Saturday I engaged in a little recreational gold mining. My cousins and I went to a small creek high up in the gold country. We located an ideal granite boulder near a bridge in ther road where we could relax in the shade and eat nice sandwiches and enjoy the afternoon breeze of rising air as it funneled its way up the canyon. It was one of those days when I realize that I live in California and that it is truly a special place in the world t be. A place where scenes like this are a short ride from my front door.
My cousin has some of the necessary gear for finding gold. We had a shovel and a gold pan and a sluice box. We dug down into the gravel of the river trying to get down where the gold should be settled. We even dug along the bank a little outside the creek where someone else more motivated than we are has been digging where was left a small opening in the side of the hill.
We shoveled, we panned, we sluiced, and we even played a trick on my cousin’s wife. I brought along a small nugget I’d purchased a few years ago. My cousin and I conspired to place it into the pan and then exclaim to his wife that we’d found the mother lode. Of course they’ve been married a number of years and she is all too familiar with our family’s penchant for practical jokes. So although we thought our acting was Oscar-worthy, she didn’t bite, at least not enough to make all the extreme preparation worthwhile.
I did find a small nugget however it was iron ore and not gold. I’m convinced that it’s a small meteorite and I don’t want information that would prove otherwise. I don’t know that I’ve ever found a piece of iron ore before so it was cool to know that at the very least I’d worked the sluice box adequately to find worthless scrap metal. As I rubbed my hand across the gravel and the lighter stones were catching the current and being swept back into the stream I noticed the little lump sitting solidly on the bottom. I thought that was odd so I put it into my pocket. The picture below is of the iron and it probably bears a little explanation. I placed the iron lump on a piece of white paper and then took a photo at close range with a flash. This is the effect I got and in my opinion heightens my case that it’s a meteorite, ne pas?