Friday, November 20, 2009

October Already


Wow, I can’t believe it is October already! Right now I am sitting next to a bunch of piles of dirt and rock mounds. Everything is orange, including me! I have learned a lot about gold mining, especially about panning! I have become an ‘expert’ panner! I am sitting watching Gordon’s plant in action. Lot’s of red dust is in the air. I am watching the big escavader as Gordon maneuvers it to shovel dirt into the plant. In action it looks like a giant dinosaur; a robotic dinosaur. It’s like the ‘creature’ drops it’s head down to eat some dirt and then lifts it’s head back up to ‘spit’ it out. The dirt that is shoveled up is emptied onto a grate with a pig funnel under it. The grate keeps the very large rocks out and allows the rest to go through the funnel and onto the belt. The dirt is taken upwards on a belt and through a grate, which spits out the medium sized rocks (the oversize) and the rest of the dirt goes down a ‘staircase’ thing. Each ‘step’ is a little compartment that traps the dirt. Under the staircase there are two tires that act as a pump. Air is pumped into the tires, making the staircase gently shake. This allows the heavy pieces (hopefully gold) to get stuck in the compartments on the staircase and the light pieces (hopefully not gold) bounce down the staircase. The dirt that goes down the staircase is taken up on a belt and dropped down onto a big pile (the discards). The oversize will get metal detected eventually, but the discards of course will not be.

Meanwhile I have been panning dirt/rocks from the old gully. After clearing off the top layer of rocks, we used a pick to loosen the hard dirt. Then shovel it into a bucket. We only dig until we get to this grey dirt which it granite that has turned to dirt. There won’t be gold in the ‘soft’ granite because when the gold was flowing through the once flowing stream the soft granite would have been hard rock. I have only found a small amount of gold from the gully but it has been good practice panning. It takes a lot of patience. We have found a lot of gold on the plant though!

Boof is so cute; he is taking a nap right next to the plant. With all the racket it makes you would think he would go further away under a tree somewhere to take a nap. I am trying to call him to come over, but it is too loud he can’t hear me. We gave him an old sandwich Gordon didn’t eat from yesterday. We broke off little pieces of the sandwich and fed it too him. We would hold up each piece above him and he would spin around on his hind legs like a little ballerina keeping his eyes on the treat, then we would feed it to him. After a few pieces he started to get full so he started taking the pieces somewhere where we couldn’t see him and buried them. He is not very good at burying the pieces but he remembers where he puts them. I went over to where he buried a piece and found the piece of sandwich. Boof was acting like, ‘you stole my food’. I gave it back to him and he found a better hiding place. Anytime we went near it Boof would go and protect it.

I am still feeling very fatigue and light headed. We are going to Charter’s Towers tomorrow and I am going to get checked out. Hopefully they can tell me what is wrong and what I need to do to get better. I don’t like not having energy to do things. Leah thinks it might e a virus but I don’t have a headache or a fever or any other symptoms.

I have had a nice time in Pentland. I am glad I stopped here. I had a feeling there was a reason for me to come here. Almost time to hit the road again though. Well looks like Gordon is taking a break. Maybe we will check the plant for gold.

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