"Rocks in My Head:" a Prospector and Miner in the Making (Part 4)

(Placer gold image courtesy of my friends at Gold Fever Prospecting.)

(This is the fourth post in a series written by guest author Alan Brown of Dahlonega, Georgia. You can contact Alan at: captainal01@yahoo.com.)

A Likely Place for a Bit of Gold

The stream below my property seems to come up from out of the rock itself right underneath the base of a perfectly huge and surely ancient tulip poplar. My dad always told us that tulip poplars only grew to such grand proportions over a water source. So, if you found one that big growing out of seemingly dry ground you could bet it meant that there was an underground stream somewhere just below the surface.

Gold Panning Kits
Gold Concentrators

Downward from the base of the tulip poplar tree begins a set of exposed bedrock stairs that look as likely a place for a bit of gold to be lurking as any. It certainly did prove to be a great place for salamanders or "Sallies" as Caitlin calls them. She was having great success finding them underneath just about every rock she overturned.

This Little Stream Would "Swell"

I, on the other hand, was just simply confused and feeling a little embarrassed for thinking I might actually find some gold here. Once again, that's never stopped me in the past so I charged ahead. From my perch on my 5-gallon bucket “chair,” I began to wonder if this was a spot where gold would be hiding. I knew that gold was very heavy so I figured that, just maybe, it would be right there where the water started coming out of the ground.

But then I figured that might not be such a good place to look after all. Surely in a heavy rain this little stream would "swell" and there’d be no telling where things might get moved from all that extra water rushing everywhere.

...a Real Gold Pan

So, I decided to go downstream about three sets of drop offs and this became the main area I would concentrate on for the remainder of the summer. At this point I just sort of put on brakes …I was not really equipped to go any farther.

At the very least, I would have to get my hands on a real gold pan. No more Whammo “Frisbeeing” for me. Besides, Caitlin was just having too much fun with the "Sallies.” Listening to her squeal with delight and then disappointment every time another salamander squirted through her fingers and got away, it was obvious she needed the bucket far more than I needed a seat from which to contemplate.

Tips for Prospectors and Miners

Time was growing short for me anyhow and I would soon have to return to work. Boo.....hiss. But Caitlin and I and the "Sallies" made an afternoon of it, something I would not trade a moment of for all the gold around.

That’s it for this round. I wish each and every one of you out there the best of luck in your mining endeavors.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Tips for Running an Efficient Sluice Box (Part 2)”
© J.R. 2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. anticipation...

  2. More to come...thanks for commenting. Jim Rocha (J.R.)

  3. It has been a while...thoroughly enjoying your other post just still wandering what ever came of this prospector... what I am asking is if this story will be finished?

  4. Well, I'm not sure. I'll get in touch with the author and see. Thanks for commenting. Jim (J.R.)


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