Wednesday, April 20, 2011

High Banking Gold

We spent all day yesterday high banking.  I don't think I have ever worked so hard in my whole life.  And I paid for it too boot.  They fill up this tub with dirt.  This fill consists of clumps of dirt that are almost as hard as a rock.  You have to break them up.  Then of course there are rocks, and you throw them out.  You work all this out through a drain at the bottom with water.  We did 3 tubs of them.   The last tub was hard.  I kept looking at the dirt and thinking it wasn't going down very fast.  I also kept thinking about that couple they said did 5 tubs.  I wonder if they were telling us a tale.

We started at around 10 o'clock and finished at 4.  The only breaks we took was when they clean out the sluice.
They clean everything it caught and then fill up the tub and you start all over again.  You save the sand from the sluice in a bucket and then you have to pan it for the gold.  Which Ed did the next day.  We did find some small flakes in it but I couldn't even get it to weigh on a postage scale.


I even have a battle scar where Ed hit my hand with the pick.  I was reaching to rinse off a rock.  I should have look first.


I talked to a guy who had did this the day before and asked him if he thought it was worth it.  He told me he did.  I wasn't planning on getting rich  but I thought we would get some small nuggets.  All we ended up with were some small flakes.  The day before when we were panning  Ed had found 3 small particles .  It had been so much easier than the high banking and it cost less. 

Ed says we are in training for when we go out west to pan for gold. I think we are in training on how not to get taken.  I told him I would rather go lose my money at the casino, it sure is a lot easier.

We do plan on doing some more panning but one thing for sure we will not do the high banking again.  It was an experience, but that is about all  I can say about it. 

Well life goes on, you live and learn and it gives us a story to tell.

HAPPY TRAILS  Love Ed and Lyn

Monday, April 18, 2011

Road Rage and Gold Fever

First for the road rage.

When we left Georgia and heading for South Carolina, we were having a pretty good day.  The traffic wasn't too bad.  We try to leave late enough to miss the morning traffic.  After about 1 hour Ed had to go to the bathroom.  We had passed a rest stop, he should have stopped there, but it was too late and he didn't think he could wait until the next one.  There was a rather wide paved shoulder to the road, and since we have our bathroom on board, he decides to pull over on the shoulder.  When he is ready to get back on the road, I was a little worried about oncoming traffic.  He thinks he has plenty of time, there was a semi and a car coming but he thought it was far enough back.  Well, he pulls out and within a short time the car and the truck are passing us.  For the most part, truckers don't like Rv's.  I think they think we go to slow, and now that gas has gone up so much, Ed is really driving slow.  Well anyways, the trucker honks his horn, and Ed honks back.  I am sure  that was a mistake.  The next thing we know, the truck is coming over in our lane.  If  Ed hadn't swerved over, I think we might have collided.  So the truck passes us and speeds up.  By then, Ed decides to get his license # and call the police.  I didn't think it would have done any good but I thought if it was a company truck, we could report him.  I think the driver realized we were trying to catch him because he was moving on down the road.  Ed got up to about 78 mph and decided he couldn't catch him.  He didn't want to have an accident and he also didn't want to waste his gas.  I was all for not having an accident.  I have to say I was scared.  I am glad Ed decided not to participate in further.

We spent the night in South Carolina and we are now at Forest Lake Thousand Trails.  We are in Gold Country.  Well, close to it anyways.  There are two mines about 48 miles south of us.  We were going to check out the mines on Saturday, but that is when all the tornados went through.  We made it through the storms without any damage.  But because of the storms, we decided to wait until Sunday.  We got to one of the mines called Cotton Patch about 2 o'clock.  They close at 5 so we went with 5 buckets of dirt to pan.  Here is the mine and us panning.

                                                                         This is the office.

                              This is where they keep the bucket of dirt.  We went thru 5 of them in 3 hours.
                                                                  Ed doing his thing.
                      I was looking very intently.  Also the water was cold, but eventually I did take off the gloves.

The panning goes pretty slow, you feel like you are going to lose some gold when you wash out the dirt.  They tell you the gold settles to the bottom of the pan.  Ed found the first piece.  He found the second  piece and the third.  I found a small sliver, very small.  I don't think it made it into the bottle because we don't even have it now.  I don't know if Ed's technique was better than mine or I just didn't have any to find.  The piece's are rather small (really small) but they are a start.  We are planning on doing this out west, so we have to start some place.  My sister says "why are you doing this, for fun or for the money."  I have to admit, I'm not sure.  I think I will be excited if I ever find anything.  Hey, we spent hours looking for shark teeth and they aren't worth anything.

So after we left the Cotton Patch we went 1/2 mile down the road to another mine called the Mountain Creek Gold Mine.  Sort of run by "a good old boy".  Ed liked him.  So we are going there tomorrow.  They have this big drum and the guy fills it up with a back hoe.  Then you break it down and run it through a sluice (looks like a conveyor belt.)  It catches the fine sand and any gold.  Than you have to pan that dirt and look for the gold.  It all comes down to the panning.  They are open 8 - 5.  We are going to try and make it all day.  I will tell you how we do.  The guy told us he has a couple from Pennsylvania  that come down twice a year and do this.  They are in their 80's.  So  if they can do it , we should be able to also.

 This is the second mine and this is what we will be doing tomorrow.  The drum gets filled with dirt and you run water in there and break it down.
                                             This is the office of the 2nd mine, a little more rustic
                                           The owner said he found this mining pan under 6 feet of dirt.
                                     You can't see it but there is some small grains of gold in that pan.

So actually I can't say I have gold fever yet.  Wait till I find some and I will let you know. I think it has to be bigger than what Ed found.  Tomorrow will tell.

One last thing.  I added something to the blog.  There is a place to put in your e-mail address and when I post a new blog it will let you know.  This was requested by a friend and just recently she sent me a link telling me how to do it.  So hope it works and thanks Donna. 

HAPPY TRAILS   Love Ed and Lyn

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leaving Florida

We had a great winter in Florida.  At first we weren't sure we made the right decision.  We had thought about going to Texas but since we went there last year, we wanted to go somewhere different.  We both believe we made the right decision.   The last two days we were in Orlando it was in the 90's, so I guess it was time to leave.  We took I-4 up thru Orlando and the traffic wasn't too bad.

                                                              Leaving Orlando behind

Then we took I-95 up the coast line of Florida and went thru Jacksonville.  I never realize that it was so big.  It also had some tall buildings.  It was a nice drive.

So we followed I-95 up into Georgia and that's where we spent the night and tonight.  It was a Passport America campground so it was only $16.  They have pull-thru sites, so we didn't have to disconnect the trailer which it always nice.  Last night Ed said he thought the no see-um bugs were biting him.  We took a walk tonight and every time we stopped you feel like something is biting you.  As long as you are moving you are ok, but you can't stop.  I think they are worse than mosquitoes. 

We are heading up to South Carolina tomorrow and staying at another Passport America campground, and then we are heading to the Cotton Patch Gold Mine in New London, NC.  They have a campground there and we plan on staying there at least one week.  We were going further north to a Thousands Trails campground (where we can stay for free)  but it is 49 miles from the mine.  By the time we paid for gas going back and forth we figured we might as well stay at the mine and pay the campground fees.    We were going to the Reed Gold Mine but thru a forum they said it was a tourist trap, so we have decided not to go there.  Actually they have a lot of mines in North Carolina.  We have a lot to choose from.

Well anyways, we are going to learn to pan for gold.  We will keep you posted how it goes.

HAPPY TRAILS   Love  Ed and Lyn

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A week with the "Kids"

The "Kids" (Bill, Tracy, Alicia, Vivian, Kelsi) came on Sat, April 2 and left today Sat, April 9.  It was sad to see them leave.  We had a week of non-stop going.

They got here Sat. about 4 in the afternoon.  Ed really wanted to have them experience a helicopter ride.  So around 6 we took them down to do that and then to another place to feed the gators.  Kelsi said, the helicopter ride was the best thing she had ever done.  Vivi loved feeding the gators.  We forgot to take our camera so I don't have pictures of either.

Sunday we went to a dinner show called the Arabian Knights.  It was nice, but I thought it was going to be a play.  It was more like a horse show.  But I think everyone enjoyed it.  There was a pre-show.  I think Ed and Bill enjoyed it.

After the show we went over to a small carnival that had a ride called the sling shot.  The thing shoots you straight up in the air.  Alicia and Kelsi rode it first, then Bill and Vivi.  Alicia did a lot of screaming, but they all loved it.  They each got a T-shirt and a video of their ride.

Monday we went to Universal Studios all day.  The crowds weren't too bad and the weather was great.  We got the girls park hopper tickets so they also went over to Islands of Adventure.  I had heard they had more roller coasters over there.  Anyway, they were able to enjoy both parks.  I think one was enough for the rest of  us.

                                                                I think Vivi was done

Tuesday we had rain and the temp. dropped.  We sat around in the morning and later in the day went to Wonder Works.  It's a "indoor amusement park for the mind".  It's an interactive exhibits for everyone.  Since the weather was bad, we needed and indoor activity.   The place was packed.  I guess everyone had the same idea as us. 

                                                         Ed lying on a bed of nails.

Bill and Ed had reservations for a fishing trip on Wednesday on the Canaveral Star at Cape Canaveral which was about 1 1/2 hours away.  They left at 5:30 that morning.  They didn't really catch anything big and what they caught was out of season and they had to throw it back.  Bill loved it and Ed ended up sleeping on the boat about 3 hours.  He could have done that at home.  The girls went shopping.

Bill thought he had "Jaws" but he only had hooked the bottom of the sea.  He had everyone excited

                                                                The biggest fish caught all day

                                                               The smallest one caught. 

We were going to do Daytona Beach on Thursday and a water park on Friday.  The water parks here are $50 dollars and we weren't sure we wanted to spend the money.  And we also decided we were getting tired.  Wonder Works has a rope challenge course, and because the lines were so long we didn't get to do it on Tuesday so we decided to go back and do it.  Than we took the girls to go ride go-karts.  Ed and Bill stayed home.  They both had a little too much fun in the sun the day before.

                 I actually did this one.  Ed was surprised.  We were up about 20 feet in the air.  It was exciting
Friday we went to Daytona Beach.  It was a little bit of a ride.  Ninety miles away.  On the way there we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast.  After we left, we got on the toll road and when we get ready to pay the toll Tracy realizes she left her bag back at McDonalds.  What a stressful moment.  We call Bill, he is in the other car ahead of us and tell him to go on and we turn around to go back.  Well the toll road isn't a easy on, easy off road like in Indiana.  We got off, but there is no getting on the other side.  But we had our GPS, called Alice, with us.  I remembered there was a Target behind the McDonalds, and we had been on hwy 50.  I was able to put this in and Alice took us a round about way, but got us there.  Someone had turned in the bag (thank you Lord).  We got it and got back on the road.  We only lost a little over 1/2 hour.  Bill and the girls (they had been in the car with him) went on to Daytona Race track and were able to see it while waiting for us.  The beach was beautiful and we all got a little bit of a sunburn.

During this week the girls have also enjoyed the pool and played shuffleboard and one day we played miniature golf.  They have a real nice coarse here in the park.  Tracy found out she really likes shuffleboard, is she getting old or what?  lol  She was hoping to get home last night to play one more time but we didn't make it. 

All in all, we had a wonderful week and I am really going to miss them.

HAPPY TRAILS     Love  Ed and Lyn