The hidden years in Canada 101, the claim

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Friday 24 July 18:35


The claim

The evening fell earlier than expected, the birds became more silent and after a while remained silent. Now the silence prevailed and a few mosquitos came with a high buzzing sound circling around me. It was time for a smoky campfire, it would probably make a difference in the number of bites and before too long the mosquitoes would settle in the grass that would accommodate them, the grass that would be wet with the morning dew, next day. I put one of the blankets on the ground close to the fire and pulled the others over me. The horsehair blankets were rough, just not scratching your skin. I let the day pass once more before my mind and felt myself slowly slipping into a slumber. A crackling in the bushes, however, made me sit up immediately, razor sharp awake. I held my breath to listen even more carefully. I thought I heard my own heart pounding. Tomorrow, I thought, if I make it to the morning, then I’ll go and find a big branch that I’ll lay next to me, something is better than nothing. The machete, I thought, why did I not have that next to me? With a machete you had no need for a branch, then a nasty thought came bubbling up.  Didn’t Jones say chucklewigs hated horses? I was lying on and under horsehair blankets. Could the smell of horses still be in the blankets? The cracking of branches reverberated again but now further away. Something came along and moved away, something clumsy, given the noise. Something that did not fear other animals because it moved about through the forest without caution. Which excluded the cougar, who would have stolen past. Boars would avoid the fire. I did not want to think of what it could have been. I thought of Bev, who thought that you could call on mischief. I denied the thought, I forced myself to relax and noticed only with what strained muscles I had been lying there. I'd rather have, that what  I did not want to speak, not even in my mind, had not come by and would  it come back or would I prefer a bear? Phew city boys in their vulnerability, in the forest, have their problems.

The birds woke me up with a joyful singing and twittering. The vapor rose from the wet grass where the sun, made the dew disappear and a new day dawned. All nightly worries evaporated along with the dew. I stretched out once and walked to the shore, though I had no real appetite I decided to eat a bit and after breakfast at full strength to continue where we left off yesterday with the friends. It was quiet, I would have to get used to the silence, you are so used to reacting to something or say something, on the other hand it was quite nice. The sun warmed me and the fields up and after drinking a mug of tea, I decided to get started.


The first step in the water had been dismal, it was a chilly cold step, but after about ten minutes you did not know better. Bend over I panned and went deeper and deeper into the forest. It seemed like we had found a lot yesterday and that was true, but then we had been with four people. Now I was only one quarter of the expedition. I could only go forward if I had panned the width of the river. It slowed me down a lot. I had not foreseen this and therefore it was late afternoon when I realized that I had only worked half a mile. Just when I was considering turning around the stream widenend and was a wide, almost stagnant water, as if you walked into a small lake. Now everything went slowly, but immediately with the first panning ebb and flow movements, rose the glittering particles. It might have been coincidence but the second pan brought the same result and the third, I realized that the stream flowed through the small lagoon and there perhaps the particles sank lacking inertia. It would be difficult to establish whether there was talk of supply from a vein  or pieces and free gold particles sinking off. However, the sun began to lose its height and with a satisfied feeling I walked back towards the base camp.

San Daniel 2015

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