Stakes are High for the First Annual LDMA Battle Across the Desert
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The discovery of gold in America has always brought with it stiff competition among opposing sides who are always vying to get their hands on as much of the precious metal as possible. Now, the spirit of competition from the Old West is being revived by Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association in their first annual Battle Across the Desert.
The event is a three-week competition between two of the most active gold mining camps in the southwestern United States. From November 27 through December 18, the camps at Stanton, Arizona and Duisenburg, California will be open to the public where people of all ages can try their luck at gold mining.
What’s at stake? The staff at Duisenburg and Stanton have wagered a half-ounce of gold each—winner take-all—for the camp that collects the highest amount of gold during the three week competition. LDMA invites you to pick a side and prepare to stake your claim with your fellow prospectors to see which camp takes home the title of the true desert gold mining capital of the United States.
The best part is that participants will actually get to keep any gold they find during the competition.
Banter between the two camps has already started. Duisenburg and Stanton staff members are preparing to face off as the Battle Across the Desert is shaping up to be about more than just bragging rights.
“We don’t have to bless our paydirt,” says Peggy Schlichter, caretaker of Duisenburg Camp. “We give ‘em the good stuff right off the bat. We’re ready to battle it out and count up who gets the most gold. We’ll keep digging and keep getting gold. That’s all that matters. If you’ve seen the gold we pull out of the ground here in Duisenburg, it ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at.”
Visitors are welcome to stay for one single night, or for the full three weeks if they so choose. This event is a great opportunity for gold prospectors and mining enthusiasts to have full access to two of the country’s most productive gold mines, as well as a chance to enjoy camping in the same places where much of the California and Arizona gold rushes took place.
“This is a great chance for people to come out here and really dig in and use some of the best gold mining equipment and methods to find some gold for themselves,” said Dominic Ricci, Executive Director of LDMA. “It’s not a question of if they’ll find any gold, but how much gold they’ll find.”
Our Stanton, Arizona camp is one of the most popular LDMA locations in the country for a number of reasons. The camp is situated beside legendary Antelope Creek, which runs through with seasonal water which brings large amounts of gold deposits from the nearby hills. Our picturesque western camp is located in the heart of the Weaver-Rich Hill Mining District which became famous in 1863 when “spud-sized” gold nuggets were found by Pauline Weaver.
The 120-acre camp offers more than 130 RV camping sites that include water and electricity hookup, as well as dry camping, restrooms, showers, laundry and more. Visitors can explore the historic Opera House which now serves as the camp’s clubhouse and make use of the kitchen for meal preparation.
“Really? You think Duisenburg has a chance? (laughing) Stanton Camp rocks and whoever chooses to come out and participate will find gold…lots of gold. It’s here waiting! John Mathis, caretaker of Stanton Camp. “We have a team of members that will step up and help people find gold!”
Prospectors who attend the Battle Across the Desert from the Stanton Camp will have access to equipment like highbankers, trommels, drywashers, rocker boxes and sluices, and can also engage in crevassing, panning and metal detecting around the property.
LDMA’s Duisenburg Camp is located in California’s Mojave Desert, and one of the only remaining gold mining operations in the once rich valley of prospectors. Visitors will step into a place that seems to be straight out of the Wild West with all the old hallmarks of an old mining town. Located just a couple hours drive from Los Angeles, our Duisenburg Camp is ideal for RV camping, as well as tent camping.
The gold found in and around the Duisenburg Camp is nothing short of legendary. Members have reportedly found everything from gold flakes to small nuggets in the hills in and around the 160-acre camp. Visitors can enjoy dry camping sites at Duisneburg, as well as kitchen and clubhouse access. The camp also offers opportunities for prospectors to use equipment like highbankers and drywashers, and can take part in crevassing, panning and metal detecting while at camp.
“We’re gonna win because we all work together as a family,” says Schlichter. “We ain’t never met a stranger here. That’s the best part.”
Click here to find out more about the Battle Across the Desert 2020, or visit the official Battle Across the Desert Facebook page.