Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mojave Mining Report

If you were waiting to hear if we found any gold in the Mojave---well, yes, we did! We managed to get 2 1/2 workable days amongst all the bad weather. Using tarps we "protected" some likely spots to keep the dirt dry enough to dry wash. Even so we had to run the material three times or more to be sure it was dry enough to capture the gold. But capture the gold it did, and like always, while we didn't exactly strike it rich, we did exceed our own expectations for what we found. A bunch of fine gold (it all adds up) and several nice pickers - one of which you might just call a small nugget. Considering the circumstances, we feel great about our Mojave production. The Duisenburg claim is rich in gold in that almost no matter where you dig or work you are going to find something. You can't say that about most of the claims as far as we can tell. The camp could use a well and a shower house which would make a very nice camp a bit more livable, but the desert experience it already provides is certainly not without merit. After all, water management and Saturday night baths were part and parcel of the prospecting history from the get-go. And Doug Wilson and his assistants more than make up in friendliness and helpfulness what is missing in creature comforts. We had a delightful stay, worked hard when we could, and "pottsed" around the area when we could not. The ATV riding is excellent from camp. You can head off in any direction to see working mines and claims or follow the train tracks until they leave the valley and head through the tunnel. You can run some dunes, climb some hills, and cross country some- although California is a bit fussy about where and when you can do that as some places require staying on the trails- not a bad thing at all! The camp is located in a giant valley so getting lost is down near impossible. There wasn't much wildlife, maybe a few hawks and small birds, or at least we didn't see much in this limited visit and in rough weather for the most part. And other than the occasional Choya or Joshua Tree at elevations, there wasn't much in the way of plant life excepting for the scrub brush. This is NOT a cactus kind of desert. Anyway, that's the way it was in the Mojave. Next stop: Las Vegas. Full hookup. Bright likes. Lots of traffic and noise, glitter and glitz. They say there are no mountains without valleys....and vice versa. We're seeing it all!

The LDMA camp at Duisenburg, CA, just outside of Johannesburg in the Mojave Desert, taken from an old mine hole we rode up to on the quad:

Someone found the time and the inclination to paint up this big rock that stuck out of the cut that the train tracks run through. Can you say "Great White?"

Riding along the train tracks, American flag waving in the desert breeze; with the quad we can go places and see things that we might never see by any other means.

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