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A Front Line COVID-19 View On Prospecting


A Front Line COVID-19 View On Prospecting
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I have been a proud and happy member of GPAA for almost eight years now. I first fell in love with the idea while living in Oregon back in the early 2000’s. Then, in 2012, I finally joined and got “bit by the bug” after I found my first flake. Ever since, I haven’t looked at a riverbed, stream, creek, arroyo, or even a mountainside the same, always wondering what lies beneath the top layers… and I’m more than sure that the vast majority of you feel the same!


On a more serious note, being a Station Captain/EMT for a DoD fire department, as well as a combat veteran, I have seen more than my fair share of craziness in this world. I have also been more than well-informed of the risks associated with this current crisis. Rest assured folks, the threat is REAL! However, I would like to shed some light on the things we as prospectors can and usually do so that we can still enjoy the thrills of our true calling – finding gold and gems!


As prospectors, we seem to always set the example for “social distancing”. How so you ask? If we find a good spot, we are not too likely to run out and tell everyone to come help us dig to get our gold. Instead, we are more apt to keep it to ourselves and our families – maybe a couple very close friends – IF we tell anyone at all. Therefore, we practice the best social distancing that one could hope for by staying away from everyone! Even still, we also have a tendency in our modern society to share the wealth and open the area up to everyone by filing claims, sharing claims, and being a part of great organizations like the GPAA. Which is all well and good long as we maintain those distances and follow the current CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe.


Doctors on both television and locally are still telling us to “get outside and exercise” so we don’t go stir-crazy being cooped-up in our homes. What better way to do just that then by going out and doing some prospecting? You get exercise – walking/hiking, digging, carrying equipment, or, if you’re into that sort of thing and your locale allows, swimming by way of dredging. All of this in the fresh open air with little to distract and detract from the peacefulness of the great outdoors. Sounds a whole lot better than going to the gym to me, not to mention a good chance that it literally pays off for you as well!


All-in-all, I guess what I’m trying to say is that our “sport” (if you don’t mind me calling it that), is one of the best ways for all involved to still get out and enjoy the world around us. Keeping some of us from going slap-dead nuts being stuck inside! And for those of you who can’t go out due to the newly-implemented “laws of lock-down”, consider the fact that maybe it’s a good time to get into your garage or back yard and start re-running those cons you’ve collected, or the umpteen buckets of dirt that have piled-up over the years.


Don’t let the craziness of the outside world do the same to you within your personal world.

Join me and become a member of the Gold Prospectors Association of America. Membership details can be found here 


Preston Harris

GPAA Member

Belen, New Mexico


Total Comments (2)


2 comments on article "A Front Line COVID-19 View On Prospecting"


4/2/2020 8:07 PM

Agree with you completely Preston, there is nothing like a day outside digging in the dirt. Separation between people is not an issue in the Idaho wilderness. Thank you for your comments.

Jon Boyle

4/19/2020 12:18 AM

I couldn't agree with you Preston, Social Distancing is key until we can all move forward safely and spending time in the wilderness panning in search for that pot of gold is the best place to be. Thank Sir for your comments.

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