Gold Nuggets are being panned at Big Nugget Mine

Written by RGA Guide, Holly Jo Parnell Opinions may not be that of Rainbow Glacier Adventures.

I am proud to announce RGA tours to Big Nugget Mine at Porcupine Creek have hit the ground running.  Parker Schnabel has been hard at work for weeks getting ready for the 2012 mining season, but he only recently opened up Big Nugget Mine for our tours.  With snow still clinging to the ground in patches Joe O. & I guided the first Gold Rush to Porcupine Creek tour on June 1st.  That is the first day Parker opened it up to tours.  He doesn’t open sooner because of School (he graduated High School last week), and the road conditions.  It takes a lot of work to get the dirt road of Porcupine free of fallen trees and smoothed out from last seasons potholes.  Thank goodness Parker’s dad happens to be Roger Schnabel, who owns and operates Southeast  Road Builders.

We had a Gold Rush tour on Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd.  Sweet!  The first family who visited us from California actually rearranged their whole travel schedule so they would be in Haines, Alaska on June 1st.  They didn’t want to come all the way up to Alaska without visiting Parker Schnabel at his Big Nugget Mine.

14 yr old Ryan is a big fan of the TV show Parker is seen on.  So it was extra special when Parker came over from his busy work schedule to say “hello”.

Ryan’s father wanted to see a moose while on my tour…Haines complied nicely.

On Saturday I had a family of 11 take the Fast Ferry from Skagway (where their Cruise Ship ported) to Haines to visit Big Nugget Mine.  Ranging in age from 5 yr old Landon to his Grandfather Zadus, this Alabama family is also big fans of Parker. In fact, on the drive back to town I asked them what they like better, panning for gold or meeting Parker Schnabel.  I heard a resounding “Parker!” from the youth.  Parker is a great roll model for young folks to see they are never too young to work hard for their dreams.  Kids are people too.

RGA’s Gold Rush to Porcupine tour has exclusive access to Schnabel’s Mine for the 2nd year in a row.  This tour is not sold on the Cruise Ship.  That means our Gold Mining tour stays personal and intimate.   The Hatfield’s & Kilpatrick’s (from Alabama) had the unique opportunity to visit with Parker one on one.  Since the group of 11 was too big to pan all at once we split them up, me taking one half of the family to the panning trough to try their luck at finding rich pay dirt while the other half visited with Parker near his gold wash plant.

I am happy to say everyone found a gold nugget.  I also have to give large props to Emily & Amy (the mothers of the two families).  They took advantage of the extra time with Parker by asking him all sorts of interesting questions.  They told me many things I did not know about Parker as we drove back into Haines.  Way to go moms!  What did I find out about Parker?  Hhhhmmmm…..come on the tour and you may find out.


Here is a great comment I received about our Gold Rush to Porcupine tour. Thank you, Zadus, for your kind remarks.

Dear Holly Jo,
Thank you so much for the fun time and personal care you gave us touring the Big Nugget.  And, thank you so much for the beautiful card you sent.  It is clear that you are excited about what you do and the Schnabel family and that really made our tour so much better than any other guide could have.  We missed very little in every place we visited during our 11 days touring Alaska and going down the inside passage and your tour was the highlight of all that we did.  Those that made the tour said they would be back someday.  It was the second cruise tour to Alaska for my wife and me and I believe, if our health allows, we will be back someday and find you and Parker!  I was a little concerned about Parker being comfortable with so many of us, but he was so warm and patient with us.  He is a solid young man.  I admire John Schnabel  too and was disapointed that we didn’t get to spend some time with him, but certainly understand.  He reminds me so much of my grandpa and the love he had for people.  There are some people that just being in their presence is a special thing and John seems like that kind of person.  
I can’t thank you enough for giving us such a memorable tour.  You, Parker and the Big Nugget Mine tour won’t leave our minds for a very long time, if at all.
Many thanks and warmest regards,
Zadus Turner