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Old 05-19-2016, 05:14 AM   #267
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Another ? I'm interested in trying my hand at gold panning. I bought some equipment, including a 50" river sluice, assortment of pans and classifiers I know of one public gold panning just north of Fairbanks "Felix Pedro's Discovery Claim" Any others near Fairbanks? or heading south down the Richardson towards Valdez?
Jim,

My younger son who lives in Fairbanks is the president of the local GPAA chapter. His name is Craig Smith and owns the largest music store in Alaska called Pro Music but also sells gold mining equipment. His store is located on Front St. facing the Chena River.

He will be able to answer ALL of your questions and even help you with getting started and where to go. He even has 3-4 of his own claims around the Fairbanks area.

I spent the summer up there last year but won't be able to get back for a couple more years. Make sure you let him know that I referred you to him.

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Old 05-19-2016, 09:59 PM   #268
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So he would be across the river from the Morris Thompson Visitor Center. Last time there (T.M. / 2013) they were a wealth of information for all of Alaska. I'll be hitting the visitor center as soon as I get up there. He most likely knew my two nephews in Turbid North rock band.
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Old 05-20-2016, 05:26 AM   #269
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So he would be across the river from the Morris Thompson Visitor Center. Last time there (T.M. / 2013) they were a wealth of information for all of Alaska. I'll be hitting the visitor center as soon as I get up there. He most likely knew my two nephews in Turbid North rock band.
Yes, actually he looks right at and into the Chena Bingo Hall owned and operated by the local tribe. The visitor center which is across the river and on the other side of Old Steese Highway is a great place to visit for anyone coming to Fairbanks.

He has been in the music field since his last year in college. He started at Pro Music and eventually ended up managing the business and then later purchased it from the owner. He pretty much knows everyone in the music field in Alaska and has probably sold them or helped them with their equipment at one time or another.

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Old 05-20-2016, 01:13 PM   #270
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I made a notation in my notebook for your son's business.

If the TOW (Top of the World ) route is open we'll stop in Chicken AK. because they offer free gold panning in their campground. As of last week on the Yukon 511 website, it ( road) was closed from Dawson City to Alaska still.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:58 PM   #271
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The TOW is a don't miss!!!!
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:03 AM   #272
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I cannot imagine that we will ever drive it because we are towing our home and do not want to damage it with all that gravel. Just a sacrifice we are willing to make and I know some will think we are ridiculous.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:24 AM   #273
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Drove it in 2014, only bad thing was dust, gets in places I did not even know existed on my coach, even INSIDE the tail lights! The views made the clean up worth it, I would do it again! If you go from Dawson To Tok the CG in Tok has a high pressure coach wash.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:26 AM   #274
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I made a notation in my notebook for your son's business.

If the TOW (Top of the World ) route is open we'll stop in Chicken AK. because they offer free gold panning in their campground. As of last week on the Yukon 511 website, it ( road) was closed from Dawson City to Alaska still.
apparently you will be in Dawson. If you drive down the road that the dredge is on go past the dredge and you'll be near bonanza creek. In that area you will see campers boon docking and panning in a public area. Very close to the big Yukon strike
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:41 AM   #275
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I cannot imagine that we will ever drive it because we are towing our home and do not want to damage it with all that gravel. Just a sacrifice we are willing to make and I know some will think we are ridiculous.
All you have to do is slow down. I did the TOW with a new Class A and it got very dirty, but absolutely no damage.
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:52 AM   #276
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And not to be negative on the TOW highway, I am just bringing some reality to the subject - DRIVE SLOWLY - there have been some RVer's who have gotten caught in the soft shoulders which when that happens is generally unrecoverable and ended up rolling over down the mountain side to their deaths.

I remember one year when I was in Fairbanks for two months, they had to close the highway for a week or two due to torrential rains that took the life of a Forrest Service Officer.

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Old 05-21-2016, 02:07 PM   #277
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When we were there in '14 there was a coach that gad gone over the side, go slow amend watch for oncoming traffic and critters.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:14 PM   #278
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Here's what my toad looked like at the end of the TOW highway. My MH was filthy inside and out. It does as mentioned require caution and common sense . I wouldn't do it again but glad I did it once. Everything cleaned up nicely.

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Old 05-21-2016, 03:07 PM   #279
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We drove the TOW but separated the toad from the motorhome. We had good weather and dry roads, so it really wasn't bad. I feel the Alcan from Whitehorse north was much worse, much rougher, and dustier than TOW. I imagine a lot depends upon the weather when you do the TOW and maybe on the traffic. We had little oncoming traffic and never felt we had to hug the shoulder.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:24 PM   #280
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Alaska 2016

I have posted this pic before, but here is both our tow bar and the windshield cover I made from a roll of insulation I got from Lowe's for our trip to Alaska. No dings in the windshield or anywhere on the toad.
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