We had left PG on Monday morning and it was now Friday. We had moved 37 loads of dirt and we were feeling the effects. Dean was a lot younger than the rest of us, except Lyndon, and didn’t realize the toll it was taking on us. When he clued in he decided to shut the operation down.
When we were digging, Gordie had decided to dig under a huge rock where he was convinced the gold was hiding. He got so carried away that I thought the rock might fall on him. He eventually realized it wasn’t a good idea and filled the hole back in.
We had planned to shower that day but we decided to give it a miss as we would be home soon.
Before he did though Dean said that we, the workers, would get three processed buckets of pay dirt each for the work we put in. After it was processed I left with an ice cream bucket about one third full of dirt to process when I got home. I was full of optimism and could see us paying off all our debts and buying a mansion in Mexico. The reality was that I got about $15 worth of gold and a sore wrist from panning it.
My boots were mostly for hiking and maybe a bit small so it looks as though I may lose a toenail.
Saturday morning we started to pack up the equipment ready for hauling out on Sunday. Then Vic informed us that we would head out that day. I was so happy I had my stuff packed and ready to go before he saying ‘today’.
On the drive out we only saw one vehicle in the six hour trip back to Fort St James. Vic gassed up and completed our journey getting in to PG at about 1:30 am. First a shower (our second in five days) and then to bed. Boy, that bed felt good.
The following day we took the truck and trailer to the truck wash and spent an hour washing off all the dirt we had collected. I wanted to pan it but Vic talked me out of it. I bet there were some nuggets! I could still get the dirt from my fingernails though.
That afternoon we went out to Norman Lake where our wives were waiting and enjoyed a great Canada Day party with family and friends. Rosalie never looked so good.
I swore that I wouldn’t go back. But then Gordie and I started to make plans to build them a new cabin next year. Man, I muse be a glutton for punishment. Come next year though, I may have talked myself out of it. There is the enticement of those three loads of paydirt though.