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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Gold Prospecting on the San Gabriel

Okay, I didn't just hop in the now questionable van and head down to Southern California to dredge the East Fork of the San Gabriel, but there was an interesting article in the L.A. Times recently that I thought you all might enjoy. It's been making the rounds a bit, but if you haven't seen it yet, check out:

It's a Lode on Their Minds

The map at right is also from the Los Angeles Times article and highlights what I believe is the section open to public gold prospecting.

If interested in doing a little gold panning, or more serious digging in the area, you might also check out the Southwestern Prospectors and Miners Association (SPMA). They have claims around Southern California open to members. I don't think they have a website, but they have a Yahoo Group at:


The GPAA also has a chapter down that way (and several others throughout the state).

For more places to look around California, check out Where to Find Gold in California and Gold Nugget-Teering in Northern California by Delos Toole.

If further north is your stomping grounds, the New 49'ers has a bunch of good claims open to members and seem like a good organization.

There you have it, a bunch of stuff on gold prospecting in California...from an Oregonian...

Feel free to add to the list (that's what the comments section is for).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Dredge

Went out weekend before last with my new Proline 3" Dredge. It was a bit of a beast to get down to the water and set up (mostly on my own), but boy does it move material! Anything much bigger could take a finger off, I swear!

I got the T-80 compressor, but have to wait a bit before I get the air set up, so I used my crappy old snorkel (has a kink that closes off my air every once in a while). Should be getting air hoses, regulator, reserve tank and flusher nozzle soon.

My wife also got a new toy, a Desert Fox spiral panner, and has been running the cons. So far they look pretty good. Nothing bigger than the rice sized picker I pulled out of the top of one bucket yet, but we're hoping for a nice nugget in there somewhere. Plenty of fines showing up so far. The Desert Fox seems to work really well once you get it set up right. Watch the angle though and make sure the water is flowing into the capture cup. It just hangs, so at the wrong angle the water flowing through the center hole (and gold) can miss the cup completely.

On a down note, my prospecting rig horked up a lung on the drive home and had to be towed to a mechanic. One new ignition coil and $190 repair bill later and she runs again, ready for our next outing. I think we'll hit Southern Oregon next. Good gold down there just waiting for me to suck it all up...

Monday, July 2, 2007

Crevicing for Gold

Went crevicing for gold this weekend. Got some photos, so I'll keep the text to a minimum. :)

Here's my new prospecting rig. Okay, so maybe "new" isn't the best word to describe her, but she's got plenty of room for all my gear, a cot and my mountain bike!

Here's a view of camp from the creek. Notice the steep, rocky cliff...

Here's a few tools. First time I'd used the red crevice tool and I must say it came in very handy for scraping stuff out of cracks.

Here's my little dredge combo mounted on a truck innertube. The last couple times out I needed a bit more depth than the legs would allow for, so wanted to give this a try...

Doesn't the water look freakin' cold? Well, it was. My teeth are still chattering.

Swimming across with load #1.

Swimming across with load #2.

Now don't I look cold?! Like the see-through t-shirt action? Easy there ladies. Don't get too excited.

Remember that rocky cliff below camp? Well here it is again, only with a frigid me dragging a dredge (water logged miner's moss and all) up it. My legs were jelly by the end of the weekend...

And what do we have here? GOLD! Not getting rich, but not getting skunked either!

Happy hunting to all of you! Sorry if these images are slow to load...

P.S. I slipped and cracked the glass on my viewer, but no leaks so no worries.