An Alaskan in the Lower 48
July 2013 by Steve HerschbachOur destination was some old hydraulic workings where the old miners had washed literally mountains of material away to expose gold in ancient river channels.
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.
There weren’t as many pieces of gold, but what I did find was bigger. As I worked my way down towards the spot that I had been working the first three days, I noticed a large crack that crossed the river.
It is this ability to hear and respond to the faintest of audio signals that I believe separates the best nugget hunters from everyone else.
It’s not easy to figure out what is best without testing, and so a certain level of confusion has developed about how small the ore ought to be crushed.
There were nice sections of vein material at the end of several drifts, like they just stopped work one day and walked away.
A number of visiting gold miners were quite impressed with our operation and the amount of gold we had recovered in only three hours. No one usually likes digging and slugging buckets all day long, but we actually began to enjoy it after a few good...
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