Recovering from bilateral open mesh hernia surgeries

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to update my website here. I’ve done better on facebook; I guess because it’s just easier to sign in and post. Plus I know right away if my posts/images are appreciated or not there. I’ll try to do better here though.

So, this year, I went to Alaska again. I’ve learned that there IS gold up there, and quite a bit in some areas. But to be productive one really needs a crew and heavy machinery. I won’t be going back up this next summer. I need to get finances in order, prepare my campers better, and plan a better course of action.

I’ll explain this year’s Alaskan adventure later on. I do have a lot of great images from the trip, a little gold, and some Alaskan Stones that I brought back and polished up (tumbled). The images and the stones will be for sale.

Since being back, I had some hernia repairs. I went through hell with that, and am still recovering. I’m due to go back to work on December 10th. I wrote up an article on the surgery (preparation, post-op, and recovery) so that I might help someone else going through it.
You can read about it here.

That’s about the latest. I’ll get to the 2016 and 2017 Alaskan blogs as soon as I get a chance.

Alaskan Trip Summary

I am home now, but my travels through Canada and Alaska and back was a truly awesome experience. I met a lot of fantastic people, saw snow-capped mountains, traveled down mountain switchbacks and snow packed passes, panned for gold one claim over from where the Yukon Gold Rush began in Dawson City, Yukon, and camped and sluiced for gold on the edge of Denali National Park. I saw a multitude of wildlife such as forest bison, black bear, grizzly bear, mountain goats, elk, moose, fox, and some critter that may had been a ground squirrel, but I’m not sure.

I traveled in some VERY desolate county, had truck trouble in Fargo, ND, had the same trouble in Malta, MT because the problem was fixed right in Fargo, but from Montana on, the tuck and travel trailer (and I) survived. It’s a wonder they made it up there actually, let alone getting back home! I was down some hellish roads. I left the camper in a secure storage lot north of Anchorage as I’ll be heading back up to prospect and mine in 2017.

I have a lot of photos and videos that I will try to get online as soon as I can. At the moment tho I’m working full time, getting overtime, working on a new used Alaskan Camper that I recently acquired, and preparing to have my truck checked out due to a careless UNINSURED driver backing into me at AutoZone. But I’ll do my best to put my experience in writing, and with photos and videos, as soon as possible. So stay tuned and check back often!

North – To Alaska

Hello everyone. I’m currently in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada and will be heading to Dawson City, BC in a little while. From there I’ll continue on the Alaskan Highway. There are many many miles of desolate country ahead of me.

I’ve been wanting to post here my travels but internet/cell is sporadic and not guaranteed. However, I have, to a certain degree, been able to keep up on my travels on my personal Facebook page. So if you want to see where I am, what I’m doing, and how I’m doing, please go to my Facebook page and send me a friend request.

I’ll post my travels, pics & videos here when I get the time and internet connection to do so.

Here’s the link to my facebook page — hope to see you there!

Alaska and Yukon Prospecting Still The Goal!

A lot has been going on! 13 more days left before I leave!

The bad:

Truck repairs cost me $1,347! Ouch!

The good:

I know that I have fuel lines and brake lines that won’t fail me in the middle of nowhere. Or, going down a mountain.

More good:

I have new truck tires to be installed Monday. The tires are BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2’s. Triple ply sidewalls.

And some more good:

I have full financing now!

And yet even some more good:

I ordered the following from Mark Keene, CEO Keene Engineering. He said he’ll get me the items even if he has to make it himself:

1 – Mini Max Power Sluice Concentrator Kit
1 – Mini Max 2″ Dredge header & Classifier
2 – 1.25″ FEMALE coupling
20′ – 1.25″ PRESSURE HOSE
2 – 1.25″ HOSE CLAMP
1 – Suction Nozzle (2″ x 1.25″ Threaded)

With the above configuration, I’ll be able to classify, sample, sluice, high bank, dredge, and also use it as a professional clean up machine. Uh huh. Yep. I’m PUMPED! Whether Alaska… which is the ultimate goal… or the western lower 48… I’ll be ready! Stay tuned for updates as they develop ;).

National Correctional Officers Week

This week has been National Correctional Officers Week. It is a tribute to those who work “behind the scene” to keep the public safe and protected. As a former State of Michigan Corrections Officer with a retirement locked in (called “vested”), I know what Corrections Officers go through and the thankless job they are called upon to perform. My hat goes off to those and other law enforcement officers who lay their life on the line every day.

Highlight, copy, and then paste the link below (or click on an option for “go to webpage”) to your browser to read an article by the Michigan Corrections Organization:

Alaskan Canadian Gold Prospecting Trip Is A GO

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2016 Alaskan-Canadian Gold Prospecting & Mining Trip is a GO! I’ll be leaving on the night of May 18th or the morning of May 19th, and I’ll be documenting my trip via video and photos as I’ve mentioned before.

So right now I’m preparing finances, seeking out potential contributors and sponsors, and getting necessary paperwork together for the border crossing, such as veterinarian docs for Buddy, firearm declaration forms, getting my birth certificate, and getting my Michigan enhanced driver’s license. I’m also getting Bruno (my truck) ready, and I’m getting the mobile office (RV) ready. Those two tasks alone are insurmountable, actually.

And I also have to make accommodations for the use of my cell service while in Canada. That will cost either $2 a day or $25 a month to my existing plan. And then there’s preparation and costs for food, extra fuel for the generator, propane, lodging, etc. Diesel fuel alone is estimated to be $2,660, based on 12 MPG and at $3.80 a gallon. I hope my estimates are low on the MPG and high on the price per gallon!

I recently got off the phone with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and received a form requesting to transport in-transit my hand gun from border to border. It’s doable, but there’s one drawback… the license would only be for driving and sleeping. That means no Canadian sight-seeing, no Canadian gold panning, no nothing except for driving and sleeping. Well, I WANT to do a little sight-seeing and panning in Canada, so, that option is now out. At least for THIS trip. But next year, who knows?

I’m talking with a man in Edmonton, Alberta who manufactures high bankers, and we may come up with some sort of deal for one of his products. Time will tell. Time isn’t much in surplus at the moment though because there is sooo much that needs to be done.

I’ll continue to post updates on the trip as they arise, so stay tuned!

What’s New March 9, 2015

Here is what’s new as of March 9th, 2015

A major business restructuring is under way.
By that I mean that I will be forming a LLC
(Limited Liability Company), versus the
sole proprietorship that I currently have.
I’m also changing the IRS “category” of
my business from photography to mining.

That does not mean that I am going to
stop doing photography and video.
Under the umbrella of a LLC, anything
business-wise that I do will be covered.
That includes prospecting, mining, photography,
videography, Amazon sales… ANY venture
in which I choose to be involved with.
So prints, photo books, calendars,
and video productions will still
play a major part in my business plan.

I’ve been preparing for this switch for some time.
As you may know, I’ve been gathering a vast
amount of knowledge, software, equipment, and gear.
This includes acquiring a 2010 travel trailer
which I can use for prospecting/mining ventures
and creating photography/video productions.
This includes what I call an “Operations Room”,
where I can produce, edit, print, and record on
photo and video mediums, and also plan, prepare,
and process concentrates of minerals and gems.
I have been outfitting and modifying
the trailer just for these purposes.

Although the travel trailer’s maximum weight is
only 7550 pounds, the camper van would not pull
it very well, as I found out during a field trial.
So I ended up purchasing a GMC diesel pickup.
It’s a 2004 Sierra 3500 SLT with a 6.6 Duramax
engine and a 5 speed Allison transmission,
although it sure seems to be a 6 speed!
I haven’t tried pulling the travel trailer
with this yet… soon I hope… but I’m
confident that it will do ok.

So, with that said, what are the goals this year?
There are a few options on the table, and at
least ONE of these will become a reality….

Option One — The Canadian Yukon (Klondike) and Alaska:

There are many obstacles with this option.
But no risk, no gain. Right??
Exploring and documenting Canada up to Dawson City
would be an awesome experience to share with you.
Visiting historical locations and placer
prospecting and mining would be on the agenda.
Gold is still mined in the Sixty Mile District of
the Yukon near Dawson City, and also around Carmacks.
While in the area, why not visit the Arctic Circle?
And why not visit the Arctic Ocean as well?!
Alaska would also be on the itinerary, and there’s an
area called the Forty Mile District that has some fabulous
history and still has some great gold recovery potential.

Option Two — Just Alaska:

This option would be to visit Alaska by Air.
Some gear would have to be shipped up ahead
of time, a vehicle would have to be rented,
lodging and food costs would be high though.
There’s less freedom to explore with this option.

Option Three — The Wyoming and Colorado Rocky Mountains:

Documenting past and present-day prospecting and
mining would be the main feature here, and the many
beautiful scenic images would be icing on the cake.
This option is actually more appealing than option two.

There are a few needed items which I believe will
be necessary and detrimental to our success.
A remote controlled aerial copter for aerial footage is one.
I refuse to call them “drones”, for to me drones are
unmanned aircraft used for intelligence and warfare.
The US is very strict on these model crafts, although
I see footage on the Discovery Channel all the time
which looks to be done by a model craft and I’m
curious if they have FAA approval to do so.
Canada has around a 20 day waiting period to get a
permit to use such craft, but it is usually doable.

Another item is an ATV. Also a small tractor
with a backhoe and blade would be very helpful.
As would an 8 foot sluice with a small trammel
(which I’ll be building), and then there’s the
need for a highbanker and a finishing table.
Of course there are still miscellaneous items on my
list such as another can of bear spray, a high-powered
rifle and/or a shotgun, a security system, tire pressure
monitors, and a multitude of other items on my list.

So there you have it.
It’s a never-ending job of researching,
learning, figuring, planning, and preparing.
I’ll post our progress and decisions as they unfold.
Feel free to post any comments :).

Lake Superior Fishing Camping Adventure

I will be leaving either this Friday afternoon or
Saturday morning for the shore of Lake Superior.
I’ll be testing and evaluating some fishing gear, LMR400
cable, a parabolic (directional) WiFi antenna (although I
don’t expect to pick up anything out there in the sticks),
a directional cell phone antenna, a cell phone signal
booster, and more.

Items I’ll be RE-evaluating will be insulated waders,
insulated rubber gloves, a “Mountain Man” grilling
system, and more.

You’re invited to come along, via this website.
There will be text, photo, and video coverage
of this adventure, and I hope that you enjoy it. 🙂