Thursday, August 21, 2008

Strikin' it Rich

Ethan, Josh and I headed for the hills yesterday to pan for gold. We had a great time meeting the family owned and operated mine, Indian Valley Mine, that was discovered by Peter Strong in 1909. He built a small cabin, forged his own tools and mined gold until WWII. You can see the small mine shaft where he would go searching...

The boys wanted to know if this was a real nugget...not a gold one or a chicken.
Here is Arlene asking the boys to "shake hands" becoming partners as they split a mystery bucket of dirt and rock.
The panning begins. They are both taught the ways of the gold miner. Gold is 18 times heavier than rock, so it hangs out on the bottom of their pans. Each boy filled a little vile with not only a few small nuggets, but amethist, garnets, granite, and jade.
Josh and I had a bit more patience than Ethan. The large flies and mosquitos were quite disturbing for him...But Josh and I panned until there was no more than a few ugly rocks remaining.
They both left happy miners. Every place we go, we are delighted to have amazing views. Love Alaska!

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