It started with a simple Gold Pan, and of course a shovel.
We would go through the articles on Gold Prospecting in our local area. These included books we had purchased while at George Streeter Electronics out by Keene, NH.
Then we would leave early in the morning and look for bends in the rivers and streams and try to figure out where the most likely deposits of gold may land.
This is very hard work for two cripples to do. We watch the shows that tell us it is awesome exercise though and push through the pain in our search for this elusive deposit, here in NH.
So we locate a nice spot and he digs and we get a sample, oh I forgot, you also need a 5 gal bucket or two, wait and a screen, oh no what size?
So let’s see we have 3 buckets 2 gold pans, 5 screens we need to get down to the smallest of particles, for the Gold here in NH, is this size, for the most part.
We work all day with one break but we have fun.
Really we do love the outdoors, and the scenery along streams and rivers in NH, they are real beauties! The dog loved the ride and the water even more. So it is a good day for the three of us.
We screen his gravel he has dug out of the stream bed and look real hard at what we have on our screen, we can’t be throwing gold nuggets back in after all of this work! Then we dump the gravel back into the stream and bring home only the small stuff with lots of black sand in it, as we have been taught that this is also found in areas where GOLD is. A few small flecks are found!
Well now we have to be able to move even more dirt and take less home with us(this is called concentrates)so now he says we need a Sluice! We purchase a nice big one(from a man in the Want-AD this keeps out cost down somewhat) and ready ourselves for some much better Gold, the next time.
So now with buckets, screens, shovels and gold pans, oh and our new Sluice, we head to a potentially good section of our favorite stream bed! We work just as hard but now we run the screened gravel over this new sluice and check the riffle often, to see if we can see any of that Yellow Gold! We do this once a week and still only find small flakes on our trips to the streams.
Now he sets about putting together a high banker, we still shovel and then take home concentrates to pan at home. Sound familiar? lol
He wants to go after the Gold easier, so he starts to look for a dredge, because he feels he needs to go deeper. He puts together a 2 1/2″ dredge but he can not go deep enough!
I tease him about this and he says “You’ll see!” I’m WAITING
We locate a man way up in Maine who has not one, but four used dredges to choose from (gee he had this Gold Fever BAD).
He loves the 6 inch but when I tell him in case he has forgotten, we are old and injured and this is awfully heavy looking and we will need a trailer just to get it from place to place, he thinks about it and goes with this man’s four inch dredge. He is so excited and can hardly wait to use it, so we try it up there in Maine at another of our favorite places. It works great, though I am not impressed with all the times good size rocks jam up in the suction hose. He said not to worry as it comes with a metal rod you put inside the hose and it loosens the rocks and we will be back at vacuuming the stream soon. This will kill us, I am certain of it at this point!
Now this dredge comes with a sluice box attached along with a gas motor, but it is missing the foot valve so it is horrible to start, I worry about him with all this pull starting and getting no where quickly! Finally it starts when we fill every hose and we work for about an hour and then wash it down into a bucket but since we are now real tired and hurting badly, we decide to pack it back up and head back the 3 hours to home. We will pan it out there, while we sit with a drink in one hand and relax in our comfortable chairs. We are OLD and INJURED.
We worked this dredge with a State of NH Recreational Permits for a few years. We still can’t get deep enough though. We either can’t get where we want to because the roads washed away in a flood or the weather continues to be lousy but we try and try to find that deep pocket of gold just waiting to be found.
Now don’t forget, we also have all those metal detectors we use and hit the fields and beaches and ponds with. So much equipment and two old people using them, we sometimes get so tired we don’t feel like doing anything!
When we decide to take another trip to visit friends and family. We have to decide which equipment we will need bring. He is always ready for the next adventure.
Don’t get me wrong we still have lots of fun but no more gold then when we just went out with our shovel and gold pan!
So as you laugh at our problem, be careful to watch yourselves, as addictions come on you without you even realizing it! Gold Fever is real dangerous, I hear it is spreading so take special care not to be caught up by it, then again at over $1400.00 an Ounce it is a hobby you can make a little extra money on and get outdoors and get lots of back-breaking exercise.
Happy Treasure Hunting to YOU ALL
May you hit the Mother Lode!