The Baxter Mine, Inyo County

Personal website:

The Baxter Mine, Inyo County

My eyes are good enough to cut and paste links if I wear my sunglasses at the screen:

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A road within yet outside of a WA.

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It was a beautiful morning.

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Excellent tour of the the Baxter Mine on YouTube. Comes complete with the requisite twangy banjo music that is on every prospecting or Old West adventure video..

Probably Not a Wintering Ground

Too few dugouts. Back to that unnamed canyon between Pahrump, Nevada and Shoshone, California.

An Indian Wintering Ground?

Anthropologists, please weigh in.

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Sorry I didn’t take still photos so you could look further. About 12 feet wide, 12 feet deep, about 6 feet high. I suspect native people dug out or enlarged natural openings. There are several in view from this entrance. Prospectors would have used them as temporary shelters so anything that was here was probably damaged or lost. No reason for a prospector to have dug so many with no indication of resources or any exploratory diggings. No obvious pick work. This may have been a wintering ground. While miners and others dug out homes out of clay at Dublin Gulch in nearby Shoshone, there was water there year round. No way to live here in the summer. #geology#mojavedesert #inyocounty#explore#shelter#geology#rocks

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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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Rolf Luetcke on Fossils

Hi Tom,

Besides being an “old fossil” , my fossil hunting actually goes back to when I was a kid in Germany. My dads’ family house was near a small town and they had a nice piece of land with the old family house on it. The whole area around the house was crushed rock that was brought in to make an area that didn’t get muddy during rains. In among the pieces of rock there were crinoid fossils. I would sit for hours looking in the gravel for pieces with the rounded fossils in them. I had no idea what they were but I remember looking for them.

Never got into fossils in a big way either but knew a bit about them from my college days.

Didn’t get back to fossils until I moved where we are now. I was taking the dogs on morning walks and when I walked, I rarely slowed down, I have always had a fast pace when I am out and hiking. But, having to pee does make one stop and on one hike I stopped to pee and then always looked around and to my amazement, found a bone in a piece of rock just about a mile West of our house. If I had just found the bone I may not have noticed much but thought it was something a coyote had lost but in this case, the bone was par of the rock of the area, a white caliche like material. That got me looking and before long I saw little bone fragments all over the place.

Home again I researched this and got in touch with the University in Tucson. One of the guys there sent me a paper he had written on the fossil history of the San Pedro River Valley. It seems this area was a study area for major Universities from a few places back in the 1930’s and 40’s. They had found this area rich in mammal fossils from recent times to about 5 million years. I was hooked and started looking more and more. Found a bunch of things and was able to identify quite a few species in what I had come across.

Found all sorts of things of the mammal fossils from the area, including Camel, Mastadon, Rhino, Horse and many more. Fun stuff and I have a nice display in the shop/museum of the finds.

There are a number of much more ancient fossils also in the area and those stones I sent photos of are examples.

Lots of shell fossils in the area limestones too. One spot between Tombstone and Bisbee has wonderful layers and each one a different kind of shell life in it.

Never did get into fossils as I did minerals but it was fun to learn some of the history of the area.

One that was both mineral, fossil and lapidary material is Turitella, a fossil material from the West. I got some nice big pieces of it and did a few into jewelry, quite hard stuff. You may look into getting some for your cutting.

Here is a photo of the Turitella I did a cabachon of, neat stuff.

This is fossil Auricaria cone from Argentina, this piece a friend gave me to cut. This material is somewhat protected now by the Argentine govt. it was mostly smuggled out before.

This one is Stromatolite, a fossil algae, and quite ancient. Got some of this to cut from the Illinois friend.

My knowledge of fossils is not that good but I have had fun with the material I have come across.

I am sure you will come across some also in hunting rock. Petrified wood, or pet wood as we call it, is a good example.

Take care


Getting Closer to the Barnett Prospect

Quick Nighttime Fluorescent Mineral Hunt

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.

A Few Miles Up Wheeler Pass Road

My writing website is here:

A Few Miles Up Wheeler Pass Road

Wheeler Pass Road near Pahrump, Nevada. Not to be confused with Walker Pass Road in California.

On a personal note.

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Requiem for a dead lizard. Before pest control came out to spray the house I am now renting, I told the landlord that “there was a group of happy lizards around the house so the pest control people should be cognizant of this.” The landlord said he talked to them and nothing they used was poisonous to animals.” Two hours after the guy left I found this dead lizard a few feet from my back door. Maybe a coincidence but I haven’t seen the other two or three several hours later and they were always running around and present. When I worked in the green trade in California I had to get a qualified applicator’s certificate from the State so I am kind of sensitive about this. I know I shouldn’t be upset about the loss of a few lizards but I told everybody in advance. And I am upset. #lizard#wildlife#littlethings#pahrump

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Trying to Document a Nighttime Fluorescent Mineral Hunt

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Documenting fluorescent mineral hunting at night on video will be a real challenge for me. My dedicated camcorder can overcome some of the problems you see here because I can adjust the white balance, greatly reducing what is known as blue bleed. These adjustments, however, would all have to be done in the dark or very low level light. That is a tricky, practical problem. And then I'd need to fine tune the video in post, again, quite a challenge. My still camera can also better adjust for white balance. A compromise might be to do a number of stills, and then make a slideshow movie. All of this, of course, takes away from collecting which is what I want to do in the first place. I think it would be worth the effort to do a good video in a very good area, such as the Yellow Pine Mine in Goodsprings. There was an area when I last visited of about forty feet by twelve feet, and on the ground were small chips of hydrozincite. It may have been a dump made level, and none of the chips were of collectible size. Never-the-less, the ground glowed blue and white and it looked like I was walking on stars. #photography#rockhound#geogistonboard#rockhounding#nopawilderness#nightimephotography#pahrump#minerals#iv#flourescentlights #video#postprocessing

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