California’s drought appears to be all but over for now- and it’s doing wonders for those looking to strike it rich.
Gold hunters are taking to the creeks, desperate to make their fortune. And it’s all thanks to the rain and the snow.
CGTN’s Phil Lavelle joined a group of them near Yosemite National Park hoping today would be their day.
Head to Northern California, and it’s more than the weather that could put a smile on your face.
If you have the time, the inclination, the equipment (and the patience), you could make your fortune in gold. But, it’s a long shot.
More than a century since the original gold rush, when gold fever brought the world to this territory in search of wealth, gold diggers are heading back out in big numbers.
It’s mainly due to the weather. For decades, creeks across the north of California have spent most of their time parched because of the recurring drought situation.
But thanks to a combination of heavy rains earlier this year, and the record snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, that gold is being brought to a place where it’s there for the taking.
The water pours down the mountains and unsettles rock, bringing the gold into creeks where hunters are eagerly waiting.
Many will spend hours or days fending off the mosquitoes and the poison ivy with their eye firmly on the prize.
The men hunting for gold know it’s unlikely they’ll make a million dollars in one go. Stories abound of people walking through the creek and accidentally stumbling on $250,000 worth of gold, but beneath the optimism, there is reality, as David Villa, a long-time panner explains: “It’s kinda like the lotto, he says, smiling. “One of these days.”
And even if they only find a small amount, it’s still feeding into a much larger market.