Wrapping it up

We had left PG on Monday morning and it was now Friday. We had moved 37 loads of dirt and we were feeling the effects. Dean was a lot younger than  the rest of us, except Lyndon, and didn’t realize the toll it was taking on us. When he clued in he decided to shut the operation down.

When we were digging, Gordie had decided to dig under a huge rock where he was convinced the gold was hiding. He got so carried away that I thought the rock might  fall on him. He eventually realized it wasn’t a good idea and filled the hole back in.

We had planned to shower that day but we decided to give it a miss as we would be home soon.

Before he did though Dean said that we, the workers, would get three processed buckets of pay dirt each for the work we put in. After it was processed I left with an ice cream bucket about one third full of dirt to process when I got home. I was full of optimism and could see us paying off all our debts and buying a mansion in Mexico. The reality was that I got about $15 worth of gold and a sore wrist from panning it.

My boots were mostly for hiking and maybe a bit small so it looks as though I may lose a toenail.

Saturday morning we started to pack up the equipment ready for hauling out on Sunday. Then Vic informed us that we would head out that day. I was so happy I had my stuff packed and ready to go before he saying ‘today’.

The five anigos. Vic, Dean, Lyndon, Gordie and me.

On the drive out we only saw one vehicle in the six hour trip back to Fort St James. Vic gassed up and completed our journey getting in to PG at about 1:30 am. First a shower (our second in five days) and then to bed. Boy, that bed felt good.

The following day we took the truck and trailer to the truck wash and spent an hour washing off all the dirt we had collected. I wanted to pan it but Vic talked me out of it. I bet there were some nuggets! I could still get the dirt from my fingernails though.

That afternoon we went out to Norman Lake where our wives were waiting and enjoyed a great Canada Day party with family and friends. Rosalie never looked so good.

I swore that I wouldn’t go back. But then Gordie and I started to make plans to build them a new cabin next year. Man, I muse be a glutton for punishment. Come next year though, I may have talked myself out of it. There is the enticement of those three loads of paydirt though.

Some final pictures.


Gold we found gooold!

Our brother in law Vic and Rosalie’s cousin Dean, own a gold claim way up North of Fort St James. They invited another brother law, Gordie and I to come along for a short ‘holiday’. I had been promising to go to the claim for several years but never managed to make it. But this time I went. Gordie also bought along his grandson Lyndon.

We were to be in Prince George on Sunday but Rosalie had an appointment on Saturday evening for an MRI to find out what the problem was with her arms falling asleep. We expected to get to Hope at about midnight. As it turned out, she was finished early so we were able to catch an earlier ferry.

We got to the hotel only to find out that I had somehow booked for the following night and the place was full. The manager though, had reserved a room for himself and gave us that one. Phew!

We arrived in PG at about 5 pm the following day. Vic had a 14 ft cargo trailer that we had to load so we set to work on that. The quad went in first then everything else.

The following morning, after several false starts, we eventually got away at about 9 am. The first 2 hours were fine as we were on paved roads. Once we got to Fort St James we stopped to top up on a few essentials like booze. We didn’t want to run out as we were going to be out of contact for several days.

For the next six hours we drove an average speed of 50 kmh over dirt roads. We got to the camp,site at about 5 pm. On the way we saw a couple of bears, one, a grizzly. We were at an elevation of 3,800 feet and the temperature was 1 deg C. It was raining and the wind was blowing. As Gordie and I got out of the truck, he looked at me and siad”WTF have we let ourselves in for.”

We had to unload the cargo trailer as that was to be our sleeping quarters. We got our cots and sleeping bags set up, and after that, we got a fire going had bit to eat and a few drinks and settled in for the night.

Now our ordeal began. It rained on and off throughout the night and the wind blew so hard it was banging the aluminum sides of the trailer to keep us nicely awake. The trailer wasn’t heated so we froze. Tomorrow we would make some changes and go for gold.

Here a few photos.