The week passed by so quickly that the Goldsmith had to ask a local what day it was. All the excitement of preparing for a possible exploration on the river bed sent a buzz throughout the whole village. Helpful hands would show up here and there offering their meager supplies. “As it stands, ” Goldsmith commented to a local, who now regularly showed up to join him at his table at Mammy’s. “We have a few shovels, buckets and with the recently made rocker I believe we can get out and test the area!” ‘Black Hat Jack’, as the neighbor’s called him, answered with a big grin. “Been some-time since we found anything worthwhile here.” And the two of them set out down to the river to meet up with two other fellows who had an old canoe waiting.
The summer sun settling into the mountain’s crest earlier and earlier indicated the sunny season was moving on. It was a good time to explore the waters as the bars were now showing and the blackflies, and mosquitoes, though ready for a meal, were past their prime too. The four men decided to let the canoe into the waters, two at a time. Goldsmith and Black Hat Jack were chosen to go first, as they seemed to have the most knowledge of them all. They went and began to canoe upstream to a starting point. They turned around and began testing the bars for gold, one after the other heading back down stream. They couldn’t believe their eyes! Two of the bars showed color and the excited miners shouted as they began to strike pay dirt! 60 ounces of gold so far! In their hands the simple equipment moved effortlessly in a rapid steady motion as their gold fever fueled their flurry. So caught up in their diggings, they didn’t notice the emerging change in weather. A loud crash of thunder echoed through the now approaching evening skies. Lighting dancing in the heavens woke them out of their fervor. A heavy storm was moving in and moving in fast. They only had the little canoe and moved quickly. Rain began to fall, harder and harder it’s pelting moisture striking their backs, like a punishment as they paddled back to safety.
With passing rapids and rising waters the two barely made it to the waiting men on the shore. A sense of relief and excitement was felt by all as the two reluctantly stepped back onto solid ground. A few of the locals were there as well, watching with eyes as big as saucers as they showed their findings.
A change was taking place and the small village would never look back.
The canoe was left on shore as the herd of towns folk picked up the pace and ran to shelter.