Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Golden Memories
March 2022 by Dan Stanton
One time, while I was camping at Forks of Butte in Northern California with the family, I found a nice nugget, some chunky flakes and pickers while I was sniping. I told my beautiful daughter Romie that I was going to give her the nugget as a gift to keep for memories of all of us camping there.
Well, while we were packing up, my wife called for me to help her with something, so I set the pan containing the gold down, off to the side of the parking area. I helped her out, we finished packing and I drove off... leaving the gold there like a dope! I didn’t realize my blunder until many hours later when we arrived home.
I was so ticked off that I paid my worker to watch my shop the next day, which was on a Monday, just so I could drive all the way back up north to get that gold. I finally arrived there hours later, only to find that someone had found the gold and happily took it with them.
I did all the work—they got all the gold.
We started off excited and enthusiastic as we began hiking up the river, daydreaming about finding big gold.
What are they? They are too hard to be lead, and are not tarnished like silver should be.
We all love to see that first glimmer of gold when it peeks out from under the black sand in our pan, or feel the weight of a nugget in our scoop when we dig a good target. But sometimes things don’t go quite so smoothly.
My next strategy was to walk anywhere and everywhere that I had been inside this home and garage. I looked on the floor, in the bathroom, I checked the bathroom trash can, and I even pulled the shower curtain back and looked in the bathtub.
The catch being was that it was about 60 miles from Anchorage near Hope, and a good four or five-mile hike uphill to the claims.
As I laid in my Jeep and tried to get some rest, I began to realize how tired I was. I felt like a little kid who walked around Disneyland for 12 hours with his parents.
…more difficult terrain must be traversed in the hope of locating small pockets, low depressions or small gullies on needle-covered slopes.
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