Thinking Outside The Creek
March 2015 by Shannon PoeImagine for a minute the year is 1850. You’ve read and heard that gold was discovered in California and the creeks are so rich you can just scoop it up with your hands.
My first day using my pinpointer I detected an area where the fellas’ big guns had swooped in and cleaned up all the “big gold” and I got over sixty tiny pieces of gold.
Using a snuffer bottle to pick it out of the pan, he continued his panning efforts. He continued to find more yellowish stuff, but it wasn’t shiny like he thought gold should look.
I have been detecting the area on and off since I discovered it. Every time I bought a new detector it was the first place I went to.
Pumps can be set up quite a distance away horizontally from the sluice, even hundreds of feet. It will work so long as there is sufficient water at the source where the pump is located. Vertical distance is more of a problem than horizontal distance; 30 to 40 feet is the maximum vertical climb for most pumps.
We dug and extracted for two more hours. This time, as I dumped the concentrates, I saw a piece of gold three-fourths of an inch long and as big around as a pencil.
I had been busy representing the Prospecting and Mining Journal this spring, but prospecting season finally arrived and I’ve been out digging for nuggets—I’ve even found a few. I know a number of prospectors who are armed with new metal detectors and headed to the hills to look for that precious yellow stuff.
The anticipation of finding out if the system of snatch blocks, shackles, chokers, anchor points, and the strap binding the massive slab of rock in the bottom of the river would even budge an inch was weighing on me.
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