Detecting Alluvial Bench Deposits -- Pt II
March 2017 by Reese TownesWalking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
I decided to focus my attention on some exposed bedrock that was along a little stream only about 100 yards from our cabins. My very first pan full of gravel showed several nice small flakes that were just big enough to be picked up with my fingers. That first pan showed that indeed there was some very nice gold to be had here...
The first experience involved an overgrown gold mine operated during the 1880s. A razed mill adjoined the mine and could be glimpsed from the isolated public dirt road I was traveling.
Oleophilic means "affinity to or attracted to oils," and this includes gold an diamonds.
Once I started dredging with heated water pumped into my wetsuit, I never went back to not having heat except late in the summer when the water is very warm.
Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.
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