I started out early, (5:30 AM) it was at least a 2 hour drive to get to the creek. Everything was going well on the trip, I even made it past the spot that stopped me last fall. But then my fears came to pass, there was a section of road about 75 feet long in a sharp turn that was covered with snow and ice. Being by myself in a 2 wheel drive truck, I was not going to take the chance to get stuck. So plan B.
This was a area about 10 miles away. It was a bit lower and on the south side of the hill. I figured the snow probably had all melted there. I had gone to this area last year. The creek had a little gold, but it was also a good place to bottle dig and look for old coins. Plan B was working great, I was only a mile away when a road became too muddy. On to play C
Plan C was my "if all else failed" plan. A friend of mind, Jeff, he has a claim on a small creek, only a few miles from my plan B site. So I decided to go check out that area. I have never been there before, so I wasn't too sure how to get their. Well, long story short, after driving down a bunch of goat trail my quest came to a end when the road basically had a frozen pond in it. I had no idea how deep the water was so l turned the truck around and headed on to plan D.
My plan D was a plan I made right at that moment. Looking back now I'm not sure it was a good plan. I decided to take any road that headed to the right. My thought were, according to the map there was a creek to my right and I wanted to get their. After driving around for an hour and ending up on a smaller road each time I turned. It finally got to the point where I would have to walk if I want to go forward from there.
I grabbed my pack and detector then headed out. I hiked down several gullies of looking for any evidence of mining, but found none. I was starting to get tired so I decided to check one more gully before heading back to the truck. After I checked the gully, I decided to work my way out to a ridge so I could get a better view of the area. When I got to the ridge, I could hear a creek below me, so I decided to check it out. It turned out to be a bit further than I wanted to hike, but I was now a quest. The creek turned out to be fairly small, only about 5 feet across and a couple feet deep, but it had a fair amount of expose bedrock.
I started detecting the exposed bedrock and only covered a small area before I got a faint target. It turned out to be a small nugget. I did a thorough check of the immediate area and got no more targets. There were few good looking crevices around the area that I found the nugget. So I decided to pan a few of them out. I was surprised on how much fine gold was in the small crevices. Every crevice that I cleaned out had some gold in it. After a hour or so, I reluctantly had to stop. I knew I had a good hour or more hike back up a steep hill to reach the truck. Well, the hike turned out to be on the "more" side. I was dead tired by the time I got back to the truck.
After reaching the truck I grab a cold drink and started to jot down a few notes. It was at that point I came to the realization, that I had no idea where I was. I wasn't worried about getting back to the main road. But had taken so many different roads and trails up and down the hills, I really had no idea where I was or what creek I was just on. It was getting late so I had get going, I only had to backtrack one time before I got to the paved road.
After looking at my maps and the satellite images of the area after I got home. I still am not sure where I was.
All I know for sure is the gold that I took out ended at weighting 1.6 dwt. or 2.5 grams. Which is very good for the short time I had at the creek. The other thing I know is, it's probably going to take a helicopter to relocate that creek, that hike just about killed the old guy.
One final thought, I think plan D in layman's terms is called winging it.
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