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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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Living and Learning From Our Elders

Haines, Alaska shedding it's winter snow

 I liked all the air time Parker Schnabel received on last nights Gold Rush TV show.  He is a delight to watch because even when things aren't going right he makes it less stressful by saying something like 'I'm on a slippin' slide' when he was bogging down in the mud with his excavator.  Seeing John Schnabel is also a treat.  I read many chats about Gold Rush and everyone is a loyal fan of Grandpa John.  Me too.  He makes me want to give him a big hug every time I see him.  I got a little choked up when he told Parker that he did not want Parker to know what it was like to have someone die from a choice he made.  This tells me that John Schnabel has been through some hard experiences.  Parker is very lucky to learn from Grandpa John.

I took this last year - but it is one of my favorite photos with John Schnabel
© 2012HollyJo. All Rights Reserved.

I have to say, for the record, I am a big fan of ALL the men on the Gold Rush TV show.  It is hard work mining for gold in the Last Frontier and even harder to do it in front of a huge camera lens.  With extreme weather, equipment troubles, and time restraints, this type of living is not for the weak minded or hearted.
I am even a fan of Dakota Fred.  In my opinion he is a great addition to the TV show and I chuckle out loud from most of his sound-bytes.  I also like Todd Hoffman and crew.  I give Todd Hoffman a big thank you for dreaming up this wild ride and allowing us, the viewers, to follow along on the adventure.  This show makes me proud to be an American with God at our foundation for freedom.

Dakota Fred is a funny man!
© 2012HollyJo. All Rights Reserved.
Parker Schnabel and Grandpa John are still my favorites.  Even if I wasn't guiding gold tours to their Big Nugget Mine I would enjoy watching them the most.  I think 92 yr old John Schnabel and 18 yr old Parker are excellent examples of close family bonds, the importance of our ancestors, and how much we can learn from each other by taking the time to do so.  No doubt, we all would love to have caring and present grandpas like Grandpa John Schnabel.



As for gold panning tours during the time frame this episode was filmed -- there weren't any!  We didn't start Gold Rush to Porcupine tours until June 1st because the huge snow levels needed to thaw, and the roads needed to be rendered safe for travel.  Lucky for us, Roger Schnabel, Parker Schnabel's father owns Southeast Roadbuilders and is the best go-to guy for clearing roads.  He has all the equipment to grade a nice smooth road.

Donna, Ryan, and John Gates with Parker Schnabel at Big Nugget Mine
© 2012HollyJo. All Rights Reserved.
June 1st we had the Gates family visit us from California. Teenager Ryan was a big fan of the Gold Rush TV show and was excited to have Parker visit with him.  Ryan was a natural at panning for gold and found a beautiful sized nugget.

Ryan and his big nugget

At the beginning of my gold panning tours I ask my guests what they hope to see or do the most on the tour.  If it is possible for me to make their wish come true, I will do it.  At the beginning of this tour John (the father) requested to see moose.  I told him, "Moose are wild and unpredictable (just like Parker), we may see 'em and we may not."
I figured seeing a moose would be more on the 'may not' side of this statement since I hadn't seen any for a few months and I live here year round.  Well wouldn't you know it, driving back into Haines after gold panning we saw a moose!  I was amazed.  I told John he must be a lucky person.  We pulled over and got a photo of the young female.  My boss doesn't like me to brag on these types of sightings because they are sporadic and we don't want to give people the false promise of seeing wild life on every tour.

Moose sighting

So here is my disclaimer: ***You will see wildlife, I promise, if you live in Haines Alaska all year round***

So cool!

The Gates family left Haines, Alaska in style with Paul of Mountain Flying Service. He showed them glaciers from the air.  Pretty darn cool!  See ya next week gold fans.....Be Thankful!


The Gates flying with Paul of Mountain Flying Service

Visit Rainbow Glacier Adventures for gold panning and other adventurous Haines, Alaska tours. Thank you for reading!


2 comments:

  1. Awesome post holly! Your unique perspective of the show and life in general in Haines is always great to read. can't wait for the next installment :-)

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  2. I love the pic with you and grandpa John. How sweet. I almost cried too when grandpa was talking to Parker. Great blog. can't wait to do your gold tour.

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