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fireworks guy
10-17-2012, 09:36 PM
Hi yall,
I Have been a member on here for a little over year now, never posting just reading all the good info on the forum. Learned a lot of good stuff. My wife and I spent five weeks in Ak this year and I have nothing but praise for what is truely Gods country. We spent all this time looking at all the different areas from Chicken to Homer and everywhere in between. We have decided to move to AK as she is a nurse and has job offers from hospitals all over the state from Nome to Kodiak, and I have a seasonal fireworks business that I can return back to MS to do a few weeks out of the year.
I have been prospecting for only a few years and have a fair amount of equipment, but only have very limited places here in the southeast to use it. When my wife said she wanted to go to Alaska to look around, naturally I was all for it, from a prospectors point of veiw . I will be looking forward to meeting some of you eventually. After stopping at AMDS its safe to say I will be buying some more equipment in the spring, nice setup there.
Im going to be looking for places to prospect for a claim of my own one day, I figure this first full summer will be spent doing this, then filing all the right paper work for the following year, if I can figure it out. I did get to some good looking places, but after the floods came that ended. Might even have to buy or lease a claim, I would love to even work along side of more seasoned prospectors for the expierience if anyone needs help, I figured out real quick that Alaska isnt the place to be out in the bush by yourself if you dont have to.
Any thoughts, advice , or opinions are always welcome.

10-18-2012, 08:26 AM
Hi Charlie, May I be first to say; "Welcome to the Forum!". (Y'all) :)

A few thoughts from my personal observation;

I arrived in Fairbanks, (Eielson AFB) Alaska in January, 1970. The Air Force provided income, food and a warm place to sleep. Outside was a frigid environment, actually the coldest it has been in Alaska in the past century. So, a person can read the forums and tour Alaska in the summer and it is certainly impressive. I prospected all of the available venues along all of the road systems. Everything was claimed and a limited amount of pay-to-mine i.e. Hope, and Crow Creek were the mainstays for anyone wanting to see a little color in a pan. Fourty plus years of population explosion and development in Alaska has improved the road system. Gold seekers have compounded the issue of finding placer ground around or within 50 miles of the road system. Access to placer ground for the purpose of claiming a piece of pay streak is now a matter of logistics, research, time and expense of labor and cash. All of that comes before "color in the pan". Many would say "good luck". It's more than good luck! Luck is buying a lottery ticket and winning the lottery. Gold mining or prospecting is a matter of foregoing personal comfort, personal savings and time spent with family and other friends. The costs and risks are greater than what can be published or learned on a forum by reading about the hardware and look at my new dredge and a photo of gold in a pan. Forums are a place where we come to show the hard-won spoils we have gained from enduring all of the costs of getting there. It only portrays part of the cost.

- Geowizard

10-18-2012, 02:33 PM
well said geo...

10-18-2012, 02:58 PM
Thanks, hybanker!

When I mention 50 miles off the road system - that's if you take the short cut.

This past summer, while enjoying a burger at Susies in McGrath, I noticed a cocky looking lady with a ball cap on and a patch on her coat that said "Confederate Air Force". She must have sensed me looking at her and she looked up. I said; "You look like a pilot to me." She looked a little confused, almost asking how could you tell? I said; "You have kind of a cocky look - like a pilot!" Well, she explained that she is a chief pilot for a company that services the mines like Vinasale near McGrath.

McGrath is 230 (plus) miles off of the road system. My mine is 34 miles farther away.

Her name was Paula and she explained that she flys Astar helicopters. They charter for $4500 an hour plus fuel. You must buy 10 hours minimum.

I found a short clip of a flight on an Astar done in Alaska. It shows what you don't see from the road system and is why I became a bush pilot in Alaska!


- Geowizard

fireworks guy
10-18-2012, 03:50 PM
Thanks for the input Geowizard. I'm sorry if i was a little misleading in original post.Our last trip to AK was in September and October. Not our first dealings with Alaska. My Dad was stationed there also in the Air Force as was my oldest sister 20 years later.(Thank You for your service btw) My middle sister just moved back from there. My winter neighbors are also from there, he was from here and stationed there so he stayed, been 40 years now. We have friends in Big Lake and down in Soldotna. I have also learned alot from all these people.
Most of the good info I was talking about came from links on the AMDS website, although there are some encouraging reads on the forum, wished I had time to read them all. With the three businesses I have, wreck rebuilding, bird farm and fireworks, it has'nt left much time. I have started selling larger pieces of equipment and bird pairs over the last year in preperation for coming there. I will keep my fireworks business as it is only seasonal and makes decent money, and I enjoy it. My wife also makes great money as a Nurse but I would not drop everything to mine for a living, that would be foolish with only about three years of expierience. Prospecting is not my sole purpose for coming to AK, its just an added benifit. I know I was being overly opptimistic about finding a claim in a year, it may take several years, that's fine to. I need to start somewhere and welcome the expierience as it happens. You can only do so much research from a computer, time to hit the road. I'm only 42 with no children and would regret not coming there. 90% of the people we met on visits to Alaska were from somewhere else, most encourage the move. The ones that were most negative had only been in Alaska for a short while. I got the feeling they were trying to protect their new found treasure(Alaska). Don't really blame them for that, Alaska is what America used to be and should still be. (Although fewer government regulations would be nice).
Alaska has so much oppurtunity for someone with good work ethic its unreal. It's hard to believe there is unemployment in Alaska. After talking with a State Trooper there he said it comes from people being lazy and making welfare a way of life, also lack of people from such a small population.
We won't be selling our house and land here for now, I'll keep it for fireworks season and dead of winter,also things may not work out in Alaska. The prospecting is just an added benifit for being in AK. I enjoy most outdoor activities. If I ever had the right oppurtunity to mine for a living I would, because I love doing it. If you love what you do for a living there isn't many bad days. I do realize that would years of sacrifice and hard work for that to ever happen and I'm no sranger to either. I don't have faith in luck, only in God, but the only way to get something done is to get it started.


10-21-2012, 01:36 AM
Charlie , You are the kind of man with the kind of attitude that all Alaskans will I'm sure sense and greet with open arms ... I would like to help you in any way I can ... I'm sure you can realize any of your dreams in Alaska with God in your Heart and putting your Faith in Him ..... Wes

fireworks guy
10-22-2012, 05:32 PM
Thanks Wes,

I Look forward to meeting you one day. I'm sure I'll need help or have plenty of questions.