Gene and Val - GPAA Outing, Loud Mine, GA., 2011.
Early this June Gene and Val headed off to the GPAA Outing at Loud Mine, GA. Here's a summary of their adventure.
It all started when I sat down to plan our vacation for this year. I had some information about a common operation being held at a Gold Mine in Georgia and I thought, wow that would be cool. To spend a week learning to mine for gold, using sluices, highbankers, gold pans and classifiers. The good thing is that I could keep some of the gold.
My wife loves me dearly, but I knew better than to say to her that I wanted to spend our vacation digging in the dirt in Georgia. I realized that I needed to get her interested in the project.
I sent off for some material with a little gold in it, two gold pans and DVD about how to pan for gold. When the shipment arrived, I got a large plastic tub to pan the material into and set it up in our back yard. After watching the DVD we went to the back yard and started to pan the material. After she found a couple of pickers she started to get excited and by the time we had finished the rest of the material, she was coming down with a case of gold fever. Later that night I showed her the literature about the common operation at the mine and she agreed to go there on vacation.
We have a camper and we were going to stay in it during the trip. I didn't know if the truck was going to be able to pull it with all the stuff she was loading in it. We arrive at the Gold and Gem Grubbing campground on Sunday, 06/05 and set up camp. Monday, we went sightseeing. Tuesday, we went gold and gem grubbing at the camp site location in the creek. They had a pile of material there that came from the open pit mine. The Val found five good gemstones that could be made into jewelry and I sluiced up a couple of small picker sized pieces of gold.
Wednesday, 06/08, we checked into Loud Mine at 8:00 AM along with the other people that were in the common operation. The general rules were explained and by 9:00 AM we walked down to the creek.
Loud Mine - Panning and Sluicng at the stream.
Our trusty Camper.
Val working some material.
We were taught to operate a High banker and started to run the equipment. Val elected to operate the spray hose; she didn't know that was the dirty job. After that I called her my little muddy buddy. At the end of our four hours we cleaned up the unit and the watched the gold being panned from our material.
Gene and Val at the highbankers.
Several of the highbankers set up this outing.
Thursday, repeat of Wednesday, except that Val got arrested and put in jail at the clubhouse. She was charged with not wetting enough crew members with the hose. It cost me six dollars' to bail her out. The next time she'll wet them all.
On! No! Let me outta here...
Val cleaning up some concentrates.
Friday, We operated the High Banker for the last time for four hours. That evening we toured an underground mine at Consolidated Mines. I bought Val a pair of gold nugget earrings.
Saturday, We sluiced for gold at the Loud mine till noon and then returned to the campground and panned up some material that I had been collecting. We got the camper ready for the road. Val went to take a shower and when she stepped into the shower one of three crickets landed on her toe, I think she woke up the whole campground.
Sunday, They had an auction with a lot of items up for bid. They next held a miner's court and arrested the sheriff on the charge that he didn't look clean enough on the job. The gold distribution was next. Everyone lined up and drew a number out of a bucket and the cup of gold with that number you got to keep. There were over two hundred and sixty people there.
All good things must come to an end; we said our good buys hit the road for Tampa.
Members lined up for the gold draw.
Best part is all the new friends. And thanks to Travis Christner (red shirt) for his training, and allowing us the use of his Honcoop highbanker.