Cripple River Chronicles Second Edition 2012
7/11/2012 5:09 PM
CRIPPLE RIVER CHRONICLES
2nd EDITION 6 JULY 2012
By Arctic Annie
Camp is ticking along like a well oiled watch. The weather, always a concern in Alaska, has been---I was going to say a bit unusual, but waaaay up here where the weather for down below (the lower 48 states) is being made, it is always unusual! We have had a few days of light rain; some fog has rolled in, stayed a brief while then rolled back out to sea, some cold wind, and some days of bright sun. Through it all our hardy gold prospectors have dressed for the day and kept on prospecting! Everyone learned fast to carry rain gear, and bug spray, liquids to drink, a can of pork and beans in your pocket (a Buzzard Massie trick) layer your clothes, and you are ready for anything!
The fishing has been excellent! Experienced anglers and beginners alike report 20 fish for 20 casts! Many fishing people catch and release, but quite a few Pink Salmon get invited to tour our barbecue grills or fish smokers! Lures are working fantastic, and one fisherman was overheard to say, “It was impossible to find a lure they (the salmon) didn’t like”! I know this is a gold prospecting camp, but every year we get some prospectors here who never touch a gold pan. They only come here to fish!
This week a lonely Old Musk Ox decided to take up residence on Lindsey and Corey Rudolph’s deck beside their hooch in camp. This large shaggy animal decided that this place in all of the hundreds miles of tundra, was going to be his new home, for a while at least. Lindsey, a sweet and gentle lady has a way with all wild critters, so maybe this great beast decided he was safe there at her place. Photo’s can be taken, but everyone was warned, by Corey, who is very knowledgeable about all Alaska animals, to stay at least 50 feet away and use your telephoto as these animals may look cumbersome, but they are very fast runners, and this lone Ox is most likely a bull and is alone because he wants to be! I know from experience that if a Musk Ox thinks you are challenging his space, even if you are not, he will chase you, and they are wicked fast! If Lindsey and Corey’s Ox feels you are challenging his territory he will attack you! Even a fully mature grizzly bear will not attack a full grown healthy Musk Ox. The bear knows it probably will win, but it will be so injured it will die from the injuries, or be unable to hunt again for weeks! The bear goes instead for the babies, or the old or injured animals.
The common operation on the beach is going strong this week, with a nice amount of flour gold being found. On one of the common operation beach boxes being worked early this week, a flat palm sized rock fell off, and lay glittered on the tailings pile in the sun light. It was recovered by a sharp eyed miner and was brought to the Beach Crew’s attention where it was identified as having gold in the rock! A party like atmosphere descended on the beach! Excitement ran rampant as everyone and their dog, (the dogs were imaginary of course) ran over to see this “gold bearing jewel of a rock”! The workers on the common at the time were: Bob Morton, Ameo Ia., Don Ortega, Ca., Rick Dennis, Scott Woellhor, Grand Junction Co., Pety and Ken Shaw, Fullerton Ca., Michael Warren, Anchorage Ak., Mike Dalla Valle, Savannah Ga., Richard Montoya, Elbert Lee Mn., and Douglas Hopscon, Bonnette Mo. After the rock was oogled and aawgled sufficiently the miners went quickly back to work to look for more! Of Course!!! Several other pieces of rock have been found this week also identified as having gold in them, all pretty, but none have caused the excitement of the first one!
Debbie and Rick Setty from Cincinnati Oh., are celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary with us at the Cripple River Gold Camp. They met at work, where Deb was a computer geek and Rick was a security guard. “It was almost love at first sight, but I was a little afraid of him as he was armed and dangerous and it seemed a little scary to me that he carried a big gun! My friend introduced us and the rest is history. He is just a really, really great guy.” Rick smiles and says “Deb is so very nice and sweet, and great fun. She is always so happy and bubbly!” Debbie and Rick both wanted to come to Alaska, but as funds were tight they couldn’t manage it financially. They finally had an offer to come up as crew, and here they are. Deb works in the kitchen, and Rick is on the beach, or what I like to call a male beach bunny. Happy Anniversary to the almost Newly Weds from the Cripple River Gang!
Adam Kincaid from Magalia Ca., was heading towards jade beach when he saw what looked like a rock with spikes sticking up out of the sand. He stopped and dug the rock up and it was a wooly mammoth tooth with intact roots and a nicely defined grinding plate. This adventuresome young man also went beach glass hunting in Nome and found a nice bag of glass, plus two tiny pieces of red glass one small dark cobalt blue, and one small light cobalt blue piece. He also found one well tumbled aqua glass stopper, most probably from a 1900’s Lea and Perrins’ Pepper Sauce Bottle. His loving wife Kim is back in California keeping the family going, and waiting to hear of his lucky trip to Cripple River Gold Camp, and how much GOLD he has found!
Fourth of July again found the Cripple River Gold Camp heading for Nome, just 12 miles east of camp, to participate in the giant parade! This year our trucks carried many participants in them to throw candy to the children, followed by our ATV riders in rows two by two, many also threw candy or ‘Mardi Gras’ necklaces to the crowd. Nome claps and cheers the G.P.A.A. as we make up a good part of their parade. Moses the Reindeer rides in the back of a pickup truck, and many pictures are taken of this unusual (to us) spectacle! After the parade the town celebrates with old fashioned small town fun. Three legged races, potato sack races, egg races, foot races, bicycle races and free ice cream at the fire station. Most of the people from our camp eat out and do some souvenir shopping before returning to camp. It was raining when the parade goers left camp at 9 a.m., but the sun soon came out and the 4th turned out to be a very nice day indeed!
Well, time for me to go out and about this week, and see if I can find some gold for me to keep. Until next time, may your life and the bottom of your pan turn gold!