Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Splish! Splash!

It sounds more like a bath on a Saturday night than a mining term, I know, but "Splashing" is just that. Splashing refers to "running and gunning" your operation to make use of extremely limited supplies of water when highbanking or dredging. You dig a hole to give yourself as much of a body of water as you can- then you run your equipment until the water supply is nearly spent. Then shut down and wait for the supply to replenish itself- however long that may be. At one point we were running ten minutes and then shutting down nearly an hour for the uptake hole to fill back up- and that was after a day of digging out the hole in the first place. And of late, that's exactly what we have been doing here in Chicken. Streams went nearly dry there for a bit. Now of course, Rainmaker Choan has sent us rain, ice, sleet, hail and has things running fairly well again for the time being. Thanks. I think! Although this 27 degree business in the beginning of August has GOT to stop, Rainmaker!

Below is a look at one of the creek crossings on Myers Fork. The rocks are usually under water. But only a trickle was barely running a couple days ago. Fortunately it is a bit better now and we hope the drought is ending, or at the very least easing up a bit. As of the day this picture was taken, you could cross the usually ice cold stream in your sneakers. No boots necessary! That is for sure not always the case.

But splashing is not JUST a mining term either. With temps high (not now, but a few days ago) the moose were gathering in the ponds that still held water and drinking and bathing to keep cool. This cow and her twin calves were at a roadside stop (moose style) on the Taylor Highway just outside of camp a couple days ago. Moose lovers: here's your slide show!

But splashing was definitely NOT happening in this odd looking RV that came by camp the other day. The Condo RV, looks like half bus and half hen house, so I suppose its showing up in Chicken was not all that out of character. Mike and I gave panning lessons to all 18 "inhabitants" who each have their own berth in the back of the big rig and a bus seat in the front. Is there a shower in there? Nope. Is there a bathroom in there? Nope. Just lots of stops as needed along the way. I asked one of the tourists on board (all German visitors) what it was like to sleep in those tight quarters. She answered that it felt a bit like sleeping in a coffin. Oh, yuk! Not for me! Mike asked if she could hear everyone else snoring at night. That was an affirmative. Way too up close and personal for me. I'll catch the Greyhound thank you very much...

For those wondering, those are dredge line buckets on a sled in the foreground.


squawmama said...

Great article this morning.. Loved the moose... We are going to Alaska next summer and my husband is starting to worry about us taking our 40' coach... Would love if you could tell me about the roads, places for service, and so forth... Thanks


Greg said...

Donna, Tell hubby to relax, Alaskan roads will do your coach no harm. I have commented on that many times in the past and don't mind doing so again. There is a bad stretch of 20 miles or so in Canada on the way up and 100 miles on the way out if you take Top of the World Highway back to Dawson City but honestly, slow down and you will do NO harm anywhere. You will see more RVs in Alaska than anywhere else in the world so don't worry about service either- although there are times when it might take yo some time to reach it- it's a big state. NOT touring in your own rig and at your own pace would be a much bigger problem then driving the 40 footer!
I have had far worse road conditions in parts of Texas and South Dakota and even once in Florida! Bottom line: keep on planning, drive sensibly...and go back and read all of the 2007 posts and those from coming (and in a few weeks going) on Gundyville this year. Having been here twice now for extended times and tours, I just can't figure out what all the hoopla is...and we are 43 feet towing a full size van with a quad in the back.