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Can anyone kindly advise me (a Canadian meteorite hunter) on the feasibility of going to Franconia, Arizona for meteorite hunting? Would it be justified to spend say two and a half thousand dollars on airplane tickets, hotels, etc. and come from Canada, only to find ............nothing?

Is it possible to find nothing? Not a single stone?

Your honest comment would be highly appreciated. Please feel free in saying the truth, it will hurt but I'll take it. Is there a chance, are there other better places to hunt than Franconia?

"A fellow meteorite lover!"

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Im not as familiar with Franconia, but as for gold basin.. I would say the odds are with you to pull atleast one if your swinging all day. Probably more if your lucky.. still no guarantees. Either way, you always have vegas..the trip wouldnt be a complete loss. :thumbsupanim

Landon

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"Honesty is the best policy..." Both strewn fields still yield many fine stones, however that being said, many still have walked away empty handed. A lot of factors come into play when hunting, such as the kind of detector, how well you know the machine, where you actually hunt, etc. Personally, if I wanted to do it, and the passion was too overwhelming, and it didn't break the bank, then I might consider it. Again, as already mentioned, there are no guarantees when hunting meteorites. I've been hunting both places for the past 5 years and have been skunked more than once. The experience is always worth it, but having something to show for it always makes it that much more worth the time. Good luck in your decision, Jason. ;)

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Your decision to make, of course.

My wife and I have been going to Franconia over the last year and a half. We find meteorites (GMT and GM4) maybe 25% of the time. And, still nothing over 46 grams... :*&$*(:

Maybe you could hit Holbrook, Franconia, Red Dry Lake and Gold Basin, then Las Vegas to make it a worthwhile trip.

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Can anyone kindly advise me (a Canadian meteorite hunter) on the feasibility of going to Franconia, Arizona for meteorite hunting? Would it be justified to spend say two and a half thousand dollars on airplane tickets, hotels, etc. and come from Canada, only to find ............nothing?

Is it possible to find nothing? Not a single stone?

Your honest comment would be highly appreciated. Please feel free in saying the truth, it will hurt but I'll take it. Is there a chance, are there other better places to hunt than Franconia?

"A fellow meteorite lover!"

My answer to this is pretty much the same as Jason's. I've been skunked there many times and it's taken me some time to learn the area. And I am still learning. Often, I may find only one small iron or a small OC. It is no different than any other meteorite hunt. It's 99% luck to see or swing over a meteorite in thousands of square acres. And, at Franconia, it's not uncommon to put 3 miles or more of walking in a day just to get to a hunting spot. It's getting warm here in the desert and you have to carry enough water to last an entire day. On a scale of physical difficulty from light/moderate/arduous, I'd say a good hunt is in the moderate to arduous range. Normally, we are all dragging ourselves back to our vehicles that might be two miles away at the end of a hunt.

Franconia Chondrites sell for about $1/gram. The small irons a bit more. While the Chondrites are under valued by about $39.00/gram, you could NEVER justify your expense on anything you would find there. However, for most of us that are hunters, the value is in the challenge of the hunt, matching our skill and experience against the odds of finding anything! Watching an awesome sunrise and spending the day freely wondering the area enjoying the ways of nature in the desert are good enough for most of us.

Last weekend, several of us met a man named Arno out at Franconia. He flew into Vegas and came out to hunt Franconia. First, he learned his Garrett 350 would not detect meteorites. He only had a magnet stick to work with. He was pointed in the right direction and his persevering effort paid off and he did find a nice specimen within the very last hours of his stay. I came across him in the field not 20 minutes after he found his stone. He was just super happy to meet us, Stan, Richard, Jason, Wendy and myself

and totally jazzed to find his space rock. He did not go home empty handed.

So, I suppose the bottom line is it would be up to you if it's worth it.

Kind Regards,

Jim

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" Would it be justified to spend say two and a half thousand dollars on airplane tickets, hotels, etc. and come from Canada, only to find ............nothing?"

How do you define "justify"? You won't make any money on the trip...so the thrill of the hunt, the memories and hopefully a space rock or two will be the return on your expenditure...

I have been to Franconia five times and found goodies twice...

fred

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Thank you all who replied to my questions. You are nice people who know what you are talking about. It is basically up to the hunter to decide what is important, the hunt or to find a meteorite or even meeting you guys.

Meeting people like you would be the thrill of the whole experience even if nothing is found! I would love to.

Perhaps we can meet and you can please take me along! :rolleyes:

Thanks again for your informative replies.

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Aloha guy,

First of all, with an avatar name as yours we definitely have to meet at Franconia. Long story why but we can chat about it when we finally meet.

Now for the rest of the story: Like all the others have said about what it may be worth to hunt Franconia with the possibility of walking away empty-handed. What would it be worth to you to meet total strangers willing to give you a helping hand in this hobby, how about acquiring some long time long-distance friendships that may last a lifetime, and how about even finding a meteorite your first time out in a strange strewfield. Whew, I can go on and on.

At gas at almost $4.00 a gallon I usually spend about $80.00 for a round trip from Vegas to Franconia, and that is with a Jeep that gives me tremendous milage. I know of others who spend more BUT they make the trip just to TRY.

I find that money spent on this hobby is money well spent if only for my peace of mind and time spent with friends in an atmosphere that can only be healthy for your body and soul.

Nough for the sermon!!:zip-lip:

If you do decide to make the trip to Franconia, all you have to do is let us know on this forum and there are a bunch of us who will respond and make plans to meet with you to show you around. I for one will welcome the chance to beat feet out of Vegas, land of the Los Wages, just to maintain my sanity.

Keep in touch on this forum and let us know what you plan to do. Sounds to me like we need to plan an outing for this one!:whoope:

Aloha and stay safe.

Stan aka Ka'imi

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I've been away from the computer and the forums I just returned from a 4 day hunt.

I will throw in my 2cents of opinion. :twocents:

If I were you and you were comming to the GREAT State of Arizona on a flight you would have to rent a vehicle to travel locally with after arriving. So you will want an SUV and you should PLAN on visiting BOTH Franconia and Gold Basin as they are actually in close proximity to each other. Approximately 3 hours driving time.

I live in between both locations.

If possible rent an SUV that has a tailgate and fold down seats in the rear so you could either camp at these locations for a number of days an sleep in the back of the vehicle or bring/buy an inexpensive tent,gear an supplies an make an enjoyable outing/vacation from it.The night sky and sunrise/sunsets from either location are great, I'm partial to the Basin myself..

Buy hitting BOTH strewnfields you will increase your chances of success. I would reccomend a suitable metal detector for the hunt that will add to your chance of success 100 fold.

And of course trying to make arrangements with some of the forum members to possibly meet up with you and show you around will surley throw the odds in your favor.

Remember just to know the names and locations on a map of these 2 locations is "fruitless" you will be depending on BLIND LUCK.

To be able to hook up with some experienced hunters who know the strewnfields is the KEY to your success my friend.

Good Luck an Hapy Huntn. The "fun" is truly in the hunt and camaraderie, to make a "find" is a BONUS be it gold or space rocks. My :twocents:

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If you plan on moteling it, Lake Havasu City (where I live) is only 30 minutes from Franconia. No flights into town though. I would think landing in Vegas would be your best bet.

I have a spare Whites GMT gathering dust if you need a detector. They are very good for meteorites, I am told.

Just to let you know, the guys who have been offering advice are some of the best around the area, excluding me. Although, I'm not sure about Frank C., should Uncle Marvin decide to stay home :rasberry: And thanks again for your moral support when we were stranded the other day.

Come and visit Arizona. We think you will like it here. And don't forget the "Canyon", it's not far away either.....

Patrick.....

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I'm a newbie, still looking forward to my first find. I went on a CSR group hunt weekend before last to Franconia. There were about 20-25 of us in the group. I was just recovering from a bout of pneumonia, could hardly talk and still running a slight fever, besides the meteorite fever. I and my nephew got skunked, as did some others, but there were some who made some very nice finds, mostly in the two-digit gram size, but some in the three-digit gram size. I think the biggest was about 160 grams or so, the smallest about 7 or 8 grams. There was lots of hiking in the desert, up and down hills and in sand washes, lots of wind, but skys were generally overcast and the temps were in the 60's-low 70's in the day, and 40's at night. Dehydration was rampant, but only one rattlesnake was spotted. Most meteorites were found by eye or magnet stick, but some with metal detectors. A great time was had by all! We camped out, as did some others, but some stayed at motels in Needles, CA or Kingman, AZ. Gas is about $3.80-4.00/gal., and the country South of the I-40 highway can be accessed by 2WD vehicles if driven with caution, but North of the I-40 pretty much requires at least a pickup or similar high-clearance vehicle, and 4WD is VERY nice. We had one guy, Arno, came from Florida, flew to Las Vegas and rented a car, stayed in motel I think. He stayed two extra days, and finally found a meteorite.

Was it worth the $225 I spent in gas fron Eastern AZ, plus the cost of food, time, etc.?? Absolutely, I can't wait to do it again.

Is it worth it to you? Only you can decide that. If you do come to beautiful Arizona to hunt the Franconia field, please let us know as I'm sure many of us will want to join with you. And don't miss hunting the Gold Basin also. That area is much different from Franconia, I understand though I've not hunted it myself yet, and MD's are definately the only way to go there as rocks are deep and scarce.

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I can only say "WOW!" for the incredible hospitality of the forum members! For the advice, for the tips, for even lending me their equipment and the enthusiasm with which everyone is going out of their way to help me on my possible trip to Franconia and/or Gold Basin.

And as Tiny Tim in Christmas Carol in Charles Dickens' classic novel said "God Bless everyone!" :whoope:

I would like to plan for it around your available time, do you guys go there for the weekend, any other time, etc.? I am sure the weather has a lot to do with it too.....

Thank you very much everyone!

Bassam

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The temps are rising I doubt to want to be there in the summer time unless you are a desert rat!...desert temps in Yuma were near 100F yesterday...Kingman averages for April are in the 70F range...record highs are near or above 90f...

Fred

Hi Fred!

Speaking of temps....some years seem easier to tolerate than others. And, the older I get the less I want to tolerate anything over 80 degrees!!. <_<

You do have to let your body learn how to sweat every season. Carrying enough water is the biggest issue. I carry about 2.5 liters and not sure it's going to be enough when it gets hotter.

I hunted Franconia on Wednesday. I probably should rephrase that and state that I "walked" Franconia on Wednesday. I am guessing it was 85 + degrees. Started out hunting an area where I was successful finding irons in the past and was not productive. Decided to hike back to an area Team Hershey hunted a week before. GPS said I walked 4.6 miles. And, I really only got it about 2 hours of swinging time in. Started at 7 AM and got back to the truck at 4 PM. ( 9 hours in the field and I was beat dead tired and feet as sore as they get!) I used to do this stuff 14 hours a day and get up the next day and do it all over again!

I was having grand thoughts of hiring some young person full of spit and vinegar and have them hike in all the water and gear!!! :rolleyes: Was I becoming delusional <_<??? Although I was finally successful, I do not think Franconia can be considered easy hunting as in the past. Hiking ability is a must and pre-planning where to park is also important to the hunt plan to minimize distance as much as possible. Plus, if you can park right, you can use the sun to your advantage at least some of the time.

Well, for me, I am back at trying to loose some weight and I began my morning walk/run with the Dog. Gotta make those 9 hour days not hurt so much...man my feet got sore!

Suppose to be in the high 90's here today. May hit 100!

Semper Paratus

Jim

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Hi Fred!

Speaking of temps....some years seem easier to tolerate than others. And, the older I get the less I want to tolerate anything over 80 degrees!!. <_<

You do have to let your body learn how to sweat every season. Carrying enough water is the biggest issue. I carry about 2.5 liters and not sure it's going to be enough when it gets hotter.

I hunted Franconia on Wednesday. I probably should rephrase that and state that I "walked" Franconia on Wednesday. I am guessing it was 85 + degrees. Started out hunting an area where I was successful finding irons in the past and was not productive. Decided to hike back to an area Team Hershey hunted a week before. GPS said I walked 4.6 miles. And, I really only got it about 2 hours of swinging time in. Started at 7 AM and got back to the truck at 4 PM. ( 9 hours in the field and I was beat dead tired and feet as sore as they get!) I used to do this stuff 14 hours a day and get up the next day and do it all over again!

I was having grand thoughts of hiring some young person full of spit and vinegar and have them hike in all the water and gear!!! :rolleyes: Was I becoming delusional <_<??? Although I was finally successful, I do not think Franconia can be considered easy hunting as in the past. Hiking ability is a must and pre-planning where to park is also important to the hunt plan to minimize distance as much as possible. Plus, if you can park right, you can use the sun to your advantage at least some of the time.

Well, for me, I am back at trying to loose some weight and I began my morning walk/run with the Dog. Gotta make those 9 hour days not hurt so much...man my feet got sore!

Suppose to be in the high 90's here today. May hit 100!

Semper Paratus

Jim

A very good description of a hunt! Now take the Franconia field, raise it to 8,000 feet altitude, and eliminate any flat ground at all and instead replace that with ridges 800 feet higher than the canyon bottoms and you have Glorieta. You can add to that a couple feet of snow 6 months out of the year in the winter and 90 degrees and hail for 6 months in the summer (we dont get much liquid precipitation here). I have taken to wearing my sheepskin hat year round to keep my head warm in the winter and to protect it from golf ball sized hail stones on summer afternoons. I dont know how many times I have been hunting in shorts and a sweat soaked tee shirt and had two inches of ice fall out of the sky and beat the hell out of me. Most of the hills are so steep that you swing your detector with one hand and hold on to a tree to keep from sliding down the hill with the other. And in many places it is simply vertical and you cant scale it or cross it. You will walk two or three miles around a cliff to just get to the other side of a canyon. And in the areas you can walk without holding on to vegetation it is so thick with brush that you can barely push through it.

The obsatacles like this insure that there will be meteorites to be found for many years and that you will earn every one that you find. I spend $1.00 in gas to get there from my house and get skunked 4/5 of the time in the "big end" of the field. In the "small end" you can find 4-5 targets a day. While it has paid for my detector many times over it took over 500 hours of getting skunked to even locate the strewn field. "Worth the effort and expense" is a mighty subjective analysis when you speak of meteorite hunting. Unless the ides of finding a meteorite just turns you on then I dont think that anyone could say that "it was worth it". On the other hand if that sort of thing (a great challenge) gets you all worked up then is is worth the trip even to get skunked.

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There are certainly no guarantees you'll find anything when traveling somewhere far away to go meteorite hunting. I've had quite a few trips where I've meticulously researched and planned a trip only to come up empty handed. However I've also had trips where I researched and planned a hunt and was fortunate enough to come home something. The trips you've spent the most time researching and planning are the ones that will be the most exhilarating if your successful and once you find that first meteorite the expenses will be worth every penny.

In the last year couple years I've had four experiences involving traveling to a far away locations that all paid off with meteorites being found. A couple locations in Nevada, West Texas (Ash creek strewn field) and recently the Correo New Mexico strewn field. I had spent considerable time meticulously researching the locations and planning out a hunt. With no guarantees at all I bit the bullet and just went and did it. After everything was over I realized how much of an adventure the trip was. Were all these far away trips worth the time and expense? Absolutely because every adventure I could probably write a book about it. The meteorites are secondary to the adventure you have in seeking them out.

The bottom line is you have to be willing to take the risk to go and give it a try because if you don't you'll be wondering "what if" for the rest of your life. The least that can happen is that you took a trip far away and saw a new and different place.

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Paseclipse, you are absolutely right. I love to go out meteorite hunting, it is pretty innocent in that it harms little, no animals or vegetation is hurt, at least not intentionally. And the feeling of holding something from space is insane! I guess I missed this year's chance, I should've come in the winter, the desert is cold and so the dangerous animals, snakes, etc. are in their burrows. If you tell me otherwise and that the weather is tolerable this time of year, I guess I will go for it!

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Paseclipse, you are absolutely right. I love to go out meteorite hunting, it is pretty innocent in that it harms little, no animals or vegetation is hurt, at least not intentionally. And the feeling of holding something from space is insane! I guess I missed this year's chance, I should've come in the winter, the desert is cold and so the dangerous animals, snakes, etc. are in their burrows. If you tell me otherwise and that the weather is tolerable this time of year, I guess I will go for it!

Aloha,

I dont think you have missed this years chance YET! Just realize that once june hits mad0229[1].gif then you will really start to feel the heat. August is the worst by far. Only the really dedicated, by that I mean crazy, meteorite hunter will be out in the field. Of course, you can do what I do, just start earlier in the morning and take a noon day break escaping the sun and heat.

If at all possible make sure your backpack has a hydration system installed and also pack in extra water or gatorade. Dehyration is your worst enemy out in the desert.

Aloha and stay safe.

Stan aka Ka'imi

PS: Make sure you keep in touch with this forum and let us know what you plan. Me, I am up for a weekend hunt anytime.:thumbsupanim

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ipraytofindthem you still have a couple months left before it gets really hot. Don't even think about trying in the summertime because the heat IS deadly especially for someone who isn't used to it.

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Hey Guys,

Regarding the weather, it was 100 degrees here in Phoenix yesterday, and 101 at Bullhead City. That means that Franconia is gonna be a tad warm from now on. When you go there, bring lots of water.

Be safe, Ben

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Hey Guys,

Regarding the weather, it was 100 degrees here in Phoenix yesterday, and 101 at Bullhead City. That means that Franconia is gonna be a tad warm from now on. When you go there, bring lots of water.

Be safe, Ben

Hi Ben-

Is it a dry heat?? ;)

Steve

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