From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner
October 2020 by Daniel Hartwig
May 18, 2019, after 26 years, I had finally saved enough money. I bought my one-way ticket to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I started off by finding a new job…
My first day using my pinpointer I detected an area where the fellas’ big guns had swooped in and cleaned up all the “big gold” and I got over sixty tiny pieces of gold.
I started with, "Hey, Rusty, tell me about the time..." and that was all it took.
He no sooner had turned around and started moving when I hollered again that I had another nice one.
I could see lots of quartz, both loose on the hillsides and in the numerous small prospect diggings. There was a small gold rush here more than a century ago.
It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...
The next morning, I retrieved the compressor and again attacked the sticky head bolt. As if by magic (and some applied physics) the head bolt sighed and finally broke loose.
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.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Too early to build the crusher? • Ask The Experts - Time for small mine exemptions • Ask The Experts - Should I be checking the culverts for gold? • Sniping for Gold—The Next Best Thing to Dredging • Hard Rock 101: Advanced Micro Blasting • Now Is The Time For Exploration • Gold in Unlikely Places—And 'Eating Crow' • Jamestown and Our Mother Lode Gold Rush Adventures • Why Assaying Placer Gold Deposits Doesn't Work • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Those Blasted Boulders! • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices