! Whoopie!! I'm about to make my fortune - NOT! But it was fun. Between Nick and I we panned for $24.00! Not going on another extended trip on THAT! Darn!
After leaving the gold fields, we headed to a restaurant called the Cookie Jar! One of Guy Fieri's Diners and Drive In's restaurants that he visited. It was good.
The group was going to the University of Alaska Museum, but we decided to go to the Ice Palace north of the city about an hour - complete with hot springs,hot tubs and a hot pool, and then a tour of this actual ICE IGLOO filled with ice sculptures, a bar (where you could have an apple-tini in an ice glass), a wedding chapel, and 4 bedrooms that you could actually stay in (Really?) !!! I have to say it was quite amazing and we all (10 of us went) enjoyed it thoroughly. The hot springs were beautiful in a lovely setting. We all felt rejuvenated after that.
The crazy things you do while on vacation!
Today we toured various spots in Fairbanks. Our first stop was at Gold Dredge #8 (an historic gold dredging operation that was in operation in the late 1800's and shut down in the 1950's). We first saw the pipeline up close and personal. This marvel of engineering runs for 800 miles through Alaska and we have seen it multiple times, but this time you could practically reach up and touch it. We learned how it runs under ground most of the time to keep it from freezing, how it is insulated inside and also has a device called the "smart pig and the dumb pig" and each has a hand in cleaning it out from the inside. Very ingenious. Next we took a little train ride around the property and they explained more about the dredging operations. The main reason that it was shut down was because it uses 2,000 gallons of water a minute to run through the dredge and it was just becoming way too costly to run. Now they use "placer mining" which is much less costly. Now, it was time to pan for gold