Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Independence Mine & Musk Ox, Wasilla, July 20, 2010

IMG_9544While in bed this morning we kept hearing our coach shore power cycle off then on, then off, etc.  Bob got up, went outside, dug out our autoformer (voltage booster) from one of our bays and plugged it in, instantly stopped the off and on cycle.  Evidently the power in the park just could not handle all the coffee pots.

With mist in the air, we head off for some sightseeing at the 3500’ level, Hatcher Pass and the Independence Mine.  Below is a view of Hatcher Pass, the road continued, but we did not.  We ventured back down to the Independence Mine.

IMG_1731  What a large contrast from this mine and the Kennecott, there the mill building is intact, here it is in ruins.  Deep rock gold was mined here from 1938-1954, with the peak being in 1941.IMG_1741IMG_1737 View from up near the mine entrance back at the barracks and mess hall.

IMG_1761 This trestle has definitely seen better days.


They had posted a telegram from August 15, 1941 which read, “Increase standing meat order to six hindquarters beef weekly stop.  Increase cold meat to double present order stop.  Discontinue live and tongue stop.”  Evidently the miners did not like liver or tongue either!

Our trail around the mine crossed over this creek, so I stopped to see if I could find my nugget.  This being a deep rock mine made no difference to me, I always look!

IMG_9576 IMG_1734

Just love the tiny flowers that survive in this harsh climate.  The lighter area is my fingernail.




Then it was time to head back down the hill and stop at the Musk Ox Farm.  This was a yearling.  They harvest qiviut from these musk ox, they claim they have the finest wool in the world.   It is also eight times warmer than wool and finer than cashmere, qiviut is hypoallergenic and will not shrink.  They were selling scarves and hats in their shop, a bit pricey, but, so… soft!

IMG_9588 In May their undercoat, the qiviut sheds and these fibers are combed out with a comb/pick with each animal yielding about 6 pounds.  Below is a record from a series of combings.

IMG_1773  They have these cute stubby tails.  Experiments have been tried to raise them in the lower 48, but have failed, they just need it colder in the summer.











We are heading out tomorrow to stay in Portage, probably will not have internet so you may not hear from us for a few days.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

I loved the Musk Ox Farm!
When we were there LuLu the yearling was getting into all kinds of mischief, sneaking out of her pen!
Cute fuzzy wuzzies aren't they?!

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