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One of the things I absolutely wanted to do on this cruise was to try my hand at panning for gold since I had never done it before and it looked like so much fun. There were options to book excursions on a number of our stops but we chose the Skagway one because it looked the best and was reasonably priced.
Unfortunately this past winter was extremely snowy in Alaska and the melt and runoff were extreme and we were not able to head up to the stream advertised to experience this “in the wild” if you will as the road was washed out.
Even the little river in the base camp, where they also had a salmon grill / bake (that we did not take part in) was very strong.
Before getting started we had a chance to walk around the area and geek out thinking of what it was like to try to strike it rich “back in the day”. We were told along the way that only a very tiny number ever did strike it rich and most lost everything and even their lives in chasing the dream.
Our guide was hilarious and so much fun. Both he and his companions seemed to really enjoy teaching us what we needed to do to find real gold!
They had brought some pay dirt down from the location we were supposed to go and they guaranteed us that everyone would find some gold today. Cue my anticipation and joy of what was next.
After a quick lesson on the technique of dip and shake and repeat we finally got down to the last bits in our pan and low and behold there WAS gold there. We were each given a small bottle and instructed how to use a pipette to draw the gold up and then squirt it into our bottles.
Once back at the ship my wife and I combined our “haul” and cleaned up the left over bits of sand leaving only the gold in the bottle.
Even though the excursion was not everything we expected it was so fun and we both totally understand the gold rush feeling and could understand how easy it would be to become obsessed and want to try to “strike it rich” on a claim.
Then again we were thinking this while eating lunch on this ship at the Cagney’s steak house (free for lunch for suite guests) with a white table cloth, a lovely glass of red wine and waited on by outstanding NCL crew so maybe it is best we just let that dream go? – René
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