June 18, 2017

El Dorado is a magical word

Although it is a topic of 2012, my daughter who lives near San Francisco gave me an air ticket and I decided to go to The USA.

We moved toward Nevada State on Route 50 for the purpose of sightseeing in Lake Tahoe. I found a sign of “El Dorado” at a certain point. Is it only me that bloods stir with the word "El Dorado"?

I remembered that this area was California Gold Rush.

I stopped by a tourist mine in Placerville (Hangtown's Gold Bug Park & Gold Bug Mine). There were small tunnel, crushing factorie and shop. I found something that seemed to be gold on the wall of the tunnel, but left it as it was.
I bought a gold ore at a souvenir shop, but the place of origin was Nevada State or Colorado State. There was a pool for gold panning,but there was no trace of using it.

I visited Placerville again in 2016 after four years, I did not expect even in my dream at that time.

 The shop of Gold Bug Mine
 The tunnel of Gold Bug Mine
The crushing factory of Gold Bug Mine

June 8, 2017

Gold and ammonite in Yubari-river Hokkaido/Japan

About 40 years ago, there was information that placer gold and placer platinum (platinum group metal) was dug in Yubari-river Hokkaido.
I headed for Yubari-river with aluminum pan and a garden scoop. There were many coal mines around this area, but energy conversion to oil occurred and the coal industry declined.

While watching the ruined coal mine housing, I went to a river near the mountain trail of Yubari-dake. Information on gold digging was obtained only from books and I had no idea how to dig gold. I saw many fossils of ammonite in the neighborhood, so I switched to fossil collection. There was a part of the fossil taken by someone, but a spiral ammonite was not found.

At a later date, it was reported to the newspaper that the postmaster had nearly 50 cm of ammonite, so I visited his house with sweets. When leaving his house, he gave me the ammonite with beautiful crystal structure. This is still a good memory.

After that, although I was interested in gold, my hobby moved to river fishing. Regarding gold digging, there was a blank period of 40 years from this incident.

In recent years, a big dam was built and a part of the gold area was submerged, but it seems that gold and platinum are still being collected.
Yubari-city is the location of the movie "The Yellow Handkerchief " of Ken Takakura who died recently, there is a memorial hall in this place, many of his fans are visiting.

Fossil of ammonite taken in Hokkaido

The movie is a story at the coal mine housing. She raised many yellow handkerchiefs as an indication that she still waits for her husband returning from prison.

Movie poster of Ken Takakura's appearance