Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Pains of Prospecting
February 2020 by Dan Stanton
We started off excited and enthusiastic as we began hiking up the river, daydreaming about finding big gold.
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.
…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.
At first we decided to see what the flat by our camp would produce where the old-timers had worked it with their Pelton wheel and dragline buckets.
Australians have told me that emus, being very curious, will pick up and swallow anything shiny or unusual. They say aborigines will kick and pick apart any emu poop they see to check them out for nuggets.
If you have done any hiking in rough terrain you are well aware that going down a slope is much more difficult and dangerous than climbing it.
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!
With one outstretched hand grasping the bottle and the other waving at air, I moved forward feeling for the tent. No tent. No tree.
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