Hunting for Big Gold in a Haunted Canyon
August 2022 by Cal Kellogg
More than one prospector has gone into that canyon and never came out.
The first time I found gold in the creek here is when I decided to try a new place to drywash on a hill not far from the dirt path I was on.
I couldn’t wait to get started. With no field budget, an assay budget of $100/year, a 1975-Ford Bronco that was a road hazard, a gas card, a topo map and full support of the director, I headed to the State Line district near Tie Siding along US Highway 287 to begin mapping kimberlite.
Feeling through the mud, I felt the weight and shape of what could only be gold. Throwing my hand in the water revealed a sixteen-gram nugget oozing with character.
This was no ordinary nugget. It had not traveled very far from its nearby source, and that did mean a lot, as we were searching for the source of several such nuggets found during a gold rush that occurred in 1859.
I love to dry wash old nugget patches found by detector operators, and I have found my fair share of gold dry washing those areas. I have also found a few nuggets using a detector on the bedrock exposed by dry washing the patches.
Depth is not an issue unless the site is thoroughly cleaned of shallow trash, and it is far easier to isolate and remove targets using a small coil in a target rich location.
This wash was not far from where I once dug a half-ounce nugget, so I knew there was gold in the area.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask the Experts • Quartz: The Indicator of Gold • On the Road • High Sierra Gold • Trails to Gold • Stamp Mills • Prospecting the Easy Way • The Importance of Prepping you Gold Detecting Spots • PLP Update • Blast from the Past—The Source of Gold Mines Cranks up for Business Men • Resource Maven—Independent Analysis of the Resource Markets • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral and Metal Prices • Over the Divide: Retta Atkins & Darren VanHouten