Every fall as a student, I was assigned an essay, “What I learned on my summer vacation.”
Summer vacations for us consists of prospecting, often with friends made through email and phone contacts. It’s always fun, entertaining and educational!
Now you’d think after 20-odd years, there wouldn’t be much new happening, right? Well that is a grossly misleading statement. We learn new things about new areas, and oftentimes new things about the same area!
We teach and we learn. A couple of really pleasant surprises were phone calls saying, “You’ve got to see this!” One of those meetings produced a 3.8 gram nugget!
We had several guests on one of our easily accessible claims and as we opened up some historic creek diggings we were pleased to reach bedrock. Several subsequent adventures there opened up an old creek channel. Every day that we can get there, we do some digging with great results!
Education is not always positive. We learned there are still a lot of claimjumpers with far fetched stories of why they are mineral trespassing. Really, guys, how many of you really had a uncle, or a grandpa, or a cousin that previously owned our claim and "left" it to you in their will?
We learned that the government is working in mysterious ways… an environmental study ordered on our permitted claim. No mechanized mining for us this season!
We’ve also had a friend shut down prospecting in California… an executive order called a halt to that. Another acquaintance who’s more into hunting and fishing advises us that he is feeling less and less welcome on public lands.
Be aware of what is happening to public lands in your area! Check for public notices, public hearings. Your rights might be on the agenda!