Alabama Gold Camp Trip:

Well, I didn't realize that there was gold in Alabama. I mean, you just never hear about it.  However, I found that there is one well kept secret, and that is, that there is some pretty good gold in Alabama.

After hearing about a new place that opened last year, called the Alabama Gold Camp,  I decided I had to go check it out.
Boy, am I glad I did.

I went down for 3 days, the last weekend of July 2007.  We had a week at a condo to use before our week expired,,,  so, when we stumbled on a place in Alabama, just 45 miles or so from the gold camp, we booked the reservations.

After doing this,  I can tell you first hand...  Never stay 45 to 50 miles from where you are prospecting.  What a royal pain in the butt!   I mean, just when you get all wore out from a good day of prospecting, and want to kick back and talk to other prospectors, here you are, jumping in the truck and driving for an hour or so.  Bummer...

My next trips down will definitely have me staying at the Alabama gold camp.  They have really been improving the place nicely.  They have even added wi-fi access for us prospectors that have to "Stay in touch".  They did this pretty much at my request.  I can't believe how they cater to their visitors. 
They treat you like a friend, even though they never saw you before. Hospitality at it's finest.

I have prospected in Tennessee for the last 2 years.  In all my outings, I have not found as good of gold in quantity, as I did for the 3 days spent at the Alabama gold camp.

When I arrived, I went into the store at the entrance, paid my fee, and was told where all we could go with our dredge.
When I drove down to the creek, I was met by a young man at "the pavilion".  We talked for 15 or 20 minutes, and he told me about several places that they had spot checked, and found gold in quantity.
Wow..  never heard of a gold camp doing that before... 

So, I drove around, and looked at several places along the little river.  It all looked pretty good, to be honest.  I decided on a place to set up the dredge and got all set up.

I dredged for about 6 hours that day.  I planned on having to take the dredge out for the night, since I wouldn't be staying at the camp, but they told me to just tie it off, and they would make sure nobody would mess with it until I returned.   That sure made life a lot easier.  It is a chore to take a dredge in and out every day, I can assure you.

Ok, so, I panned some of my cons from the first day.  I didn't find big gold, but i had a whole lot of fines.  Well over a gram. After panning at home, it was nearly a penny weight.

The second day came, and I got to the camp later than I am used to.  I wanted to get there at about 8:30, but getting up and driving all that distance, just took a lot longer than I planned.

The day went well.  I was working in a hole that was already started from their test, and it is only about 2 or 3 feet to bedrock there, so it was pretty easy dredging.

Along came 4pm or so...  It got so dark that I couldn't hardly see under water.  I popped my head up to see an all out downpour complete with lightning all around me.  (hitting the ground)
I hurried up and drug the dredge to the bank, did an extremely fast clean up, and then we drug it into the trailer as quick as two people could.  Sliding and slipping in the mud along the way.  The rain didn't bug me, I was in my wet suite.  It was the lightning that was freaking me out. It was hitting the ground all around us, and very loud.

Well, we waited for a good 30 minutes and the storm kept raging, so I figured my day was over at that point, and I peeled out of the wet suite and threw on some cloths.  So much for dry cloths... 

The water was rising pretty good, so we decided we better get the trailer hooked up and pull it with us.  I didn't want the river to come up and trap us on the wrong side of the bridge we had to go under.

To my surprise, the drive out was pretty easy in the wet ground.  I thought the one big hill heading up to the store would give me some issues pulling the trailer, but I didn't notice it slipping a bit.

We sat up at the store and got to visit with people.  There was a lot of tension in the air this weekend, because Lonnie and his wife were asked to leave.  They were packing the store that day.  We talked to them, and to Jeff (the owner)while we were there.  Everyone was very kind to us, even though their partnership was at an end.  That speaks highly of them all.

The rain finally slowed down, and almost stopped.  I decided it was time to head off to grab some dinner and make that darn drive back to the condo...  Boy, did we find a great place for dinner.  There is a bar b que place just in town and when you get to the main road, you take a right...  it is just up on the left.  Real good food, and a decent price.

Well, Sunday morning rolled around, and after dragging that dredge up to the trailer and loading it all up, I was a bit sore. I had every intention of dredging this day.
We packed out things, and were going to drive back home after the day at the gold camp, and shut down at 3 or 4pm.  The further I drove, the more I dreaded unloading and loading that dredge back up in one day...  So, we kept driving, and went on home.

Now, I panned the gold out of my cons for the two days separately.  I had them in different buckets, which I often do from habit, because I run test holes and keep it separated.
I had a blast panning this stuff out. 
I was asked several times how much I got, before I was completely done.  I would say it looked like a gram a day or so.

The results are in, and I pulled out a bit under 4 grams in those 2 days.  This is with a 3 inch pro line dredge, and only running about 6 hours or less each day.  That is pretty good for east coast dredging. 

I know others find more in places like North Carolina, but it is hard for me to get out that way.  I would like to get out there more too, but hey, I have to work for a living. 

However, I found a place along the Tellico River, in TN, that has some really good gold.  I think when I get to the bottom of the hole I found, I will have over an ounce.  That is another story though.

As far as my review of the Alabama gold camp goes:

This is one A + facility for prospectors!

They do have several RV camp spots with hook ups. (not sure about sewage) but definitely water and electric.

Tons of places to tent camp.  You don't have to stay in a specific place either.  If you want to camp near your work area - no problem!
If you want to camp near others, or alone, again,, no problem.

There are rest rooms and showers, and now a washer and dryer.

The prospectors store.

NEW WI-FI for us nerd's that have to keep up with life while out and about.

The place is HUGE...  a lot of room for high banking, dredging, sluicing and detecting! They have 3 creeks that you can prospect.

If you want to find good gold and friendly people, head on down to a hard to find place called the Alabama Gold Camp.
You wont find it on accident, I can promise you that.... 

You can visit their website at:
There is more info, and some pretty decent directions on their site.

until next time,

Tim LeGrand
TN Gold Co.

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