Panning on North Fork American Yields Good Gold
May 2020 by Don Robinson
This second trip down was a challenge. It started in Colfax on the Stevens Trail, where the distance to the river is four miles with an elevation drop of about 1,000 feet.
Here's the kicker—for every lost flake there was a five minute penalty added to the time. Lost gold generally meant you didn't make it past the preliminaries.
There were iron stains all over and even a few places where I could see iron trash sticking out of the bedrock. These would be ideal spots to start with as the gold travels with the iron and lead.
I cleared the connector by poking a small Phillips screwdriver through it. To ensure the bore was clean, I dunked the connector into some water and then blew it clean with my shop air compressor.
Many suggestions had some pieces or parts that would work some of the time, but Dredger Dan’s suggestion was, in my humble opinion, the cleanest, cleverest, and most dependable.
Hearty trees, shrubs and plants are a product of the soil conditions in which they grow, so it makes sense that roots near an ore deposit will take on nutrients containing metals if they are present.
As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
So let’s dive in and see what I can do to convince you that this is the year you should be out staking your own claims.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - What does a prospector look for when seeking ores? • Ask The Experts - Is a detector any good at discriminating pyrite or chalcopyrite in ferrous-reject mode? • Ask The Experts - Does the Journal know if any gold mining has been shut down over the Covid-19 virus? • Ask The Experts - Is this a promising assay? • Ask The Experts - How do you utilize magnets in your prospecting equipment? • Ask The Experts - Is using hydrogen peroxide a good indicator for PGMs? • A Note from the Editor • Going Over Old Ground With Newer Technology • Hard Rock 101: Breaking Rock—Part I • Tips and Tricks • Prospecting in the Age of Covid-19 • Sharing Gold Fever with a Friend • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Dum-Dum Dodges a Boom-Boom • 'Wormholes'—Reckless Adventure • All About Lead Minerals, Silver and Gold • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices