A new gold rush is on, sparked by California’s post-drought snowmelt
A new gold rush is on, sparked by California’s post-drought snowmelt.
Some cut into sand bars with their shovels; others adjust their sluices half in and out of the flowing water.
A few have begun swirling mud in their gold pans.
Late afternoon, after nearly an hour in the water, Guardiola totes two five-gallon buckets up from the creek.
Guardiola, 52, purchased the right to mine these 20 acres in 2001.
A stream — Grizzly Creek — cut through the property, which already had two mines on it, always a good sign.
A stack of $100 bills lies on top of the zippered baggies and black-lid vials filled with gold: crystalline gold, leaf gold, placer gold, lode gold and gold dust, fine as sand.
But when the ban on dredging was passed, his income dropped to $25,000, and Poe started the American Mining Rights Assn.
“That’s what we call yum-yums,” he says, imagining the gold beneath them.
“Mother Nature did what we would normally do with a shovel,” says Poe.