For this weeks Show Us Your California contest by @socalsteemit I'm going to share some photos from a short gold prospecting trip to the

East Fork!!

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My cousin came to visit me from Northern California and he wanted to go backpacking so I decided to take him up to the East Fork of the San Gabriel river! I showed him around the first 5 miles of the trail, showed him a bit about prospecting and running a sluice box, and introduced him to some of the other prospectors in the canyon.


Pup getting a drink at first crossing


Running the sluice box


The East Fork San Gabriel river


Digging into a high bank

We spent our first night by the "whore house ruins". Which is one of the few remaining remnants of all the old timer miners that once occupied the canyon. We did a little digging there, but didn't find much. So the next day we moved up to around 3.5 mile and we spent our second night hanging out with a few of the regular prospectors Jay, Savage, and Thomas. We only found a little bit of gold, but it was a lot of fun. And honestly it was really great just to get out in the mountains and spend some quality time with my cuz!!


Some of the whore house ruins


Running the sluice box at 3.5 mile


Camping at 3.5 mile


Our camp


Views from camp


The hole

Looking at that last photo you might be wondering "why did you pick that spot?". There are many reasons... but mostly just because it's close to where we were camping. It is a pretty good spot for many reasons though. First is that it's an area on the river widely known for a good layer of flood gold in the alluvial deposits which means better gold without the need to hit bedrock. It's also on the inside of a big wide bend on the river. Gold drops out on inside bends. And look at those big boulders. A wise prospector once told me "you don't find big gold under small rocks". Bigger rocks means the river was seriously raging when it deposited this material which means it was really moving the gold. And even more specifically look at that huge white boulder that is sitting on the upstream side. When the flood is happening that big boulder will create a low pressure area just below it that will cause the gold to drop out. The upstream side of a boulder can also create a low pressure area, but it's usually much smaller than the downstream side. And the white boulders like that often seem to not get smoothed out as much as other boulders which gives them lots of nice ridges and crevices that can catch the gold better then the smoother rounded boulders.


So even though I only ended up running a couple dozen buckets of material we did still get some gold!!

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks glimpse into

My California!


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all photos by @derekrichardson

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