I met my nephew, David at 7:00 AM and by 8:00 AM we were in the area and we're ready to start working. We decided to detect our way down a gully on the north end of the hillside. As we work our way down the hill, we notice that there were very few targets of any kind. The fact that there was no targets give us a pretty good indication that the old timers didn't work in this area. And the fact that they did and work here is a good indication that there's not much gold here.
Once we got down to the creek, we worked south or down stream. We detected the hillside and what expose bedrock we could find. As we work our way downstream. we picked up a few old square nails and some spent bullets, but no gold. And worst of all, no signs of any major work in the area. The canyon was very steep in this area, the fact that moss covered everything meant this area didn't get a lot of direct sunlight.
After lunch we continue working our way down to the main river. Once we hit the main river we decided to work upstream. We found a large area of exposed bedrock, it was on the correct side of the river, to hold the gold. Our only concern, it was pretty high up from the riverbed. Even thou it was up high, it still had a few large heavy boulders spread out on it. As soon as we started working the area, we started getting hits. We were finding old square nails, lead and pieces of iron, a good sign in that they travel on the same path as the gold. After an hour or so, we had only found a few very small flecks of gold.
I got a good hit in a crevice right at the water's edge. I cleaned out the crevice, and after panning the majority of the gravel out on the riffle side of the pan. I move the material around to the finish side of the pan and was surprised to see a nugget sitting in the bottom of my pan. I couldn't believe I didn't see it while digging out the crevice. We work that area for a couple more hours and came up with nothing more. I did find another penny - (why cant they be gold coins?) this one was a 1970. It was now 4:00 PM and time to head out. We had a long hike ahead of us.
On the way out we hiked up the hill, about 100 feet or so over the creek. Backtracked north to where we first came down the hill. Then move further up the hill, turned and went back south until we were over the main river again. At that point, we headed back North toward the truck as we worked up the hill. I feel we covered that area of the hillside pretty good. After a long hard day of hiking. I'm fairly confident that I can cross that area off my list, when looking for the old bench in the future. It looks like I need to do more research. But I doubt if I will ever give up looking for that bench.
The nugget weight out at 2.6 dwt. or 4 grams. You can be sure that we will be going back to work the main river a little more after the water goes down. For now I will continue working the hillsides and doing the killer hikes while days are still cool.
After each trip I make sure to keep good notes. I copy the map of the area, and mark any areas that I find gold. That way you will remember the spot and be able to locate exactly where you found the gold, even years later. One thing I have learned over the years - time flies. In no time, 10 years have passed, you remember the nugget, but your not sure where you got it. Trust me - KEEP NOTES.
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