Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday, June 16: Up early. This lovely hotel has laundry facilities, but only one of each, so it’s “first come, first served.” After breakfast Ron goes to the Visitor Center again, and they help us find a camping spot—lots of gravel and rvs, but it’s not Dogpatch! By the time we finish the wash, pack up then set up camp, and have lunch I’m ready for a nap. Ron heads off on a placer gold mine tour while I post the blog and relax. Ron reports: "The young fellow taking us out to see a working placer gold mine was as full of stories as some fishermen--and about the same credibility. The trip in balance was everything I had hoped--big equipment, a town of 3500 now down to five, one of them being the driver's nana. His grandpa started the place in the 50s. Apparently he made millions but lived the high life and left nothing to his son or grandsons. Many cool mastedon and ancient buffalo bones are found in the permafrost, forty feet of which has to be removed before hitting a four foot gravel layer on top of the bedrock. That's where the gold is for these guys. Had a ball with four people from Switzerland. We learned how to pan gold and I came home with six flakes in a vile of water, but we saw enough gold to make a suit out of, and we heard about some pretty murky dealings--trading gold for your soul!" A bite of supper and then a trip to Diamond Gertie's, the oldest casino in the Yukon, with bawdy songs by Diamond Gertie and can-can dancing by her girls--pretty athletic! We take a drive by the cabins of writers Robert Service and Jack London. And back to our cozy tent for cards and shut-eye.

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