A Day with Friends in the Ord Mining District Southern California
October 2022 by Dan Stanton
The excavator or backhoe has become the tool of choice for testing placer ground. These machines are the best way to explore and sample a placer deposit if the ground is not too wet or frozen and bedrock is not beyond the reach of the machine.
We are both very experienced working this type of ground, and we quickly found the pay layer where we would focus our efforts. The bedrock has good gold, but so does the red hard pan.
Don’t hunker down and just keep digging in one spot where there is very little or no gold—if you don’t find it, you’ve got to get up and move on!
When hunting for nuggets does not yield any gold for a couple days, it can get pretty frustrating. But it turns into serious mental anguish when it stretches into weeks or months.
You keep all you find at Ganes, with weekly tallies kept for a loose competition that I find helps motivate me. I seriously try to find more nuggets than anyone else in a given week, and usually make it or close to it.
A while back I was given a very special opportunity to take my metal detector to one of the most famous gold mines in all of California, the Original Sixteen to One mine in Alleghany.
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