Sunday, June 3, 2012

All That Glitters Is Gold

No I didn't sell 500,000 records yet, but I did find gold!

Play the audio, and read on! 

My wife and I found a place in Wisconsin where a big asteroid hit the Earth and a whole bunch of rock got busted up. We heard it was a good place for gold hunting. After gathering up Brigid's prospecting pans we headed over there. Upon arrival we noticed a gentleman in the parking lot loading up all his prospecting gear. My wife wasted no time introducing herself. Being beginners (I've never done this before) we had alot of questions and he was more than happy to show us the ropes. He even invited us to come pan with him. We walked through the park and found a real cool spot on the creek to set up. This man, Mark, has been prospecting here for 8 years. He let us use his gear and assigned us each a job. It was like having a private lesson in panning. He was really great.

Mark and Brigid dug up dirt and rock and put it into a classifier bucket and then I took the sand and rock from that bucket and put it through a sluice box (pronounced "sloose") It's a little, metal, waterfall-like piece of equipment with riffles along the inside of it and what was called minors moss to catch finer gold, sand and much smaller pebbles beneath that. Then all stuff that was caught in this we panned. We actually found some gold! very small specks, but still very neat to actually see.

At one time I was working the sluice when a big snapping turtle, about the size of a steering wheel, crossed my path within about a foot of me! Just working it's way down the river. That was quite a surprise.

It was a beautiful area. I enjoyed the sound of the river and the zen-like experience of circling the pan around and paying very close attention to finding shiny bits. It takes some practice with the pan and it was great to have a lesson in that. We also found the ruby red colored Garnets and clearish quarts. Real fun experience for sure. We'll be back.
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