We soldier on.

At home we take showers for granted. In the bush it’s somewhat more complicated.

So how do you take a shower in the bush where you either freeze or get eaten by bugs? Well, we had a plan. First, Vic set up a sheet of hardboard for privacy. Then we threw a 5 gallon water tank on the fire to heat up. At the end of the day we poured water into a shower bag and hung it above our makeshift bathroom. Easy peasy!

My shower went like this; strip, get as wet as possible drowning as many mozzies as possible, soap up, rinse really quickly, dry off really fast, grab a can of Raid and spray myself all over all the time shouting “stay away from that! Dont you dare” then quickly dress and spray myself again. Then stand Really still and wait for the itching to start.

Later Vic said he lit a couple of mosquito coils and had no problems. Now, why wasn’t I that smart?

Dean had another plan. He had a small water on demand system and he and Gordie decided to use that. They tried to shelter behind Dean’s truck to get out of the wind. I happened to arrive to the camp as these two were running around in their undies freezing cold and trying to get a shower. Of course I gave them a hard time about it and Vic and I needled them for days after.

We had been in the bush for four days and hadn’t seem a living sole but ourselves. That evening, Gordie went to do his business in the bush and as he was pulling up his pants he heard toot, toot as a pickup went by. It was a couple of First Nation folks returning home from the big city. What timing, I loved it.

That evening we were visited by another miner who happened to be a geoligist. He gave us lots of usefull advise as to where to look for gold.

The following evening our geologist friend showed up again and shortly after was joined by another couple of guys whom I think we’re father and son. The older of the two was 83 years old and had mined in the Yukon before setting up a business selling mining equipment. He was an interesting guy. He said that he had taught the main guy from the show “Yukon Gold” how to mine. He also showed us some photos of 1 lb gold nuggets, probably worth about $20,000 each.

Another problem we had was getting up for a pee in the night. It was bloody cold out there so eventually we set up a communal pee bucket which we took turns emptying , and life was a bit better.

I was dreading taking another shower.

More pictures.

Prospecting

Well, we weren’t really prospecting. We knew the gold was there, we just had to hunt it down.

There are a few videos in this post and parental guidance is recomended. We were a bunch of guys in the bush, so the language got a little rough.

Most of the transportation to the claim was by quad and a side-by-side quad as it was about 1.5 km from our campsite. It was still really cold that morning but I had wrapped myself in five layers of clothes so I stayed fairly warm.

Before we started, Vic and I rigged up a tarp around the old outside biffy for some privacy. This was of course where you are most vulnerable to the mosquitoes so a few records for doing your business were broken.

Dean had brought down most of the equipment the day before, so all we had to do was hook up the water pumps and start digging.  We seemed to get into a rhythm quite naturaly: Gordie and Lyndon did most of the digging; Dean hauled the dirt to the conveyer; I shoveled it into the hopper and Vic worked the stick. The stick was important as you can see in the video. The dirt was wet so we had to break it up with a stick to keep production going. I would relieve Vic once in a while but didn’t quite have his technique. I think it’s all in the wrist. At the end of the day we had processed eight loads of dirt. Not bad for our first day.

The tailing pond, where the dirt was washed into was a playground for Dean’s dog Bailey. She was just like a little kid. Once she was out of the water she would stand shivering just waiting for a chance to jump back in.

I had started a fire as soon as we got to the claim. This job remained mine as I like to set light to things. (Evil chuckle). Vic had managed to drive the truck in (a video of him driving it out) so we had all our food available. At noon I threw a pack of smokies on the grill and we had a nice lunch.

We worked through the afternoon and quit about 3 pm. Time to head back to camp open a beer and eat some of the great food the ladies had made for us. Then sat around the fire drinking and telling lies.

We were in a pretty desolate area. They had just logged all the pine beetle damaged wood and it was way too early for the bush to grow back.

Before we turned in we lit a stove in the trailer for an hour, so at least we went to bed warm. I wasn’t quite as cold that night so things were improving.