Back to Green Valley--With A Sluice
December 2019 by Jim Goodwin
As I planned for my trips, I concentrated on how to lighten my pack yet still carry enough gear to make the trip productive and enjoyable.
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
The call of gold is a strong one and it has pulled men from every corner of the planet. That said, I guess it’s now my turn to chase far away gold.
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.
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.
Some experienced panners with the vigor and longevity to spend a full day panning in the small creeks and ravines can possibly find as much as a gram or more on a good day.
Historically, Montana has been an important gold producer, in terms of both lodes and placers, and it still produces gold for the prospector today.
The biggest nugget I have found detecting here was three grams and the following weekend someone found a 9-gram nugget while detecting. Some have even found quarter-ounce nuggets, with one being a chevron nugget.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - How do I obtain a map of Montana gold & sapphire gravel bars? • Ask The Experts - How do I process this white quartz with black striations? • Ask The Experts - Does gravel + bedrock = gold? • Unique Rare Earth Mine in Texas • A Lesson In Underwater Sniping • More Fiddling While Forests Burn • Achieving Accurate Metal Detector Discrimination • My New Passion--Crystal Hunting • The Half-Mile Claim • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: White Knuckle Mining