Friday, May 1, 2009

Breakup On The Fortymile

Mike from Chicken Gold Camp sent another email recently, part of which I thought I should share with you. He and Lou are steeped in the past and present of Alaska and have a profound love and understanding for it which comes from close ties to the land, and all things that live on and above it and the earthen treasures that can be found below the surface as well. Whenever Mike writes, several things happen. One, I get inspired. Two, I learn something new or get a new perspective from someone who talks the talk, walks the walk, and lives the life I can only imagine and share in small measure. Three, I almost always get a good laugh as his sense of humor is subtle but noteworthy. And Four, as often as not, he sends one of his excellent photographs, accompanied by his always powerful and concise writing style.

Mike's news at the arrival of the beginning of May is that Spring is arriving in full regalia in Chicken, Alaska. To support that he wrote as follows:

Nice to have the RV.Net exposure....guess we had better enjoy this quiet time! And speaking of enjoyment, we just enjoyed a herd of caribou walking right past the house while we were eating lunch. I ran for the camera, Ruby barked at me and that was it. But this time of year, the caribou come through on their spring migration so we will see many more. And they are not alone: the sand hill cranes, tundra swans, Canada geese and all kinds of varieties of small birds are arriving daily on their trek north (they usually precede the human migration by a few weeks as they understand that this is really the time to arrive here. Sunny, dry and warm!

I immediately read this comment to Marilyn, who was hard at work on her navigational fine tuning. It caused her to say:

"Maybe I'll grab a plane and get up there faster so I don't miss anything."

Well fine! Who will navigate? So I wrote back to Mike to say that I would no longer be able to share his "contributions" with Marilyn, for fear of early departure of the navigator. Then Mike, as he is excellent at doing, put things back in perspective with this bit:

Well you can read this to Marilyn and maybe it will simmer her down....mos-qui-tos also arrived today, the big, fat, slow moving leftovers from last year....but they did arrive in pretty big numbers. I got a few bites on my back (had my shirt off it is so warm!....82 was the highest I saw today). This is all very unseasonably warm weather; warmer than I have ever seen this time of year. The critters are all normal though.

The last I saw my lovely bride and able navigator, she had waded into the back closet in all probability to dig out the mosquito netting. Had we grown up in this day and age instead of when we did, she no doubt would have been the first Bluebird admitted into the Boy Scouts!

Travel Tip For Today: How timely! You should travel to Alaska with plenty of mosquito repellent, anti itch creams, sting and bite neutralizers, first aid kits. Don't forget to pick up a couple of those sexy little face nets from your favorite outfitter store that slip on over your hat and protect your face and neck from the swarming hoards of insects? Why should you do all this? Well, that's what we were prepared with on the 07 trip and we hardly saw a biting, sucking insect at all. In fact, if I had twelve fingers instead of ten, I could probably count on two hands the number of mosquitoes we saw in over three months in Alaska. Not saying things will work out the same for you....but at least you know you will be prepared for whatever flies down the pike, and isn't that just the point of a travel tip???

But back to matters in Chicken for a moment here. To support his words, Mike sent a great picture of the rapid fire “ice out” happening on “The Fortymile Creek”, one of the most famous names in the history of gold exploration in Alaska. When I did a search just to double check matters for myself, a page for the Fortymile Creek came up first. The number two result on the search display was Chicken Gold Camp, which gives you a good idea of where the camp is and how it fits into the scheme of things. We'll hope to develop this much more over the summer. For now all you need to know is this (especially if it is your intention to meet and greet us there some time). There is lots of gold in Chicken and the area. Once we show you HOW to go about looking for it- you WILL in fact all find some gold. How much gold you find depends on a couple things including but not limited to how hard you are willing to work and how lucky you just might be. But I can't imagine anyone leaves Chicken empty handed- ever! A word to the wise, there are a couple of recreational mining operations in the area and it can be the slightest bit confusing which is which. I keep making the link to Chicken Gold Camp and Outpost to avoid having you wind up at the wrong place. This is the cream of the crop. The top of the tailings pile. The hostess with the mostess. Why come all this way and stay anywhere else!

I'm working at getting some sense of rhythm to my "This time two years ago" feature. It's not perfectly synced yet but getting closer. Try the link below for starters:

Click Here for Bad-Lands! Good Day! a post from our 2007 (May 4) visit here. Time kept us from visiting the Badlands again, but driving around this area is quite simply amazing and should be on your list of things to do before you die...


bob said...

Am enjoying following your trip. We will be leaving Madison Wi on July 12 and heading to Alaska. Our BT Cruiser (28ft) and Smart Car towed will be substantially smaller than your gorgeous rig but comfortable none the less. Have been to Alaska on numerous ocassions but always by plane. Thanks for your great ideas and passion for the trip.

Greg said...

bob- I took a picture for the blog this winter of a guy we saw at a rest stop in Arizona I think that had a rig like you are describing. Was that you?
Anyway, have a great trip. Stay in touch. Gonna come to Chicken for a meet and greet???
Is your smart car blue?

bob said...

Smart is black and gray. Spent the winter at condo in Alabama past winter. Next winter it will be in southwest and California and then on to the Olympics in Vancouver. We will stop in Chicken on way through. Safe travels.

Mark and Chris said...

Hi guys. We are all moved into our new 42 ft phaeton. Chris arriving on Thursday and we should be on the road back to Ontario soon after. Planning on using that 1500 mile trip as our shake down cruise. Everything seems to be working properly and there are no recalls. Stay safe.

Greg said...

Mark and Chris, Nice Ride! Travel On.

Greg said...

bob- way to go, another panning lesson claimed. Do make your reservation for approximate eta, as some weeks like the first in July are filling way faster than usual.