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We left San Diego on Friday at 7:30 PM right after work to avoid the traffic. My brother lives in LA so off we went to make a pit-stop at his Tujunga house then off to the Angeles National Forrest. We arrived at 12:30 AM and got a prime parking spot. After loading up our gear on our backs we hiked about 0.5 miles to Heaton Flats campground. We noticed a ridiculous amount of people and hadn’t taken into consideration the holiday earlier that week. After setting up our camp, we situated a table out of a bucket and sluice (pronounced like “juice” with a sl- instead of j-) and got our game on with Phase 10- one of the greatest card games EVER! It was about mid-low 60’s and it felt great! After a few rounds of card and a couple shots of Jack Daniels it was off to bed where a busy day was ahead of us!

As I said in my “about me” section, the main reason I started camping was because of my boyfriend and brother’s gold craze! When we go to Heaton Flats we have one main mission- to find gold! Now don’t get all worked up, drive out to Angeles Nation Forrest and start digging up holes in hopes to find a BIG nugget! This is a popular spot for prospectors but it’s nothing like the show Gold Rush! We prospect for fun- not for income. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s continue on our journey! It was about 8:00 AM when the boys got all their materials set up. Shovles- check! Buckets- check! Sluices- check! Now I know you’re thinking “What the heck is a sluice?!” A slucie is an artificial channel for conducting water. It basically seperates fine sand and gold particles from bigger rocks and lighter particles. It was about high 70’s  and the day was going to get hotter!

Around noon, Geoff (my brother) was not feeling right. The sun was beating down on us and after shovling buckets of dirt and putting his body through intense work, he knew something was off. When the day is hot and you are in direct sunlight, always hydrate yourself! That’s the number one rule! He went back to the campsite feeling nauseous and started throwing up all his liquids. This was bad! When you are nauseous, vomiting, weak, light-headed, and fatigued when out in the sun, heat stroke can kick in which is extremely serious needing medical attention and can be fatal! When you are in the woods you have to act quickly when you have any kind of harmful symptoms so Geoff knew exactly what to do. He got out of the sun and into the shade, drank plenty of water, and rested for a few hours. We checked on him periodically to make sure he didn’t pass out.

Our home for the next 2 days 🙂

Kevin and I kept working but at a slow pace while staying hydrated. After seeing Geoff, we took extra precaution! We got back to the campsite around 5:00 PM and made our dinner for the night- good ol’ dehydrated food! Its actually pretty good when you haven’t eaten all day! Most of them require boiling a cup or two of water, add to pouch of dehydrated food, sit for 10 minutes, and enjoy! After eating dinner (and a few beers) we had a contest to see who could find the most gold in one pan. It’s a fun game but you aren’t finding the big nuggests while playing! I definitely lost because I was distrated by a swarm of bats! They are interesting little guys and really fun to watch! We went to bed early and packed up the following morning. It was a fun trip but with Geoff diagnosing himslf with heat stroke, we played it pretty cool and just relaxed!

Geoff checking on his sluice


Kevin digging

Kevin cooling off in the river


We caught a tiny lizard!

Hiking back up the trail

Walking back

Walking back!