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A few years ago I asked a Gold Country Gal about getting access to an area that had my attention.She said to talk to her old man about it...but I knew I had a old social challenge to get used to was a Cranker Claim more than a Mining Claim!There are a variety of different "kinds" of mining camps that dot the landscape of the MotherLodeCountry..."Alcy Camps"(full of Alcoholic miners)..."StonerCamps"("Like WOW duuude its full of nothin but pot-heads & empty gold pans man")...and...CrankerCamps(full of powder snortin JohnWayne Wannabe's that have a high energy about them while "lit")...then theres the worst where ALL 3 Camps are mixed into one!Ever run into some guy upstream sportin a gun and panning real "jittery like" thats tryin to get stoned WHILE nursing a BAD hangover?Well this IS commonplace for "some" areas that I've worked....(I just try to make sure I'm UPSTREAM from the drinkers and UPWIND from the STONERS.The crankers?Well just make darn sure you dont make any sudden moves around old TwitchyTriger when he's been Tweaking for 4 nights straight!I dont indulge in anything...accept gold dust....and thats just about as more addicting and bad than all of the drugs out there combined! One afternoon I was swinging in my hamoc after a day of dredging...and here comes TWITCH after being up for several days paying his dues in the creeks crevices...he was so out of it he didnt notice I was on the other side of the creek he was readying to cross.He carefully placed his feet on the dryest rocks in the creek....for a safe dry crossing...and he moved with determined calculating carefullness...THEN I STRETCHED AND "LOUDLY" YAWNED("everything" is loud when your "suprized" it the other way around?lol) mild mannered yawn caught him off his imagination kicked into HIGH GEAR because he had never actually SEEN a dredge tired furry Bigfoot stretching his arms while yawning AND swinging in between 2 tree's before.His imagination was too tired to sort through all the visual information that swung & yawned before he hastily went for his gun in his holster...but before his finger trigered a metalic disaster...he slipped on a mossy rock!Blinded by the shimmering sunshine that was amplified by the shifting water in the creek...IN he went!When he pulled himself up out of the water he ACTUALLY WOKE UP from being awake for several nights and glared over at "IT" in the hamoc...swinging with grin in near hysteria...I said "You wont reconize yourself in the mirror anymore if you continue to snort that garbage while placering yourself to death!!!"...he nodded in agreement with me while we crazy laughed in the echoe's above the babbling creek below...then I FINALLY got to nap a little then I was used to this new "nieghborhood"...if ya wanna call it that...and everyone tolerated each others bad habits.My habit was getting strung out on gold dust...thiers was just getting strung out. Being from the STREETS it was HOME to me...I didnt care as long as nobody screwed with me...and I them.A mutual mentality that mused around the mines inside a sleeping giant. After 3 weeks I was getting discouraged and KNEW I had to go for "PLAN B"....dredge where I absolutely KNEW IT WASNT!!!Where there was NO WAY ON GAWDS GREEN EARTH FOR THERE TO BE ANY GOLD IN THIS NEXT SPOT IN THAT CREEK!........So..........I placed my baby where ALL the books said NOT to place her...On the outside of the bend!On a bend of loose dirt & rock.I thought "*%#!!!!This has GOT TO BE THE PLACE WHERE ITS NOT!THERES NO WAY IT COULD BE HERE!("see how they run?"!).This new location was underneath some tree branches that were perched about 9 feet above the waterline...swinging back & forth from the breezes.It was cool and shady in the morning waters as I punched a test hole 4 feet straight down into the dark shady brown.I caught a gleam THREE FEET DOWN INSIDE THE HOLE!I retracted the suction nozzle out of the hole very slowly so as to not knock the gleamer down into the BLACK ABYSS........and spotted a rounded piece of quartz which teased a gleam back at me...then another breeze shifted a 6 inch wide SUNBEAM down unto it...and then......from a gleam...changed to a BRIGHT YELLOW which filled me up from head to toe.I felt as though I had been wandering around throughout my entire life in the world without any true MEANING...till this reflected into my eyes!I reached down and plucked her off the side of the hole and KNEW there was NOT enough AU present to keep her weighted down inside my dredge box had I never saw her and she unknowingly traveled up the hose.Had the wind never kicked when it did...the SUNBEAM wouldnt have shifted position over the dredge hole and it wouldnt have never been LIT up to be noticed.Otherwise...had this never happened like it did...WHEN IT DID...the WAY it did..."it" would have gone un-noticed...........UP the hose.......OUT the never-never land. Thank Gawd for a stubborn blessing of stubborness!This was my first piece of "channel gold" that had rolled down from a tertiary channel above the creek.That was the biggest find for the whole summer...the rest paid for gas & food which was mostly dust.Years later the claim owner and his partner told me how they returned right after the 97 flood waters receeded to find "lil ones" peppered on top of the bedrock!



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Thanks for sharing Bigfoot, Seen camps like that :rolleyes: I don't drink or use any more, 20 yrs B) Find more gold :P

Take care,


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Hello Bigfoot,

Man, that's a great story!!! :D All I can say is that nugget was meant for you to find. Strange how things work out, but then again you or I ain't complaining.

Sure looks like a good amount of gold on the specimen, but maybe not enough to keep her weighted down in the sluice box.

What was the approx. weight of the gold/quartz specimen?

Hope to hear more stories like this.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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I've been contiplating(getting "spellcheck")on WHAT,WHO&HOW I'm going to write about my future prospecting storys.I gotta ton of true life storys but its a sticky matter sometimes because believe it or not people...the GOLD RUSH is still very much alive out least where I've gone.If you travel off road long enough ...far away from the modern ghost towns...way back into the WILL find people STILL shoot,f*ck,stabb,lie,risk thier lives,RISK EVERTHING they have AT GREAT get gold!If you folks are willing to tell me WHAT it is YOU like about my storys I will think about selecting more of those things that appeal to you all...but never at the cost of distorting the truth.So you guys are welcome to excersize some input that may OR may not influence some great pieces of work...just take the time to think about it...and let me know...Its a oppertunity for all.

Rob,That particular piece doesnt have that much AU...It was found a long time ago....I think maybe a 1/4Oz is inside that rock.I remember doing the Quartz/AU wet&dry weigh ratio for AU content on it because me and the claim owner had a agreement on a certain % for anything big he was compensated well for allowing me the oppertunity to work the area.


PS This IS one of my favorite pieces of Crystaline AU. There are a few different types of crystal forming habits displayed here in one specimen.It weighs around 3 DWT. and the color is a outstanding butter-yellow with blade like crystal protrusions bending a "L" shape formation on top of a milky white quartz.......AGAIN...this IS another that would have gone completely out the box had I not shut down the motor when I did.


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