While We're on the Subject of Crevicing Bedrock Gold...
("NorCal" Ron on the left with his pard, "Dredger 49er" and a good showing of color.)
While we're on the subject of crevicing bedrock gold, I thought it'd be a good time to let you hear from "NorCal" Ron, an experienced miner who's sent a few words and photos I think you'll find interesting. If I'm not mistaken, Ron's been doing most of his mining up near Happy Camp in Siskiyou County, California...home of the New 49ers.
"Still a Lot of Gold There"
"JR, that's me and 'Dredger 49er' (Rich) with some of our Happy Camp gold. I spent the summer showing Rich and his wife Sue how to use a suction dredge (Sue passed away the following year at 44 years of age)."
"The powers at be opened up east Elk Creek so we could get some dredging in...despite all the fires burning around us. We got down about 6-7 feet and hit bedrock...that's where Rich found his first nice pocket of gold. The next day we went back to that spot and found a second pocket that produced half a troy ounce."
(Exposed or surface bedrock at Ron and Rich's "diggings.")
"Unfortunately for us, on the third day we returned to find $1500.00 dollars worth of our equipment missing. So, we rolled the big boulders back into the hole over bedrock, filled it in, and left. We haven't been back since. I know there is still a lot of gold there."
A couple of things from my end in response to Ron's words:
1) My sincere condolences to Rich for his loss. I can only imagine the heartache there...
2) I'm no starstruck Polly Anna type, but just what the hell is it with all this thievery in mining locales these days? There used to be a time not all that long ago when you could leave your supplies and gear where you were working, head to town for supplies and gas, and return to find everything just exactly as it was.
(Rich hitting some good-looking surface bedrock.)
It's a sad state of affairs when miners steal from other miners (has to be other miners...who else would steal mining gear?). As an old timer, I find this thievery both disgusting and infuriating...in the "good ol' days" these shits would've been shot on the spot or had their necks stretched. But back then there was no ACLU around to rush to defend their "rights" as thieves and criminals.
(Sorry about that, but once in a while I need to vent...)
(More bedrock gold.)
Anyhoo, I want to thank "NorCal" Ron for allowing me to tell a bit of his and "Dredger 49er's" story and also for the great photos. I wish them both well and appreciate their willingness to share their mining expertise and experiences with the rest of us.
Best of luck to all.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold in Western Australia (Part 1)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org