I got into prospecting about 40 years ago when my grandparents, who were light duty rock hounds that enjoyed camping and the outdoors, took me on several trips. I got into hunting for minerals and rocks, and it wasn’t long before I was planning rockhound trips for them to join me on. One of the trips they took me on was to tour of an underground gold mine in Julian, California.
The idea of prospecting for my own gold really sounded great, so I bought a pan, made a sluice box out of wood, and read some books. I hadn’t even had my driver’s license very long when I took my younger brother and we went out to a place the book said gold had been found. I dug for most of the day and ran it through the box - I found nothing. I tried a couple other places mentioned in the book, and still nothing. It wasn’t until I took a trip with my family up to the mother lode country on the North Fork of the Yuba River near Downieville that I found a little 3/16 inch flake in my pan. Not very large, but plenty large enough to see it was clearly gold. After that, I kept exploring different locations closer to my home in the LA area and ended up doing better, finding spots where I always got at least some color and sometimes a few very small nuggets (little pickers). I spent a lot of time around Randsburg and the East fork of the San Gabriel River back then.
In the decades since, I've dug in many places for gold, gems and other valuables. I've been to Australia, Alaska and all over the western US including Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon. I own a number of gold claims; as well as a couple of turquoise mines. I have visited a number of Interesting places while hunting the precious yellow stuff. There is a lot in prospecting that inspires passion -the quest, the adventure, and of course the discovery of the gold! Finding gold isn't easy - easy stuff is long gone. Gold is rare, beautiful and valuable stuff and its always exciting to find.