Nothing But Nuggets (Conclusion)
(It's OK to dream about big nuggets...they're still out there!)
Here are some general facts again about the creek and it's gold:
- The nuggets are NOT spread along the entire length of the creek, only in certain locations or sections trending toward the lower end.
- There are areas of reachable bedrock, much of it smooth and water worn and some of it rough and angular.
- The smooth bedrock does contain deeper crevices or holes...these can contain good gold in quantity. Your best bet, however, is the angular or rough bedrock.
- Overburden can be a problem but there are areas of fairly shallow overburden (2-5 feet) that can be removed with a bit of effort.
- You can expect multi-ounce pockets in the right areas.
- The paystreaks tend to be rich but very shallow in depth (i.e., not very thick).
- If you're willing to bust ass you can hump motor-driven equipment down to the creek. The bugaboo is this: California is very anti-mining these days and suction dredging is a big "No-No." This hurts because the best way to get at the nugget pockets is by using a suction dredge.
- Again, the gold in this creek is mostly in the form of nuggets...many of them larger than you would expect in most locales. Very little color will be found otherwise.
- Due to the steep ravines and cliffs surrounding it, the creek is often in shade or shadow...very little direct sunlight reaches it and what sunlight there is doesn't last long. This makes gold visibility an issue at times.
- Again, access down into the creek is mostly via steep ridges. Remember, the real ass busting effort will come when you have to hump your tired rear end OUT and UP from the creek.
- If you do know (or figure out) what creek this is you may very well find it claimed up. I have no control over that one...sorry.
1) The creek is in the Northern Motherlode region, not the so-called Southern Mines region.
2) This creek is a tributary or "feeder" stream that empties into a fork of a major gold-bearing river in the area.
3) The creek lies in a county that's well known for placer gold.
(Multi-ounce pockets and paystreaks can be found on this creek.)
4) The creek's name is very simple and composed of a single, two-syllable word.
5) Remember, utility construction activities took place along the creek at a location more easily reached.
If You Think You Know the Name...
There you go. Break out the topo maps or get on Google Earth and start using your powers of deduction. Or, alternately, start doing some historical research on the California Gold Rush and mining activities north and east of Sacramento.
If you think you know the name of this creek full of nuggets or want to make a stab at it's name and location, e-mail me (don't use the post's Comments section) and I'll tell you whether you're right or wrong. If you guess right or already know, keep it under your hat. If you start blabbing or puffing your chest out you'll ruin it for yourself and anyone else. Most importantly you'll be on my shit list for good...
Why Do This?
Someone asked me recently why I'm even sharing ANY info about this creek and the fantastic gold that can be had there. Here's your answer:
I now live about 1,200 miles away from the creek and any more I'm lucky if I make it out to the California mines once a year, sad to say. Additionally, though still physically fit and vigorous, I'm 65 years of age now and Old Man Time's clock is ticking away.
I may live a long time and then again...I may not. That's in someone else's hands, not mine. So I feel it's my duty to pass along all that I've learned about small-scale gold mining during my lifetime and add what I can to the existing mining literature out there.
I expect you to do the same somewhere down the road...
Best of luck to you all.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Exactly Where it Shouldn't Be (Part 1)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com