April 2015 by Don RobinsonOn our fourth trip, we finally reached the top edge of the old hydraulic pit, and it was monstrous.
We were met with a plethora of mechanical problems with the dry washer and even a few with the excavator that were at times frustrating, but we were in this for the long haul, so we needed to solve these problems and move forward.
Most of our gold recoveries have been in the cracks of the bedrock. Hot rocks in the form of dikes cross the creek at various locations, causing us to skip those areas.
This second trip down was a challenge. It started in Colfax on the Stevens Trail, where the distance to the river is four miles with an elevation drop of about 1,000 feet.
I had my heart set on finding a large nugget on this trip, and it seemed to me that pounding known patches was not likely to turn up a monster. Inevitably I would spend at least half my day wandering off...
I have always enjoyed finding things. As a kid and up through college I searched for arrowheads, rocks and fossils. One day I saw an ad for a metal detector in a magazine, and a week later I was digging up everyone’s yard...
"Suh-wheet!" I exclaimed as I sprang to my feet and quickly pumped my detector coil high overhead to alert Smokey that I had just found a nugget.
I woke up on Sunday morning, August 10, to heavy smoke. I saw where it was coming from, but it seemed like it was a long way off so I thought I was okay for the time being.
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