Today, the likelihood of finding a huge nugget in a stream or river isn’t as high as it once was. However, there are plenty of opportunities to find gold in other (larger) placer deposit types, the most common of which are alluvial.
When I first started prospecting for gold over 40 years ago, I just knew I was going to find the elusive motherlode. I remember vividly packing up our little car with all our camping gear, stove, table, chairs, tent, clothing, gold pans, shovels,etc. and informing my wife and young son (whom shared the cramped backseat with all our gear) that we were all off to a great vacation in the woods to find gold. Neither one of them seemed too excited over the idea, but nonetheless, went along with my plans of striking it rich!
It ended up being a fun time and very relaxing. I also remember finding my first few flakes of gold, and how excited I was to see those little flakes in my tiny vial. I thought to myself that finding gold is fun! Prospecting was so simple, yet radically different from day to day life in the city. It brought me closer to my family, no phones, no TV, no sirens, just each other and the serenity of the river.
I could hear the little clinks in the vial as I shook my little flakes around and around. I love that unusually loud sound to this day. The thought of getting more of that dense yellow gold intrigued me. Over the years, my little vial of gold continued to grow and grow, flake by flake, and now I don’t measure it by flakes or grams, but by the ounce!
Sadly, it took me a number of years to realize the true value in my prospecting trips. While the diversion from stress and getting away from the typical daily grind was cherished, it was “the adventure of the gold hunt that took me along for the fun of finding it.” The value of the gold found was just a desirable outcome of that diversion.
Now, as I look back upon my vials of gold, I don’t just see vials of that elusive yellow metal. I see many fond memories of creeks and rivers, my family, and the many adventures we have over the years. The many people I have had the pleasure of meeting, some of whom are now cherished friends, and the stories we all relate to one another. My son is now a grown man with a family of his own, and both he and my beloved wife continue to be my prospecting partners. And now my son is continuing on with our prospecting traditions and adventures with his lovely wife and two beloved daughters.
IS PROSPECTING FOR GOLD FUN? You bet it is!