July 2017 by Rod Fitzhugh
He began hiking my way and was as astonished as I was when he saw it. Another high five moment! It makes you wonder how long this gold had just been sitting there on the ground.
After removing about six inches of dirt and cobbles, the sound was a bit more recognizable. I was now confident that there was a definite target and not just a ground noise.
Gold nuggets come in all forms, but I never expected that dinosaur nuggets would too, and at a decent price.
With one outstretched hand grasping the bottle and the other waving at air, I moved forward feeling for the tent. No tent. No tree.
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
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.
Years later I returned with a new detector with a smaller coil and detector technology more sensitive to smaller nuggets. I found my first nugget within five minutes. I had a second five minutes after that.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts: What is a Spanish needle? • Ask The Experts: Sulfides and fluxes • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Simple Rules of Gold Geology: Comparing Epithermal and Mesothermal Deposits • The "Madonna Nugget"—A Weekend Hunt to Remember • The Goldfield Mining District, Nevada—Part II • A Prospecting Adventure in Mexico • Critical Minerals: Tungsten • Police Urge Author to End Treasure Hunt • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices