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)."

Gold Concentrates
Gold Concentrators

"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 jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. Hello Jim, Well, it might not be other miners, just theives that realize "this stuff must be worth a lot of money". They can pawn it off or sell it behind some bar with few questions asked for quick, easy money. It used to be hunting camps were immune from theives because they knew the owners were in the woods nearby with rifles. Several years ago (quite a few realy, a dozen or so) my Uncle Wes was hunting in Washington state. Someone snuck into camp, cut a slit in the back of the tent and stole some things, while they were IN CAMP telling stories by the camp fire!! If thats not nerve, I don't know what is! The guys my Uncle ran with would have burried him under a log in the woods if they had caught him. Lucky for them, the guns were in the truck that day. In my opinion, hanging a thief shouldn't even be a crime.

  2. It's a sign of the times I guess Gary. None of us are immune to these thieves and low lives. Pretty ballsy what those a-holes did to your Uncle...but hey, what do they have to fear? The way the criminal justice system in this country works even if these criminals were caught, they have more rights than the victims of their crimes it seems...Thanks for commenting. J.R.

  3. Hi JR just an added comment, I also believe it was other miners because there was an old timer across the main body of water from where we were and I found out later that same night he had not cleaned out the carpet in his dredge so when he arrived the next morning his carpet was gone. The A-Holes knew what they were doing, they even took time to wipe away there tire tracks..

  4. So maybe it wasn't a thieving miner after all...my bad. But anymore it's getting more difficult to know who's your friend out there. Take care pard...

    1. Thanks for sharing the story and the photo's


  5. You're most welcome Pucky. Thanks for stopping by, J.R.


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