Pajara Creek

March 26, 2011

With flashbacks to a 2008 trip!

Five of us revisited Pajara Creek in March 26, 2011. It was a lot of fun with no real difficulties. We also did this in 2008 ... with somewhat more difficulty!


Pajara Creek, a tributary of the Eldorado river, is approximately 25 miles northeast of Nome. It was mined out of gold in the early days by a steel-hulled dredge. Herb Engstrom bought this dredge, dissassembled it, and brought the pieces overland to Basin creek where it was reassembled and put to use. It is there today, and run by his son Ron Engstrom.








Alma Ahnangnatoguk Smithhisler

I first met Alma when she was a neighbor of mine in 1970. Today she has a grandchild in Headstart. I am the Headstart bus driver, the subject of snowmachining came up, and here she is.

Here she is starting the trip ... she is riding my 2007 Tundra 300, and she is very good with it!


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews




Crossing Osborne

With the Osborne subdivision in the background, we cross Osborne Creek on the way to Pajara.

Five us initially started the trip, Keith Andrews, Ramon Gandia, Alma Ahnangnatoguk, Derrick Leedy and Kenny Shapiro.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews





Leedy and Ramon Confer

Dr. Derrick Leedy is the local veterinarian. Here we confer about something on the way out.

Kenny left us shortly after to go to White Mountain solo.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Moose Sign

Moose have rooted for food and left sign on the Eldorado River country.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews





Moose in Sight!

And sure enough, here are the moose! We counted a total of eight cows, fat and getting ready to drop their calves.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Pajara Creek

At the airstrip is this old wagon, piles of steel drums and discarded machinery.

In the background is Pajara Creek itself.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews





Flat Tire

This old wagon is not going anywhere.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Buildings at Pajara

The wooden one houses some sort of machinery, perhaps a boiler; the corrugated roof of some sort of storage shed is in the foreground. Snow is deep here.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews

Return to Nature

Heavy moss and fungi are slowly reclaiming the wooden roof of the boiler shed.

You could say that this building is reverting to nature ... in a few decades or centuries it will become a future archaelogical find, and finally will come full circle back to the ground.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Sinkhole



The snow is deep and insulates the creek, so the current will melt a hole.

This is very common in the local creeks. They form a difficult and dangerous obstacle when snowmachining in creeks.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews






Some Make It

Here, Alma -with Ramon in the background- have uneventfully crossed the creek.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews




And Some Don't

Doctor Leedy planted his machine when some of that snow over the creek gave way. He was not there very long.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews





2008 Difficulties

This picture is a flashback to the 2008 Pajara Creek.

Clinton Slater's machine nosedived through the ice into the River. It was damaged and took a while to get it out.

Clinton looks from the left, Lance Cannon is the helmeted page, and Ramon in the red jacket contemplate the problem.


Picture Copyright © 2008 Keith Andrews

2008 Pulling it Out

This picture is a flashback to the 2008 trip.

It took a Lot of work and effort to pull his machine out in 2008.

Clinton i staring at the camera, Ramon in the Red and Dr Leedy in the blue tug and pull the rope. The machine came out this way.

2011 went a lot smoother!

Picture Copyright © 2008 Keith Andrews



Ravines

This snow-sculpted ravine is beckoning some exploration. Keith actually made it in there, but no one had a camera to record the event.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Wildlife

Ptarmigan, a form of grouse, gather around the Willow shoots to feed. Large flocks are common. The birds are in their winter white plumage.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Conference

Alma and Ramon confer while waiting for Keith and Leedy.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Endless Powder!

The entire trip had ideal snow conditions, fluffy and soft on the top with powder, and a firmer base underneath covering the gotchas.

We do not get conditions like this every year.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews

Pooped Out

At the headwaters of Pajara there are two tributaries with tall hills. We climbed those, but it was some work.

Here Dr. Leedy takes a breather from his exertions.

The camaraman was too busy to take any useful pictures of the climbs.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Mystery Sign

We surmise a large bird, perhaps an Eagle, landed here and took a dump. There are no tracks whatsoever leading to this sign.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews





Leaving Pajara

Back at the airstrip Keith took this picture of Pajara.




Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Eldorado Crossing

Ramon Crosses the Eldorado River on the way back to Nome.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Alma and Ramon

Coming up behind Keith and Dr. Leedy is Alma and Ramon.

Perfect cruising conditions!


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews



Keith Andrews

Our intrepid Cameraman, Keith Andrews, took this self portrait at the conclusion of our trip.


Picture Copyright © 2011 Keith Andrews

Narrative Copyright © 2011, Ramon Gandia. All rights reserved.
All pictures on this page Copyright © 2011, Keith Andrews.