FINALLY… the next update…

This is from my Writing.com account.

Now is a good time to check in here for a quick update post. The 2017 gold season is in full swing as the wife and I just returned from the first leg of “Oro Expeditions 17”.

We traveled south to the great state of North Carolina to check out a gold camp that belongs to the group we just joined up with. They are known as the Lost Dutchman Mining Association or LDMA for short. They have numerous properties all over the west along with a few in the southeast and even one in Michigan that members can visit to find gold.

Most people are not aware of the fact that some people are able to go out in the country to a stream or river and find raw gold in its natural form but it is true.
Actually there are thousands of miners, like myself, that depend on the gold they find for about 70% to 80% of their income and then there are those who look for it on a recreational basis.

The original plan we made included visiting two of the three LDMA camps located in North Carolina and north Georgia but once we pitched camp at the first site it became very hard to leave due to the fun we were having and the gold we was finding so we stayed a few extra days.

I got a chance to try my 3″ suction dredge which I had recently overhauled and added a new engine with a 1″ water pump installed on it. I was stoked to see if it worked and it did. We ended up with a few grains and flakes of gold worth about 50 bucs and a successful test of the dredge.
We made new friends and got a chance to see how much you are treated like family when staying at these camps.

Another part of the plan was to travel to the historic town of Franklin NC as part of a birthday present for my wife, Paula.
The area is known for gemstones and “pay to dig” sites that let you keep all you find for a small fee.
After a quiet stay at one of the local motels and an interesting self guided tour of the town we headed for a place called Masons Mine which is famous for the sapphires, garnets, and rubies there.

Upon arrival we paid our fee and was given a quick lesson about the mine and what to look for. The whole thing consisted of an authentic mine in the side of the mountain where they retrieved the pay dirt which was placed inside a fenced area for safety sake.
Everyone who paid the fee was allowed inside the fenced area that contained to large piles of dirt known as “mine tailings” with two small buckets.

Using the shovels provided we scooped up 4 buckets of dirt that contained small pieces of gemstones. We took the buckets back outside the fenced in area to a “gem flume” which is a big wooden trough with water flowing through it to wash the dirt away from the gravel that contains the good stuff.

Paula had a blast even though the “mine dirt” didn’t produce much but the back up plan of buying a couple bags of “pay dirt” with some good stuff salted in to take home with us was put in place so she ended up with some very pretty rocks.

From there we traveled to another favorite spot of mine just across the Tennessee border where there is a GPAA lease with a nice quiet campground. This was the place where I started my company with the first Expedition in 2013 so it was very cool to return even though there was no one in camp at the time.

We headed north back to western Maryland for the time being to put the finishing touches on the plan we have for August that includes traveling west to eastern Oregon for two reasons.
Gold, of course, but more importantly the historic Solar Eclipse.
The gold camp we will be at for a special club event sits directly on the center line within the “Path of Totality” so we will have a front row seat for the whole thing.

I will be adding chapters to my book about the trip and the Eclipse and sharing some of the stories here. .

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