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Made a trip today looking for gold.


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I have a friend of mine who is going to be moving soon.. he has a nice place up in Murphys CA East of the big gold line. hHe told me there was a gold mine down below his place. I asked to go take a look, he agreed, but said he had not been down there for a few years, the trial is over grown " some" And the opening to the mine is covered with poison oak.

Being the stupid gold finding drunk that I am, I thought, "this sounds like fun".

Even after they told me of some guy who walked down and back up, needed first aid after making it back, I was still not turned away from this mission.

So today I drove 2.5 hours each way with my Quad and started looking for this mine.

Trail is totally unseeable. Drive around in the weeds for some time, before I call the owner for more details. He tells me find the meadow, thrity feet to the Right.

So, back down I go find the meadow, go thirty feet and find the trail he had been talking about. Could not find the mine. Walked my ass of in thick brush.

Call the owner back. He then tells me, no the TRAIL is thirty feet from the meadow, the mine is down aboout a 1/2 mile below.

I am looking at this as we speak, And I realise that we are talking straight down the Stanislaus river drainage North face!! That is one steep ass grade, as in STRAIGHT DOWN!!

Holy Crap. So I started down and quickly find I am going to be cutting some brush, so I turn around, go all the back up to the truck and get the clippers and go back and start cutting. I made it about 2/3rds of the way down only to find a big drainage pipe that has slipped and is blocking the trail. I had a winch so the pipe is not an issue, but beyond that, it is a total wall of heavy brush and poison oak.

At this point I am hot, tired, worn out and totally not willing to move any further. Still have long drive home to make. So we called it a day and climbed back out in the quad, out to a well deserved beer at the truck.

I'd love to get back an finish this adventure, but I don't think going it alone is a wise move, considering the terrian and remote location. His place is going to sell sooner than later, so time is not working in my favor. The guy I used to help me today (my safety person) was a total waste of time. All he did was complain and watch me work. Had no idea how to run a quad, nor clippers.

Anyone want to help me find this mine. I can't find anything on maps, and I have no idea what the name of the mine is, so all I can do is go look for myself. I was planning on beeping the walls if I could get to it, but that was not going to happen today. WAYY too much work for one day.

I am one tired, sore puppy tonight, with nothing to show for it..

GREAT DAY over all. I just love looking for gold!!

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First off,are you sure the mine is on his property..and even if it is does he own the mineral rights?Sounds like your talking about the old mining district of Collierville.The mines may be under claim or part of the New Melones national recreation area.There was/is free gold in some of those mines and also lots of base metals.I've lived down the road a bit in Angels Camp and in my 37 years here never ventured to that area........https://www.google.com/#q=Collierville+mining+district+Murphys+California

Edited by David Wiseman
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Amen to that sage advice. PRIOR to doing anything or going anywhere the good old county recorder/assessors office is the place to go as without a basis in FACT it's all bs or even worse. Knowledge and a legal binding contract are the foundation of any hunt. Current forest service maps in california are extremely accurate and can be gotten in a 7.5 format for extreme accuracy,keeps ya from hanging off cliffs battling poison oak umprepared. BLM maps show nothing under 80 acres as stated right on them....John

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It is in the green belt area. Not on his property. Not sure of the status, but it certainly has not been seen by a human eye in many years. The only access is from his property, so I doubt if it is claimed.. I certainly couldn't work it anyhow, just wanted to poke around a bit and get my eyes on it. Maybe find some artifacts to hang on the wall. I heard the other day that taking artifacts such as ore cart tracks from abandoned mines is not legal. Seems they are historical, so we must let them rust into the ground.

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  • 1 month later...

MIght want to reread the post, LipCa... Skunked was walking( after the long drive in.)

I did indeed walk, with a friend riding the quad behind me. Why drive? Because it is a 1/2 mile of straight down, hiking back up would be a bitch. Going down was bad enough.

I forgot to mention that on the way up we were both on the quad, and it got so steep that the quad was starting to go over backwards! Lucky for me, he fell off at the right time and it went back down. WHEW!! That would be ugly having the quad land on top of you that far away from help. I guess with his fat ass on the rear my CG was just a tad too far aft. next time I think one on each side stepp might work better or bring two quads What stopped me finally was an old culvert had plugged up and the water washed out the road so I could not get past the wash. it would take a lot of rocks to fill it in enough to cross over it, so I quit.

I'd love to back and try it again. Now that I know where it is. Next time a chain saw will be with me, and not just clipper shears

Edited by skunked
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did you check the inside of the culvert? Might find color in it if drainage was still going through it. I have climbing gear with me when I explore so that if I find a spot that is steep I deploy climbing rope and put on a harness.

Safety first and before you go, plan on "stuff happens" and have a plan OUT. Cell phone coverage is a good thing to check before saying "hold my beer and watch this".

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  • 3 weeks later...

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