As I mentioned last week, the “attractions” are opening up for the season. The park here also acts as a ticket agent for many of the local tours and activities, so the workampers get to sample some of them at no charge. Of course, the idea is that having experience at the attraction we will be better able to sell the tickers to folks who stay at the park. “Oh, yes! We have been there. It is a good show and well worth the price of the ticket.”
The El Dorado Gold Mine gives a two-hour guided tour that takes you on a narrow-gauge train through a permafrost tunnel where a miner with a head lamp and pick-axe gives an explanation of underground mining in days gone by. At the end of the train ride visitors are free to take a walking tour of an old mining camp. Next is an interesting demonstration of placer mining. After a short course in gold panning, everyone is given a "poke" filled with pay dirt right out of a sluice box and everyone is free to try their hand at panning for gold. Paula and I recovered about 0.6 grams of real gold from our bags of dirt…worth about $9.00…based on the current price of an ounce of gold.
Paula Counting Her Gold.
Riverboat Discovery is a 3.5 hour tour down the Chena River. Along the way there is a bush pilot demonstration where a float plane takes off and lands on the river alongside of the boat. The boat then stops at Susan Butcher’s house (Susan was a 4 time Iditarod Champion) where her husband and daughter do a talk about the dog teams and a demonstration of the sled dogs in action. A little further down the river, the boat stops at a recreated Athabascan Village where there are several presentations of Alaskan Native culture.
Riverboat Discovery III at the Athabascan Village
Friday night we were relaxing in our RV. At about 8:30 PM I happened to look out the side window and this is what I saw:
The photo was actually taken through the window from inside the RV. The plane buzzed down the road right behind our rig.
Only in Alaska!
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