Sent My First Gold Nugget For a Ride


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So a friend of mine and myself went out to the river on sunday to continue our search for that illusive yellow metal. With the forecast for the day close to 100 degrees we decided to abandon our sluice efforts and do some sniping with a snorkel and mask. We found a nice wedge shaped boulder in a riffle section with lots of exposed bedrock and went to work. The upstream side of the boulder was sitting out of the water about 1/2 an inch, forcing water around the edges and making a nice low pressure spot with lots of nice cracks to work. The wedge part of the boulder sloped downstream on the dry side and we decided that it made for a nice spot to set some tools while we worked.

So anyway after about an hour of digging out a depression below the boulder we had found some nice pickers and had just reached some hardpack about 6 inches down. I reach down to pull loose a small rock thats wedged in the wall of the bedrock and out pops this nice, bright finger shaped nugget with it. To see that nugget jump out like that was pretty exciting and it was the biggest piece of gold I had found. It was about 1/2 of an inch long and shaped like to two fingers that were just starting to fork. My guess had it at about 1 dwt or a little more. So after showing it to my friend, I added it to the sucker bottle along with the pickers, and set the bottle back up on the wedge of the boulder. Pretty excited we both went back to work with our faces in the water, oblivious to anything else but the prospects of more nuggets.

Well it turns out that the wedge wasnt the best place to set a snuffer bottle. While we were feverishly looking for the nugget's siblings we didn't notice the water level slowing rising. Thirty minutes later I pull my head out of the water only to see my gold pan floating next to me. I glance to the boulder and the water is now trickling over the lip of the boulder and down the wedge. The snuffer bottle is no where in sight and the only conclusion is that it is now floating down river. I scrambled down river 1/4 mile at least in wetsuit and booties lookin for that damn bottle with no luck. Feeling pretty discouraged we gave up our search for the bottle and for any more gold that day. It was the first time we hiked up the mountain with no gold and the feeling of failure sure makes your legs heavy. Lesson learned I suppose.

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Sean. That is a bummer. The only thing worse than not finding gold is finding it and then losing it. I lost my poke one day. A whole day spent finding 3 little nuggets and then lost them. A week later I found someones poke with about the same amount of gold in it though.----Bob

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Losing gold is a bummer, for sure....In 1979 I was dredging on Fox Creek in Siskiyou County (CA) with some friends....My ex-wife was tending box...The creek was loaded with one pennyweight nuggets and virtually no over burden...Our first cleanup of the day after only 2 hours of dredging yeilded about 4 ounces of pennyweight solid gold slugs....After our break, my ex decided she had to hike down creek to answer nature's call...She had the poke in her shirt pocket....Yep, you got it! ... Someplace on her hike she lost the poke .... A few years later, we were in town on New Years eve...I had a gold sale lined up but she was carrying the poke ... She got drunk and started selling buicks all over the parking lot....Yep again...She lost the poke with 3 ounces of gold.... So, you see, when I say Ex-Wife I really mean EX :spank::rolleyes: Cheers, Unc

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Hi all, The best one I can recall A buddy and I were up at the local watering hole up in Yarnell Az celebrating the days take. We were dredging down at Antelope creek, Rich hill and ran into a nice pocket and all total got about three ounces in grammers and fines. Well on our way out of the bar heading down the side walk I turned to my buddy and asked you got the gold right? I wanted to make sure he didn't leave it on the bar for a tip. He whipped it out of his pocket and said see got right here and no sooner than those words left his mouth the glass bottle left his hand. We both just stood there and watched it crash on the side walk. I figured its late we will come back in the morning. Next day there we were, hung over on our hands and knees sweeping and creviceing the cracks on Yarnell side walk. People passing by probably thought we were nuts. we did recover about 2 1/2 ounces. Lesson learned, no I didn't quit drinking but I did start carrying my gold in a plastic aspirin bottle from then on. :spank::D Take care AzNuggetBob

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Fools we are. Back in the seventies when I was a young man I was dredging on the Smith River. I was staying up river at the Wagon Wheel and leaving all my stuff with the dredge except each night I'd bring out the empty gas cans to refill for the next day. It was a two hundred foot climb up out of the river on a terrible steep trail I had made down to the river. As every night, I would put the baby food bottle up inside the sleeve of my wet suite grab the gas cans and head up the hill. Well when I hit the road and my truck, put the cans in the truck and went for the baby food bottle it wasn't there. Having picked the header box of the good stuff to fill the bottle the thought of it being lost tended to make me want to puck. I did find the bottle, broke and splattered all over the hill side. I was able to find four of the bigger nuggets but the rest was lost in the rocks and cracks. I didn't know anything about MD's in those days so gave it up to just me being stupid. The summer of 1990 my partner went back worked the grown up trail for two days and recovered just under two and a half ounces. The rest, he thought was lost forever in the cracks of the bedrock. From that day on I wrapped my jar in duck tape so if it hit the ground you could just pick it up and go on. Yes, I too, have been a fool.

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