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Photo: Deagostini_Getty Images
We were flying on a training flight for a new pilot and were doing "touch and go" or barely landing and then taking off, at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, California.
Sometime later when the internet was invented and I had the internet I remembered that sight and first had to remember where I'd seen it. After I pounded my head enough I remembered where it had been so with the aid of Google Maps and satellite imagery I found the tailings on the Yuba River.
The piles of rocks were caused by the dredge when mining the River for gold, the rock and I guess the earth is dug up and "washed" to find the gold then it is discharged to form a tailing. The photo here is from the Klondike River in the Yukon Territory of Canada. If you look at the satellite images you can see how it disrupts to flow of the river, or causes the water to open a new channel.