El Dorado Gold Mine Tour

Trip Start Jul 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 24, 2010

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Where I stayed
River View RV Park

Flag of United States  , Alaska
Thursday, July 29, 2010

   Again we spent the morning doing "chores" such as balancing the bank statement, sending cards, etc. There aren't any hiking trails near the RV Park but there is a bike path along the main road so we went for a walk along it last night and again today. It's not like being in the woods, that's for sure.
   I was looking through some brochures and saw that reservations were recommended at the El Dorado Gold Mine where we were planning to go in the afternoon. As it turned out, it was a good thing I called. The brochure said the afternoon tour was at 3:00 but it was filled so they had added one at 2:15. We still had plenty of time and it wasn't very far out of town so we had lunch and then went to Napa to replace the belt we had used on the motor home engine in Prince George. Wayne had checked in Tok but they didn't have one but said the store in Fairbanks did. I had seen the Napa Store the day we were at the Museum so we drove all the way to the other end of town to get it and found out it was at the other location that was on the east end where we were! Darn, guess we should have called the store instead of being so sure we knew where to go. We ended up getting to the Mine just on time.
   The Mine has an old steam locomotive that gives people a ride around the site underground and above ground to show the process that gold was mined during the Gold Rush. The host has been coming to Alaska for 11 years for the summer and sings and plays banjo so that was an added bonus. They also demonstrate panning for gold and everyone gets to try it. Wayne and I did get some gold flakes in our pans that supposedly equated to $32 worth at today's prices. Some had much more. You can have the flakes put into a locket for a necklace but we kept ours in our little plastic container.
   There were several tour buses that came in and the people were part of our group. We noticed their name tags said "Holland America Cruises." We talked to a couple ladies that said they had been on a cruise ship for a week and now were doing a week long tour on land. Other buses came for the 3:00 tour also. There were 9 tour buses in the parking lot when we left. Wayne and I both agreed that maybe some day we'll do something like that but we're glad we're on our own schedule for now.
   We talked several times on the way up about being with an RV Caravan and how we would have not been able to keep up because of the times we had to fix things. Guess you'd have to drive through the night or something like that to make up time in order to catch up to the caravan. That seems like more stress!
   We've been e-mailing and talking to friends Les & Joette Buchmann about coming up while we're here and sounds like they're going to do it. They had considered riding up with us and then flying back but that wouldn't have been a good choice for obvious reasons. They will fly into Anchorage, plan to fish for a couple days, see other sights for a couple days and fly back the next day. We'll be down on the Kenai Peninsula when they come so will find some fun things to do those days.
   Anthony and Porter are coming the end of the month for a week. Anthony wants to fish the streams or rivers, not to sure about the charter fishing. Again, we'll have to find some fun things for Porter to do with us.
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