Lanny when you mentioned that rich bank it reminded me of this.This was about a few months after the that same placer operation shut down in my last story. I had permission to hunt all the claims and I remembered a place down in the lower end of where we were working the creek.we had done pretty well chasing a pay streak along the bank of Weaver creek.
We were doing so well there and it was right up against the claim line so the placer plant owner I was working for decided he wasn't going to get into a battle with the adjoining claim owner. apparently they had already had some discussions about it.
he had the claims surveyed and had wooden stakes put up along the boundary line.
So I'm thinking its got to be a good spot to hit. this wall of old cemented gravel is about eight feet tall and 20 yards long. So I gather up my wife, my daughter Heather about 4 or 5 years old and my nephew John about 7.
We decided we where make a picnic of it in the creek bed.So we get down there and my wife breaks out a folding table and the ice chest. the kids are running around doing what kids do.we had scrapped it down to bedrock with a dozer when we were running the placer operation but because of the claim line left the wall. I go over and I start swing this wall/bank of gravel. I hit the first one. I chisel it out with my pick,this bank is like cement, almost a conglomerate.
very old river bed.the first one is a couple grams.I'm excited.
I move along the wall and I hit another one. this one was about a grammer/half grammer. and then another one. The next thing I know I got my headphones on and here is little John tugging at my pant leg saying is this a nugget uncle Bob. he holds out his hand and he has a little yellow rock in it.
I say to him no John just another rock, keep looking and off he goes. I'm moving along and I hit another one. this is turning out to be a really good day. her comes John again, Is this a nugget? no john just a rock. so I pull out my nugget bottle and I show him. see this is what they look like. see how heavy they are and really gold colored. I let him hold a few and off he goes again.
I move down a little further and and I get a really nice hit in the wall with my detector. I start banging on the wall, chipping out the rocks one at a time. I know this is a good one, its loud and deep. so I'm trying to concentrate so I don't hit it beating on the wall. all of a sudden I pop out another rock and I can see it. its a big flat nugget. I call them corn flake nuggets.
its sticking out like a tongue looking me. I tug on it but its not coming out.
no sooner here comes John again. Is this a nugget Uncle Bob he holds out his hand and I look and I look again. yes that's a nugget. where did you find it. he turns around and points at a bedrock knob. it was about a grammer. so I'm looking around trying to figure something to put it in and I just slide the cellophane off my cigarette pack drop the nugget in it and twist it. I remember I said put this in your pocket so you don't loose it. he stuffs it in his pocket and off he goes to find more, my daughter right behind him.so I go back to chipping at the bank again. I've almost got this nugget out, its got to be a good 3/4 ouncer maybe more, and there is John tugging at my pant leg again. I turn around and there is John with tears running down his face and I said whats wrong? he holds up the cellophane wrapper and there is no nugget in it. he said its gone.
I went over where he was and swung around for awhile and could not find it. well its not his first nugget and wouldn't be his last but I felt so bad. I said to my wife go over to the truck and see if you can find a nugget bottle in the glove box. she comes back hands me a bottle. so I reach in my pocket pull out my nugget bottle and pour out some smaller nuggets and said her ya go John, pick one. and of course I had to give one to my daughter too. you know how that goes. everyone had a great day.
Here is a photo of my daughter and some nuggets.see the flat corn flake nugget second from the left, top row. that corn flake nugget turned to be 39 grams. I love this photo.