By Charles Watson

John sat on his porch and packed his pipe with the last bit of his tobacco. His dog came over and nuzzled his nose under his arm, and John gave him a big hug. John gazed over the valley below that held his mining claim. It was warm autumn evening and the light was diming fast, shadows were growing longer, and morning temperatures were getting colder. The mining season was coming to a close.

John nuzzled his dog back and thought about the gold he foud that day. He hit a good pay-streak that the old guys missed. A seam, a layer, sedimentary horizon that just sparkled with gold. The bedrock was littered with flakes, pickers and chunks. There were these two wide cracks in perfectly smooth bedrock that acted like pockets on a pool table collecting the gold as it tumbled by.

John looked at the pan next to him and picked up several pickers of gold. A big smile crossed his face as he twisted his fingers back and forth and let the grains fall back in the pan. He smiled, lit his pipe and hugged his dog again. Another good day, he thought, another good day. Tomorrow he is off to the market to sell the gold and buy one last round of supplies, especially more tobacco. John was stuck in an intense, high- paced job and decided he needed a change. He wanted to do something different.

John did some detailed research and found some good spots that had potential, scoped out the properties, did some testing, picked one and now he is a gold miner. He’s happier, calmer and carries a smile around with him much more often. His dog loves the spot too.

There are excellent mining claims still out there and you can be just like John. It is hard work and you will get dirty and wet, and you will break a nail or two. But first you must do the research, study the literature and test the properties before committing. Eventually, you will find the right spot that suits your needs. Get some mining equipment and some camping gear, and get your rear end in the truck and get out there!

There is no question there is still a lot of gold in them thar hills. You just have to go get it. Now is the right time to start! Yeah, right now! Autumn is here and you’ve got all winter to get your act together. You’d better be ready by springtime because it will be one of the best and busiest mining seasons we’ve have ever had! Suction dredge mining is back!!

Gold mining is not a new thing. It is something in our blood – something that we feel is right. Today’s miners are smarter than ever before. They have better tools to recover the precious metal and the wisdom to work with Mother Nature. Today’s miners are responsible citizens and reclamation is part of their mining process.

It is a thrill to find your first gold speck, flake or nugget. Once you do, you will be hooked forever. It is fun for the whole family and who knows, maybe, just maybe, if you are a wee bit lucky… you too, will jump for joy, click your heels, and shout “Eureka! I found it!”