adjust the little ball valve on the side so your getting a good mixture of water and gravel going through your hoses while supplying water to the hole to keep the nozzle in water. This proper mixture help reduce clogs. There are quite a few you-tube videos on the use of this device, and all you need to do is type in Hydro-force to see it in action. When My Father in law is operating this tool he will say he needs a break, and let one of us take over. Well his break consist of standing directly over whoever is running the Hydro-force until you feel guilty and give it back to him. Usually he only will take a 5 min break. He will operate that thing for a 10 hour day, exhausting work.
Hydro-Force, Nozzle, Photo, dredging, dry land