A VERY SHORT HISTORY
I was blessed to be born into the family that I was. My father was a gunsmith and loved to hunt and fish, he had a friend that didn't have much patience for kids ( more on that later ). My grandfather on mom side loved to do anything in the outdoors.
I was born in the San Francisco Bay area in 1950. When I was eight my parents got divorced and I moved to Northern California with my mother. My grandfather love the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and when he came up to visit we would go hiking, fishing, or just go for a ride. He would use any excuse to go to the mountain's, and most of the time he took me with him. It was on these trips that his passion for the outdoors was passed on to me.
When I was 11 my grandfather passed away and I moved back to the bay area to live with my dad. My father had the same passion for the outdoors that my grandfather had, we would go hunting and fishing any chance we got. It was on one of these fishing trips to the Towalmie river, at I was introduced to gold panning.
Dads friend Bill, didn't have much patience for kids. We were there for five days of fishing, and at 12 years old you get bored with fishing after a few days. My brother and I were bugging dad and driving his friend crazy. Bill got mad, threw down his fishing rod, took us to his truck and dug out a couple of old metal gold pans. He took us down to the river, gave us a quick course on placer geology, then taught us how to pan for gold. Once he was confident that we were panning correctly, he told us to quit bugging him and went back to fishing. For my brother and I, after the first pan with gold in it, we were hooked for life. Bills plan to keep us quiet work great, we didn't bother him or dad for the rest of the trip.
I graduated high school in 1969 and moved to the north coast. I worked in the timber, pulling chokers and falling trees for a couple years. I moved back to Biggs in 1971. Two years later my brother moved to Orville and we started mining again. In 1972 I opened a mining and diving store. To this day, it is still supporting my mining habit. To make a living my brother and I went into contracting. My brother started a metal fabricating business and I got my contractor's license for architectural metal. These trades have given us the ability to build a lot of different tools for mining. Most of my mining has been in Northern California because it's right in my backyard. Over the years I have looked for gold from Arizona and Nevada to Oregon. I have panned, sluiced, highbanked, dry washed, dredged with everything from a 1 1/2" to a 8" inch dredge. My brother and I spent one summer with a backhoe and a tromal.
In 1968 I was introduced to metal detectors. My first detector was a kit I bought from Heathkit. My first real detector was a Ray Scope. I have looked for gold with about any detector that said it would find it. Detectors have come a long way since then. In the mid 80's the Gold Bug came out followed by the Gold Master, these machines actually did find gold. Over the years the detector has become a valued asset in the mining arsenal.
Over the years I've had the privilege to meet and learn from some real great miners, people who made there living searching and recovering gold. Most were placer miners some were hardrock miners. The knowledge that was given to me wasn't something out of a book, but lessons learned over many year of trial and error. This type of experience is something I place a great value on. I feel it's my obligation to pass this knowledge on to the next generation of miners, just like it was given to me.
In doing so, I hope to pass on my love and respect of the great outdoors so everyone can enjoy this lifestyle as much as I have.