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 had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.
Plumas has been historically rich in gold because of its favorable geology. The Melones Fault trends north-south through the county and many rich gold-bearing districts lie along its course.
Over 200 panners competed in this two-day event to decide who was the best of the best.
I have figured out over the years that the winning combination is hard work, persistence, knowledge, and a little luck. This leads me to describe one of my best finds ever, a “honey hole” of placer gold, if you will.
The first thing I realized was this was not a toy—this thing had power and I needed to really pay attention. I got into position, took a deep breath, and pushed that monster into the hard pack.
Some creeks have nuggets, while others, particulary the rivers, nothing but fine gold.
The 2011 gold season had finally got underway on the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Quincy, California. Cold weather and high water had pushed gold mining into mid-summer, but things were looking up.
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