Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Great Northern Adventure, Day 7: Gold

Friday, July 9, 2010

We walked to "downtown" Fairbanks, finding a coffee place called Mocha Dan's where we got some breakfast sammiches and coffee, avoiding hotel restaurants and their $14/person sorry buffets.

A relatively short ride on the bus to a riverboat ride on the paddlewheeler "Discovery III."

This took about three hours, including a one hour stop at a mock native village culture display.  The "native" chicks were very cute,

and we learned a lot as well.  We also saw a famous dog musher (Lance Mackey), as well as the widower of another famous dog musher (Susan Butcher).

From the boat ride we went to Gold Dredge #8, which ran from 1929 to 1959.

It was amazing how that process worked and how damaging it was to the land as well as the men running the dredge with its liquid mercury gold dust collection system.  We also had lunch there.  Miner Stew, biscuits, muffins, and horrible iced tea.  (I'm always amazed how often something so simple is done so badly.)

After the dredge we went to the El Dorado Gold Mine.

We had a train tour of traditional mining, followed by a demonstration of sluice panning, after which we each got a bag of pay dirt that we were able to pan ourselves.  That was a lot of fun.  I had about 6.5 grains of gold in mine, worth around $24 (gold is ~$1200 oz. right now.)  I have no idea what to do with it.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Alaska Pipeline.  It was somewhat interesting.
Tristan dances about architecture

In the evening, Jennifer and I took Dad to a restaurant called Thai House.

It was really good.  Being uncertain whether or not Dad would eat squid, when we got our calimari appetizer, I described  the squid bits with the generic "seafood" term.  Dad cleaned his plate, and we brought our leftovers back for Kayley, who really enjoyed them.

We finished off the night (since it was still really light out) by heading back downtown to the Fudge Pot.  Can't go wrong with fudge.


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