My dad, who, like the rest of my family, lives in suburban Chicago, called and informed me he and his wife would be driving out west to visit select locations, including Lake Havasu for Easter. I asked him if they would be interested in joining me on a prospecting trip and they said they would. I had recently discovered a new location in the Bison area that had already produced a nice picker and some flour gold, so I was confident I would at least be able to show him some color. At this juncture, I was still driving the 3/4 ton van and they had a PT Cruiser. Luckily, this location was relatively easy to access with any vehicle and just as easy to setup all the gear and…was only about 12 – 14″ to the bedrock! I showed him where I was digging and explained how to run the dirt through the dry washer. I had previously started a new dig hole that needed vacuuming, so dad took a shovel and started to dig a new one.
After emptying a few riffle trays of concentrate, I showed dad how to pan them. During all this, his wife Barb didn’t seem too enthused about participating, so she wandered off to do some rock-hounding. For those of you who haven’t visited the desert, it’s very easy to become a bit intrigued with all that lies on the desert floor! Because of the vast expanse, unobstructed by a landscape full of trees and shrubs, like the Midwest, so much more can be seen with the naked eye. After many years here, I have personally collected my share of cool rocks and minerals. Among my collection are loads of little garnets, pyrite, several “desert roses” (in our location, they are comprised of once molton quartz, frozen in time), many different shades of quartz, and even meteorites! The list goes on. After a couple hours of digging, dry washing and panning, we had indeed found some gold,unfortunately no more than a tenth of a gram. If I were going solo, I would have continued on until sunset, but I could see it was time to head home. This illustrates how gold prospecting can be fun for the whole family!