I'm Holly Jo, I was the "Gold Girl" tour guide the last 3 years at Porcupine Creek in Haines, AK. Two years at John & Parker Schnabel's Big Nugget Gold Mine and one year at Dakota Fred's Porcupine Creek Gold Mine. Not sure what I will be doing this year as the Gold tours at Porcupine Creek are not offered any more...and I kinda got fired.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rainbows, Mudslides, Sink Holes, Bears, and Gold

Rainbow Glacier Adventure Team of 2011
What a great group of people to know!
Bottom Row: Nell, Tom
Next Row Up: Bruce, Deb
Next Row Up: Emily, Edie, and Bob
Next Row Up: Me, Stella
Next Row Up: Carol, Joe
Next Row Up: CJ, Jen, and Robert
Top Row: Denise....but she is hiding

Tour season is quickly coming to a close.  We have 3 Cruise Ship days left (today being one of the three).  We had our end of the year party with Rainbow Glacier Adventures a week ago.
Jen Reid's beautiful retreat on Mud Bay

 It was great fun out in the Mud Bay district.  Halibut and Salmon were on demand...

Friday, August 12, 2011

It takes a Leap of Faith to Pan for Gold at Porcupine Mine

A couple of ounces of gold recovered from Big Nugget Mine on Porcupine Creek
With gold sky rocketing over $1700 an ounce recently, our Gold Rush to Porcupine Creek Tour is starting to be more than mere entertainment to our tour guests.  Even small gold nuggets are worth something. Young and old, People want gold!
John Schnabel telling young prospectors; Mike, Farris, Errol and Matt how to pan for gold.

I have become a pretty good gold panner since I get to show tour groups how to pan for gold almost every time we visit Big Nugget Mine at Porcupine Creek.  In fact, I became a little over-confident about my gold panning technic and lost my gold in the water trough on one of my tours.  My happy tour guide persona quickly vanished and was replaced by a gold fever lunatic who just lost their fortune.  I rolled up my sleeves...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Into the thick of Summer in Haines Alaska

Field of the Dandelion weeds at the Ghost Town of
Porcupine City. My Dad on one of my tours.
I cant believe we are already into July.  Summer flies when your having fun in Haines Alaska and Tour Guiding seals the deal!  I'm having a ball taking people to the Schnabel's Big Nugget Mine where we pan for gold and find nice nuggets.  This is a great tour for the young and the young at heart!
Elizabeth from California takes a snap of
her cousin, local cutie, 4 yr old Hayden with his
gold nugget he panned all by himself

We have seen black bears on Porcupine Road...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrity Sightings and Gold Nuggets

Kir & Pacific found some gold!


We had three Gold Rush to Porcupine Tours last week.  Each one was a unique experience.  My first tour went out last Monday with a local Haines family.  They had the cutest 4 year old, Pacific, who loves to gold pan.  She brightened up like the sun when that yellow...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gold Rush of 2011 has started

Spectacular Views of the Dalton Trail
The first "Gold Rush to Porcupine Tour" started on Memorial day weekend with 10 people on board to the gold road to Porcupine.  We drove up the scenic Haines Highway through the Bald Eagle Preserve.  Joe Ordonez and CJ Jones gave excellent commentary of the area and the rich history of Dalton's Trail.  We crossed over the Klehini River and into the Porcupine Gold District of 1898.
Dandelions in bloom - they may be weeds but they are sure pretty

We visited 16 yr old Parker Schnabel at his Big Nugget Mine...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

First Cruise Ship Day in Haines Alaska

Tourism Director, Tanya Carlson - Mayor Jan Hill - Tour Operator, Adam Patterson
Enjoying the new look of Haines as they wait to greet Cruise Ship guests
We did it! The first Cruise Ship Day in Haines was a big success.  Southeast Roadbuilders, who were constructing our new Bus Parking Lot and Restrooms worked their little hearts out till 2am on Cruise Ship day and completed a large majority of it.  It is pretty amazing what people can do under pressure.  It will be a great addition to Haines.  We are steadily giving this pretty little town a much needed face lift.  
Don't get me wrong, the natural Haines doesn't need any help at being beautiful.  It is the folks who live here that need to work hard at making our...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just in the Nick of Time

Oh, oh, what a feeling! To drive.....a tour bus (sang to the tune of the old Toyota commercial). 
I passed my dreaded driving test and can now get a Commercial Drivers License.  Whoopee - I'm so stoked!  I have been studying the last two months.  This is not child's play my friend.  The CDL is the hardest thing I have ever studied to get. This is coming from a gal who received a Correctional Officer certification - think pepper spray in the face and defense training for 3 weeks, and was Flight Attendant certified - think Jump, Jump, Jump, out and down the emergency escape slide - one month, non-paid (did it twice).  
I passed just in the nick of time.  Haines will have our first Cruise Ship for the season,

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Guides Choice" in Haines Alaska with Photographer Tom Ganner

Port Chilkoot Dock Restrooms
and parking lot under construction
Here is a quick update on what Gold Rush Alaska is up to.  The film crews are following local high schooler, Parker Schnabel, around Haines High School today.  They had all the students sign wavier agreements so they could be put on National Television (if it doesn't get cut on the editing room floor first).  Parker Schnabel will be the Superintendent at Big Nugget Mine...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Night with Gold Rush Alaska in Haines

Haines Tourism Director, Tanya Carlson
The Party has started!  Haines tour season has hit the ground running. We had our first ever "Night of Tourism" this evening.  It was a full house...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Vote for Gold Rush to Porcupine Creek

Parker Schnabel - Me - Joe Ordonez
The Borough Assembly meeting was held at Haines' very own Sheldon Museum last Tuesday evening.  I entered the upstairs gallery to find the owner of Rainbow Glacier Adventures, Joe Ordonez, and Gold Mine owner, Parker Schnabel, signing in to speak about the new tour addition to Haines, "Gold Rush Tour to Porcupine Creek".  Excitement was in the air...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gold Rush Tour to Porcupine Creek

John Schnabel

I have been invited to work with a tour company called Rainbow Glacier Tours. Yes!  That is.....as long as I can get myself licensed with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) by the time cruise ships start coming up the inside passage of Southeast Alaska (mid May).  The owner has offered me a position as the Porcupine Creek Gold Rush Tour Guide....I’ll be the Gold Girl! I will get to take tourist out to Porcupine Creek and pan for gold at the Schnabel’s Big Nugget Gold Mine.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Introduction

 My dream is to be a Tour Guide in Haines Alaska.  I'm not one yet.  I used to be a Tour Director for a Cruise Line a few years back, but Tour Guiding is different ball of wax. A Tour Director doesn't say all the commentary, the Tour Guide does.  The Director is like a traveling concierge.  I counted suitcases every morning before departure.  I took care of the ill, told jokes and kept the tourists happy.  It was an excellent job;