Stories I have written

A paystreak to remember

Adventures of a neophyte dredger at Slate Creek

Panner searches for gold

An encounter with the big cat

Prospecting trip to Little Secret

Boating prospect trip

Hiking with Wilson

An encounter with the big cat


It began as a usual hiking and prospecting day with Dale who came up from Yankee Jim's on the north fork of the American River. We had made the same trip several times before with the Goldhounds and on our own. As usual we decided to go further than before; that must be where the big gold waits. Our destination was above Indian Creek. I began sniping and Dale was crevassing on shore. Late in the day with the wet suit off, I began to get my gear together to find Dale down stream. I put all of the day's findings in a pan to put in the bottle to show to Dale.

I took one last glance upstream. I needed to remember that the big gold must be there since I hadn't found it that day. About 150 feet upstream I caught a glimpse of movement near the water. A very large mountain lion (that must have been eyeing me in the water all day as a meal) was looking directly at me. At that time I did not look at all like the black sea lion (in black wet suit) that he must have been salivating over. He (or she) suddenly let out a very bone-chilling yowl that reached to my inner soul. I quickly sucked up the gold in my pan, not wanting to take time putting it in the bottle.

Luck was on my side. The lion walked up the rocks and into the forest. I then got my pack which had been under a tree near the forest where he may have been waiting. I got it quickly and backed down to the water. I made lots of noise with rocks and banged my gold pan against a large rock. putting a hole in it. Next I wanted to get a hold of my large breaker bar to use as a lion spear if needed. Unfortunately, I had left it across the river. I waded back across and found it. I was feeling brave now. I hit the trail while constantly looking all around me. I found Dale downstream around the corner and told my mighty tale about the lion encounter. All in all it was a great experience with nature!