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.
My brother Darryl and I had not had a prospecting adventure since January and we wanted to try out our new drywasher, so we decided to go for the weekend and check out some claims near Barstow…
The temptation to enter the dark interiors beckoned to me before the day was finished but I resisted.
I saw a big brown hind end of what at first I thought was an elk, about 75 yards away. I was standing behind a large tree and stopped and peeked around the tree to see what it was.
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!
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.
…I was looking down on what was a frightening 500-foot sheer drop-off. We were precariously close to the edge as the shoulder was practically non-existent.
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.
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