And we are back!
We had a bit of a holiday which we can talk about another day,
because today it is Monday, and it's all about mining!
Let me introduce Dredge #6..
This fantastic craft was one of two of the largest operating dredges in the world.
It continued to operate into the 1990's before it was turned off for the final time.
The tundra surrounding the dredges was frozen and had to be thawed before the buckets could scoop the ground into the shaker to be worked.
The thawing was done by the use of water that flowed through pipes laid into the ground.
Summers working in the thaw fields was tough, dirty, often wet work,
but the pay was great.
If supported many families....and college students for the year!
Highly skilled craftsmen built these dredges to last.
The beams are huge and still solid to this day,
with fine, detailed finish work that is better than in most homes!
Corners are rounded and pieces fit together snuggly,
so they have held up against the elements, time and heavy use.
I envy the storage cubbies and work benches created in the self-sufficient dredges.
If something broke, it had to be fixed without wasting time!
The gold, and dredges were a huge part of what formed Nome into the community it is now
and supported the town through the years.
Old dredge buckets are often used for flower boxes and yard decor.
The large ones go for $500 or more.
Dredge #6 sits between the ocean and airport.
As you come and go from Nome it is one of the first--and last parts you see.
One night last September I happened to be in the right spot to catch this shot down the runway.
The current "Gold Rush" is at least the third since the 1990's.
Chances are, it won't be the last.....