Sightseeing Gold on Vacation

We decided to travel rather than fly somewhere as security at airports is now a hassle, my wife hates boats so cruises are out, so the car was our chosen means of travel. We have a big luxury car and the fuel mileage is over 23 miles per gallon and is really comfortable on long drives. We have several relatives in Louisiana and we decided to head there from Nev Iork and make as many stops as we wanted. No schedule, no meeting, no flight schedule just drive until we are tired and then choose a sightseeing spot.

We left home early Tuesday morning, late June, and headed west across Pennsylvania on Route 84. This has to be the most boring road trip on Earth. Mileage and miles of concrete, except trees. I love trees, but after six hours or looking at them, they can get pretty boring. Turning south on Route 81, the landscape began to change for the better. Different trees, mountain scenery and less traffic made the ride so much better. Before taking our trip, we explored the locations of every gold mine we could find in the southern and southeastern states. There is so much more than you would think. North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have many places to visit. Many places have gem and stone excavation sites where you can pay for your own dirt or make them do it for you. You can then sit down to flush the gems out of the dirt.

Panning seems so easy, but in fact it should be practiced over and over again to learn how to do it properly. The pots are made of both metal and plastic, with some having more reefs or rifles than others, but whichever type fits your taste and budget is fine. Forts collect a small amount of dirt in the pan and then spray some clean water into the pan. Both hands turn the pan in a circular motion to mix water and dirt and spill it inside the pan. You can then select any large stones other than gold or other collector stones (opal, emerald, etc.) and then proceed to rotate the material in the pan. As you work, larger materials will separate and can be flushed out of the pan with more clean water.

Always be careful not to wash the sand of the flank which is the best indicator of the existence of gold. Little by little, you will eliminate everything from the pan, except for larger pieces of gold (hopefully) called clinkers, pickers, and so on, and black sand containing smaller pieces of gold. Very carefully twist the black sand with a little water, and golden flakes or floral gold will separate from the sand as it is heavier and will fall to the bottom of the pan. The sand will end up on the side of the pan and the gold on the other side. Using a sniffer bottle with a small end tip, you carefully suck the floral gold into the bottle. Then again carefully pour the contents of the bottle into the muzzle or bottle. Gold will settle to the bottom, along with any sand that you accidentally vacuumed. Once you have a large mixture of gold and sand, you can re-store it if there is excessive sand, or take it to your gemologist or treatment and weighing office. If you have a postal scale, find something that weighs just one ounce. See how small and light it is? One ounce of gold is currently worth about $ 1400. If it takes a lot of effort to collect an ounce of flower gold, but one or two "pickers" can quickly gain weight.

You can find them while panettes, opals, grenades, emeralds, tourmaline and many other precious and semiprecious stones. We have one emerald cluster that weighs over a pound. I found it at the Emerald Hollow mine in Hiddenite, North Carolina. The other day we will go to a gemologist to clean and cut some stones for us. Many other stones we found were made in bracelets or necklaces and are now in memory. Smokei Kuartz, Iell's Citrine, Akuamarines and sapphire can be found at most mine sites in the area.

The best mining for me was just gold. Yes, really yellow gold. Nuggets, flakes and floral gold are the excitement you'll find in your pan. A gold digging tank costs about $ 15, and all you need is a small bottle and sniffer bottle to take the floral gold and preserve all the gold you find. The first piece you find is a real hit and then you want to find more and more, and more. You will quickly see why many people became hooked on the pursuit of gold. One of the best places we visited was Delonga, Georgia. Listed as a gold digging area, there is a large museum in the center of the city that has a football-sized gold nugget. in fact, Delonga, Georgia, was a gold zone in Russia before 1848 was gold in California. They claim that there are another million dollars of gold left in Delongi and I was able to find some before I left. If you are lucky enough to go there, there are plenty of places to go mine or just sit in a listening way and review what they are digging for you. We spent a few nice pleasant hours collecting our loot, and even if you don't turn it into jewelry later, just looking at the stones will bring back fond memories. Make sure you carry your camera with you. There is a fantastic shop across the beach at the corner of the museum and I can't remember her name for a lifetime, but they have a huge selection of memorabilia and other great antiques. I bought Octagon soaps that I haven’t seen in fifty years. Plan to spend at least an entire day in and around Delonge.

Make sure you wear old, non-dirty clothing and safe comfortable shoes. We found the local hotels more than comfortable and affordable. Every day we would search the internet to find the closest location to the mine and go there. We saw some of the most beautiful, end of hiking landscapes, small towns and mountain views you can imagine. Each mine site offered something a little different. Some were smooth operations that we were not quite sure did not "salinize" the earth, others that had paved roads, old wooden benches and an old timer ready to talk about their adventures with gold. We got some gold on just about every one, and the fee was about the same at $ 10 for a full bucket of five gallon dirt. It takes time for that amount of dirt to drain so you don’t go crazy and buy a fifty-five gallon drum right away.

It would take you eight hours to clear so much land. If you could keep your hands in the freezing cold water of a mountain stream for so long. During the three-week trip, we visited over twenty gold deposits. Like I said, some good, some bad, but it was all an adventure. I remove two small bottles from the jewelry box from time to time just to look at my raw gold. We also did the "Nokville honki tonk" scene, Lurai Caverns in Lurai, VA and The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N. Carolina. The gardens and grounds at Biltmore are stunning and well worth the trip. Not having a set schedule every day made the trip very enjoyable. We stayed in Nashville for an extra day to sightsee, then to Memphis, to see Elvis, and then to Tunica, Mississippi to try our luck at their casinos. (My wife returned all our money back). We're planning a trip to Murfreesboro, TN this summer, at Crater of Diamonds State Park to mine for diamonds. We have no idea where we will end up, but you can be sure we will see more great things America has to offer and be our little stimulus package as we travel.

Pete Ackerson