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


Continuing On With all Matters Right and Relevant

Getting Closer to the Barnett Prospect

Quick Nighttime Fluorescent Mineral Hunt

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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Another Story on How Those Lost Mines Stories Got Started

Our man Rolf, once, again. (internal link)

Another Story on How Those Lost Mines Stories Got Started

Hi Tom,

Glad you thought those stories were useful and no problem letting others know how and where a lot of those come from.

Mary just reminded me of one more and I know you will like this one.

A fellow from the area belonged to the local mineral club and they told him I was a good source to help identify things. We became friends over a number of visits. He loved getting out and looking for mines in the area. He lived over by Pearce, an old mining town still in the area.

One time he asked if I would go with him to look for a mine in the Cochise Stronghold of the Dragoon Mountains.

He had been told of a mine up in one canyon and had gone up looking for it but didn’t find it and wanted to see if I would go with him and use my better mine eye to find it.

We drove up to Cochise Stronghold and parked and then took the one trail he said the mine was supposed to be up. From what he had been told, the mine was high up toward the ridge near the top and there was a nice hole with ore on the dumps. We hiked and it was a pretty day and a very steep area. The trail finally played out and went off to a different area and he said he had been told the mine was up the canyon toward the top of where we were standing. The area was very steep and none of the rock I had gone past looked like it could have a mine, let alone a gold mine like he had been told.


We finally came to a steep waterfall area that had no easy way past it without equipment. We sat down on the rocks and just looked at the nice view. We had seen nice wildlife and plenty of great views but no mine.

This was when my friend told me where he had heard about this. As soon as he said it was an old Apache Woman that lived down in the canyon I let my eyes roll back in my head and knew right away what had taken place. My wife is part Apache and she had told me often of the stories the Apaches had told the white man, as they used to call us import peoples. The old woman had told my friend a story and for some odd reason, he had bought into it. The woman said that the story of the Lost Dutchman’s mine was all a hoax by the Indians to get a lot of white men out looking for it and then die in the rough and unforgiving terrain.

She told my friend that the Lost Dutchman mine was actually a mine toward the top of the Dragoon Mountains and the Indians had told the story of it being in the Superstition Mountains to fool people into not looking where it “really” was, here in Cochise Stronghold. I was ticked at him for having dragged me on a total wild goose chase and remarked that the old lady had gotten back a bit at a stupid white man to go looking for a total story that she had made up.

All I could tell him was that at least it was a pretty day and a good day for a hike but I also informed him that I would never join him on any of his wild goose chases again. I told Mary of the whole tale and she agreed, the woman had found another sucker to go on chasing for gold.

There are a ton of these stories and you are welcome to use this any way you like.

In retrospect it was kind of a funny situation and he did say that he didn’t want to tell me before we went up on the mountain because he knew how I would react, he was right, I never would have gone if I had known where the story came from.


Bob Ward spent 30 years in the Superstition looking for the Old Dutchman Mine and his  theories (or mad guesses)  are still in print.