After abandoning the “Swimming Pool”, rather than begin prospecting for a new spot, I decided to go back to an area that had produced a decent amount of gold, the “Big Hill”. This is the spot that required me to carry all my gear on a hand truck, up a steep, 1/4 mile rocky trail, to a landing, that always left me gasping for air! Why all this work? Because I might find that elusive nugget!
During my second washout of the drywasher’s concentrates, I found a nice picker!
You can see there was also a few little specks of “flour gold” present in this pan. Believe it or not, this is reward enough for all the digging I did, all in a little wash, on a 60 degree incline. As if all this digging was not enough, I encountered this gnarly desert-dwelling spider. Being from the Chicago area, even after 13+ years living in Arizona, I am still fascinated with indigenous critters. So much so, that I still have to pull out the camera and snap off a few pics each time I encounter something new. You never know what you’ll see in the desert, or…in your own backyard, for that matter. You will notice that the spider is on a shop vac hose that was used to vacuum up cracks and crevices in the exposed bedrock along the walls of the Big Hill.
These results warranted another few visits to the Big Hill. Visits that all produced gold. There were many many more unexplored areas at Bison and it was time to roll the dice and have a look around. Note: on average, during the season (months where the temps are not in the 100′s, which is essentially, Sept. – May), I get to the desert a couple times per week. In the beginning, there might be more than one trip where I found absolutely nothing. As time moved forward, I was able to inventory numerous spots that had produced gold and as a result, became “fallback” areas. These are valuable, because even though you had left because of lack of production, there is a real chance gold could be found just a few feet from where you were digging. On to a new spot!