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Randsburg, CA


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Heading down to Randsburg area over the Presidents Day weekend to camp and meet up with friends from LA. While they are motorcyle riding I thought I would try my luck at a little nuggetshooting. Done some research and I know there is good placers in the area, but don't know any specifics. Any info would be helpful and also if anyone is

going to be around there over the holiday, I would love to meet up and hunt. :head:

Thanks,

Steve

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:thumbsupanim Jawbone canyon has some RIGHTEOUS moss agate deposits and I wear a ring I made from the agate found there over 50 years ago. Tiny bit a gold but the rockhounding/artifacts rock :whoope: John
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I worked Goler gulch years ago and did well enough with a small dry washer. Close enough to civilization that it may be worked over real good by now..don't know. There is and old camp there(lucky camp). The cabin was still there then. Might be a good place to look for a hidey hole in the rough? There is a small cave in the area that was heavily used by Indians and possibly by prospectors. The cave is not right close to the camp but maybe 1/4 mile to the NE...not sure, been a long time. I Googled Goler Gulch recently..info there. If I get in that area again I will sure take a look. If you get there let us know how things stand.

Looks like you recovered from your injury OK and are going for it again.

Good luck,

Bill C

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I worked Goler gulch years ago and did well enough with a small dry washer. Close enough to civilization that it may be worked over real good by now..don't know. There is and old camp there(lucky camp). The cabin was still there then. Might be a good place to look for a hidey hole in the rough? There is a small cave in the area that was heavily used by Indians and possibly by prospectors. The cave is not right close to the camp but maybe 1/4 mile to the NE...not sure, been a long time. I Googled Goler Gulch recently..info there. If I get in that area again I will sure take a look. If you get there let us know how things stand.

Looks like you recovered from your injury OK and are going for it again.

Good luck,

Bill C

Thanks bcache,

Yes, the back is doing much better. Thanks for asking. Can't do too much lifting but can do some nuggetshooting. I've been out a few times since I broke it and I'm good for a few hours anyway. Still looking for that first nugget. I will check out the Goler gulch area and possibly find the old camp. Thanks for the info. Also heard the El Paso range is good hunting as well, You know anything about that area?

I'm looking to go to the spring fling in March, maybe see ya there?

Steve

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Thanks bcache,

Yes, the back is doing much better. Thanks for asking. Can't do too much lifting but can do some nuggetshooting. I've been out a few times since I broke it and I'm good for a few hours anyway. Still looking for that first nugget. I will check out the Goler gulch area and possibly find the old camp. Thanks for the info. Also heard the El Paso range is good hunting as well, You know anything about that area?

I'm looking to go to the spring fling in March, maybe see ya there?

Steve

Hi Steve,

I'm not familiar with the El Paso Range. Seems odd that very few prospecting fools seem to know much about So Cal. deserts.

I'm going to try like heck to make the Spring Fling.. looks good but we'll see. Yep, maybe see you there.

Prospectors can go stir crazy setting at home--good that you are getting out a bit!

Bill C

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i may be heading down to dove and possibly go to randsburg to. i went to jawbone today and dirtbiked and looked for any good spots, i found two old mines. i want to go try around the areas to see if i have any luck

Hey takos,

Let me know how you do around the mines. I will be down there Friday the 18th. Camping South of Randsburg off of Twenty mule team pkwy on the east side of Hwy 395. pm me if you want to hunt.

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Heading down to Randsburg area over the Presidents Day weekend to camp and meet up with friends from LA. While they are motorcyle riding I thought I would try my luck at a little nuggetshooting. Done some research and I know there is good placers in the area, but don't know any specifics. Any info would be helpful and also if anyone is

going to be around there over the holiday, I would love to meet up and hunt. :head:

Thanks,

Steve

Steve

There are some club claims all throughout that area and some of them are quite good. Might want to contact some gold prospecting clubs like the Prospectors Club of Southern California and a few more. Every time there's a heavy rain and the washes get flooded, there's always some nice finds.

http://www.prospectorsclub.org/

Steve

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there are alot of clubs throughout randsburg, im a member of the oc 49ers. they have like 7 claims within 20 min aprt. gd claims. i found my first 2 in the goler area. one after the other. i hunt these areas all the time. ill look ya up if i make out there that weekend. you can take a ride with me as my guest, if ya like the areas,join the club.there are alot of clubs and most of the rands areas,especially around goler gulch, which is in the el paso mountains is pretty claimed up by clubs. might be few spots not claimed. get jim straights book at the general store in randsburg. its called "three hours to gold". its all about the rands district. mr jim straight is the best for his knowledge on this area. another good knowledgable fella is sandtrap. he or others will chime in soon. they have been very good at helping me. just from listening to them some, i got my first with another right after.just think if i knew all they did, id have already found the biggest nugget in the world lol.i was swinging wild til i learned from the pros.shoot me a pm and let me know where exactly your gonna be before you go. ive got a jeep and dont mind ya hangin out.im no pro,but im learning.if my jeep cant make it somewhere, we will drag it in there lol.there are alot of gd areas out there. way too much for me to cover lool. but hey imma give it a hell of a try lol.

john

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Hey all I really appreciate all the great info, unfortunately it looks like my plans have changed. The wife of one of my friends I was going to meet down there is in the hospital. It appears she has suffered a brain annurism. She is doing ok but our trip has been postponed. The main reason I was going down that way was to visit some old buddies, the prospecting was just a side note.

Hopefully we will try again soon.

Thanks again,

Steve

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john...gubelube: I appreciate your good words! :) ... Both Sandtrap Jerry and Richard are almost daily out nuggethunting throughout the greater area.

Steve... sorry about your friends wife anurism... My mother passed away because of one.

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Thanks Jim Straight and micro nugget for the info. Sorry to hear about your mom, Jim. It looks as though my friends wife,Linda, had a blood clot work its way to her brain and caused a stroke, and not a more serious anurism. I think she is getting out of the hospital tomorrow.

I will hopefully get down there soon, thinking maybe April. Save some nuggets for me. :grin:

Thanks again,

Steve

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Gosh Steve... I'm glad it was not an aneurism as usually the brain dies while the body still lives...

The Randsburg Quadrangle, El Paso and Summit Range cover a vast area. While the region was first prospected in the 1860s; actually placer gold was originally discovered in the El Paso Range (Golar Wash) in the winter of 1893-94.

While placer mining on the southern slope of the Rand Mountains back in 1895, the placer miners discovered the

Yellow Aster mine... Actually there were hundreds of short-lived drywashing camps throughout the greater area. The washers were large, cumbersome, and inefficient machines. As soon as the easily recoverable placer was mined, the miners moved on.

The claim Micro Nugget mentions is known as the Red Chispa and belongs to the Prospecting Club of Southern California. It is in Benson Gulch. The late Willie Merrell sold it to the

PCSC about 1991. This is the same Willie Merrell who wrote "Those Elusive Gold Nuggets." If you can find a copy of Willies book... buy it.

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Gosh Steve... I'm glad it was not an aneurism as usually the brain dies while the body still lives...

The Randsburg Quadrangle, El Paso and Summit Range cover a vast area. While the region was first prospected in the 1860s; actually placer gold was originally discovered in the El Paso Range (Golar Wash) in the winter of 1893-94.

While placer mining on the southern slope of the Rand Mountains back in 1895, the placer miners discovered the

Yellow Aster mine... Actually there were hundreds of short-lived drywashing camps throughout the greater area. The washers were large, cumbersome, and inefficient machines. As soon as the easily recoverable placer was mined, the miners moved on.

The claim Micro Nugget mentions is known as the Red Chispa and belongs to the Prospecting Club of Southern California. It is in Benson Gulch. The late Willie Merrell sold it to the

PCSC about 1991. This is the same Willie Merrell who wrote "Those Elusive Gold Nuggets." If you can find a copy of Willies book... buy it.

Thanks Jim,

I will look for Willies book. I am ready for another read, I just finished Chris Ralphs book "Fists full of Gold".

I know you have written some books, Do you have a website or some way to look over the books you have written? I need some more books cuz winter is back here Northern NV. A couple plus feet of new snow in the mountains and more coming.

No beepin around here in the near future.

Thanks again, you SoCal guys have been very helpful and generous with the info. I grew up in SoCal and when the company I was working for was going to relocate to Carson City, I jumped at the opportunity to move out. That was in 1990, I still work for that company today.

Would be a pleasure to meet and hunt with you someday. ;)

Steve

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:) Steve... Over the years I have tramped around Minden.

However this has been over 50 years ago and now lost in the sands of time... Gosh, as an example, back the late 1940s. It was Jumbo, aka West Comstock... And I was up and down 6-mile canyon drywashing.

As far as my books, Bill Southern carrys them in his Morristown store. And if he is out of one of them, he can get it from me. I believe the one that would be best for you would be the September Revision of "ADVANCED..." It is spiral

bound and also has a 30 pg. Appendix on meteorites (slanted

to the stony chondrites).

But, to be fair, "ADVANCED..." is rather technical in parts. I graduated from Mackay in 1954 when "old time" small scale prospecting and mining was still alive and well and I was a freelance small mining consultant from 1957 until 1982.

Chris Ralphs book "Fists Full of Gold" is a great read. Willies book is more local to the El Paso Range in southern

California... There is a White's dealer in Minden... He is

pretty knowledgeable as Willies book was once carried by White's dealers. Thanks... Jim Straight

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Hey Jim, How did you do drywashing around six mile canyon? Just curious.

You wouldn't recognize it around here because it has grown so much. Just in the twenty years I have been up here it has changed dramatically. Seems like everyone you meet is from some part of California.

Thanks for the book info, I will look into getting a copy. Everything I read seems advanced to me right now. There is just so much to learn. Chris' book was tough at times and one I will be referencing often. I have been able to recognize some rock types in the field and have been doing a lot of exploring and researching. Just haven't gotten in the gold yet. I was real excited when gubelube offered to show me around down there. I hope I can get down there soon and learn some. I can't afford the state of the art detector right now. I picked up a slightly used Minelab x-terra 70 with the gold coil on it. I am hoping to find enough gold with it to step up to a PI machine.

I haven't found a source for Willies book yet, but will keep looking. The whites dealer up here does not like to return phone calls. I made several attempts to get together with him when I was in the market for a detector and he wouldn't call me back. :grr01: :shrug: .....so I gave up.

Thanks again Jim and have a great day,

Steve

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I was with Maury Lewis when we were drywashing in six mile

canyon... Maury was then 72 and very knowledgeable. It was his

drywasher and he kept the gold, furnished the lunch and our transportation was a 1930 Chevrolet that Maury owned. I was very happy about this... I was 18-19 years old and we became

good friends...We never saw anyone while drywashing at six-

mile or digging the root of a dead ponderosa pine at West Comstock...

I was then working as a laborer at the Masonic cemetery in

Reno and Maury was the the waterman... Back then everything

was done by handlabor. Pick and shovel and moving

hoses... I was saving money to return to Mackay.

The X-terra 70 with the elliptical gold coil is a pretty

good machine... I would consider it a state of the art machine... I have one and have found gold with it.

However, for me I'm now 81 and do not have the strength

to swing it very long as Mr. "Arthur Itis" has got me by

the right hip and knee and won't turn loose...

Now a thought go to the Mackay publication sales at the

U. of Nevada, or whatever it is now called... and

check out and buy any old publications. I would recommend

getting a "dictionary of geological terms" to better your

understanding of terminology... Keep positive and learning

and you will be successful

And since you have "fists full of gold" it is loaded with

knowledge. Just keep reading and rereading it... Moreover,

there are many members of this forum who will answer any

questions you ask on the forum... Best wishes Jim Straight

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  • 1 year later...

WOW--- please notice this is an old thread but it was just brought to my attention. So I'm

just "bumping it" .

Anyone interested in detecting in Benson Gulch?; contact micro nugget regarding the

Prospecting Club of Southern California. The current GPAA claims guide also lists several

GPAA claims in the El Pasos... If'n youre ever in the Randsburg area there is much local

information available at the general store and other business's. The museum is a must and

Mr. Parkers cd on Randsburg early history

So Randsburg is a pretty good "living ghost town" to stop off and visit if you are driving on

Hwy 395 between Ridgecrest and San Bernardino area... More later... "tailgate" jim straight

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Jim: Your "bump" jogged my recollection of this thread. Willie Merrill sold the Red Chispa to PCSC in the mid to late-1980s. 95% of the photos in his book were taken on the Red Chispa during the 1970s and early 1980s. The word "Chispa" in Spanish means "spark". The "Red" refers to the strong iron stains encountered on specie nuggets. Amazingly, this 20 acre gem of a claim, like Mother Goose, keeps surprising with a clutch of golden eggs every year, the larger ones above one ounce and the flyspecks numbering in the hundreds or thousands (no one has an actual, collective count). Willie's largest nugget was 11.5 ounces and can be seen in his book. The largest I ever heard of (word-of-mouth, but I have not seen) was a two-pounder taken during the earlier years. The Taft Club (of which I also am a member) owns several contiguous claims between the old prospectors grave site memorials and running uphill to the PCSC claim, and some of them also keep on producing trophy gold. I am sure you have knowledge about other amazing nuggets that have been taken out of Benson Canyon. Maybe you can share your recollections with us??? We would love to learn more about the old days of this cornucopian canyon.

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Haw-ha... Micro Nugget... willie and I were great friends dating back to 1982... I was freelance publishing

Follow the Drywashers and he was then publishing his Elusive book. I remained freelance and White's

printed 5000 copies of his book. Then Jimmy published his book and White's still had 700 copies of Willies

book. White's gave Willie the remaining 700 and Willie was selling them. George Elwood contacted me and

and I contacted Willie and the then owners of the general store sold most of the White's remaining copies

of Willes book. The book sold like hotcakes and Willie and I both knew where Tye Paulson found his about

14 pound nugtget... when I found out Willie was selling the Red Chispa I suggested to the West West End

that they puchase it at the asking price of $ 5000 as I knew of the early history of the claim, before Willie.

(Actually Willie became aware of the Red Chispa while out chucker hunting). I knew of it though the pryor

owner an older man who may have been a WW-1 veteran.

The west end was having leadership problem and decided not to buy the claim as they thought I had a

ulterior motive and with Jack Leuf we would find all of the gold... really fuzzy thinking as I had bigger fish

to fry in Nevada. I knew Bill Smillie (PCSC) and when they acquired Willie's claim with Jack and George

the three of us went with the PCSC to the claim and took them around the property. For ths we were

honored and we then joined PCSC...

However as I said I had bigger fish to fry and it is not the properites in Benson Gulch... It was iron canyon

(Nuf' said) and also the epithermal placers in the Randsburg area... I do not go after minus 20 plus 40 meshgold...

So the epithermal placers in the outlying Randsburg District has been my "game."

For anyone interested in placer gold in the Randsburg area, I wrote an article honoring George Elwood who

found over seven-pounds of nice epithrmal gold using a Minelab 2200d and a Whites Goldmaster ll. (Juel Allan

was witness to this). The article was published in the ICMJ Vol. 74 no3 pg 30-35

More later...sorry about the typod... hurridly jim

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However as I said I had bigger fish to fry and it is not the properites in Benson Gulch... It was iron canyon

(Nuf' said) and also the epithermal placers in the Randsburg area... I do not go after minus 20 plus 40 meshgold...

So the epithermal placers in the outlying Randsburg District has been my "game."

For anyone interested in placer gold in the Randsburg area, I wrote an article honoring George Elwood who

found over seven-pounds of nice epithrmal gold using a Minelab 2200d and a Whites Goldmaster ll. (Juel Allan

was witness to this). The article was published in the ICMJ Vol. 74 no3 pg 30-35

More later...sorry about the typod... hurridly jim

Hi, Jim,

Can I ask about epithermal mineral deposits and residual placers? I get the two terms confused.

My understanding is epithermal mineral deposit is a broad, global term denoting the depth and temperature at which the deposit formed. A residual placer describes a type of erosion mineral occurrence, which can be produced from an epithermal source.

I bought the back issue of ICMJ mentioned, which was Nov. 2004, and read the article. I noted these excerpts,

(1) “In Johannesburg, ... I have been told that small pieces of gold have been found in some shallow vein material.” p.32

(2) “... Atolia ... The gold can be from a darker yellow to a lighter yellow and look ragged and rough. It can be attached to a larger jagged piece of quartz, ...” p.32

(3) “... Nugget Alley ... Most of the nuggets found have been shallow, and many are still attached to reddish quartz, ...” p.34

Are these three snippets of dialog referring to residual placer deposits? I used to think that when “epithermal” is used, it refers to in situ minerals, but can epithermal also refer to a (residual) placer deposit?

Thanks for any help and explanation.

Regards,

Jim, a.k.a. “Cochetopa”

p.s. You wouldn’t happen to have a photograph of what a residual placer occurrence looks like, would you? :worship:

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Jim, a residual placer deposit can take several forms. One of the primary forms, which especially appeals to nugget hunters, is where a piece of auriferous quartz decomposes, leaving the gold behind, in situ, with little or no subsequent gold movement, which would be due to erosion. We often refer to these as "patches." Patches may contain free nuggets, or "high grade" specimens still encased in quartz. Patches may be at, or near, the original source, or, due to erosion, a patch may develop well away from the original lode source. Personally, I have found numerous small patches (a few nuggets each, in a small spot) d ownhill (usually a steep hill) below the original lode source. Sites such as Rich Hill are exceptional examples of residual patches. Then again, several nuggets, or specimen pieces, may be scattered from a patch over a broader area, due to erosion. Thus, on a hillside (elluvial) site, where you find one nugget, carefully detect the surrounding area. Remember, "You don't LEAVE gold to FIND gold." Hope this helps; no doubt "Dutch John" will masterfully elucidate further on this topic. Personally, my best patch, number-wise, netted me 85 nuggets in a few hours. It was scattered, on a steep hillside, in an area about 30 feet long (downhill) and 10 feet wide. Hope this helps; HH Jim

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