Sunday, June 18, 2017

Miner a forty-niner

Went to my friend's claim yesterday to help him improve the camp some up there. We got a lot of work done, did some brush clearing, put up a tent, hauled a large water tank up the side of one of the hills, cleaned up some more crap that's accumulated there from others.

He just moved onto this claim like a year ago, it's back on a creek he used to prospect on many years ago, him and his dad were the first people to get leases from the owner, something like 40 years ago. So the owner gave him what he thinks is one of the best spots. And seeing it and the other spots around there (the owner owns the entire valley, probably a couple thousand acres) I have to agree he got a really excellent spot.

I do like this a lot better than his previous claim (which he'd been on for over a decade), it's a lot bigger, a bit closer, and there's more room to set up a campsite. He's planning on putting in running water, a kitchen, a shower, and a bathroom. The water tanks he's got are huge, he's got pumps, a filtration system he built, solar panels. It's already looking pretty nice, will be nicer still when finished.

I don't know if I'll do any gold mining there myself, it's a lot of work and the amount you get is usually in the grams, there have been prospectors on the land there for over a hundred years so all of the 'easy' gold is long gone even if you do get the winter floods washing more down each year. It's mostly a hobby for him these days anyway, though he did do it full time once, many years ago. I might give it a go one day just to say that I did it, but not a big fan of panning, and in the end, everything you get has to be panned to get the gold out of it. Unless you're doing a big operation, with all of the money and equipment that takes, you don't find nuggets anymore.

Still was nice spending a day in the mountains, and some time swimming in the creek. It's still up pretty high because of the runoff from the snow melt.
Last picture is of the camp from way on the side of the ridge.

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