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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Continuing On With all Matters Right and Relevant

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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Our Man in St. David, Arizona

Rolf Luetcke reports,

Hi Tom,

Shame about the thefts and destruction at that location, it is a sad part of todays’ time, well, not just today but it went on here in the area also. What happened here was years ago one of the Treasure Magazines had an article about the old ghost towns that the people had lived in. They talked about a lot of the people who lived in the adobe places and wooden ones too, would hide things in the walls, gold coins, jewelry and more. So, guess what, the people who read that article went to any ghost towns they could access and started knocking down the walls, looking for the possible stash. The one place I remember a lot of old adobe buildings was Gleeson not too far from us. I went there back in the 70’s, when I moved to Bisbee and there were a lot of old adobe buildings there.

A number of years later, all the buildings were down. At first I thought it was just weathering and then I talked to someone who told me that the “treasure” hunters had come in and knocked the walls down with their 4 wheel drive vehicles, looking for those stashes in the walls. That one article sure ruined a lot of old buildings that were really historic.

I saw that in other places too, too many were just destroyed for what probably was not there at all. One gal in Bisbee, an older Mexican lady that lived up the street from my house there, she used to live in a smaller house near the Mexican border, still in the US and she told me that her mom had that house. She also said her mom had told her that she had burried a bag of gold coins under that house. I said she should go down and find it. She said she was not going to go looking. Now what is wrong with that picture. I know that nobody who actually had a story that was true would not go looking for a bag of gold coins. So, I knew it was just a made up story.

So many of the old treasure stories were just that, made up. I had talked to a fellow who was an old prospector that used to come in our shop. He said a lot of the old prospectors in the old West would run out of money and they would sit in the bars and tell tales of gold to anyone who would listen and buy them drinks. Of course those were made up stories, like the Lost Dutchman and they abounded. For drinks I wonder how many of those were told. Mary has a sister who’s husband had bought into a couple of those stories. He had one about a “gold vein” that was in the Whetstone Mountains near us. The story went that an old prospector back in the old west was walking from Tucson to Tombstone and ran out of water while crossing the Whetstones. He said that he was so thirsty that when he found a quartz vein loaded with gold he was too thirsty to do anything but get to the San Pedro River for water. Then he never could find it again. The brother in law was always over there looking for it.

Now it never did anything for me because the rock type over there was just wrong for gold.

As for the Geyserite. When I found the American Mine in Cochise County, only a few miles north of us, it had only one photo on mindat and that was Geyserite!! Mary and I went out there often to collect and I never saw anything that resembled geyserite I knew about. I knew it formed in a few different ways and one was vents of hot fluids coming from below. Just not the right area over at the American Mine. All the times we went over there and one trip Mary found some jasperoid material that was pink. Different than any of the rock on the dumps. She tossed it in the collecting bag. At home I looked under the microscope and in the jasperoid stuff were hollows and when I got those under the magnification I saw the Geyserite. It had formed in the jasper material at the edge of the ore body that also formed from solutions that came in from below. The jasperoid was the ore control body in the ground and since it is a hard material because of the quartz in it, the mining didn’t need to remove any of it to get the ore out so very little of that material ever got above ground to the dumps except that piece Mary found. The explination of the jasperoid ore control in the ground told me where the geyserite had been. We did get one and in those vesicles in the jasper material were the deposited opal that often is in the geyserite. So, we finally did get some.

I add the photo here.

Again, shame about the messing with the mine equipment and stealing it. Happens too often these days.

Take care


This is that jasperoid material Mary found, 5x4cm and those small holes are where the geyserite was.

Here is a close up of the vesicles in the jasper material, you can see the rough quartz that formed and the opal that also deposited.

This is a picture of the geyserite I got yesterday. I have yet to scope it.

To Shoshone, California in The Morning

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Okay, who’s the rockhound dumping in the desert? Pulled off the road a bit about eight miles from Shoshone. I promised myself no rockhounding today but look what I found! This isn’t construction debris, some of the sandstone pieces have been slabbed. Nice 1/4 inch thickness. Collected half a bag of miscellaneous. A few agate pieces light up soft lime green but nothing special. My metal detector doesn’t trip on anything but one of my Geiger counters won’t quiet down on a sandstone piece with a purple deposit. Hmm. Another mystery. I will return. Oh, the last photo shows the tricky entry point to the highway. Don’t get high centered. #roadtrip#rockhound#rockhounding#shoshone#restingspringswilderness#inyocounty#minerals#radioactivity

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Found the Mines!

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Old but well shouldered road leads on. This is on the other side of the hill that makes up the south wall of the canyon I visited last. BLM has this mine mapped, calling it the Shaw Mine. Mindat says that is one of many names used in the area. Topozone shows the location on an older USGS topo. Nothing showing on the map about any mine in the canyon. That will take going to the USGS store to see if a much older USGS map shows what was happening there. I am walking on this road past the several hundred yard section that has been completely destroyed by floods. There are a few two rock cairns to guide you. #geology #geologyrocks#limestone#nyecounty#mines#minerals#lead#zinc#silver#nopahwilderness#pahrump

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I sound depressed, I’m just tired. And I should have said a deposit of calcite, not calcite by itself. These rocks were picked up at random in broad daylight. I mention the Convoy Dragonfly. Great portable lamp. Take it fully charged and have spare batteries. Long wave. The majority of fluorescent material shows up under SW, nevertheless, this will give you a good idea of an area’s potential if you have to hike in to a collecting spot. This is iPhone photography of course so colors and brightness are only partially true. I’ll show off some more interesting rocks (non-UV), later on. #geology#rocks#ultravioletlight #fluorescentminerals #nopahwilderness#inyocounty#pahrump#explore#outdoors#mojave#desert

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