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old man drywasher


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Back in the 90's, I was sitting in the Denny's restaurant in Grass Valley at the counter when an old man wearing dusty coveralls, and caked in dried sweat came in and sat right down next to me. It was a hot summer afternoon, and I was wishing I was down on the Yuba River. I just knew he had been dry washing, which is rare up here in God's Gold Country, the Sierras.

I introduced myself, and mentioned that I thought he looked as though he had been drywashing. He had, indeed. He said he was in his 70's.

He says, " I just got back from La Porte. I set up my washer in the hydraulic pit there, and get my $ 50/day there every day! I work the pit in the summer dry season, and in the winter go live in Quartzite, AZ and wash my $ 50/day in gold from the dry washes, and live in my camper. And every month, I get my Social Security retirement check for retirement of $ 800/mo. So I live cheap, and can stash extra money in the bank most months, and don't have to take lip from a wife!"

I thought that was pretty cool! If you run the numbers, his gold plus his S.S. check equals about $ 21,600 income per year! Not bad when you don't have to pay a mortgage

or for a wifes shopping sprees. This was around 1994, I think gold was going for about $ 350/oz. Today were looking at about $ 1150/oz.!!!! That would mean that today he would be getting about $ 39000 per year from gold!!! OMG! And his SS check would total about 11-12 K per year!

I an 64, and have a bad back, heart problems, asthma and the mind is about gone! If I could I would!

Now if this old codger had had a good squaw shoveling with him, he could have almost doubled his take!

I never saw the old guy again. By the way, he was using the Keene Vibro-static dry washer with good results.

There is hope for those of us going into retirement.

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Only problem is--in that 16 years time frame the bureauratz and environutz have been closing,rewriting,prohibiting,changing laws and land designations. In the 60s it was great. In the 70's got a lot tighter on dredging and mining in general-80's price a gold freaked'm all out and the have been killing us ever since. Not the same as the good old dayz--but--keep it small--quiet--lean and mean and in some states--someplaces it can still be done--John

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Your right about that John!

The price of gold has freaked out the Enviro-nutjobs today! I think trhats why the big push to outlaw dredging in Cal. They imagined millions of

folks swarming all over the rivers & creeks stepping on their cherished little newts & minnows!

I don't see that happening, but we are not into the warm season yet. What do you think the crowds will be like this summer seeking gold?

My point about the old drywasher was that, seniors need not sit around and get fat in front of a TV set. Even if its just panning, they can have fun, and maybe make a little beer money, and stay the heck out of the GD Indian Casinos where they blow their last buck and eat cat food the rest of the month!

Each person, according to their own ability. One dwt. a day will get ya your OUNCE od gold per month!!!

Seniors can bring along a young helper(grand kid, etc) or unemployed friend who will gladly do the heavy lifting!

Thats why I had a 26 year old guy move in with me, to help me in mining and do house chores. And he pays me rent every month!

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