Still Gold in Humbug, Arizona
August 2012 by Craig E. RedickHas anyone made it through childhood, or even adulthood, without at least one dream of finding gold or buried treasure? It is the stuff of daydreams—the kindling for the flame of hope. We so long for it that we eagerly accept stories and maps from friends and strangers alike that promise us fame and fortune.
My first clean-up showed that my efforts were not in vain. There was considerable color with some good-sized nuggets in the riffle trap.
We split up in order to cover a larger area and found good color almost everywhere. The bedrock was shallow on both sides of the river, but the inside bend was where we concentrated our prospecting.
Our group of independent miners have been busy crafting a uniquely designed ladder/ore cart track from the bottom of an 85-foot mine shaft in a historical hard rock mine.
In underground placer work, the contact point of the bedrock tunnel and the gravel is a very weak point and always has to be timbered. The bedrock here is thin, fractured, and the gravels loose from many years of oxidizing.
The first thing I realized was this was not a toy—this thing had power and I needed to really pay attention. I got into position, took a deep breath, and pushed that monster into the hard pack.
Ditches almost always started in the high country and contoured the mountainsides, making a long drop, usually many miles away, to the goldfields. There are ditches in Trinity County that originate at seven and eight thousand feet in the Trinity Alps that carried water almost thirty miles.
Of course, I know a bit about crevicing, but Steve seems to really have a knack for it, and I’m all about continual learning. I can always learn a few tricks from the pros.
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