My first big strike of gold was in the hills of North Carolina back in the 1980s. It was about the size of my fingernail, which is big for a piece of gold. I had a buyer from New York City purchase it for $300 within thirty minutes of finding it. It was then that I knew I had found a what I loved.

My plan was to head out to California and begin my life as a miner. California was the hub for gold mining and where many had struck it rich beginning in the 1940s. It continued to be one of the biggest hot spots for gold and where my sights were set for my future. As my plans were set on heading West to fulfill my wanderlust, I was contacted by a friend informing me that Dahlonega, Georgia was the town where I should be. My destination changed and in 2000, I began my life here as a gold miner.

I was lucky enough to be hired by Consolidated Gold Mines as a tour guide and miner, where I continue today to pursue my passion. On my days off, you'll find me in the rivers and hills of Dahlonega panning on my own for gold with a pan and dredge in hand. It's the type of thing that's not only a job, but a real life passion and I think a lot of people miss out on that. People get so caught up in the routine of everyday life that they forget to pursue what they love. I'm lucky enough to have both – I love this as a job and a personal passion.

And if you're wondering-- this beard is the real deal. I've been growing it for 20 years and counting. Come and take a tug on it for yourself and pan for gold with me! The gold is found in the rivers of Dahlonega, Georgia. Myself and other miners have love to pan for it with those looking for an experience of a lifetime for people of all ages!