Gold Panning and Prospecting
Gold panning has got to be one of the funnest hobbies I’ve every tried, and gold prospecting in general is just exciting for some reason. My friend and I have recently gone on a few day trips for gold panning and prospecting, and thinking back on them, we’ve really found some extraordinary things. Though we haven’t really found that much gold, the other, more unexpected treasures, made the trips really amazing. The thing that I love about gold prospecting is that it’s in the prospector’s best interest to go to places that are as little traveled as possible.
Doing a little research, my friend used Google maps to find us locations of streams that looked promising, well off the beaten path. Once we had found something that looked like it might be good for panning and prospecting, we’d do a little more research to see if there was ever any gold found in the area, or ever any actual panning and sluicing done in the immediate stream. If the answer to either question was yes, we’d pack our bags and be on our way.
Needless to say, none of our trips ever yielded an extraordinary amount of gold, but what they did yield was much more than I had expected. On one of our trips, we stumbled upon a 75 foot waterfall that none of us knew existed, and none of us had ever heard of before. On another trip, we drove up a narrow road on a ridge that dropped down a few hundred feet and had an amazing view of Southern California’s countryside.
Not only that, but my friend and I have the added benefit of having made our own gold prospecting equipment. The pans we bought, but everything else, the sluice box and hand tools, we made from plans we found on the internet. Gold prospecting is like a guy’s paradise. Being able to make your own gear, going off and exploring from a map that you found yourself, and spending a day outdoors in the beauty of nature and water, sweating while excavating and mining the riverbed for gold. There’s really nothing like it. It’s too bad it’s Winter now. It’s too cold to tromp down to the rivers. Neither of us have the best gear for cold water. That’s when all the best rains happen though that was new gold down from the hills. We’ll just have to wait until next Spring.
Winter is the season for snowboarding anyway, and that’s always a blast too. I don’t know though. If the price of gold keeps going up the way it has been, I might have to try and find some cheap used gear and brave the icy waters of the mountain rivers. Who knows, that might make the prospecting and panning even that much more exciting. For now, I’ll just let the expectation of next season tantalize the senses and recollect on the fond memories of all the natural wonders and treasures we’ve already discovered. As for you, get out there with a pan and a sluice box and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
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