For a Few Specks of Gold
June 2006 by Associated PressThe gold at the Ruby Hill Mine is microscopic, specks of specks that amount to a few ounces in every 100 tons of rock. It is embedded hundreds of feet beneath the rocky floor of the high desert, tawny and stubbled with sagebrush, toothy ridges dusted with snow.
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
ICMJ honored with prestigious award.
I remember in the couple of years after that 1997 flood, prospectors around California did very well, taking ounces of gold from places that had not yielded any gold for years before that.
Detectors were invented long before I was born, but it was in the 1960s when they started to become an item popular enough to power a fledgling industry. The key development was miniature transistor technology replacing the old fashioned tube technology of the 1950s, making lightweight, affordable detectors possible.
I have been prospecting and mining for gold, both as a hobby and as an occupation, for nearly 30 years. From the deep green forests to the rolling sagebrush hills, few people see as much of America’s wide-open spaces as I do.
In 1967, a local resident showed me a pouch of small gold nuggets and flakes. Several years later I asked the same person where that gold was found. He responded, “From the streambed below the old stamp mill at Apex.”
Gold mining has received many black eyes from many scams, scammers and schemes throughout the years. Unscrupulous scammers have swindled naive people for millions of dollars in the past and will, no doubt, continue into the future.
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