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

Kayak prospecting

Boating prospect trip

Here is our story sad but true -- our boat-prospecting trip to Cooper Creek. Lots of fun excitement! It all started when Jim told Dale how Cooper Creek is so great because that's where he found his first nugget. Jim also told Dale that hiking in was not a good option since he'd already done that with Don's hiking expedition and it turned out to be a 9.5 or maybe a 20 point hike (at least the way Don likes to walk!) So Dale said, "Let's boat to the creek via Folsom Lake in my brother's really old, but working boat."

The expedition began on a really foggy but not so cold day. We launched the boat at Granite Bay with no trouble and loaded our packs. To Jim's amazement, the boat did start. We went up the north fork of the lake, moving really fast, about 20 miles per hour. About a mile out the boat lurched a bit and came out of gear. Jim, an experienced boat owner, thought this was no big deal since boats always run into some trouble along the way. The boat did go back into gear but would now only go at most five to ten miles per hour. We realized at this point was that it would be a long trip so we might as well enjoy the surroundings as we went.

Adding to our enjoyment was a great Bald Eagle we saw perched in a tree. We finally arrived at the creek which is a far as you can go on the lake before hitting rapids. We had to watch for rocks and did not even have to slow down when we got to the five mph area.

Hiking a little ways to the nugget area, we saw Harley, Brandon and Dustin hitting the area hard. We both joined in but didn't find much of anything. They did find a little here and there. Knowing that we had a long boat trip back we left the area after a couple of hours. To Jim's utter amazement no one has stolen the boat! Back in the boat we went! Soon we were looking for underwater hazards and things were going slowly but smoothly. We relaxed and sat back to enjoy the foggy day, when "bam" and "lurch" went the boat! Jim said to Dale, "What the *@#@ was that?" Dale jumped to turn the motor off but not before we hit the rocks. Seeing no significant damage we went on, perhaps a little faster after banging the motor! We saw the bald eagle again and got great pictures. After about another mile (still many to go) again the boat lurched and things got really quiet. The only sound was the slight mist falling. Dale looked around and yelled loudly, "We are OUT of GAS!"

Now we were in a real pickle. Or, as Jim says, "we are actually up a creek with a paddle!!!" With two paddles we started the five mile journey back to the launch just as dark was settling in. Jim had been sick for about a week so he needed to rest every fifteen minutes or so. Dale ran the boat like a slave captain and said, "keep rowing!" After about forty-five minutes Dale said, "there may be a fishing boat around the corner" and, low and behold, there was. We were saved at last! The fishermen said they would take us home after they got done fishing, so we lay back and take a long needed nap. Fifteen minutes later we were on our way and were actually being towed faster than we had moved all day. Just before dark we got back to the truck, tired but happy to be on land. Despite the great adventure we will never set foot in that specific boat again! So go the tales and woes of Chip 'n Dales or rather "Jim and Dale"!