Uncovering the Find of a Lifetime
December 2014 by Chris Ralph• The 75-ounce Butte County nugget is the largest found in California since the 156-ounce Mojave nugget in the 1970s...
As we walked back we were just reaching the point of where the faulting should be and there, covered with deep grass, was very faint evidence of an old road going up the mountainside! What was that old road doing there?
Fenn posted photos of what he claims is the long-hidden chest and its contents after it was found, though some believe the whole thing was a hoax because he refuses to identify the finder.
Not too far from the pine-filled mountains, a young boy was exploring along Meadow Creek in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, one fine day in 1799. He discovered a beautiful rock that he took home and put to good use as a doorstop. Shortly thereafter, a jeweler stopped by to visit his folks, and as it turned out, the new doorstop was actually a 17-pound gold nugget. That nugget truly did open a door as it marked the beginning of the first gold rush in America.
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...
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.
Doug told me that there had been a 100-year flood that took place in October of 2013 and it washed out part of the mile-long landing strip. It also washed a large, wide gully down below and above the camp.
The problem is that extracting gold from hard rock is often a lot more difficult than processing placer gravels. Still, there is some very high-grade ore out there in many old mining areas.
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