Spread The Fever

After a few months of prospecting and now, actually finding gold, my buddy Chad started asking quesions.  At this juncture, I had not found much gold to brag about…maybe 1 gram.

placer gold

1 gram of gold

He asked to come along on my next outing and I agreed.  At that time, I was in an area that was producing gold, but very little.  It was enough to justify digging again, so I decided this is where I’d introduce Chad to gold prospecting 101.  After a few hours of digging holes along a little valley between to outcroppings of bedrock, we managed to find only a few specs of gold. I could sense he was somewhat discouraged when he told me to keep the specs for myself, without having to share with him.  I continued on with this spot until it had run dry, then ventured off to a new area, which I referred to as “The Big Hill”.  This was a small mountain peak, with a steep, rocky 1/4 mile trail leading to a landing, where it made sense to setup camp and begin prospecting.  Keep in mind, the only vehicle I had for these excursions was a two wheel drive, 1975 GMC 3/4 ton van…not exactly what one would call an off road vehicle!  Knowing the extreme nature of the trail leading up to the landing, I had no choice but to lug all my gear up the 1/4 mile trail by hand.  This included drywasher, 5 gallons of water, shovel, pick and plastic panning bin.  Eventually I decided to bring along a hand truck, which eliminated the need to make two trips!  

 

All this effort paid off, because I began to find gold in most every pan…and nice gold!  In fact, I found my first “picker” here!  After a couple more fruitful outings at the Big Hill, I showed Chad my increasing amount of gold and asked if he’d like to come along one more time.  Now that I was 

gold panning

nice gold

actually finding a nice amount of gold, he was more eager to come along.  After all the hard work involved with finding a nice deposit of gold, I had mixed feelings about sharing my find with someone, but ultimately had a partner for the next Big Hill trip.  That next trip produced the best day to date, just under 1/2 a gram!  It turned out to be twice the amount I had found on my own, so it seemed like a good plan.  Soon after, Chad was bitten by the Gold Bug, bought his own drywasher and began prospecting on his own.

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