"The Whopper Story"
It was a sunny Monday morning in August of 1993, skies as blue as only summer in the Sierras can be, but a cool 50 degrees underground. So, was Glenn Knapp looking forward to heading down into the dark? Absolutely!
Glenn is a miner, finally mining gold again, and couldn't wait to get back down where the action was. "I was working on a stope (an upward pointing tunnel) off the 2200 level (horizontal tunnel). I'd blown out 70 ounces of gold and the next face of the mine was screaming with gold. I spent all week-end chomping at the bit."
Glenn was right -- the next face was screaming with gold. Maybe screaming is too mild a word, because what came out when he shot that next blasting pattern was a chunk of gold so spectacular the crew named it on the spot... THE WHOPPER.
The Whopper, the most impressive specimen to come out of the mine in modern history, weighs in at 14 pounds and contains 140 troy ounces of gold.
The 14-inch long specimen is a piece of demonstrative history as well as a prize -- it actually shows dill marks right through the gold. To blast it out of the face of the mine, Glenn drilled an 18-hole pattern, each hole but the center one drilled out, then filled with an explosive with a variably timed fuse. Even before he lit the fuses, Glenn had a great feeling about the shot coming up.
"While I was drilling, I had corn-flakes (shavings of gold) coming out of the holes and that's always exciting. I knew it was going to be good -- I could see gold in my face. But I didn't think it would be anything like it was."
The round turned out to be a miner's dream. "It was the most gold I've ever hit in on shot -- 300 ounces," said Glenn.
www.origsix.com Tours of the Sixteen to One Mine are offered by Underground Gold Miners Museum, an educational non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation. For information visit www.undergroundgold.com