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.
We spent the morning in a meeting with one of the higher-ups at the US Forest Service. I presented him with 412 complaints received from our readers, along with a summary of the complaints to make his job easier.
Once across, I panned a couple of spots around some old grass roots and the fine gold was amazingly heavy. Every pan I ran after that had lots of color.
It took me awhile before I finally got a nice mellow signal. My nugget turned out to weigh in about two dwt (pennyweight). Over the next few hours, we all picked up a few more nuggets apiece.
Ground sluicing, surfacing and scratching are a few names given to the recovery of gold in shallow areas. Where I live, the hills are dotted with small surface diggings.
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.
The big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
The pile up on the small hill had to be a couple yards of black sand. I’m not one to ignore a little gold even if it is small in size—I have always believed that gold fever comes in all sizes.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask the Experts: What type of wetsuit do I need? • Prospector's Guide to Rock Breaking and Blasting • MMAC Update • Pros and Cons of Big Detector Coils • Prospecting and Mining Old Mine Sites • Detecting Strategies for Heavily Forested Areas • Mining Districts and Community Outreach • Learning the Game and the Power to Change It • Central Idaho Federal Employees Back to Work With Local Help • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver