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We didn't find any good agates ... only a few meager, cloudy ones stripped out by the river. I suspect that, a few years ago, some enterprising landscaper blundered up this trail with a dumptruck and shoveled in all the rock he could carry. Probably more than once. That would certainly explain the piles of heaped earth we trudged around on our way to the river.
On the other hand, a more likely explanation is that prospectors with gold fever came up the trail and washed out the hillside with hydraulic mining, then abandoned the area.