My journey here… 5

As you may have found yourself, prospectors often ask each other when they got ‘the fever’. For me it came when I was a kid reading National Geographic magazine stories about gold prospecting in Australia, Africa, etc. I was fascinated and used to dig pretend mines in my front yard (before my parents planted grass of course!).

Things got a little more serious when I moved to Colorado in May of 1989 and went to “Digger’s Old-Timer” run by Digger and Diana Cummings. This, now long gone, place in North Clear Creek Canyon just west of Denver welcomed about 5,000 tourists and locals each summer who wanted to learn to pan. You could also buy a bucket of paydirt dug out of a hillside gravel deposit to pan out. By the time my (very) patient wife and I left that day, I had a few flakes of wild gold caught in my vial and a couple gold pans of my own. Of course back then it was pretty tough to find information on where you could dig. As you’ll learn here in future posts, it’s much easier now!

Six or seven years ago my wife said something like “with the kids out of the house, you need to find some hobbies!”. My response was that I already had hobbies, I just wasn’t doing them. And so, I ramped back up on gold prospecting and home brewing beer. Since Father’s Day 2011, I’ve been out prospecting multiple times every month around the calendar. Matching that with a desire to see the whole state of Colorado, I got sucked into doing extensive research on places to dig and gold tourism sites around the state. All of that led to this site and my plans to write a book.

By the way, today if you drive up Clear Creek Canyon toward Central City & Blackhawk, you’ll drive past the waste water treatment plant for those towns. Sadly that’s what sits where The Oldtimer’s was back in the day. However, there’s good news: a bit further along you’ll come to a similar place where you can learn to pan and even dig in the creek yourself. If you stop at Vic’s Gold Panning, be sure to say hi from me! Give Jesse a ring at 303-582-0710 to make plans to stop by 🙂

On the way up the canyon, as you enjoy the amazing scenery and cool little tunnels, you are also driving right past some good spots to dig! I’ll talk more about that another time…

Meanwhile, how did you catch the fever?

Photo note: My gold production from an hour or so in a honey hole in metro Denver. Follow this blog to learn (almost) all my secrets 😉

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About KevinInColorado

I'm an avid, casual gold prospector. Resident of Summit County, Colorado. Aspiring author, working on a book also called Finding Gold in Colorado (tm). - You can also join the Facebook group 'Finding Gold in Colorado' to get Colorado gold prospecting and mining news. - PLEASE HELP ME MAKE THE SITE BETTER: If you find a typo or dead web link, please, please drop me a line about it or just post a comment. I WILL FIX IT!!

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5 thoughts on “My journey here…

  • prospectorjack

    I must say on your photo note, that is a lot of gold for an hours worth of work, I would call that good for a days worth of work. That is a nice honey hole.

    To answer your question about how I caught the fever, my grandmother was a prospector and rock hound, my grandfather was an all around outdoorsman. In the summer of 1969, I was 4 years old, my grandparents brought me and my family on a gold prospecting trip to Maine, they knew a lot of cool rustic places to stay usually a rustic cabin, some time with electric. They knew this old prospector/ miner who lived up in the woods by the river at the time he was in his 80’s and had been there since his 40’s. We went to visit him, although I was only 4 years old it was a lasting impression. As a kid we would go on prospecting trips with my grandparents. When I was 10 we moved away from New England so as a teen I didn’t do any prospecting any more. Just talked with my grandmother about it. Before my grandmother passed away she gave me her rock collection and here prospecting equipment. It would be some years before I put it to use. Lets just say I went down to Georgia on a prospecting trip, started getting gold and that was it I had the fever.

    • kevininco Post author

      Wow great story…you sure have me beat on starting early! Neat to have it run in the family. I bet your grandparents got great joy from that time together. I hope you find the same opportunities in your turn!

      On the photo, yes that was definitely a thrilling result. We all wish every day was like that. The cool part is, that honey hole is (I should was WAS since I cleaned it out!) in metro-Denver a few miles from my home in the south suburbs!

      …thanks for sharing your story in a comment!

  • Dave

    I started with a western trip with my family back about 1965. We stopped at Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. You could pan for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm (salted). I got a vial with gold and a small gold pan. Ever since then I wanted to pan for gold. My first real chance was when I moved to Colorado in 1982. Within a year, I was in creeks and rivers looking for gold. I knew there was no gold in Monument Creek, but we were close, so I used my new gold pans to get black sand from the creek (no gold, though I was hopeful). Later I went to Cache Creek and other spots along the Ark River. Since then, if in gold country, I have been trying to get out and find some gold.