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Guest flintgreasewood

Finally On Our Way North

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Guest flintgreasewood

At long last our adventure is beginning tomorrow as we leave our snowy Colorado mountain home for our snowy Alaska claim.  Like most of you in Alaska, it has been a long wait for spring to arrive, but it looks like by the time we arrive in Fairbanks the temperatures will be workable...not normal, but reasonable.  We're bringing our snowshoes and scoop shovel so we can dig out our prospect if we have to, but I suspect there will be considerable melting by mid May.  Within a few days of arrival I expect to be back at jackhammering the remaining ice out of the prospect shaft.  Then we'll set up the steam generator, the self dumping bucket system, wash plant, and shelters over the shaft and wash plant.  From time to time I'll work at building the small dam we'll need to impound water for ice we may need should we decide to mine this winter [underground, of course].   Lots to do...I'm ready!!  See all you Fairbanks miners real soon!  Kurt

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Guest flintgreasewood

Thanks for the well wishes.  Third day ends in Grande Prairie, AB. Fantastic weather so far.  No serious trailering or automobile issues. May be in Fairbanks by Friday.  Waah!

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Guest flintgreasewood

We arrived in Fairbanks on the 9th, got camp set up the next day and I was

on my way down to Cobb prospect on the 11th. I snowshoed in the mile plus

from the highway and it was tough going with 2' deep snow most of the

way. That day was the first real day of melting but that made the going

even harder as the snow was heavy. I spent that day shoveling snow off my

shelter[purposely collapsed for the winter] and the cover over the shaft and

then made an attempt at setting up the shelter. I even was able to get

down in the shaft and hoist out a few buckets of ice before my work day ended

at 7:45. Sunday, Mother's Day, I decided to drag a home built aluminum

sled loaded with 3 1/2 gallons of gas, my pack, chain saw, and some parts to

the self-dumping bucket system down to the diggings. That turned out to

be one of the more arduous tasks I've ever accomplished. By now the

Davidson Ditch is flowing with melt water and Vault Creek is showing signs of

life. The next 6 or 7 hours were spent in the shaft. Just before

leaving for the day I stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle. With certain

movements, the pain was extreme and for a bit I was concerned I would not be

able to negotiate the trail back to my truck. I duct taped the ankle,

took 4 ibuprofen, donned my hip waders but kept the snowshoes off. I didn't

need the drag and extra weight on that bad ankle. After not too far, the pain

began to subside and the going was less difficult. I was back at the truck in

an hour and back at camp a few minutes later. My dinner was waiting for me in

the oven and we finished the day with pie and coffee at 10pm at the famous

Hilltop truck stop a mere 3 miles from camp. Monday was cold and a good day to

rest up, take care of business in town and let the snow freeze up. That

made for easy hiking in to Cobb this morning. I had a productive day of

ice removal without nary a hitch. At one point my jack hammer chisel

opened a pressurized pocket and I was blasted in the face with a couple gallons

of nasty root beer colored water. I pumped out the remaining water and

continued on with heightened hope that I

may be nearing the drift at the bottom of the shaft. It's supposed to be

warmer tomorrow so we'll see more bare ground...hurrah!! More to come.

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Guest flintgreasewood

Sorry about the double postings above.  Not sure how that happened.

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Sounds like lotsa fun!Rivers still frozen on the west coast an can still snowmachine on the river.Hope it gets warmer soon,record cold for springtime in fairbanks.Well that what it say on the news.

Tough Man!Keep driving.

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Guest flintgreasewood

Modern machinery to my rescue.  My partner, Doug, got the sno gos up and running, so now I have transportation to Cobb prospect...won't have to hoof it.  Even better is the Superwinch that  has replaced the block and tackle[ no, not football terms]  I've been using to hoist the ice from my shaft.  I rigged it up with a generator powered battery charger down in the shaft supplying 12v through a barrel switch [up, neutral, down] and up to the winch on top.  I still have the bucket dumping and lowering assist ropes. The new system worked like a charm the first trip.  Glad something went right on a day of record cold and snow here in Fairbanks.

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Take care up there as sure don't sound like our drought we got going on down here in kalif-tons a au 2 u 2 -John--PS-FGW--duct tape,jus' gotta luv that stuff,never leave home without a roll...or 2 even.thanx much for REAL school post of life in the AK .RESPECT!!

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Guest Bob(AK)

About the same or worse on the Kenai. I'm postponing my Memorial weekend to the following weekend hoping conditions improve a bit, Bob

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