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GhostMiner

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  1. JULY 21 1936 The morning air was cool but not cold which meant we were in for more heat today. The weigh gave us our fuel for digging with 5 more ounces shining in the pan. After a good breakfast we went up to start digging before the heat settled in. By noon it was nearly 100. We paused for a quick lunch break and resumed the battle with the gravels. The rounded channel rock was becoming more plentiful as we got deeper. We were used to seeing this and it meant more gold to us. That gave us the energy to swing the pick and shovel the gravels. The buckets always seemed heavier in the later part of the day. The smell of pine is heavy in this heat and the sap runs like the devil. If you make the mistake of leaning against it on a tree trunk you nearly become glued to it. Late in the day Jacob hollered over for me to take a look at something. He had hit on a large boulder. The three of us grabbed bars and began to pry. As we got it to move we wedged a timber for support and kept working it out of it’s resting place. After about an hour of hard labor we had moved it a good three feet. I grabbed an empty bucket and scooped some gravel from where it had laid. I took it up to the tub and we all three of us grabbed some pans and worked it. In a few minutes we began to see our treasure. All three pans were full of heavy course gold. We were drenched in sweat and so tired we could hardly talk but we just stood there and laughed. After a short break we went back to prying the boulder another couple of feet away until all was clear. We dug out the gravels another three feet and encountered country rock. The slab was raised in that area and we cut across it with our shovels keeping the buckets separate from the other gravels in the trench. It was nearly dark when we finished up the raised country area and took 89 buckets out of it. From the other gravels we had 145 buckets. John processed them separately and we will see what we get out of them tomorrow at the weigh but I think it will be a good payday. TO BE CONTINUED .....................
  2. JULY 20 1936 Yesterday’s dig got us much lower in the gravels and the results were good. We had 3 ounces in the pan. There seems to be very rich pockets remaining in the fault line. I don’t know how many there are but we will keep exploring and digging. There is always the hope of finding another kettle. We didn’t see any new groups of prospectors this morning. Maybe the rush is slowing. John said they will probably all be robbed by the roaming gang of thugs and if they stake a claim will be forced into the co operative. We all know by now that mining here is a dirty and dangerous game. The more gold we mine and the longer we are here the more the risk builds for us. None of us want to leave our mine and if pushed we will fight to keep it. We can’t rely on the law dogs to protect our interests and must take care of ourselves. At the new trench we are down about 6 feet and there is no country showing. Hopefully this holds up for us and we get another pot. We set ourselves a ramp of gravels and flat stone to walk out the buckets. The ground is clear and we are able to get the truck close. We took an afternoon break in the shade with the thermometer kept at the trench showing 109. I rolled a Burley and sat on a log with the crew. We were all feeling the work. We take salt pills and drink gallons of water. It is too hot to eat much during the day. When we finished up near dusk we had another good bucket count of 310. Down at camp we unloaded the truck and helped John finish up. We cleaned up in the cool creek and warmed up beans and bacon with hot water corn bread. The crew drank some of the cool Lucky’s and I poured a big cup of whiskey and rolled a Burley. The work felt good for my soul and I was both exhausted and happy. After my first cup the soreness in my body started to fade. By the end of the second it was gone. John took the first watch and I stared into the night sky for a spell and retired to my tent. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
  3. Thanks for the info. I think LIDAR can be layed on the ground as well? Yes. all very expensive. That's why the saying : What's the best way to make a million dollars in gold mining? Start with 2 million.
  4. When Jed started the mining operation he said the truck could only haul 20 buckets at a time due ro poor springs. That makes me think the buckets weren't completely full.A 5 gal bucket full of gravel weighs 60 - 70 lbs. So 1200 - 1400 lbs for 20 full buckets. Or the buckets were smaller than 5 gallon. They rotated rhe empties back up to the dig area. The pay gravels were dumped in some kind of large container if they ran out of buckets. I'm guessing they had 50 - 100 of them but he never mentioned that in the journal.
  5. JULY 19 1936 There was only one ounce in the pan and we were all somewhat disappointed. We have all become spoiled from working the rich ground. I do think as we get deeper we may get better results although there is no telling how deep the pay channel goes in that location. At breakfast we saw more groups of prospectors trudging up the mountain to find the big strike. It appears there is a gold rush taking the mountain in full force. Thankfully the target area is 4 miles higher up the creek from us. I think that as the new prospectors find poor results they will work their way lower and eventually get close to our claims. They are fully devoured by the fever and there is no telling what any of these people will do in their pursuit of gold. I wish them good luck but the odds are most likely against them. There will be fights over staking of claims for sure if there is rich ground still to be had. Up at our new dig site we threw ourselves into the labor head on and with a vengeance. The gravels were flying into buckets and the picks were clanging against rock. The weather was hot in the afternoon as it had been for some time with temperatures over 100. The whiskey pours out of me in the morning and is replaced by gallons of water in the afternoon. I have grown used to the daily routine that is akin to prison labor although we are all mightily paid. There is little talk with the exception of cursing when rock slows the shovel. Breaks are taken on an hourly basis in this heat and shade is quickly sought out. Today’s dig was worked without incident and with brutal force that ended at dusk with a record 340 buckets. TO BE CONTINUED ......................
  6. I will look at this information and thank you so much for taking the time tp post this info.
  7. JULY 18 1936 We ended up with another ounce from the last of the trench gravels. We sat around at breakfast and talked about everything that had taken place recently and tried to figure up a new plan to mine. I told everyone we will just go back to basics and start prospecting the fault line again. I told them we are getting good gold for our efforts and don’t be discouraged. We were still all talking at camp when we noticed a large group of prospectors heading up the creek & right behind them another group. They were all dressed in new clothing and packing heavy gear. I hollered out to them and we started walking over in their direction. They said someone at the tavern had talked about making a big strike about 4 miles up the creek high on the mountain. He said there were nuggets found the size of gold eagles. The word had spread all over town. There were more prospectors on the way out to the mountain besides them. I told them what was going on and to be careful. I also told them it sounded kind of odd that someone who had discovered a big deposit would be in town bragging about it at the tavern. They listened to what I said but I could tell they all had a bad case of the fever. After they left we all shook our heads. We doubted there was any big gold strike like they said but more likely some drunken prospector shootin off his mouth in town. Now we had to worry about more strangers with gold fever roaming the mountain. Will stayed at camp to guard our goods and the rest of us went up to the dig area to try to find gold. We walked south of the mined out trench about 100 feet where I saw a likely place to test. It looked like the old boys had worked there at one time but there appeared to be virgin gravels remaining. I dug down about two feet and we took some quarter buckets up to the tub to pan. We had some real nice color and chunky gold in the pans which was enough to make me want to work it. I don’t know how much is there but we gave it a go. John dug with us until we loaded up 20 buckets on the truck and he drove them down to the creek and Will came back up with the truck. It was real easy digging and some nice small rounded channel rock. The day ended with 265 buckets. We’ll see what tomorrow’s weigh tells us about this spot. TO BE CONTINUED ................................
  8. I should also add that I found a large kettle at the souther end of the faultline about 1500 ft south of Jed's mine works. This was actually at the top of the fault and maybe 60 - 70 ft above the bottom. It was about 100 ft X 75 ft and 25 ft deep. It was very obvious and looked like it had been mines or partially mined but not sure if bedrock was found. When I discovered this it was by accident and I was alone and getting ready to leave the area for home. I had little time but getting in there was tough and getting back out even tougher. I found it by walking the ridge of the fault down there which is very remote. I had been following fresh bear tracks as well. It made me a little nervous as I had forgot my bear spray and my gun was locked in my truck far away. I know - stupid of me. Anyway, when I was making a decision to go in out popped a very large black bear higher up the game trail on top the ridge maybe 50 yards from me. I decided not to go in there because I wasn't sure what that bear would do. That is the first place I want to explore and test gravels at. I think carrying a small 12 V puffer drywasher up there would work well in the dry summer. No water anywhere near it.
  9. Where the best gold seems to be found along the faultline are either in the kettles (pot holes) or on areas of raised bedrock that came near the surface at the time the fault occured. These raise areas could be just below the surface or as much as 40 - 50 ft deep from our understanding. When you find one there is concentrated gold that is much richer than the normal historic pay layers which average about 50 - 100 yards to the ounce. The rich areas can be ounces to the cubic yard. We found a few but there was not much gravel in them. The hope is to find a good one that could provide many cubic yards of rich pay. Now we are talking about 2000 linear ft of exploration as well.
  10. Do you know how expensive this process is? We have reords done that way for the tailings piles on the sides of the mountain. They are mapped out. Some are 100 ft deep. In some areas like the faultline there are few or shallow depth.
  11. The crew had a great leader with a plan & there was no quit in them. They mined out gold the old boys missed in the 1800's. And they missed a lot.
  12. Another side note on the oldtimer who frequented the bar in town back in the 1960's : I was trying to recall my conversation with him and what I could put on here as far as information & maybe I can put more info in the book that's coming. He said he was in his 20's back then and I met him in 2013. He passed away since. This oldtimer who I won't name told me there used to be a lot of old guys in the bar back in the 1960's who talked about Jed's crew and the big gold strike on the mountain. Some of them remembered the mine co operative and recalled hearing about multiple shootouts up there. They also told him there were a lot of thugs in the area back then. The part of his story that interested me the most was this - there was an old guy that told him he was a prospector back in the 1930's and had gone up the creek with a few other prospectors and recalled meeting 4 people mining in the location of our claims and maps. He said they had actually talked with them about gold and where some hot spots might be located. He remembered 2 younger guys in their 20's & 2 guys in their mid 30's or early 40's. He recalled that when they met them they all had guns at the ready and it scared the hell out of the prospectors because they thought they might get shot for asking about gold. He said the guy told him they were a rough looking crew and wouldn't want to mess with them but also said they were friendly enough once they started talking with them and saw they weren't a threat. Another fascinating thing he told me was that he had talked with the son of the barkeeper who used to work there back in the 1930's and help clean the place & haul shipments. He told him about a big brawl that took place between a couple of miners and a logging crew. There were 2 miners and 5 loggers. The fight started over a couple of woman who were girlfriends of 2 of the loggers but the gals were paying a lot of attention to the miners. Somehow punches started flying and they were all going at it and the bar got all busted up. I'm thinking that must have been the fight Jed talked about in the journal. The barkeeper's son told him the mine boss came in late that night and paid them for the damages and wasn't in a very good mood. That's about all I can remember about that conversation with him back in 2013.
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