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Day 39 - Dawson City, YT

This is how our day started! We finished one day and started another at the top of The Dome above Dawson City! The time is just a tick after midnight and it's cold, clear and fairly bright outside.

Looking down the Yukon river toward the setting sun. The time: 12:15 AM.

This Inukshuk was cleverly built on the top of The Dome by someone else; but we all admired it.

The sun has set but it will be coming up shortly.

Picture taken yesterday at about noon so you can see the difference between day and night for yourself.
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Picture taken this morning around 12:15 AM. Looks like the only difference is there are not shadows tonight due to the clouds. The sun was just setting when we arrived.
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The staff has carried up all the equipment to make hot cocoa for all of us.

As you can see, it was chilly out here tonight. They brought along cookies to go with the hot cocoa and mini marsh mellows.

We all were back in bed by at least 1:15 AM and back up in time to leave at 10:00 AM for a tour of Dredge Number 4 National Historic Site.

This is the largest wooden hull, bucket-line dredge in North America. It was built in the winter of 1912 for the Canadian Klondike Mining Company on Claim 112 Below Discovery on Bonanza Creek. The tent at the front is in place because they are completing some major renovations to the bow and bottom of the dredge.

It commenced operations in May of 1913, sinking there in 1924. In 1927, it was re floated and continued to operate from the Klondike Valley to Hunker Creek. It continued to operate until 1940.

The dredge was rebuilt on Bonanza Creek and continued to operate from 1941 to 1955. The dredge is eight stories high, about 75 feet long, and it took four men to operate it.

Using 66 of these buckets, the dredge could dig four feet below the water level and 17 feet above the water level.

The dredge was electrically powered from the Company's hydro plant on the Klondike River about 30 miles away.

This is just one of the huge electric motors used to operate the dredge.

Everything is massive in this machine. It is particularly amazing when you think about transporting the huge motors and gears back in 1912. It was done by steamer ship up the coast and then by rail or paddle wheeler to Dawson City.

This is a huge pump used to create high and low pressure water used in the dredge operation.

One of the many stair cases in the vessel.

This is the heart of the dredge; it is the revolving screen where the smaller rocks and gold would be filtered out by falling through the holes.

The inside of the revolving screen. The rocks from the buckets would enter at the top and the small rocks and gold would fall through the holes; or at least 75% of the gold would fall through. Also, any nuggets larger than the holes would pass right through and go into the tailings pile.

Looking out the back at the stacker where the remaining gravel was deposited in piles behind the dredge.

Walking up the stairs next to a gigantic gear.

This is the pilot house where the operation of the dredge was controlled. To move the bucket excavator from from side to side, the entire dredge would pivot on a large pole called the "Spud". Since the bucket excavator and the stacker were fixed in place, as the excavator moved to the right, the stacker move to the left.

Another large electric motor.

The small gravel and gold would come down these chutes with water washing over them.

The passed through the two size of grates and there were matts at the bottom that the gold dust and nuggets would catch. Once every couple of days the matts were cleaned and the gold was extracted.

A dredge moved along on a pond of its own making, digging gold bearing gravel in front, recovering the gold through the screen washing plant, then depositing the gravel out the stacker at the rear. These are tailings left by a dredge.

About a mile above the dredge is the Discovery Claim on Bonanza Creek. The first claim on any creek was called the Discovery Claim. All claims after that were measured from that claim. So Claim 7 below Discovery would be the 7th claim downstream of the Discover Claim.
The rest of the day was a free day to wander about the area and visit any of the many museums and attractions in the area. It was also a great time to visit some of the unique stores along Front Street.

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