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Report from Nome

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Report from Nome 
We traveled 46 miles out Council road to East Fork Solomon River and unloaded vehicles. Left trucks and trailers and went up the river eight miles on four off-road vehicles. The water was a little too deep and we had several water related problems.
After the Solomon we went up on the corduroy road made from cross ties from the old abandoned railroad and into the mucky tundra. This starts the hard part of the trip. Four miles through muck and the Casadepaga River to get to our Monument camp. We have 200 acres total located in three sites along creeks and rivers. At Monument the camp was in good shape with no animal damage and nothing was missing. The other guys went on up the river to check out where we wanted to set up the 5 inch dredge. We saw from the snow that we could not get to where our 6 inch dredge is so we were just able to use the 5 inch. While the were gone they sank the Yamaha ATV and got it back to camp. We drained and replaced the oil and removed all unwanted water and got it running again. By this time we were having problems with four of our four off-road vehicles.  The red 6 wheel Ranger was getting water in the clutch. Spence had to patch a pretty big hole in the clutch cover to keep water out of the clutch. He found some inner tube material around camp and used silicon to make a patch. It worked. The other 6 wheel Ranger had broken a blade on the cooling fan and was shaking pretty bad. This happens because Polaris is stupid and didn't design the fan to prevent water from busting the brittle blades. If the blades were more flexible this would not happen. The red Ranger busted a fan blade a couple days later so we must replace the complete fan housing,fan motors and blades on both Rangers. $300.00 each.You cannot buy just the blades which is all we need. We do all our own repairs and we are a darn site better at repairing and getting it done than the repair shop up is. 
Spence and Jimmie set up the 5 inch dredge and started teaching Beau and Bruce about the dredge. By this time the other ATV had also been sunk and we had to remove and replace the oil in it. Next day we set up the 5 inch dredge in the river and Spence and Jimmie went back to Nome so they could continue dredging in the sea. Someone must make money to pay for all our repairs. Don and I stayed six days and trained Beau and Bruce about everything up there and showed them the sites we could get to. We set up two high bankers on good gold bearing ground for them to work. Before we returned the Yamaha that Bruce is using had a bad breakdown. The front right A-arm broke at a more remote location and had to be left. Bruce and Beau rode double back to camp. Don and I have been back in Nome for two days getting all the parts and tools that we need to repair the Yamaha. We hope. We will be heading back to Monument today. Don made friends with the local ground squirrels at Monument. He said this one is named Ralph. Water is down about eight inches in the rivers now so hopefully we will have less water problems getting back in.










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