It was the winter of 1979. I had been bouncing from state to state, job to job, and saloon to saloon since the end of my marriage–two and a half years prior. Bored and restless, craving purpose, freedom, and adventure, I quit my job as a welder at a Seattle shipyard just shy of New […] Read more
This is a story about a professional, hardcore gold sniper, whom, for reasons of anonymity, I will call Alabama Jack (AJ). The tale, 100% true, chronicles one of his frequent forays into the untamed backcountry of one of California’s gold districts in quest of a sufficient quantity of gold to bankroll his expenses in the bush and those back in town.
Author sniping for gold in the Sierra Nevadas circa 1985 Preface California’s streams are the focus, however, the principles of sniping apply universally It was the late 70s. I was a stranger in a big city, recently divorced, chained to a dull, monotonous job, and trapped in a lackluster, rewardless life. As fast as I […] Read more
It was the early 1980s. I was prospecting and sniping for gold throughout California’s Mother Lode country, rolling out my sleeping bag wherever it suited me best, and scraping out a living from isolated rivers and creeks that favored me–mostly at the bottom of deep, narrow canyons. One day while scouting, I stumbled upon a […] Read more