A Prospect Too Far

Almost got to the Barnett Prospect but the terrain, time, and not enough water defeated me. I could see the area from the furthest point I reached, only .14 miles away. Yet another five hundred feet of gain. Too much.

I am now taking prescription medicine for my leg and I now have a referral for physical therapy. Perhaps with work I can hike like I used to. Or something similar. Those 4,000 foot gain hikes, though, are probably done. Goodbye Mount Diablo and Pyramid Peak! They were always too much work, anyway.:-)

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The leading report says this, Barnett Prospect The Barnett prospect is located on top of a precipitous ridge in the northern part of the study area approximately 2.5 mi south of the Nancy Ann mine (fig. 2). The prospect is accessible by a foot trail from Chicago Valley. A trench was dug in a 2-ft-thick gossan zone of dark-red to brown limonite, geothite, and remnant galena in massive Ely Springs Dolomite. A grab sample collected from a 1-ton-stockpile of galena-bearing gossan material contained 31 percent lead and 19.75 oz/ton silver. However, chip samples collected across the gossan zone contained only 0.05 to 2.6 percent lead and 0.02 to 0.22 oz/ton silver. Two pits and a 29-ft crosscut adit were found in a dark-red clay bed sandwiched between massive dolomite beds. The clay bed is as much as 6 in. thick and was traced for 80 ft along strike. Samples of the clay contained 0.15 to 7.8 percent lead and 0.02 to 0.44 oz/ton silver. Because high concentrations of silver and lead in a clay bed are unusual, it deserves further study. The bed displays no shearing or discordance to indicate that it is a fault gouge, and does not show any evidence of hydrothermal alteration. The identified silver and lead occurrences are too small to constitute a resource.#geology #geologyrocks #mining #inyocounty#nopah#rocks#silver#lead#exploring#getoutside#mojave#mojavedesert #explore#mines#rockhounding#geologistonboard

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Getting Closer to the Barnett Prospect

August 27, 2020 – Pahrump to Barstow

August 27, 2020 – Pahrump to Barstow

Long day but I found a number of interesting places to explore or hound on my trip. Real work will begin when temperatures fall into the 90s or below. Today, at least on the stretch between Baker and Shoshone driving home, temps were 103 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The next time I travel the desert I will take plastic tubs to fill with water for desperate wildlife. I stopped at one place along the road and a bedraggled bird appeared from nowhere. It went straight under my truck, I thought for shade, but it was clearly wanting water. I left some in a small reservoir I fashioned from a plastic bag.

I’ll take more water for other people, too, not just myself. I noticed a big rig idling at a turnout with its emergency triangles in place. A breakdown. The driver had the engine running and the air conditioning must have been going. I approached. The driver said she was fine but eagerly accepted the bottle of cold water I offered her. Even with air conditioning, it is very uncomfortable to be thirsty in the desert. Very. At another time, I was walking back to my vehicle after doing some photography. A California Highway Patrolman slowed down to ask if I was OK. I said I was fine, thanked him, and waved him on.

With these kind of temps, and rural driving in general, I like to wave at every vehicle. If you’re not the friendly type, get friendly for remote places. This will help you and others, we all need to watch out for each other.

317 total miles.

These are just some of the things I saw. The highlight of the trip was talking to Don DePue of Diamond Pacific Tool in Barstow. We met outside after I got the three gallons of rock saw oil I had ordered a few days before.

BLM Wilderness Area Collecting Rules

Collecting in a BLM or USFS WA is generally allowed unless a Resource Management Plan for that area prohibits it. These RMPs are constantly changing so there may be disagreement in the field when you meet someone in authority. Mostly, WAs are closed that have such things as native artifacts or petroglyphs.

BLM is pretty good online at stating which WAs are expressly closed, however, they often state that a WA is closed when in fact it is open. Look at their literature for a WA in any BLM field office, it will often contradict what they say online. BLM tells people to follow the “Leave No Trace” set of principles which are actually an ethos and not a force of law, unless the RMP incorporates them as a rule of law for a WA. Again, Leave No Trace is _not_incorporated into the Wilderness Act or existing nationwide BLM policy manuals.

As you can see by this letter, BLM CA headquarters owns up to collecting and so does the USFS. I can post an image of that letter later.

A Quick Two Hours in The North Nopah

Last week I discovered some outbuildings to an old mine on the east side of this particular hill in the North Nopah WA. Today, I was trying to find some clues to the west side claims that make up the old Nopah Group. No luck today, the heat too great to stay out too long.

Back to China Ranch and On to Shoshone

The drive down China Ranch Road into and through the China Ranch Wash is dramatic. Limited turn-around for any RV pulling a car or trailer. Small RVs can probably find parking at the main parking lot.

No cell coverage! You must be self-reliant in the desert. Perhaps a quarter of the continental United States does not have cell phone service. You can read about my practicing with a satellite terminal that provides voice calls here: https://southwestrockhounding.com/sat-fi2-and-spot-x/

China Ranch Road from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

Here’s the shorter video for those with shorter attention spans:


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Back at China Ranch. Armagosa Tiver, mesquite bosque, old railroad bed. #roadtrip#geology #rocks#river#armagosa#inyocounty#mesquite#tecopa#mojavedesert#oasis#palmtrees#datepalms

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Museum building closed, rock tour open. #geology #quartz #rockhound #rocks#roadtrip

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In Shoshone. Details to follow. Beautiful day on the desert. #shoshone#deathvalley#roadtrip#inyocounty #geolgy

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The North Nopah and Finding the Nancy-Ann Mine

Trailhead coordinates for both mines

36°07.765′ N 116°10.426′ W
36.129417, -116.173780

Nopah Group Claim area No. 1 : Mary-Ann Mine, other pervious names (approximate)

36°07.626′ N -116°09.318′ W
36.12710, -116.15530

Nopah Group Claim area No. 2

36.12305, -116.15919 (MRDS approximate)
36°07.38300′, -116°09.55140′

More workings listed than the other claim area, I have not explored this area. This has potential for better rocks.

General Correspondence

I don’t share private e-mails but I think this one is anonymous enough to pass. A friend in the field just e-mailed me. That person detailed their recent activities and past experiences, I replied with mine. You can’t tell what the other person has brought up but I am responding to those points. What outdoor people write about at 12:26 in the morning.

Attached is a photo of my shower solution which is really slick. Maybe $35 at the time and totally worth it. Uses a USB chargeable self-contained lithium ion battery. I have a portable lithium battery about the size of a small car battery that can charge it and my other electronics. The pump goes into a five gallon bucket. Tube and shower head connects easily to the pump. Has a hook to hang the shower head. It’s perfect.

Two years ago I went to Great Basin for a bioblitz the NPS was putting on to study lichen. Bunch of volunteers like me running around, helping the real scientists catalog the lichen in the field. (I really like blue lichen.) I learned later that one group identified a species new to science. Cool beans. Anyway, I drove into one of the dry campgrounds which I knew would be less crowded. Which it was. Nearly deserted. I filled up my water containers later at the wet campground (with faucets) a mile down the road and it was a zoo. Kids and dogs all over, arguing families, yuch.

After setting up camp at the dry campground I walked the grounds. A young woman came along who was walking toward the primitive bathroom with a towel around her shoulders. Do you know where the water is? Or the showers? OMG. This woman has driven hundreds of miles with zero research. Who goes past Baker not knowing what is going on? I told her this was a dry campground and she looked crestfallen since her camp was already set up. Okay, I said, I have a new pop up shower enclosure I had bought in case this campground was crowded. We set it up at her site and then I showed her the pump and how to use it. Gave her my extra/emergency/nonused five gallon collapsible water jug and told her to fill it up at the next campground.

There were so few people in camp that I just poured a gallon jug over my head in the morning to shower. As I had done in the past. No big whoop. That might seem like great lengths to help out someone unaware but I have had years and years of helping people out with problems during long distance hikes. Some people simply need help in the beginning, they will in time, I hope, learn. The wilderness needs more friends and I don’t want anyone staying at home after some mistake with preparedness,

My big disappointment was with the vaunted dark sky conditions. Not that long weekend. Just like in the Sierra, the mountains make their own weather. Cloudy every night. Desert floor would have been better. Like back at Baker. Drove to the top of the last parking lot on top of Wheeler, did not hike it. Another insanely crowded campground up there. But, I contributed to the effort of the BioBlitz.

As to gold, I do not mind if I get very little. I need to be out prospecting. When I was prospecting the forks of the American River I often did catch and release gold when sampling with my pan. Wasn’t interested in a few colors, just looking for more colors upstream or on the shoulders of the river. Often swam the river with all of my gear to get to interesting sand bars. Used a kayaker’s waterproof case to keep my first aid kit and other things dry. The big strike I had in 2004 has kept me going through all the thin years of prospecting. It was a find of a lifetime and I knew it at the time. No chance of finding another chunk of quartz the size of a bowling ball laced with gold. Now, I just want to find gold where other people aren’t. That area I was just in has no history of any mining whatsoever. No historical claims. None. Obviously, not paying amounts for a commercial operator. For a small scale miner like me off by themselves, a few flakes is enough. I’ve found many other amazing things beside gold during my hunts. And now that I hunt for UV and U and fossils, well, it’s enough to be out and about.

Sounds like you have a vehicle you can work on. What an amazing concept! I’m not sure I could do much with my vehicle since the engine bay is so cramped. I do have a sat based text messaging device (A SpotX) and I have membership in an off road vehicle recovery service. I can use the SpotX to communicate with them to get help.

Good luck at Tucson, I wish you well. I only went once for one day at the Big Show and left screaming the next day. The parking and congestion got to me really badly and I couldn’t handle it. Lots of interesting things but the shuttle had stopped working before The Big Show and navigating that city was just unmanageable. Took the tour of the ASARCO open pit mine the next day, that was great, and then fled to the Gold Show in Quartzsite the same day. I’ll be in Tuscon in 2021 for the fluorescent mineral theme but that is it. Probably, not again.

The commercials for SUVs like the Subarus make driving on a beach or off road seem amazingly simple and fun. What nonsense. I have seen one Subaru outfitted with LT tires and that was it. The only ones that make sense are their team rally vehicles. That’s what Subaru wants people to think they are getting. Sheesh. I did see a full on Porsche rally car on pavement in Temecula once and I have to admit I kind of liked it. Tom

“Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, Battery Powered – Compact Handheld Rechargeable Camping Showerhead” Amazon.

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