New and Old Prospectors Join the Fun as the Battle Across the Desert Rages On
The Battle Across the Desert is rolling on strong with plenty of new faces showing up at both Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association camps in Duisenburg, California and Stanton, Arizona. Directors from both camps have reported that the event has been a resounding success in helping introduce what LDMA has to offer gold mining enthusiasts and amateur prospectors, as well as opening the doors of both camps so that members new and old can work together to learn and enhance their knowledge of gold mining and the many different techniques that are effective in extracting the precious yellow metal from the Earth.
The Battle Across the Desert is an exciting competition and mining adventure experience that is unlike any other LDMA has ever organized before. Two of LDMA’s most popular and productive gold mining camps, Duisenburg and Stanton, are matching up against each other to see which one can put up the most gold found during the three-week event. In order to get the most gold possible, LDMA has opened the doors to both camps so that non-members can have the rare opportunity to enjoy all the advantages and amenities that are exclusively available to LDMA members.
The event began on November 27 and will last until December 18 when the amounts of gold found at each individual camp will be placed on the scale, tallied, and compared to one another in order to determine which camp is to be named the LDMA Gold Mining Capital of the West for 2020. Each camp has also 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.
Those interested can still join in the fun and be a part of this expedition at either Duisenburg or Stanton from now until December 18.
“This is truly a one-of-a-kind event that we’re doing to let people who aren’t members come in and enjoy everything we have to offer at these two amazing gold mining camps,” said Dominic Ricci, Executive Director of Operations for LDMA. “Everyone who is showing up has been raving about everything we have going on from the amount of gold they’re able to find in the scoops of paydirt they’re getting to the hands-on learning experiences they can have with any one of our pieces of mining equipment. It’s been a big hit, overall.”
Peggy Schlichter is caretaker of the LDMA’s Duisenburg Camp and noted that the Battle Across the Desert has been instrumental in bringing in a load of new amateur gold prospectors that are quickly realizing that there is still a lot of gold to be found in the desert and hills of southern California.
“It’s gone great so far. We’ve seen a lot of new faces—people of all ages and from all over this part of the country. They’re all finding gold, and you can tell they are finding a lot because they’re all grinning from ear to ear,” says Schlichter. “So far, we’ve had folks find a surprising amount of gold from small flakes to what we call “pickers” or a piece of gold that’s big enough that you can pick it up out of the pile of dirt or rocks you’re looking at. It’s always fun to see new people come in and get excited and catch gold fever.”
Schlichter says that visitors are enjoying the camping and camaraderie that are both in plentiful supply. LDMA’s Duisenburg Camp is situated in California’s Mojave Desert, and is one of the few remaining gold mining operations in what was once a rich valley of full-time gold prospectors. Participants in the Battle Across the Desert who join in from the Duisenburg Camp will step into a scene that’s straight from the old American West and features all the notable hallmarks of a historic mining town. The camp is located just a couple hours drive from Los Angeles and has an ample number of sites that are great for RV camping, as well as tent camping.
“We have a lot of regulars that are showing up to the event to help us pull out enough gold to get the win over Stanton,” says Schlichter. “The new folks that are turning out are able to join in with our more experienced members who are really experts when it comes to gold prospecting. It’s really a fantastic opportunity for them to get an up-close, hands-on learning experience in how to mine gold in a desert area like Duisenburg.”
Duisenburg is located in an area that—among gold prospectors—is considered to be ‘high desert’ region, which is full of bushes, cactus, sand and rocks as far as the eye can see. The camp’s specific location is situated on what was once an ancient riverbed, as well as a lake at one time. Duisenburg is also surrounded by mountains and offers many different rocky areas that are rich in gold deposits which are simply waiting for someone to find.
Opposite of Duisenburg in the Battle Across the Desert is the LDMA Stanton Camp, which is situated beside the historic gold mining heart of Arizona at Antelope Creek. The famous creek runs through the camp with seasonal water that 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 Stanton camp is arguably the most popular of all LDMA camps scattered across the country, and a visit to the location makes it easy to see why members flock to this camp throughout each year.
Nannette Mathis serves as caretaker of the Stanton Camp with her husband, John, She says that the Battle Across the Desert has been one of the most exciting ventures to date at the camp and she expects the gold to continue pouring in from regular LDMA members and new visitors alike.
“It’s been great to watch our dedicated members join in with the efforts of some of our new visitors and see them work together to turn up the amount of gold we’re seeing come in on a daily basis,” says Mathis. “We’re keeping up with the finds and everything else going on during the event on our Facebook group page for LDMA Stanton. People are really having a blast out here.”
Gold prospectors at the LDMA Stanton Camp are able to operate a wide range of mining equipment including high bankers, dry washers, metal detectors, and many others, as well as engage in activities like panning and other techniques to extract gold from the dusty desert soil.
The 120-acre camp is ideal for dry camping and RV use and includes water/electricity hookups, restrooms, showers, and many other amenities that combine to create an exceptionally comfortable and enjoyable stay.
“We have specialized excursions and activities planned out for every single day while the Battle Across the Desert is going on,” says Mathis. “Visitors can enjoy things like a trip out to Crystal Mountain where they can dig for valuable and rare crystals, a box canyon run, panning classes, dry washing and high banker classes, and we also have days where we take people out and teach them how to read the washes and look for the best spots to prospect for gold.”
Both leaders from Duisenburg and Stanton camps have commented on the unique and action-packed nature of the event, saying that they are confident in their side’s ability to take home the top prize.
While the Battle Across the Desert rages on, there are still opportunities for members of the public and LDMA members alike to join in and stake their own claims. To find out more about how you can join in the fun, click here or visit the Battle Across the Desert Facebook page here.