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.
My intention was to end this discussion with waypoints and routes, then I found USGS maps of the Plainfield Quadrangle.
There may be lots of smaller gold I cannot hear with a detector, but it looks just fine in my pan once it is out of the crevice.
Looking around, I could tell that this was an old hand-digging. As I walked around the perimeter of the digging I could see shovel and pick marks scratched on the clean, hard clay and bedrock.
The old timers typically washed these areas down to bedrock, and some areas appear terraced. I would imagine this is because these hydraulic mines were generally where the miners found old Tertiary river channels on the sides of mountains that were gold-bearing.
The big moment finally arrived. With Norm suited up, I pulled the motor to life and felt instantly better. There’s really something relaxing about the sound of a dredge running—they don’t sound like anything else.
That is the course and intention for this article—to wander through some of the lessons I have learned in my thirty-two years of metal detecting and prospecting.
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