Alaskan Gold Adventure
December 2016 by Amanda FitzhughIn Chicken I had my first experience with the famous Alaska blue clay, sometimes called the blue layer. The blue layer is where the best fine gold was to be found.
Every year there are large nuggets found by the diligent, and occasionally by the lucky newbie.
During this trip we found enough gold to make us want to come back, even with the punishment of a very long, tough hike.
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
Gold is a fairly widespread mineral in the Italian Alps and in the Northern Apennines. It is found both in primary mineralization and in past and recent floods.
Before I tell you what dredging backwards is, I’ll tell you why my team and I decided to give this very unconventional dredging method a try.
At the end of the day, Jerry showed me how to clean out the sluice box and then how to pan out the concentrates. As we finished panning, there it was—a little tiny smile of gold...
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