We didn’t have any weekend plans, so yesterday we spontaneously decided to take a drive out through the gold fields – back on Bonanza, Quartz Creek, Sulphur, Eureka, Dominion, and Hunker Roads.
For the last couple of weeks, we’ve had beautiful sunny days, with blue skies. During the day the thunder clouds start building and by supper time, we’ll have a quick rain. A couple of times these storms turned into little monsoons! On Thursday it was building for hours with lots of rumbling, and then it dumped marble sized hail on us. My tomato plants don’t seem very impressed. After each storm the temperature drops about 10 degrees.
If you aren’t familiar with the placer gold mining we have around here, gold is found in the dirt and gravels from ancient river beds. It can range from small nuggets to flakes and almost flour like little specs. Anyone can stake a claim and find gold by using a gold pan, but most miners do it on a bigger scale using heavy equipment, big wash plants or trommels, and gigantic sluices to separate the gold from the rocks and dirt. Separating the gold relies on the fact that gold is 19 times heavier than water, so they try to catch the gold in riffels and mats while washing away the dirt.
We have pretty wildflowers growing in the most unlikely places, like on the road.
Because gold mining is so reliant on water for separating the dirt from the gold, active mines usually have access to a creek for water, and then may build a reservoir pond to hold water for them to reuse, and often will have a series of settling ponds so the water is clean when it is released back into the river (rather than muddy).
The tin on some of the roof and garage walls was just flattened tin containers. Inside they used flattened cardboard boxes for wall boards and insulation.