The Government Waged a War on a Plant and LOST…

The plaintiffs, including an Iraq War veteran, a child with a seizure disorder and an ex-NFL player, claimed that the CSA’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance is so “irrational” that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

via Lawsuit challenging Sessions and the DEA over marijuana’s Schedule I status dismissed by federal judge — The Cannabist

Liebster Award Nomination



I know a woman. Her name is Paula. I have known her since I was in the 7th grade. When I first met her she was friends with my older brother. They would hang out together working on school projects and she even made a few appearances to our house for supper and a visit.  Even though I was younger than her by five years, she still lit my fire.

Skip ahead to the 80’s and you will find that Paula and I had a chance meeting. It was completely unexpected for both of us and, even though it was brief, it would lead to our first date a few months later.

That first date took place in the month of September of 1985 and we would end up seeing each other every night after that until January, 10th of 1986. The next day, which happened to be January 11th, I watched as she walked down the aisle with her father. When they reached the front of the church he handed her over to me and we became a happily married couple.

Today it has been just over a month since we celebrated thirty two years together. As with any marriage that stands the test of time we have had our good times, bad times, and even times when we questioned why we were still together, but through it all we have remained a happily married couple as we promised each other on a cold day in 1986.

The reason I have taken the time to explain the success of our marriage is because she is the one to nominate me for this fantastic award along with the opportunity to spread my success on to other writers. It is an honor for me and I love my wife for including me.

First an explanation of the award.

The Liebster Award recognizes and celebrates bloggers, their content, skill, and contribution to the blogging community. The rules for accepting a nomination are:

Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog.

Answer the questions.

Nominate 11 bloggers to encourage them.

Ask them 11 questions.

Let them know you have nominated them.

Now on to my questions supplied to me by Paula, the person who nominated me for this award. What or Who got you started on your current path? …  Our journey through life happens on multiple paths at the same time. I believe we are all “Spiritual Beings made of white light on a human journey”. My current path is a mix of Spirit and the mundane and I have had many mentors with both. The most important of the two would be my current Spiritual side which began with a reading from a very wise man who would become my Godfather. The “what” would be the lightning that happened thirty days later and became the reason for what I believe in.

  1.  What’s number 1 on your bucket list and why? …  That is an interesting question and the answer is an easy one. The number 1 thing on my Bucket List is to complete my Spiritual journey. That will consist of two major steps I must take on the path I began 17 years ago. Once those steps have been achieved I will be able to say #1 has been completed. There is a direct link from this answer to the answer for the first question.
  2. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? …  Prospect and mine for gold, gemstones, and any other treasure of value. I was raised to love time spent in the wilderness and sustain myself on all levels while there. Today I feel most comfortable in a gold mining camp, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by like minded people, all doing the same thing. Finding and getting gold.
  3. If you had 10 minutes with the leader of your country, what words of wisdom would you impart? … Wow only 10 minutes ? What I have to say to him would take more like 30 minutes but with 10 minutes in mind I would talk really fast. I would explain to him how taking cannabis and hemp off of the FDA schedule would be a God send to millions of people all over the country. I would continue on with my opinion of how wrong he is with some of his Twitter posts when it comes to Foreign Affairs and other sensitive subjects. I would quickly add how gutting the EPA is not a good idea and how some of the things they protect are important. I would end with a quick thank you for all the good he has created and how he keeps the American public in his best interest.
  4. Why did you start your blog? …  I needed a place to put all of the things I like to write about in one place. I needed space to RANT, and last but not least I love the idea of people sharing stuff that other people have written or shared themselves.
  5. What is your favorite time period, i.e. 1800’s Wild West, Roman Empire, etc. and why? …  This is an easy one due to my love of gold. There was a time in our past that saw the beginning of exploration of the west and the Great North. My favorite time period would be when gold was so plentiful that a person could walk around on a gravel bar by a river or small stream and pick up a gold nugget laying on top of the gravel and rocks. Sometime in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s.
  6. If I come visit, what local delicacy are we eating? …  Since I live in the mountains and love to hunt my food you will be dining on a large variety of dishes from fresh trout caught in a local stream to deer jerky made from last years hunt. From squirrel and rabbit to groundhog and rattlesnake. If you have any sensitivities it might be best to call ahead.
  7. Are you majorly left-brain (rational) or right-brain (artistic)? Or maybe you’re both? …  I am a little bit of both although my wife might tend to disagree. I have all of the “alphabet diseases” like ADD, ADHD, and even a few they haven’t figured out letters for. When I was a kid they didn’t have all those letters to describe a child’s behavior. When a child misbehaved they were punished. Today they are given a title and some narcotics so they fit in better.
  8. Do you have any phobias? …  I guess after being dead three times about the only fear I have is the one I was born with. The fear of falling. We all have it and if you want to test yourself for it do this… Sit on a straight back chair and lean back on the rear legs. Find the spot where you are about to topple over backwards and go past it. Catch yourself just before falling backward. That knee jerk reaction of a fear of falling is one we are all born with.
  9. What area of your life needs work, or are you happy with everything? …  The area of my life that needs a lot of work is my health problems. My back and neck are in pretty bad shape thanks to a life of driving truck and a couple catastrophic accidents. Recently I experienced a sudden, unexplained weight loss and I have been working on that with the hope that a good core will help my back.
  10. What’s your favorite snack? …  I have one that is good for me and I have one that is in the junk food category. I love a fresh ripe tangerine or blood orange and it is a dead even tie between a Payday candy bar and a Snickers.

My 11 Nominations

  1. The Accidental Revolutionary
  2. ror1774
  3. Cristian Mihai
  4. Roxy Bentsen Faulkner
  5. Sweta Ojha
  6. Prospector Jack
  7. Body of a Sinner Mind of a Saint
  8. twiggyjen44
  9. Curt Mekemson
  10. Anthony Martinelli
  11. Jon Rappoport

My 11 Questions

  1. If a Genie granted you 3 wishes, what would they be ?
  2. If you had your choice of countries to visit for an entire year where would you go ?
  3. Who is your favorite author and why ?
  4. Sight, hearing, smell, and speech… you have to give up one for a year. Which one do you pick ?
  5. Where in the world would you be if you were sitting on your favorite beach ?
  6. Dog, cat, bird, fish, other, multiple species, or no pets… which one do you pick ?
  7. You have invented a time machine. It only works in one direction. The past. What year are you going to set on the dial to travel to and why ?
  8. You have a choice for a new place to live. You have to pick one. Are you moving to the coast, the desert, the plains, or the mountains ?
  9. You just won $10,000,000. in the lottery. Who is the first person you share the big news with and why ?
  10. Do you know how to swim, and if the answer is no, do you plan to learn ?
  11. From one of my favorite movies… Red pill or Blue pill ?

This Old Clock

In the mid sixties during the early years of the Vietnam War my grandmothers youngest son, my Uncle Curtis, was stationed in Germany with the US Army. While there he visited the Black Forest area and during his visit he decided to buy three clocks for my grandmother.


One was a cuckoo clock and the other two were known as “Parlor” clocks. One of them was a large rectangle box shaped beauty with a large face attached to hand made clock works inside a dark wooden cabinet with old fashioned glass all the way around in the shape of cut out windows. It made a magical sound when it chimed on the half and full hour.

The third clock (in the picture) was the fanciest and biggest clock of the three. It hung in the front room of the house I grew up in and was always one of the first things noticed by first time visitors. When it chimed you could hear it no matter where in the house you were. It was a deep sounding ring followed by a higher pitched ring that vibrated in your head if you happened to be in the same room.

One of my favorite stories about this clock happened one year during the Christmas season.

If memory serves me right I had just turned twelve a month before one particular Christmas eve when my older brother, younger sister, and I cooked up a plan to beat our parents long standing rule about Christmas morning.

To understand the rule I must first give you a mental picture of a typical December at our house in the early seventies.

My parents always made sure Christmas was pretty special when we were growing up. There was always a pile of presents for each of us, most of which we had asked for but every year there was always at least one surprise gift for each of us and my mother went to extremes to keep secret.

They would start the yearly gift buying just after Thanksgiving and it became a game for us about where presents were hidden and who’s name was on them. Most of their secrets stayed that way but it was always fun to search.

Another really cool thing about my time growing up was moving in with my grandparents, which happened soon after my Uncle Curtis was killed in Vietnam. He was given orders to go there from Germany where he had just sent my grandmother’s clocks from.

What made this really bad time in our lives a little better was the fact we came together as a family, and as a result my brother, sister, and I ended up with two sets of parents. It also meant that Mom would come up with “The Rule” about the same time.

The rule was simple. We could get up and come downstairs to the front room but no one was allowed to enter the living room until our grandparents had joined us in the front room. This was a big deal for my mother because of the time she spent transforming the living room into a magical place for Christmas morning and she always wanted everyone in the family to experience it together on that special morning.

That was also about the time my siblings and I realized that if we got up a little bit early we could make “Christmas morning” happen sooner. Like two hours early the first time we tried it.

The three of us decided to wake up and meet in the hall at 4 am. My younger sister was sent in to wake up the grandparents who had their room on the second floor with us.         Once the grandparents were on their way down the stairs we would be in the front room and the noise would wake our parents on cue.

The plan worked great the first time we tried it, but the second time was when I was 12. Due to the previous years plan, which was figured out pretty quick, the new rule from our mother was “time based”, meaning we had to wait until 6 am to be in the front room with grandparents in tow.

No biggie … We just revised our plan to include setting every single clock in the house back by three hours, meaning Christmas morning that year was to take place at 3 am.

After meeting in the hall at the set time, which was 2:30 am, my brother and I proceeded to change all the clocks. Since he was the oldest and also the tallest he got the job of changing all three German clocks while I was sent on my part of the mission which was to crawl into our parents’ bedroom and change their alarm clock to match the rest in the house.

Once everything was set we sent my sister upstairs to wake up the grandparents and you know the rest of the story. Well almost the rest.

We all had a fantastic Christmas morning right up to the point where my grandfather suggested making everyone breakfast, and my mother looked outside to see pitch blackness. You would think we had it coming but once again since it was Christmas morning, my mother laughed it off with the same promise it wouldn’t happen again.

Crypto Coinage

There is a storm in progress. This storm started in 2007 when Satoshi Nakamoto came up with the idea for Bitcoin.

In 2010 a guy paid for his pizza using Bitcoin to become the first person to make a Bitcoin transaction for an everyday product. The pizza cost around 10,000 Bitcoin. Do the math for an average priced pizza at that time and you find that one dollar bought you a lot of Bitcoin.

How much would you pay for the same pizza today with Bitcoin closing in on $15,000. per coin? Easy… it would be a pizza worth 1.5 million dollars. All in less than seven years.

The good news is no matter how high the price of Bitcoin goes the opportunity to take a small amount of money and turn it into a very comfortable retirement account or more is still the same today as it was when 1 BTC cost less than a dollar. The “why” part of that statement would take a while to explain but it has to do with the numerous new coins being produced on a weekly basis.

On one hand this is a good thing but on the other hand it is bad.

Lots of new coins, exchanges, groups, and clubs springing up and some are worth while to study and get involved with and others are nothing more than a scam.

I have very little experience in doing coin deals but what I do have is a brain that works like a sponge to water. I have spent upwards of 300 hours study time on the entire subject without spending a dime on coins.

Like anything new, there is a learning curve and those who are willing to learn the details are being rewarded with life changing money that is recurring on a weekly basis.

When I was introduced to MLM and network marketing in the mid 90’s I learned a lot about marketing and also attitude but the most important lesson I learned was if you want to be successful in something new you find the people who are already making it work and you copy what they are doing.

It worked in mlm and it is also working with “coinage mining”.

Follow success.

Personally I am somewhere in the middle of that curve as I absorb as much about coinage as possible. Things are about to get interesting next month when coinage is introduced to the futures market. There are different opinions about the effect this will have on both coinage and the markets and only time will tell but if you are already gambling on coinage and understand how they work then I believe there will be huge gains to be made over the long haul.

It is funny to watch all the so called experts on the financial TV shows like CNBC and Fox Business as they talk about Bitcoin as if it is a stock pick or a bubble. It makes me wonder if they are really that ignorant or if they are being told to downplay it on purpose. Either way it seems the topic of coinage has gone from being mentioned once or twice a week to being an everyday subject. The same is true on the internet on sites that used to be against it that are now touting it as the next great thing.

I started a private Facebook group on the subject which you can find here …The CC Club . Even though it is a new group we have attracted quite a few very knowledgeable people and been introduced to a plethora of great information along with a few good opportunities to be involved in a group setting. More people = more profits for everyone.

I am excited about the future of coinage and look forward to the possibility of creating life changing wealth in a short period of time.

More later…

Back Surgery Videos

The link below will take you to a very helpful website if you or someone you know suffers from chronic back pain.

This is the best list of videos in one place that I know of and many of them have been helpful to me in my journey with lifetime chronic back problems.

Open Letter From A Chronic Pain Sufferer

This article is copied in its entirety with links to the original site I discovered this post on. I didn’t write this but it is amazing to me how much it mirrors what I have been wanting to say for a long time.

Having chronic pain means many things change, and a lot of the changes are invisible.

Unlike having cancer or being hurt in an accident, most people do not understand chronic pain and its effects, and of those that think they know, many are actually misinformed.

In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand: These are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you judge me.

  • Please understand that being sick doesn’t mean I’m not still a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don’t seem like much fun to be with, but I’m still me, stuck inside this body. I still worry about work, my family, my friends, and most of the time, I’d still like to hear you talk about yours, too.

See Modern Theories of Chronic Pain

  • Please understand the difference between “happy” and “healthy”. When you’ve got the flu you probably feel miserable with it, but I’ve been sick for years. I can’t be miserable all the time. In fact, I work hard at not being miserable. So, if you’re talking to me and I sound happy, it means I’m happy. That’s all. It doesn’t mean that I’m not in a lot of pain, or not extremely tired, or that I’m getting better, or any of those things. Please don’t say, “Oh, you’re sounding better!” or “But you look so healthy!” I am merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to comment on that, you’re welcome to.

See 4 Tips to Help Cope With Chronic Pain and Depression

  • Please understand that being able to stand up for 10 minutes doesn’t necessarily mean that I can stand up for 20 minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for 30 minutes yesterday doesn’t mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases you’re either paralyzed, or you can’t move. With this one, it gets more confusing every day. It can be like a yo-yo. I never know from day to day how I am going to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic pain.
  • Please repeat the above paragraph substituting “sitting,” “walking,” “thinking,” “concentrating,” “being sociable,” and so on; it applies to everything. That’s what chronic pain does to you.
  • Please understand that chronic pain is variable. It’s quite possible (and for many, it’s common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I’ll have trouble getting to the next room. Please don’t attack me when I’m ill by saying, “But you did it before!” or “Oh, come on, I know you can do this!” If you want me to do something, then ask if I can. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not take it personally. If you are able to, please try to always remember how very lucky you are, to be physically able to do all of the things that you can do.

See Chronic Pain Coping Techniques – Pain Management

  • Please understand that “getting out and doing things” does not make me feel better, and can often make me seriously worse.You don’t know what I go through or how I suffer in my own private time. Telling me that I need to exercise or do some things to “get my mind off of it” may frustrate me to tears, and is not correct. If I was capable of doing some things any or all of the time, don’t you know that I would? I am working with my doctors and I am doing what I am supposed to do. Another statement that hurts is, “You just need to push yourself more, try harder.” Obviously, chronic pain can affect the whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and physical pain than you could ever imagine. Not to mention the recovery time, which can be intense. You can’t always read it on my face or in my body language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn’t you get depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it is not created by depression.

See Depression and Chronic Back Pain

  • Please understand that if I say I have to sit down, lie down, stay in bed, or take these pills now, that probably means that I do have to do it right now, it can’t be put off or forgotten just because I’m somewhere, or I’m right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.
  • If you want to suggest a cure to me, please don’t. It’s not because I don’t appreciate the thought, and it’s not because I don’t want to get well. Lord knows that isn’t true. In all likelihood, if you’ve heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made sicker, not better. This can involve side effects or allergic reactions, as is the case with herbal remedies. It also includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower. If there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic pain, then we’d know about it. There is worldwide networking (both on and off the Internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would KNOW. It’s definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss it with my doctor.

See Pain Management for Chronic Back Pain

  • If I seem touchy, it’s probably because I am. It’s not how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating. Almost all the time, I know that I am doing my best to cope with this, and live my life to the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in general.

See 11 Chronic Pain Control Techniques

  • In many ways I depend on you, people who are not sick. I need you to visit me when I am too sick to go out. Sometimes I need you help me with the shopping, the cooking, or the cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor or to the store. You are my link to the “normalcy” of life. You can help me to keep in touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again, just as soon as I am able.
  • I know that I asked a lot from you, and I do thank you for listening. It really does mean a lot.

From <>

Three Characteristics Of A Genius – Do You Possess Them ?

Geniuses throughout the ages have been found to possess three special characteristics.

Characteristic #1: They Have Developed Their Ability to Concentrate

First, all geniuses seem to have developed the ability to concentrate single mindedly on one question, problem or goal at a time, and to exclude all other diversions or distractions. 

The more intensely you concentrate your thoughts and attention, and the more intensely you are emotionally involved with a problem or goal, the more likely it is that your mind will respond with the kind of creative ideas that you need.  And the good news is that concentration comes from practicing the process of concentrating whenever you have something you want to accomplish.

One of the best ways to develop this habit of concentration is to define your goal or problem clearly, in writing, at the top of a piece of paper.  Then, write down every single detail that you can think of that pertains to that goal or problem.  Write every fact, figure and piece of information that you have.  The more you write, the more likely it is that you will come up with exactly the idea that you need to solve the problem or difficulty that is currently holding you back.

Characteristic #2: They Have Incredible Problem Solving Skills

rubiks cube

The second quality of geniuses is that they have incredible problem solving skills and developed a systematic approach to solving problems.  Usually, they write them down clearly on paper in advance.  Accurate problem definition leads to a solution in fully 50% of cases.  Most of the time, when you have a problem or series of problems that is causing you worry or concern, it is because you have not yet sat down and clearly defined exactly what the problem is.

Most people who are unhappy in life have no goals.  The very act of sitting down and writing out a list of goals will change your perspective completely.  When you take your list of goals, organize it by priority and then make written plans to achieve your most important goals, your mind will start to sparkle with ideas that will help you.  Your negativity and pessimism will vanish.  You will experience a surge of energy and enthusiasm and you will want to get up and get going immediately on whatever it is you have written down.

One of the key parts of approaching your problems or goals systematically is the importance of validating the information that you have.  As the humorist Josh Billings once wrote, “It isn’t what a man knows that hurts him.  He what he knows that isn’t true.”

There are an enormous number of things that you think you “know” about your life and situation that are simply not true.  One of the best ways to manage your creativity is to carefully check and double check your facts and figures to be sure that they are accurate.

Characteristic #3: They Have Open Minds

The third characteristic of genius is that they invariably have open minds.  They are curious, friendly, even playful.  They refuse to jump to conclusions or to cut off any line of thinking or train of thought.  They continually ask questions, especially, “What if?”

“What if?” questioning is one of the hallmarks of developing and managing your creativity.  For example, what if everything that you are doing in your current job or situation to achieve your goal or to solve your major problem was completely wrong?  What if there was a better way?  What if you were operating on the basis of false information or wrong assumptions?  What if what you were attempting to do was actually impossible and that is why you are having such problems with it.

I have known many people who have been in bad jobs.  They were constantly coming up with ideas to make their jobs more acceptable.  Finally, they realized that the boss was always going to be negative, the company was always going to be bureaucratic and the marketplace was always going to be ruthless.  So instead of trying to find a solution to their current job, they changed jobs and turned out later to be very happy and much better paid.  Could this apply to you?

*What did you learn? Leave me a comment!


From <>

Another New Family

As I traveled around the country in 2013 during the first year of Oro Expeditions I spent a lot of time living in a tent. It was easy to do this because of my membership in a popular gold prospecting and mining club known as the Gold Prospectors Association of America.


We joined the GPAA in 2009 while I was still driving a truck around the country for a living. Being on the road all the time made it easy to visit quite a few leases and properties owned by them and I took advantage of this almost every weekend while trucking.


It only took a couple visits to some of GPAA’s eastern spots for me to realize that gold miners and rock hounds have a lot in common with over the road truck drivers. They both live outside the norms of modern society and most live a solitary life with occasional “get-togethers” with “like-minded” individuals who share their passion.


Turns out I traded one “family” for another one when I retired from trucking.


I have been to and lived in quite a few gold camps around the country due to the fact that we joined multiple groups and clubs since 2013 in order to have plenty of places to go to prospect and mine.


In 2014 and 15 my wife Paula and I lived, full time, in various camps in the eleven western states and we replaced driving a truck with pulling a small box  trailer which we used to haul motorcycles for profit.


The trailer also served as our RV when we wanted to be in gold camp. We had a queen sized air bed along with a really cool kitchen setup for Paula. With a big tarp propped up on the side of the trailer it made for a very comfortable camp.


This year we took the next step with GPAA and joined the sister company known as Lost Dutchman Mining Association or LDMA for short.

It is actually the original club that was formed in the 60’s by the founder, George Massie.


We belong to and pay dues with 3 other gold prospecting clubs around the country but the LDMA is the biggest and best when it comes to that “family feeling”.


As a warm up for what should be a great season for Oro Expeditions we traveled south to North Carolina last week for our first visit to one of the LDMA camps. Vein Mountain LDMA is located in the central part of the state and sits on the western edge of the “quartz belt” that runs the entire length of the east coast.


We found out how special it is to be members of this huge club by spending a week on the property where we were treated like royalty by the caretakers, Brian and Vonda Yoder. A big THANK YOU to them and the other members in camp for a fantastic time. We are looking forward to returning in the fall.


My point with this post is that for 30 years I was part of the trucking industry which used to be like being part of a family. We kept to ourselves and spent most of our time in the company of other drivers and truckers due to the fact that we were always on the road.

Since retiring from the industry in February of 2013 that is the one thing I will always miss. The comradery of a family of truckers.


Today, after 4 years of struggling to make something out of Oro Expeditions, we have “ARRIVED” due to joining up with our newest family known as LDMA and all the great people associated with the company.


We are looking forward to our next trip which will be to the great state of Oregon to a place known as Blue Bucket. While there we will be participating in our first group event with LDMA along with having front row seats to the EPIC Solar Eclipse that will take place during the event.

Most exciting is the fact that the camp is almost dead center on the center line within the “Path of Totality” so our experience should be extraordinary to say the least.


Take a few minutes to surf over to and check out all the benefits of being a member of our gold mining family.

The best part is you get to keep ALL the gold you find. 😉


More Later…

FINALLY… the next update…

This is from my 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. .

Timber Rattlesnakes vs. Lyme Disease

New research by a team of University of Maryland biologists shows the timber rattlesnake indirectly benefits humans by keeping Lyme disease in check.

Source: Timber Rattlesnakes vs. Lyme Disease