New Member Question
Last Post 15 Feb 2018 04:45 AM by James Lenfers. 13 Replies.
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James LenfersUser is Offline
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Posts:13



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11 Feb 2018 04:56 AM

     

    Greetings.

     

     

    I am trying to get as much information as I can collect on where to head off to when I start prospecting this spring.  I am a older retired person, single and my family is raised and off doing their life.  I am tired of sitting around the house growing older even faster and I always wanted to give more or less full time prospecting a go.  I built a mini RV, one ton Van customized with its own sleeping, storage and chemical camping toilet.  And I have a small equipment trailer for desert equipment for winter prospecting.

     

     

    My current plan is to hit the west, from California mother lode to as far north as Washington if need be.  I plan on using a Keene A52 sluice box and all the other standard stuff, pans, classifiers, buckets and so on.  In the winter I will be changing over to the Arizona desert and dry washing, vacuuming, spiral wheel, metal detector and hauling the buckets of heavy concentrates back to my daughters house in Phoenix to do final cleanup.

     

    My only experience at prospecting up to now is that I have only done sluicing and panning on some of the public access lands in Northern California on the American river forks, and up in Oregon a little north of Grants pass.  But this was decades ago when things were allot easier I would ten to think on the laws in these states.

     

     The main thing I am missing to start out getting out there is the particular laws in these states, and if I am looking for a best situation area to go, approximately where in each state.  As I am looking for a combination of access for a two wheel drive van, the ability to camp there or nearby to cut travel and a decent area I can sluice on.

     

     I would appreciate any input on these objectives where the west coast states are concerned.  The desert prospecting I will work out more when I get that far into it.  I figure hitting the GPAA meetings at my local Tucson Chapter and maybe some outings into the desert is what I will have to do there.  But for right now, the wet placer prospecting in the west coast is the first thing coming up and I am trying to get enough information to know where to start on getting out there. 

    ALBERT REITZUser is Offline
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    11 Feb 2018 12:43 PM
    Hello James the best place to start is a GPAA chapter near you a great place to meet and get answers
    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    11 Feb 2018 04:30 PM

     

    Good point Albert.  I already planned on attending the Tuscon chapter meeting or whatever else they have going before I start desert prospecting next winter.  Since I want to start off trying to do northern California mother lode area in the spring, the logical place would be the northern CA chapters.  There would probably be quite a number of them.  Funny Tuscon and even Phoenix dawned on me for the desert but the western state chapters as I travel really didn't.

     

    Thanks Albert 

    Ray GongawareUser is Offline
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    11 Feb 2018 05:39 PM
    Hey James, I am pretty much in the same place, trying to figure where to go so I can use my high banker, I am retired 76 years old, and been mining most of my life, Arizona is great in the winter and there is a lot of fine gold there, I prefer metal detecting over Dry Washing for it,



     I just bought a small Pop up camper and am thinking of going out to California,  but first going to do some checking here in the Black Hills of S Dakota. I wish you luck,and like they said Check with the GPAA Chapters wherever you end up. Ray G
    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    11 Feb 2018 06:19 PM
    Hey Ray

    Yah, if this was back in the days of my 20's when I used to play with it, I would have no doubt where I am going in the summer because there just ain't no gold like California motherlode gold. My main concern almost 40 years latter though is there just ain't no messed up laws and restrictions then California either. And I am native Californian that watched it change, so I get to say that. But I still want to try there first if its not to terrible. I used to pull more gold out of the forks of the American river and the feed creeks by accident then how hard I worked to get it in Oregon, which would be my second choice. At least in Oregon you can camp on public land for 14 days and keep moving, so you can get pretty close to what you want to work.
    A. BRENT HARSHBARGERUser is Offline
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    11 Feb 2018 07:03 PM
    James, since you’re in the Tucson area, stop in to the gold show next weekend. There will be several clubs there to talk to. If you buy your tickets online they are half price.
    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    12 Feb 2018 04:06 AM
    Brent
    I would do that but I am not in the Tucson area yet. I am in Missouri waiting on early spring. I just put my points to the Tucson chapter since I will be in southwest Arizona desert more of the year then the west coast states. I probably only have June, July, August, September in California or maybe Oregon. Then the winter in Arizona after I get my desert equipment in shape.
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
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    12 Feb 2018 03:59 PM
    Being a GPAA member,

    I would suggest studying the mining guide, get some ideas as to where you may be interested in checking out.
    Be claim specific, throw it out here on the forum, see if any one has experience with those claims
    We could sit here all night suggesting places to go that may or maynot be an area of interest.
    I can speak for NorCal, every claim I have been to north of Yosemite to Reno, I have found something
    All in the Sierra Foothills. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter, some are inaccessible in the winter, may be water, may not

    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    12 Feb 2018 04:26 PM
    William Hall

    Perhaps you can tell me a bit about the GPAA claims on the American river forks or tributary creeks to them and what the restrictions tend to be while I am waiting on that guide to show up. Basically all I want to do is run a sluice box and pan. I have no interest in dredging. To darn old to even think about it. Or even the backside of the Sierras on the Rene side. I never tried there.

    Before I set out I am going to cross reference gps locations and mark the GPAA claims onto Google Earth and take a good look at the terrain and river for elevation changes, rapids, sand bars, what kind of access. Whether I can drive relatively close. Camping areas. These old legs aren't what they used to be for hiking in and out of gorges ya know.
    joseph LoydUser is Offline
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    13 Feb 2018 02:51 PM
    I do know that the quincy area has some claims you can get into in a two wheel drive as I have been to many of them .And yes many have room to camp on for the 14 days .And they are not hard getting into.
    Member LDMA and several other clubs in CA.
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
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    13 Feb 2018 03:54 PM
    James,

    Please call me Bill, at least to my face LOL

    It's a good thing your no longer dredging, after 8 years the state still refuses to sell a dredge permit
    Sluicing and panning will go just about anywhere
    To my knowledge, there are no GPAA claims on the American River
    Most of the lower river is Auburn State Rec. Area, and believe is hands and pans only
    I would suggest googlin that, check out the website, many rules and regs.
    There are some public areas on the river, Ruckchucky, Drivers Flat, primitive camping
    Upper river, probably claimed dont know, much research, some camping
    To be clear, there are no claims in or around Reno close, nor is there much water
    Speaking of water, the state of California is back to drought conditions, although the state wont admit it (yet), haven't had ANY rain the month of February which is our wettest month
    Water will be scarce this summer, get your metal detectors now
    I use google earth and maps, but will caution you, satellite view and boots on the ground are very different
    I would also suggest googlin over to USGS for topo maps, or somewhere to obtain maps, dont leave home without them, GPS
    An ole fishing mantra, if you can drive to the water, you most likley wont catch any fish, same holds true for gold in my experience

    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    13 Feb 2018 06:42 PM
    Thank you Joseph and Bill

    Yah, you're right Bill. If you can drive right in, its probably not going to be that great. Neither is how far I can hike before I wear out. I suppose the Arizona and Nevada desert might be an exception somewhat to that since there is all kinds of abandoned claims out there and primary and secondary ore dumps with them that got left behind.

    But I am looking for where to spend the summer, not the winter yet. Well, I will just mark the gpaa claims in Northern California, hit the meetings and see what happens. I will take a close look at Quincy there Joseph, right now as a matter of fact.

    I know how good I would do in Oregon if it came to that. One thing about that. Its not nearly as hot as the foothills there out of Auburn and if its hands and pans only now, I wouldn't want to go there anyhow. I used to live in that area, several times. And also in Truckee, which was my favorite place to live before it got so heavily populated.
    Ray GongawareUser is Offline
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    14 Feb 2018 10:19 PM
    I agree James,The good old days are  gone,that was back when you and I lived in the land of the Free....now we live in the land of the Fee, hard to do anything that they don't charge you for.I have mined up on the Apple gate and Illinois river in Oregon, was fun times and decent gold,Also worked a 20 acre claim in Alaska up in the Cache Creek area a bit north of Talkeetna big gold there, Quartszite is OK but pretty fine gold there, I prefer detecting when I am there. Black Hills of  S.Dakota lots of places to look, which is probably what I will do this Spring,Thought of going to California but the things you mentioned are the same reasons I hesitate to go....I do wish you great success where ever you choose to go .....Ray G



    James LenfersUser is Offline
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    15 Feb 2018 04:45 AM
    Ray

    Its probably going to come down to Oregon simply because in California it might be feasible for a young person that can hike into the feeder creeks with backpack camping gear, plus a breakdown sluice and hand tools, bucket, classifier, pans. And camp there a few days at a time. My legs don't carry me that far anymore.
    Winter time I think its around Vegas and Pahrump area. The advantage there is it would be hard getting started, but as you get to know the more local desert prospectors the knowledge of the area and what you can do and where goes up allot faster I think. It just takes some significant investment on equipment, and seriously learning the geology. Beyond where you can hunt and do it, the desert is a different game. Its 75 percent knowing the geology and good sampling. 25 percent seriously hard work.
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