Mining "Newbies" at the "Potholes" (Part 2)
Note the gravel "pillars" left behind by the "Potholes" old timers as support. J.R.)
Here is more from novice miners "Dobbs" and "Curtin" (Marcus and Jim) on their recent foray to the "Potholes" gold district in southeastern California:
"We Had a Great Time"
"We didn't find any gold flakes, just fine gold. But that was fine with us as we were out there again learning. (Yep...we have a lot to learn.) We had a great time just the same."
"It's very hard to get to the 'Potholes' from the Laguna Diversion Dam. Like I said before, the pucker factor is pretty high after passing the old 3 C Mine and climbing a steep grade up to the microwave tower nearby...coming down that trail is even worse. My 1987 Ford 'Bronco' (300 CID, 4-speed with 'granny' low, and part-time 4WD) made the climb in 4 low, 3rd gear. I recommend you use the Picacho/All American Canal/Bard route in."
Note: By the way, this location is close to the area I used to dry wash back in the 1980s. J.R.)
"Some Fines and Nice Flakes"
"We ran across two newbies like ourselves running a 'Mountain Goat' reverse helix gold trommel into a 'Desert Fox' spiral concentrator just outside the old mining house at the 3 'C' Mine. They belonged to the Southwestern Prospectors Club out of Lemon Grove, California. We had a great time talking and drinking beer with them that day."
("Mine shaft at the 'Potholes'.")
"Their little black catch bucket on the 'Desert Fox' had caught some fines and nice flakes. But they were out of water by the second day and running a tan milky 'cream' through their set up...Hmmmm...LTJ again! (Listen to Jim.)"
You Might Just Learn Something
I spent countless hours running my old "puffer" dry washer at the "Potholes," including working a placer claim close in to the old 3 "C" Mine. Trust me when I say this to all of you out there: The most efficient piece of mining gear for working the "Potholes" District is a motorized dry washer. This not only allows you plenty of freedom in terms of where you can operate (and recover gold) at the "Potholes," but also saves you time and effort in terms of humping lots of water or numerous gravel buckets to a water source. Power sluices and gold trommels are simply NOT suitable for dry desert placers like this...duh! So save your water for drinking, cooking, and panning your dry washer concentrates. (By the way, if you listen to me once in a while, you might just learn something useful!)
("Bat-filled mine shaft and old ruins we found at the 'Potholes'.")
With that piece of old-timer advice out of the way, I'll let "Dobbs" close things out:
"Thank you for all you do for us newbies and for sharing your hard-earned mining knowledge. Believe me, it is much appreciated."
Marcus and Jim, you boys are both welcome and I wish you the very best. Remember, I'm here to help.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Exactly Where it Shouldn't Be (Part 2)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2011
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org