Upcoming Prospecting Adventure

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I'm about to embark on my annual prospecting adventure with my 16 yr old son. We'll be spending a week hiking,swimming,floating about 8 miles of the N. Fork of the American River between Gold Run and Colfax, Ca. The river is declared "Wild & Scenic", so no motorized equipment. The section we'll be exploring has very limited trail access, once you're in, you're in till to you reach an exit point downstream. We've done this trip before, and it can be an arduous undertaking. We're taking a small raft to float our packs, but at this time of year the water level is so low that its mostly boulder hopping. We plan mostly underwater sniping and panning.

I've been taking my son to this river since he was 5 yrs old. I used to pack him in with me carrying a 70lb pack including A52 sluice box, sleeping bags, tent, pans, digging tools and enough clothes to keep a young boy somewhat dry. Its a tradition and he still likes the adventure. I have fond mental pictures of him as a little boy with his gold pan catching frogs and minnows and eating Oreo cookies to keep his strength up. I used to tell him, "son, you don't find many 45yr old dads out here hauling a kid and 70 lbs of gear." Now I'm 55 and he'll be doing the heavy lifting and carrying the gear for his old dad. Times change, but some things are still the same.

I'm sure I'll have another interesting yarn for you when I return.


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The middle fork is a beautiful and historic area. Your son is lucky to have a dad

who understands the importance of sharing the wild places with his kids.

I commend you for taking the time for the trip and hope you

both have a great time.

I would differ with you about 55 being 'old', but it is a small point.

My 13 year old son thinks 66 is not old and I will tell him he is right.

I am sure your son will say the same thing when the two of you hit the river

when you are that age.

Are you taking a couple of ping-pong paddles to help fan the bedrock etc?

I always found them to be a fun and effective way to stir up the sand and silt.

Have a great time,


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Guest sandtrap


Age is what you feel.. I have a 14 year old son, and a15 year old daughter.. unfortunately, they are with their mother.

Whenever I have them, we have a good time; my son will be with me soon, while his sister attends cheerleading camp..

He already said, he wants to fish with me, and go gold hunting in the desert. He loves to drywash, as last time we did it, he got pretty lucky.

Enjoy your kid (s) while you can; they grow up so fast, and the memories of time spent with you, will always be cherished by them,., long after you are gone.

Enjoy every minute; you are only as old as you feel..

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I know what your talking about SDF, I started dredging with my son when he was 10 and just this week I was out with his sons looking for gold. We found some, but our biggest treasure was just being together. At 62 it hurts a little more than it did at twenty, but I'm not going to stop till they through dirt over me. Life is short so keep making those memorys

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Howdy all... I'm glad to see that you are enjoying going out with

your boys. I noticed "Sandtrap" had posted, and since Jerry is an old

friend (But a full-of-energy "youngster" barely into his 70's) I thought

I would add: I well remember going out with my then teenage son,

Doug, to the middle fork of the Yuba and dredging with a "Goldiver"

dredge. This was back in the early 1970's. We shared great adventures.

dredging, panning, sluicing, dry-washing and nugget hunting for many

years. Camping out, the whole shebang... Be sure to take lot'sa pictures,

laugh often, and enjoy bonding...

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