Panning for Gold

July 5, 2011 1 Comment

I enjoyed Tony’s most recent post about “making hay when the sun shines”. I grew up on a dairy farm as well and had similar experiences in the Summer heat. Interestingly, while some farmers might have hoped for warm dry weather this past weekend, I was hoping for some rain. Instead of making hay, I was out watering the garden. One of our larger garden plots is out in the country with no irrigation system and no water hose long enough to reach the it, therefore, we have to haul the water in jugs and it is a decent amount of exercise.

I engaged in another “old time” activity this past weekend. Something that became quite famous during the 1800s in America, and is still practiced a bit today – panning for gold. Instead of buying a few shares of GLD, my wife and I took a trip down the river in our canoe and stopped at a couple of spots to see if we could find any of the real shiny stuff. We chose an area that is under active investigation by mining companies and known to have at least low grade ore. The odds of finding anything in Northcentral Wisconsin are pretty slim, but it was a fun time out on the water, soaking up some sun, and seeing if we could find any treasure. Just like making hay, panning depends on the weather to at least a small extent. Without any sunshine it is much tougher to see shiny metals that might be in the river. Thankfully, it was a nice sunny day. We didn’t find any easily identifiable gold or silver but we did find some interesting small rocks with some sort-of shiny ore. One thing I found interesting is that there are a great variety of rocks/stones in rivers around here. While fishing or boating, you tend to pass over the rocks without noticing the differences. Panning the stream bed focuses your attention on the smaller pieces of material that are hard to find otherwise. We found it is easier to discover old human-made “treasures” in the river than natural ones like gold and silver.

Have a good Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.

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  1. Gold Panning says:

    We still do quite a bit of gold panning here in Colorado. If you’re ever in the Colorado Springs area, stop by Sunny Mountain Prospectors for gold panning suppliers.

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