June 2002

Well, I hope you all had a chance to get out into the back country this past Memorial Day weekend.  I didn’t get out that weekend this year, but Larry and I did attend and explore some with our prospecting club Memorial Day weekend, 1985. It was a co-club get together with the Valley Prospectors and  the Southwestern  Prospectors and Miners Association; our club.


We were more active in those days and so we left Larry’s house at 6 A.M. with our tools and equipment in two truck campers.  We were also going to explore some of the adjacent areas while there.  We eventually arrived at the club claim near Randsburg, California, and  found a nice place to  park and set up our camp.


We wandered from person to person admiring and noting how the different methods of recovering placer gold were, and whether one method was more successful than another members.  Larry and I had attended “Gold Shows” where the manufacturers would demonstrate their equipment (under controlled conditions).  It really is how it performs in the field that is important.


There was a great variety to observe.  Bellows-type dry washers, rocker boxes, and micro-sluices that used recirculating water to carry the gold flakes over riffles concentrating them. The activity involved the whole family and everyone was getting a little “color” (gold). Gold panning was into wash tubs of water. It was a beautiful sunny day, but the wind was picking up by early afternoon. As measured by my wind gage, 20 MPH!  By supper time, the wind had fallen off to 10 MPH with a beautiful sunset.  This was tungsten ore country too, and I scanned the ground with my ultraviolet hand lamp. The white colored ore really fluoresced!


Sunday. We were up for the day by 6 A.M.  There was a light breeze.  Larry and I had decided to check out some of the other areas across the valley.  By 8 A.M. We were packed and ready to go.  We used the Goler road to cross the valley, then east to hiway 395, north to the road to the “Summit Diggings”, and east again in on the dirt road.  The bedrock of a prehistoric river comes to the surface there, and gold will sink to the stream bedrock.


There was quite a bit of activity there, and we drove slowly by so we didn’t raise a dust cloud around the miners.  The dirt road continued on beyond the “diggings” so we kept driving up and over into a flat area, that had an outhouse and the remains of a rock fireplace.  From there we returned to the Garlock road and found a nice camp site just north of the road. 


By then, it was 11:30 A.M., and no shade so we rigged up the tarp to provide some shade and set up camp. A mild wind (5-10 MPH) played across our site.  It was great. No noisy engines, or crowds of people.  Someone had created this camp site off the dirt road.  Very nice. Terrific view across the valley to Randsburg.  A half moon was up in the sky at 2:15 P.M. It was cooler on this side of the valley; ranging from 80-68 degrees at sundown.  The hot chili for supper was just right. Later in the evening, I got out the UV lamp and checked the area for fluorescent rocks. I lit up a resting scorpion on a slab of rock.  It glowed a lime green. Did not raise it’s tail. I called Larry down to admire it.


We stayed up until 9 P.M., then off to my camper and snug in my sleeping bag.


Monday. Memorial Day. I slept in until 7 A.M., as it was 55 degrees with a slight wind.  Eventually I got up and had my breakfast of freeze dried noodle cup, hot chocolate and a couple donuts. Around 9 A.M., we prepared our campers to relocate back to the club claim, saying good-byes, and on our way back to San Diego.  I arrived home at 6:30 P.M.


I am still trying to find my missing pictures;  hope to find them soon.


Jerome W. Anderson 

Jerome W. Anderson