Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: In A Tight Spot
June 2019 by Jon Cunningham
My right rib cage took the brunt of the blow from the fall, which left me feeling partially paralyzed and in immense pain.
Saturday came and it looked to have the makings of a dreary, misty day. Undaunted, I loaded my truck with my sluice, buckets and gear, and headed for the claim.
The dredge and our gear, with us clinging on to the sides, bounced along until it got hung up on a large boulder in the middle of the river.
The temptation to enter the dark interiors beckoned to me before the day was finished but I resisted.
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.
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.
Making matters worse, we could feel the truck moving very slowly down the mountain along with the trees and mud. It was an uncomfortable sinking feeling, as you might guess.
Because waiting for spring seemed to be taking forever, my 15-year-old granddaughter Grace and I decided to pan for gold sooner. The thought was…even if we did not find any gold, we would set a new record for absurdity—gold panning in the coldest weather!
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