AMEN brother :)
How far are you from Oregon? I have friends who have a big placer mine there and they also had some dredging claims that they did well on.
I guess there is lots of gold there,but your state and Idaho should also have lots. Regulations and distance always seem to be a problem, don't they.
I'm only a couple hours drive from the Oregon/Washington border. Just 2 years ago we actually lived in Portland, Or. but moved back up to Washington to get away from the high crime. Tried a little prospecting over on the Coast range, west of Portland and some up near Mt. Hood in the cascades with little luck. I know there are TONS of claims and good gold to be found in southern Oregon. I worked with a guy who has a placer claim down near Medford which paid out several times. He invited me to come along, but he went to work somewhere else and I haven't heard from him since.
Washington has had it's own little "gold rushes". Up near the now ghost town, Monte Crisco, there was a pretty big strike in lode mining. Several smaller mines popped up all around that area. It's up north near Darrington. My dad has some property up in Darrington along the Sauk river which has also proven to have some gold. We've tried a little panning and slucing off the river bank with not much luck. I know there are some creeks up above in the state forest that have done pretty well also.
I live near Tacoma which is about 50 miles south of Seattle. Not much here besides the Carbon River and way up river on the White River. The problem with the Carbon is that it comes straight out of Mt. Rainier in the Rainier National Park. Like all national parks, no prospecting whatsoever is allowed. I've hear stories of folks sneaking way up into the park and finding some great gold with just a pan. Don't wanna get caught though, big fines.
I have a VERY promising spot that I'm going to check out this summer. I've read articles about this spot in ancient archived newspapers from 100 years ago in the Seattle PI and did some research and found that no one owns claims on this land (anymore.. was a claim on it 80 years ago but it's been lost in time). I'd tell you where it is but then I'd have to kill ya. j/k lol!!! I'll let you all know where it is after I go through it with a fine tooth comb and not find anything. ;)
Very much looking forward to gettin wet and muddy in the creeks this summer! Can't wait to dust off my sluice and try out my brand new steel pan that I got last season and never used.