Cripple River Chronicles — Seventh Edition — August 10, 2012
8/20/2012 10:46 AM
CRIPPLE RIVER CHRONICLES
7TH EDITION 10 AUGUST 2012
By Arctic Annie
Greetings from the Cripple River Mining Camp, where Week 7 is just starting, and things are just zipping along. For the fisher-folk the Silver Salmon continue to run, and the Pink Salmon, called Pinks in camp are still running strong. Catching fish is NOT a problem here as often you catch nine fish for ten casts. Many anglers have learned to vary their retrieval to let the fish “slip off” the line close to shore, for a no hands on “catch and release”. The fish never leaves the water, and the angler never even has to touch the fish. This doesn’t always work, but when it does it’s the best fish trick I’ve seen.
The weather is supposed to really brighten up mid-week, so beach glass hunting should be good again this week. Classes are going on almost everyday, and there is the opportunity to play games at night, with several Texas Hold ’Em and Rowdy Bingo Games each week. To fill in any spare time you might have, there is a weekly Scavenger Hunt, and a Food Plate Contest with the food items all comprised of rock look-a-likes. These contests all have nice prizes to the winners and are hosted by our very own Camp Entertainment Director, Linda Grace.
Carol and Roger Hansen senior citizens extraordinaire from Batesburg S.C., have both been volunteer crew at our Gold Camp for the past four years. Carol is in Camp Operations, and Roger works for Small Engine Repair, both jobs vital to the camp. To back up a wee bit, this all started in 2000, when Carol bought Roger a GPAA Buzzard Special for Christmas and their life has never been the same.
“I used to fish and play golf and watch TV. now I don’t have time for any of that anymore. Instead Carol and I prospect at Vein Mountain in North Carolina, Oconee in South Carolina, Loud Mine in Georgia and Cripple River Mining Camp in Alaska. We also work the Gold & Treasure Shows in the Carolinas and Wisconsin and have for the past four years. Carol now wants to learn to dredge, we have a three inch dredge I use and Carol can use it too. I love being in Cripple River, this is home to us, for the summer. Carol is an adventurous woman, who learned to fly for her 25th wedding anniversary, and soloed after her lessons, but never went for her license.” Roger said, beaming with pride.
As to the future, Roger plans to continue coming to Cripple River with Carol his best prospecting buddy for the next twenty years or so, then they will think about what to do after that.
Harold “Dan” Timmerman from Stuart, Florida [pictured above with John Schlalbach of Lyndhurst, Virginia
] recently faced many a fear many of us have when facing the Airline Ticket Counter: ‘Where’s my drivers license?‘ Dan was packed and ready to come to Alaska and his friend drove him the 130 miles to the airport in Orlando. At the airport as Dan is unloading his luggage, he checked the place in the truck where he normally put his wallet. It wasn’t there, so he assumed it was in his pocket and into the airport he went, secure that all systems were go! Up to the counter to check luggage and his 12-gauge shot gun — “Oh, no! Where’s my wallet?” NO IDENTIFICATION! He quickly called his friend on the ol’ cell phone. He could hear his friend, but his friend couldn’t hear him. He called again and again, couldn’t get through! Finally out of desperation, as time is running out, he explains his problem to the ticket agent, who will check his luggage, but not his shotgun, which is taken into “temporary custody” by the Orlando Police Department which is currently holding it for his return to the lower 48. Next came TSA where he again explained his unusual situation. When asked for any documentation proving who he was, the only thing he had was a letter from the Gold Prospectors Association with his name on it, which didn’t really help a whole lot. The TSA agent next told him to go stand under a wire barrier and wait, and when he did, another agent yelled at him for doing this. A woman supervisor started asking questions that only Dan should know the answer to, and finally he was able to convince he was himself and was allowed to fly, but Dan was told not to leave the secure area of any airport. At one stop Dan had a carry-on that was taken due to the size of the airplane, and it was checked at the door of the aircraft at boarding. Upon landing he was told to pick it up at baggage claim. At baggage claim the finally located the bag which had been checked through to Nome. Back through another TSA checkpoint, where the agents are now even more suspicious. Dan was verrry glad to get safely to Nome and our camp. What about his Wayne’s cell phone, when the call came in and he couldn’t hear Dan he plugged his phone into the charger and it burnt the battery up. Dan said, “It was an adventure, it was one of those things that happened, and it shows you can travel without an I.D. but it is frustrating and time consuming, and I wouldn’t recommend it. I’ve enjoyed being at Cripple River, I’m going out and get some black sand from across the river, and try to forget my airplane trip to Nome!” So relax everybody, you can fly if you forget your ID’s, but after this story I think I will continue to double and triple and quadruple check for mine like I always do, I don’t think the alternative sounds like very much fun. Not to mention if I had a “senior moment” during the questioning, I’d probably be the guest of the TSA or FBI for a while! Thanks, but no thanks; it’s my ID for me!
Correction to the recipe in Week 4 Chronicle for the Yummy
Jell-O and Cottage Cheese Salad by Chip: You add the Jell-O dry; you don’t make it first as I wrote. I made a mistake when I wrote the article. Again use the Jell-O dry and mix it in that way. I am sooo sorry for any inconvenience I might have caused anyone.
The Nome Discovery Tours were recently was taken by Georgia and Paul Schumacher, Lindsey Rudolph, Brad Jones, and Ed Fischer from our camp, with tour guide Richard Beneville from Nome. The tour started in Nome and went towards the small town of Council, and things worth seeing started immediately with the DeBeers Diamond Group dredging for gold in the Norton Sound. Then the Cape Nome Quarry, the Safety Sound Road House and a house made entirely of telephone poles. The tour stopped at the pits of the mound dwelling Pit People while Richard explained all about this unusual ancient people. A little exploring of the flora included unusual flowers, berries, Labrador Tea, and yes even trees, (Alaskan Spruce) which are rare in Tundra Areas due to permafrost. And Snow in July! Two separate and large herds of Musk Oxen posed for the cameras, and Lindsey snapped a photo of a Peregrine Falcon on wing. A visit was made to “The Last Train to Nowhere”, then back to Nome for a delightful meal and back to the Cripple River Mining Camp, to brag to the camp bound about this wonderful adventure the five new friends had shared! Bountiful pictures are available for everyone to see, but nothing is as good as taking this wonderful trip in person. There is a fee, but it all goes to the Discovery Tours, to cover gasoline, operating expenses.
The ladies in our Gold Camp were quite upset this week when it was rumored that a male was seen using the women’s only out house. Now this is definitely a big No-No in camp! Everyone was watching to see if they could catch this offender. Finally early one morning a woman opened the out house door, and there sitting on the seat was the guilty party. It was Goofy, who promptly fell off the seat and onto the floor seeming to jump at her! That’s right Goofy, well this was such a surprise and a shock this poor lady let out a loud scream jumped back in a hurry slamming the door quickly! Crew and participants came running from every direction to see who was screaming and why. Opening the door they saw a five-foot tall Walt Disney’s Goofy Doll lying on the floor, with — do I dare say it — a goofy smile on his goofy face! No person or group has yet claimed credit for the sabotage of the women’s rest room, and perhaps it’s better they don’t as Goofy was skinned, well---not exactly alive---but his outer clothes was passed on to a person who will hopefully make sure this horrible scare never happens again. And if Goofy was skinned just think what the outraged ladies of this camp might do to the person or persons unknown who put Goofy up to his shenanigans? It’s really too dreadful to contemplate! But they sure deserve it.
This has been a good week with the weather improving, and sunshine coming out to play with us again. People are still gold gathering, and camp is going strong in its seventh week.
Speaking of gold, I hope to get some prospecting in very soon, so until next time, here’s hoping your life and your pan turn golden.