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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Monday, August 12, 2013

GOT GOLD? In Porcupine Creek We Do!

Mattias from Sweden (or Switzerland - I get those mixed up)
showing his rich yellow pay dirt from Porcupine Creek Mine.

Rainbow Glacier Adventure's Gold Rush Tour To Porcupine has exploded the summer of 2013.  I am grateful to be taking fans of the TV show "Gold Rush" out to Dakota Fred's Porcupine Creek Mine almost every weekday and some weekends.

The Costabile Family from Illinois had a great time visiting Dakota Fred
and Porcupine Creek Mine.


Dakota Fred, his son Dustin Hurt, and Melody Tallis are warm, friendly, inviting gold miners at Porcupine Creek Gold Mine.  My guests are surprised
at the time these gold miners will take out of their busy season to say hello, take a few photos, and take the time to teach everyone how to pan for gold.

One of our largest groups (10 peeps) panning with Dakota Fred.
We keep our tours small and intimate for the
best experience.
A Little Texan Tot finds big flakes of gold with
Dakota Fred's help.

Michigan gals looking pretty in pink and meeting
Dustin Hurt and Melody.


Gold Panning guests are also surprised to find a funny, cool guy out of Dakota Fred.  The show makes him out to be a shrewd business man without a heart (at times).  But his heart is full of kindness and his laughter is contagious.  Plus...he is letting people leave Porcupine Creek Mine with HIS gold!  Whatever they find, they get to keep.  That is mighty generous considering I have seen some nice size "pickers" of gold in our guests pan.  Which is a different term from the mine across the river, Parker Schnabel's Big Nugget Mine, over there they called them "nuggets"........Porcupine Creek Miners call them, "pickers", either way the gold has substance, and it is round, and it makes a clanging sound when you shake it in the gold vial.  If I ever get my own gold mine I will call them "clangers".

New Jersey Bridge Builder Richard & his wife Karen learn
how funny Dakota Fred is while they pan for gold

This Oklahoma Sweetie sports her gold "picker" she picked out of
her pan before panning the rest of the dirt.

These are gold flakes and gold flour from Porcupine Creek.

When you come on our Gold Rush to Porcupine tour you get to see the "behind the scenes" of the TV show and learn what the miners are doing before it airs this fall.  I have to be careful what photos I can post so I don't give away all Gold Rush Season 4's secrets.  

Norwegian's Captain, Officers, and Engineers looking at the
area Dakota Fred is working this summer.  Wish I
could show you what they are seeing, but I can't.


The Captain of Norwegian's "Pearl" cruise ship brought all his top Officers and Engineers to Haines for a sneak peek of Dakota Fred's gold operation.  They had to ferry over from Skagway because Norwegian Cruise Line doesn't port in Haines......mainly because their ships are too big for our little dock. They fit over 4,000 people on the Pearl.....we fit only 2,500 people in Haines Borough.

Norwegian's Captain of the Pearl
with Dakota Fred


Norwegian's hilarious and rowdy Officers and Engineers of
the Pearl Cruise Ship visit our Chilkoot River after
gold panning success.  They were a delight, yet a handful representing
numerous countries from Switzerland to Puerto Rico and everything in between.


Melody & Jen  - the Gold Gals of Porcupine Creek
Gold Panning guest's also get to meet Jen.  She is Dakota Fred's assistant at the mine and manages all his public websites, Facebook page, and souvenir orders.  Interestingly, she got involved by being a fan of the Gold Rush TV show and chatting on the chat sites about the gold miners of the show.  She was a big defender of all the gold miners and Dakota Fred liked her enthusiasm and offered her a job to manage his online stuff.  She was so good at that Fred soon offered her a job to come right up to Porcupine Creek Mine base camp and work from the mine.  Her duties became all encompassing once she moved out to the Porcupine Mining District.  On top of all the e-net work she runs errands into Haines picking up parts and groceries, keeps record of the gold tours and bagging dirt for us to pan, plus she cooks for the gold miners at Porcupine Creek. The miners say they are sooo happy not to have to eat spam for every meal like last year when Dakota Fred was cooking.  She is a great addition to the Porcupine Creek gold mine.

Check out this cool jacket Jen is wearing......uh I want one yah!

Dakota Fred is doing great this season with a lot of help
from his assistant Jen - Find him on Facebook and chat
with Jen. 




Gold guests enjoy getting to know Melody Tallis better too.  She is an amazingly hard working woman (guess it is not a surprise she is hard-working since she is a woman right?).  She grew up in Fairbanks....maybe that helped toughen her up for this kind of work....or maybe the fact she is a 5 times Barrel Racing Champion on the rodeo circuit.  That is a horse competition sport for those who don't know.  

Father & Son from AZ to Ill (Lee & Rick) get a one on one gold panning
lesson with Melody
the Gold Panning Queen.


Sweetheart & Hard Working Melody Tallis is working with
Dakota Fred for her second season. 

Dustin Hurt visits our gold guests when he can, but he seems to be extra busy with the gold operation this summer.  He has a big pool of fans.....all ages and genders. But I will say....he seems to be the favorite for many ladies on our tours.  I don't know why?  Maybe it is his sparkling personality shining through on the show.  Yah, that must be it. lol 

Mike from Alberta Canada grabs a few panning tips from
Dustin Hurt

Husbands tend to look the other way when their wive's grab for that extra hug
from their favorite gold miners.


The gold panning tour has been a big hit and everyone leaves with a smile, great memories, and GOLD.  The weather has been perfect this summer, the views spectacular, and we get to see wildlife once in a while on the round trip 64 mile drive to Porcupine Creek.  We see the four legged kind and their calling card.....berry filled scat.

Yep - I take photos of bear scat when they are this pretty. hahahaha

Little black bear looking for berries.  We see brown bears too
but they run away fast and we don't get a good photo of them.
This was taken while I was driving over Porcupine Creek Bridge.


And sometimes we see the wild and unpredictable two legged kind of wildlife.  It is a real special treat when we do too.

Susie from Cali meets her favorite Grandpa John Schnabel on an
impromptu visit at his office.


Happy Panning my friends....we have one more month of gold mining weather at Porcupine Creek.


We Got Gold In This Dirt!




8 comments:

  1. So wonderful Holly. What a great blog. You covered it pretty thoroughly and anyone who reads it will want to come and take the Gold Tour with you. The weather in Haines does look great this summer. It looks like a lot of good people came on the tour. Thanks for the update. Love it.

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  2. So excited to tour with you Holly! My husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law will be there the week of the 27th on the Carnival Miracle!

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  3. Great "Gold" Stuff! I did some Gold Panning this weekend at Lynx Creek in Arizona, spent the whole day and didn't come up with as much as you're getting from a single Guest Pan at Porcupine Creek ... next summer I'm going to Porcupine Creek!

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  4. This is neat stuff. TV continues to love Alaskan pursuits, ingenuity, and lifestyles! I am coming to visit Haines for the first time, though I've lived on POW for 10 years, tomorrow thru Sunday morning (Sept. 8th). I know a little bit about Haines only because I read Heather's book, but this blog and Heather's site in general have showed me there's a lot to check out and appreciate in your beautiful town. Maybe I'll see someone I'll recognize in town! Thanks for creating this Haines informational site.

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  5. Is there really a glory hole at porcupine creek

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  6. Nice place to visit Porcupine Creek I hope the gold still waiting for me lol.

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  7. When mining is complete, will there be an attempt to return the land to its former condition?

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