Sunday - this Sunday was going to be the day I make it to "the creek". This will be my fourth attempt to check out this creek.
I got up early Sunday morning, grabbed my stuff and headed out. Everything was going a long great. I was making good time. Almost all the snow was gone and it was going to be a about 70 degrees today. About 10 miles out of LaPorte it hit me! I had left all my maps sitting on the counter at my store. I got that sinking feeling in my gut. But I decided I wasn't going to let it get me down. I had looked at that map a 100 times, I can do this without it! So on I drove.
Things were looking good when I came to the corner that stopped me last week, it was clear of snow. As I drove further down the gravel roads trying to remember what road I should be on, I noticed there were more roads and I remembered on the map. I caught myself worrying about whether or not I was on the right road. Then I got to thinking, it was a beautiful day, I'm in the mountains, what it doesn't matter where I end up. After driving for another half hour the road came to a dead end, like it was supposed to. There was a steep canyon to my west, right where it should be. I thought to myself can this be true, after all these years, I'm here! I grabbed my pack and detector and started the hike down to the creek.
A hike wasn't too bad, the hill was steep, but there wasn't much brush. It was ½ mile or so to the creek. Once I got to the creek, I decided to take a few pictures. That's when I discovered I left my camera at the store to, I placed it on top of the maps, so I would remember to take it!
I started working my way downstream. I didn't like the looks of the bedrock, it was a soft granite. I continued working my way downstream detecting as I went, but with the soft bedrock there were no good hard pack crevices. I took a break for lunch, and while eating I noticed the gravel looked good, everything looked right on this creek, it should have gold.
I took a few sample pans, there was gold but it was fine and spread out in the gravel. I kept working my way downstream, looking for some bedrock that would hold the gold long enough for it to build up. But after covering about a mile of creek - nothing! I worked a few more pans and got the same results as I did upstream. There was gold in the gravel which is fine if you're going to dredge, but it sucks if your detecting. As I packed my gear up for the hike out, I was thinking, well at least I'm done with this creek. The hike out was uneventful, except it was long and up a very steep hill. Once I got to the truck, I made a few notes and decided to make a map of my trip out. I kept track of the mileage and road numbers back to the main paved road.
After I got home I checked this map with the one I left at the store, and to my surprise I was on the wrong creek again! At least this time I know what creek I was on. And I also know I was 10 miles south of the creek I'm trying to get to. I couldn't believe it, I thought I was done with that area and now I have to go back again.
The next trip will be different. I'm going to load the truck the night before, like I normally do. I'm going to take my time and double check, to make sure I have everything I need. And I just ordered a new hand held GPS that has the quad map in it. I'm going to find this creek!
There had better be a lot of gold in this creek!
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