Prospecting For Gold is a Really Tough Business…


Johnny Horton’s Sam Magee (nice gold mining song…where the guy dies in the end ’cause that’s the way it goes when you’re looking for gold

Johnny Horton\’s \”Sam Magee\”

A few weekends ago Dan and I learned from first hand experience that prospecting for gold is really hard work. Apparently, New Mexico was at one point one of the seven more lucrative gold mining states in the nation- abundant in both gold in the mountains and supposedly in gold just scattered around the desert…hence the idea of desert prospecting. Anyway, as I already said, prospecting is a dirty dirty business. We climbed down into a secret canyon in an undisclosed part of Placitas and filled up six buckets of sediment. After this, we hauled them up out of the canyon one by one and threw them in the back of my jeep where we went back to Dan’s house. We started to BBQ and put off the panning part of the operation until the next morning…but sure enough, after breakfast the following morning…the panning operation began. I’ve never experienced such tedious work in my life. You’re basically looking for something one billion times smaller than a needle in a haystack…and you’re fortunate enough to spot a sparkle of gold in your pile of wet dirt and rocks, you can pluck it out with some tweezers.

Fortunately Dan invented a machine to make the panning process easier. The machine sifts the sediment into a very fine sediment…so the final part of this adventure is yet to unfold. All I know is that gold is around $1400.00 an ounce and this desert gold is supposed to be purer and better than other gold- and therefore worth more ounce per ounce than non-desert gold. How do I know this? Well the internet said it’s true!

There’s no damn glory in looking for gold (look up Robert Service and “The Cremation of Sam McGee”)- or just watch the more melodic “Stompin'” Tom Connors version.




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