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In September I helped my younger brother move his stuff from northern Idaho to Anchorage. The plan was to take his stuff to Anchorage, slap it into a storage unit, then take a week or so traveling back through the gold country doing a little site seeing and sampling. The day he jumped on a plane and headed for home, a large storm was brewing off the coast and they were expecting lots of snow. To say the least, I decided to head south as quick as possible to avoid the bad weather. I dropped my brother off at the airport and hit the road at about noon.

The first leg of the trip from Anchorage to the little town of Tok climbs up through a mountain valley, past a glacier and finally into Tok. For the first few hours as I drove higher into the mountains I watched the snow line on the mountains around me slowly get lower and lower. About dark I finally got through the mountains and broke out of the storm. I arrived in Tok about mid-night and decided to fill up and find a place to sleep.

After I had pulled up to a gas pump and started filling up, I noticed that the truck at the pump in front of me had a really nice moose rack in the back. As I waited for the gas I stepped forward to get a better look at the rack. That's when I noticed that several meat bags were also in the back indicating that they had just recently bagged the moose.

About this time the owner of the vehicle came around the front of his truck and said hi. I greeted him and complimented him on the nice rack. Saying that it was probably the best unmounted moose rack that I've seen many years. Then asked him where he got it.

He replied that he had gotten it down in the Alaskian Range (that's as close as he would pin point his location).

Then he said. "If you like that, you might like this too." Where upon he opened the truck door, pulled the seat forward and reached in. He pulled out a jar about 3 inches in diameter, probably 12 to 14 tall and handed it to me.

I couldn't tell what it was at first, probably because of the poor lighting. It looked to be a pale orange color with dark spots scattered throughout it. Now I was thinking, 'What part of a moose is orange?'

It wasn't until he had handed it to me that I finally saw what it was. The jar was full of gold. Everything from small pickers to dime sized nuggets, no dust or powder, just nuggets, about 7 to 8 pounds of them.

I looked at it quickly, then handed it back to him; mostly cause I didn't want to drop it.

I asked where he had gotten it, and again all he would say was the Alaskian Range. He did say that they had been using a trommel and a front end loader to feed it.

About this time, his friend came out of the gas station, they climbed into the truck and drove off.

What amazed me more than seeing 8 pounds of gold in someone's possession, was that this guy that I've known for all of 20 or 30 seconds casually handed me something worth about $150,000 to look at.

I never did find out what his name was or where he lived. I didn't even notice what state was on his license plate. The one thing I would like to know is; How many more of those jars did he have stuffed behind the seat of his pick-up?

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