Judging from the questions and feed-back I am receiving regarding my previous post, I thought a follow-up post could answer a few misconceptions.
Many years ago when I first decided to take up prospecting, I fell in love with the Tulameen-Granite Creek area. I remember very vividly hauling my wife and son on prospecting excursions every single week-end throughout the summer. Being a bit of a “Newbie”, I based my decision to prospect in that area because of it’s rich history. To this day, I am still enthralled by it’s glamour and serene beauty, even though I used to get a real eerie feeling every time I was there. In fact, I still own a 2 claims there at present. While I did find gold on each and every trip I made, I think the Chevron Gas Station benefitted the most. But I had the fever. Gold Fever!
Regardless, those times spent on the river with my family, and to all the friends I met along the way, are priceless! I have no regrets in this regard. Many years and many creeks and rivers later, I have come to learn several things.
First, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Sure you can buy a claim in northern B.C., or the Yukon, or the Cariboo, or Alaska. There is still lot’s of great ground available. But how often are you going to get there? How much money are you willing to invest to mine your claim profitably? Are you going to quit your job, and become a full-time miner?
Second, getting gold is a numbers game. The more good dirt you process, the more gold you get. If you are currently a week-end prospector or hobbyist, and like me, could only get out on week-ends, do you really want to drive six or more hours to get where you want to go? Every hour driving, is one less hour digging. Let alone the gas and wear and tear on your vehicle.
There is no doubt we all enjoy doing what we do. Any day on the river, is better than any day in the city. But finding something closer to home is less demanding on your time, your family, and your pocketbook. I have a few close prospecting friends that have some great claims on some great creeks, and they are always inviting to their claims. I very rarely go, despite the fact that they get some pretty nice gold. Why? Because it is too far, too hard to walk into, and several other factors, including cougars and bears.
My Granite Creek claim is my retirement claim. When I have the time to work it properly. I will not sell it, or let it lapse. I will also say that I hold 8 cells on the Coquihalla River. I acquired these cells for two main reasons. I can be there from home in an hour and a half, and have great access, and the Coquihalla River is one of the most beautiful rivers in B.C. Will I ever get rich from these claims? I think not, but the gold is there and I can get there quick. My whole family loves camping there and that is a huge bonus for me.
The point I am trying to make here, is whether you buy a claim, or acquire it through the MTO, make sure you do it for you. Don’t base your decision on what others say or do, and pay heed to TV reality stars. That’s not reality, unless you have a pile of money to invest and a realm of experience. Pick something close to home with easy access and provides an environment that will give you and your family years of memorable experiences. And if you have already bought claims, and have felt that you were somewhat “duped”, take it as a learning experience. We’ve all been there!
Happy prospecting and keep on digging!