From Lucky Joe:
Back at the March club meeting I mentioned I would be going out to investigate a mining claim which is to be the site of our April 26-27-28 Outing Dates. This claim belongs to two of our members, Steve Scukanec and Phil Zasadny. (Do not hurt yourself trying to pronounce their last names... we'll just stick with Steve and Phil.) So the day after the meeting, my dad and I headed out to check out the claim. After a big-rig-on-fire delay on the 15 Fwy, we met up with new club member, Craig Tanner, at Denny's in Barstow.
Now just so you know, there are 3 Denny's in Barstow with 2 of them being within blocks of each other. Not knowing this, I didn't make it very clear as to which one to meet at but Craig figured it out before we finished breakfast. From there, Steve, Phil and Bill Samarin met us to guide us out to the claim. The drive in was less than 40 minutes with half of that on paved roads. I didn't see much to give even a 2-wheel drive much trouble. Maybe a soft spot here and there could get you stuck but at least if you have good shoes the walk back to town isn't too far. There are washboards aplenty but none of the cursed, red, roadclosure stakes are anywhere to be seen.
The claim itself was the site of some heavy old-timer workings so they must have found something worth their while to dig. And the drywasher sampling that Bill, Steve and Phil did bear this out: In a very limited amount of time, the cleanouts showed much promise with several flecks of bright yellow gold. A couple of the pieces were even big enough for my detector to pick up.
The ground was definitely moist and the dirt had to be dried on top of tarps before processing. Alternatively, one could forego the tarp and just run the material twice if waiting around watching dirt dry does not sound appealing.
As far as metal detecting for nuggets goes, God bless you if you try because you will definitely add to your lead and foil collection. Those old-timers really liked their guns and tobacco. All in all, I think we will have a successful outing and I plan on bringing my drywasher.
I think if we had a few drywashers going and team up a few people on each one, we should see some good results. Be sure to bring a dish for the Saturday night potluck (and I don't mean one to eat off of). I'll smoke some tri-tip to complete the culinary experience. There will be plenty of parking for RV, trailer, or anything else.
Don't forget, Martin has some gold that he is just itching to give away and he's designed some schemes set for Saturday by which you can earn it. I believe a nugget hunt is to be one of them. We won't have a port-a-potty so you will have to plan accordingly. And for those that don't sleep in the desert, there are plenty of Barstow motels to choose from. If I have forgotten to mention anything that you may have questions about, you can call me at 562-999-2428.
One final reminder that our June Boy Scout event at Camp Williams is to be held on June 22nd. The more that can show up to help teach the Scouts to pan for gold, the smoother things will run.
That's all for now so mark your calendars and I for one am looking forward to getting back out and getting my share of the yellow!
(1) The above map describes a completely new way to access the Coolgardie area north of Barstow. Begin by exiting Highway 58 at Hinkley Road, then note your odometer and follow the above indicated turns, noting your odometer anew at each turn until you reach the claim site.
(2) Joe Chmiel has worked out a dual outing with the Hi-Desert Gold Diggers. Thus, this is an opportunity to form teams made up of members from each club to better get to know each other and maybe learn some new tricks.
Nugget Prizes For Outing Extras!!
Your editor has volunteered to gin up some fun games of skill during our upcoming desert outing as described by PCSC President, Joe Chmiel (above).
Here are some extra details:
1. On Saturday afternoon around 2:00 or 3:00pm (precise time to be announced at the outing) there will be a FREE nugget hunt. The hunt will consist of pre-planted glass vials containing small nuggets. VLF metal detectors ONLY. All nuggets will be at depths capable of detection by virtually any VLF type gold nugget specialty machine. The search field may be shortened to speed the finish. 2. There MAY be (time and attendance permitting) an additional nugget hunt following completion of the above referenced free hunt. A special prize nugget will be buried inside a larger sized vial to accommodate its girth. This hunt will be open to any PCSC or HDGD nugget shooters. As long as at least 10 hunters sign up, then a donation of $10 apiece will be earmarked to support PCSC’s Scholarship Fund. If fewer than 10, but at least 7, hunters sign up, then a donation of $15 apiece will be collected. VLF detectors ONLY. Size of search field may be shortened from time to time to expedite hunt. Sudden death finish.
3. Weather permitting (safe wind velocity) a Saturday evening campfire will take place (please bring some firewood to donate to the fire). Set up your chairs upwind of the campfire allowing some distance for performances. Small nugget prizes will be awarded as follows: The audience will determine by majority vote the winner(s) of the best entertainment performances (a story, a poem, a musical rendition, etc.). The names of all who constitute the audience from beginning to end will be placed in a hat for a drawing of the winner(s).
4. On Sunday two coin toss events will take place at a specific time to be announced (probably later in the morning before the camp begins breaking up). These will be games of skill open to all who bring their own coins (at least ten each of dimes and/or quarters). The prizes will consist of small gold nuggets inside glass vials PLUS all of the dimes or quarters utilized in the pertinent coin toss. 5. On Saturday a bonus prize MAY be included (depending on extent of participation/consensus of those present). Concept: 4-person teams composed of a mix of PCSC and HDGD members will set up different team dry washing spots. Whichever team produces the most gold will receive a multi-nugget prize sufficient to divide equally amongst its members.