Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Nickname for Greg

So now that I'm off to Alaska in a couple days to work in the "gold fields" of Chicken, Alaska, for the summer, I'm thinking I need a good nickname related to the mining industry. Over the last several years we have met lots of recreational miners and others who work semi professionally or professionally in the field. Some of them have some really cool nicknames. What made me start rethinking this was the comment from "Big Bill" in Anchorage, Alaska, although I thought a little bit about it before as well. Big Bill. It's a little like "Big John, Big John, Big John, Big Bad John." It just sounds cool! I guess I don't need to be cool, but the assignment of a good nickname is rather complimentary to the fact that one is working in a field that matters (to one, if not to more than one...)

So in addition to Big Bill, there was "Texas Bill" who helped the caretakers at Vein Mountain. He was a big Bill, but he was from Texas, sounded like he was from Texas, talked like he was from Texas, and so on. A good guy to be sure. Very likable. And while he was likable with or without the nickname, I more than likely would not remember his name day in and day out without the "tag".

We also met a "Gator Jim", a "Florida Bob," a "Nuggetman Will", who autographed his book for us, "Crystal Jim", who is really good at gold reclamation and at moonshine production, "Juneau Judy", and "Yukon Yonda", who once said "Boys, It's not a gold mine; it's more like Gold??? Mine!!!"

Even Marilyn got a nickname on our first trip to Alaska, though she's probably going to be slightly less than thrilled that I tell this story. First time we found a nugget in our sluice box, Marilyn was so thrilled and amazed that the gold really does settle out at the top of the sluice and not pass right on through and out the other end- that she decided to pick it out, look it over, then send it on through the sluice again, just to see if and where it would stop the second time through! To my thinking that put our find at risk, but sure enough it showed up again later in the day, right there at the top of the sluice on cleanup. When I relayed this story back in camp at the end of the day, the guys started to call her "DD."

"DD" I said.

"Yea, it's short for Double Drop" Apparently this phenomonon is not all that rare, evidenced by the term already in existence. Still, it stuck, and while she doesn't especially relish being called that, I think it's a cool nickname. Actually, I guess I just think it's cool that someone HAS a nickname. It's not a negative, high schoolish name, it's just a fitting assignment of a term of affection that came about in the process of doing what you do....

So I'm thinking about it. I thought about "Chicken Greg" but it's too much of a Chicken George thing from ROOTS. Everything else we came up with was forced and foolish. So what do you think. Suggestions? And "NO! Marilyn, "Dirt Bag" does not work for me!"

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about Road Hobo?

Greg said...

Thanks Anonymous, but frankly I like "dirt bag" better than that one. Actually, I am looking for a tag word + my name, i.e. Gravel Greg or Paydirt Greg or Blogger Greg, something like that. Please try again...

Michelle said...

You'll always be "Gundo" to us no matter what name you pick! I/we vote for "Gundo"!

Michelle

Jeff said...

Greg- We're new readers....anticipating our own voyage to Alaska in approx. 10 days via a Class C Coach House RV that is actually made in Florida!
We live in Cape Coral, Fl.....formerly of Key Largo for several years.
Where are you now? How are the fuel prices compared with your previous visit to Alaska?
Will plan for a visit and try our luck with some of them thar gold!
Thanks for your blogs!
Jeff Becker
Cape Coral, Fl. jeffbec51@aol.com

Greg said...

Welcome aboard. Jeff. If this is your first trip to Alaska, let me tell you without a doubt - you're gonna love it! May I recommend you go back in our blog archives to May, June, July, August, and September of 07 and play catch up with our last Alaska trip. More or less, if we could get there by wheels (as opposed to boat or plane) we went there. Roads are good, despite what you may have heard. There are some frost heaves and such but nearly every single one of them is well marked. Travel at a reasonable speed and you will have no trouble. On your way up the Alaska highway, assuming you are going up that and not the Cassiar (which we think is better traveled in the Fall) there are some fairly bad stretches, most notably at Destruction Bay, which is aptly named. Permafrost makes that a tough stretch no matter what, no matter when- washboard gravel and a lot of muck. But take it slow; the scenery is terrific despite the road quality and anyway that's Canada not Alaska. Give me Alaskan roads before I-10 in Texas or the PA Turnpike any day of the week! If you detect me going on and on a bit- I can't help myself. We were in Alaska three and a half months and every single day was better than the the one before. Unreal. Fuel prices are higher considerably through Canada, but remember they have a different "gallon" than we do and fuel is sold by the liter. Suggest you travel "on the top half" of your fuel tank, as fuel stops, especially in the Spring may not all be open yet. Once you hit Alaska, fuel prices will be back closer (but not all the way) to regular US prices. Mike and Lou of Chicken Gold Camp went back to AK in March and reported fuel prices better than last Fall but still not too cheap. Diesel, especially the new Ultra Low 15ppm, is according to their last report about a buck a gallon more than in the lower 48. Alaska cannot refine to those new specs yet so they ship oil down and ultra low diesel back up, accounting for the higher price. Once we got past the culture shock of higher Canadian prices, and realized that those prices were the cost equivalent of the price of a ticket for the best adventure life has to offer, we even got to feeling good about them after a while.
Jeff, we are ready to start our trip from here, Reading , Pennsylvania on the 22 of this month- just a few days from now. Would you believe that our last house had this address: 2020 SE 21st Court, Cape Coral, FL 33990 ??? Have lots of friends back in Cape Coral and used to have a landscape and property management company there before selling it all and hitting the highways three years ago. So we "know where you're coming from" so to speak. Our 07 trip began and ended in Cape Coral with 12,000 miles on the coach and a whole bunch more on the van...
On the blog, please take a look at the live map entitled "Where in the world is Gundyville?" The map tacks with a black dot in the center are where we are or have already been. The map tacks without the dots are in front of us and will at some point soon, begin to have arrival dates and camp sites shown although that info has not yet been filled in. I ask you to take a look at that to see if our paths may cross at some point so we could hook up to meet. We enter Canada from Shelby Montana, Rt 15 and will be there on or about May 6 barring unforeseen circumstances which as all RVers know do arise from time to time. Please feel invited to keep in touch.
I'd love to know how long you expect to spend in Alaska (it's big- spend as much time as you can). And when do you think you might make it to Chicken.

We finished our trip in Chicken and then did the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory for the trip back. It's 108 miles of mostly unpaved highway but if you have the time and the inclination, it should not be missed. I nearly didn't do it because so many people said how dangerous it was! Hogwash! There's a story on it in the archives you might want to read.
There is so much gold in Chicken, that I can virtually guarantee you you will find gold there. If you haven't done it before, panning lessons on me! If you book some camping nights with www.chickengold.com
please tell them you've hooked up with us!
Let me know if I can be of further assistance in any way,
Greg and Marilyn, too

Ken and Linda said...

How about "4-eyes Greg"?

Anonymous said...

Somehow, "Droop Dawg" seems appropriate. Have a great adventure. Linda and I are still considering an Alaska trip in the future.

Greg said...

Pointer! Pointer! Not Setter!

Jeff said...

Gregarious Greg!

jeff and lisette

Greg said...

Thanks, Jeff. I like it...

Chris said...

Greg the Blogger ... duh!