Picking Our Way Through Bedrock
December 2015 by Ray MillsOnce again the coil was put over the spot but the target was in the pile now. I pinpointed, grabbed a handful of dirt and began sprinkling it over the coil until I heard that mild thud.
I had my heart set on finding a large nugget on this trip, and it seemed to me that pounding known patches was not likely to turn up a monster. Inevitably I would spend at least half my day wandering off...
My largest nugget from this area is almost one-half ounce. I’ve found several smaller chunks and many pickers in addition to the fines and flakes that I put in my poke.
Not all of these slides and debris flows will produce results, but if you search for these while prospecting in your gold producing areas, then you can increase your odds of finding new gold.
There is a unique anticipation that comes with waking in gold country. The long early morning rays bring warmth after a cold night. Restless nights allow thoughts of gold hidden in the ground for too long.
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.
Without knowing or even thinking about it, I had put together a map that showed me a pattern of the ancient Sacramento River channel. I also had a distinct picture of where the ancient channels of several other creeks and rivers were running.
“I heard him hollering down in the hole as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was just glad to see him alive.”
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