A friend had returned from a weekend away, telling stories of endless platforms of bedrock, laden with cracks and crevices and filled with gold.
As a somewhat sceptical guy, I dove straight into some obvious questions. Where? Was it public or private? Where? Can you send me a picture of your gold? And where? His answer for where? was rather protective and vague, which is a forgivable trait of any Prospector, but his story goes; He had previously scoped out somewhere to camp, using satellite software to have a relaxing weekend with loved ones and to find a moment to chase some shiny stuff. He believed the spot may be private and was prepared to ask permission, however, upon arrival he noticed other campers nearby and deduced that camping was indeed allowed. He explained that he had a wonderful weekend but only found time to prospect for a few hours on his very last day before he had to leave, and he followed this statement with a picture of his “few hours prospecting.” It was at that precise moment upon seeing his picture, that plans were set in motion to return to his “hot spot” for a weekend on the gold!
Two weeks had passed of excited delirium and before sun rise, we were finally on our way to get on the gold! Needless to say, the 3 or 4 mates that had been invited, had somehow grown to 7 or 8 haha!!! But that was fine, there would be mountains of gold to share and the group of guys coming were all top blokes. We arrived mid morning through a beautiful rainforest of lush green ferns and palms, blanketed in a milky haze of mist and continued on what seemed an endless dirt track of winding blind spots. After navigating a few bovine pedestrians, we pull into a beautiful creekside camp. It was at this stage I began to feel the onset of a migraine episode. However, fuelled with excitement I unpacked my gear and began setting up camp, masking my pain with smiles and laughter as it was like Christmas morning for all us big kids. “Maybe it will pass?” I told myself as I tried to push forward but sadly, I knew I was beaten. The old hammer had got me and I knew I was to remain at camp, lay down, medicate, hydrate etc.
Meanwhile, everyone else went off in search of treasure. I could hear them, and as I was searching for my solace, they were searching for a strike. “This crevice!” “That crevice!” “Primo pay dirt!” “Look at the gravels!” “Woohoo picker!” They were “wet’n pans and doin the dance” and I couldn’t even be jealous, which isn’t like me at all, haha! A few hours must have passed and a 4×4 rolls up, A bloke leans out the window and says; “Where’s me carton?” I was already dazed, but that question threw me a little. He continued to explain that as the land owner, he has no issue with campers, provided they adhere to the universal rules of respect etc and that campers know to leave him a carton of beer at his property letter box upon entering. I was apologetic and offered him cash but he just laughed and said “no worries, next time buddy” as he drove off with a wave.
Feeling slightly better, I decided to explore a little near camp and I spotted a small gravel drop zone, with hard pack on bedrock and with slow caution, I had a few relaxing pans and was happy with a little colour for the day. The boys returned with stories of wonder and endless potential whilst proudly displaying their golden smile pans. As the sun retreated behind the western horizon, we settled in for some campfire stories, beers, food, laughs and engaging conversations, which some believe cleanses the soul of those nasty hustle & bustle day to day stresses.
Day 2 began early as expected. Mostly all were up and out of their swags, coffee in hand and setting up game plans and strategies for the days gold extractions. I was finally back from planet migraine, so I couldn’t wait to get out there and find my fortune. As I followed the guys down a track, just 60 meters from camp the bedrock was, as described, a sight to behold. platforms of moulded humps, like huge sun baked granite muffins folded together, perfectly forming a crevice heaven. I was invited to work a large trough that adjoined a crevice already being worked by one of the guys, as he was actually seeing the gold before he could scoop and scratch it out “VG!” he’d call out, every few minutes or so, making me work and rush that little bit faster to get to that same layer. The day went like a game of “whack a mole” heads would pop up randomly saying “woohoo!” “VG baby!” or “on the gold!” Several hours passed and we were all yearning for “beer-o-clock” to arrive and with sore backs and aching bodies, we headed back to camp to share our daily success.
The second nights events were a lot like the first, but with several more drinks involved around the campfire and OMG!!! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life. The guys were seriously on point from what I can remember. In wrapping up, that brilliant weekend “on the gold” totally blew my mind with how much a gold rich crevice can really produce. The beautiful country, camping, building mateship around the campfire and the addictive pursuit of this “grown ups treasure hunt” is a magical adventure that I will never tire of or will I never EVER! forget!
– Dan Almond (Qld)