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#18310 by ClickTheYellowChick
Mon May 16, 2011 10:06 am

it gives me no great pleasure to say this, but if you're truly looking to pay expenses of going to that outting, you'd best stay home.

I worked BB before it was sold, in exchange for rent for about 3 years when Valentines (professional, big equipment miners) owned it. Even with gold NOW at $50 a gram or so, , you won't come away from an outing OR private digging during non-common hours to pay even 1/10 of your gasoline just 1 way. I was on call 7 days a week to teach gold panning to the public who drove in--and there were many new faces and a few regulars. Roy would dig in one particular spot which is long exhausted by now, throw it through an 8 mesh screen just to reduce the amount of leaverite, and high grade for the $10 ore baggies sold to the public.
Then he'd scoop out the ponds, distribute it atop the pasture between the house and the highway, level it good, and whatever fell in is now in the topsoil all over the north end of the property.

Yes, there is gold there, yes, most of it is tiny, mostly covered in reddish manganese, and yes, everyone has an equal chance to find the same tiny specks and occasional flat flakes. It just isn't a "payin' place."

Commaraderie is great, and I like the dry desert air, and wide open spaces, so it was a fun exchange for 3 years for me. The constant trains in the canyon directly across to the west will keep you awake at nights as they thunder through, since that is a major rail artery thru there. I got used to it of course, but it might be a little tough on the dudes and dudettes who come for just a few days of play.

The "Burnt River camp" is no better up by me here in Durkee as far as being a paying proposition, either. In fact, the last time I heard of anybody finding any gold that could be called an interesting amount, GPAA/LDMA set upon the streak the husband and wife were privately working, and dug it all out and put it into the next common, ruining it for the diligently digging and sweating 2 person operation who'd been patiently hand digging and sieving and then drywashing for months. Something about LDMA doing that never set right with me.

To top it off, Temecula was courting that couple to become a pair of camp caretakers for either Blue Bucket or Duisenberg. Yes, it's been a few years ago, back when Dane and Donna were selected to move from Burnt River to Blue Bucket before they retired and moved to Washington state when this happened. But it DID happen, and I've never forgotten that lack of "corporate ethics" display back when Perry and Tom were running things together. Screw the membership, it's all about the money that can be raked in by the hundreds of thousands of dollars during one of these "outings."

So, if you want to enjoy your hobby in a "new to you raw, high desert, scenic spot", then go ahead and make the trip. If you want to come home with some gold defraying expenses........might wish to rethink that angle.

Last edited by ClickTheYellowChick on Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.


#18318 by rookieminer
Mon May 16, 2011 9:36 pm
Thanks for the info, once again. You potentailly saved me a lot of time, if I were to go.
If I want to go to an outing I'll watch for one on here. I still may not find enough gold to pay expenses, but i'll still get the commaradarie and it won't cost me anything but fuel.

Thanks again,

#18327 by ClickTheYellowChick
Tue May 17, 2011 5:51 pm
Happy to help, Rookieminer. It wasn't a fun post to write. Since you seemed appreciative, I thought I'd do the "Paul Harvey" rrrrrrrrrrrrest of the story deal, and type up the rest of the skinny on GPAA/LDMA joint outtings...at least 2 of them I attended.

I remember my first invitation as a new GPAA'er to an LDMA spring outing (Burnt River, $150 a head, plus food and fuel from Portland OR) and putting a pencil to it, trying to determine the financial bottom line if I found some and if I didn't.

Truth be told, our "common-dig" highbanker which we ran for 5 hours shifts 2 days in a row, didn't have a single smidgin of gold in it. Not one speck. There were over 80 in our shift, and we hung off a steep, STEEP hillside, passing 5 gallon buckets hand over hand for 5 hours straight, down to the highbanker which was running "balls to the walls" as far as water speed was concerned. We tried dialing it back so the gold would have a chance, and then some LDMA type overseer would swing by every half hour or so, and crank it back up to full-out as far as water feed was concerned. Not a stinkin' piece. And it was one of 3 units running. It was embarrassing, and hot and tiring to get skunked.

LDMA saw the handwriting on the wall, and bought an ounce from one of the vendors. (The vendor ratted 'em out.) When Sunday morning "split" came around, people came out of the woodwork and lined up for their share, having done not one lick o'work, let alone get skunked doing shoveling and bucket brigading. There was a headcount. 550 people at Burnt River claim that year for that outing. *Times $150 minimum if not a family membership, and $75 individual if already an LDMA member.) This was in 1996, yes, 15 years ago.

Women and children who had spent the entire 3 day weekend either knitting in their tents or mobile homes, with young ones playing "chase" through the campsite -- driving everyone batty with their unleashed dogs---were in line for their share, b/c they'd paid a family membership price to attend. I was fried.

Standing there in the line for 3 hours, we snaked our way along with 547 other "numbers" to the clubhouse where a couple pair of sawhorses were set up with plywood stretched across them. On top of the plywood were faded numbers scrawled on top, corresponding to numbers in a hat from which one drew their number when it was one's turn at the head of the line to get their "split."

The LDMA brass walked you over to the plywood, picked up a tiny medicine cup like they serve pills to you in the hospital in, which was sitting on top of "your number" and handed the contents to you. No, you don't get to keep the cups. (They gotta use'em again, savin' all that wasted money, y'know. ) Unless you were one of the lucky first 10 numbers who all got a picker, they handed you a 1"x1" ziplock baggie with 1/2 teaspoon of blacksands in it, from the dinky cup, and that was "your split."

I immediately went back to my tent and panned the B/s. NOTHING. Not even a piece of birdshot. ZIP. NADA. NUTTIN"!!!!

I can't tell you how disappointed I was. And so were the other 2 ladies I talked into coming out and doing this with me. We all got skunked. And sunburnt. And skitter bitten. I did buy a new gold pan, and a couple new snuffer bottles. And I got to hold a 60oz Australian piece of gold on display from the very same vendor LDMA bought the ounce of gold from for the "split." My friend took my camera and snapped a picture of me holding that big, beautiful nugget. So, I thought I at least had a momento.

Only when I got home did I realize I didn't have any film in my camera.

I tried a second time, down at SCOTT RIVER when LDMA bought it, the very first year. Thought I'd do better. I don't even want to tell you what happened at THAT dig. It was worse, if you can believe that. It was so bad, in fact, that Wilma Massie (may she rest in peace) apologized in person at the first Boise GPAA gold show for how we were personally mistreated by the camp hosts and the one-armed know it all hotshot/newbie dredger who showed up. Didn't even end up with a 1/2 t. blacksand baggie for that long haul and common effort.

To make matters worse, the older couple camping next to us at the SCOTT RIVER LDMA campe, yes, in the "motorhome section," had just come from Italian Bar...which ALSO had been opened first time after LDMA bought it. They were all jazzed to be at SCOTT River next on their itinerary, b/c of their success at I.B. They had no less than 4 oz of gold to show us for their being in the first group of intrepid folks who winded their way down that steep draw to Italian Bar camp on its first "common/dig" event. They said several folks found over an ounce that weekend in '97 at Italian bar.

And they also said, that after they made such a haul, Tom and Perry came in with their 5" dredge and cleaned out the gold for themselves. And, that they were never going back there after observing that. That was the end of Italian Bar being any good.

So, that's the truth about at least 2 events, plus all my working at Valentines for 3 years prior to LDMA purchasing Blue Bucket from Pat and Roy Valentine.

OHHHHHHHHHH....and the rest of the story on Burnt River common dig? There were 3 guys who worked the gully with their backpacker dredge where our highbanker spilled into down at the bottom of that steep hillside I mentioned we were all draped all over in "S" curve fashion for 2 days, 10 hours per day? THEY MADE OUT LIKE BANDITS! Talk about the "rrrrrrrrrrrrrest of the story!!!"

PS>....I edited from Rogue River to Scott River. 4LuvOfGold helped me corrected my mistake. THANKS, J!
Last edited by ClickTheYellowChick on Tue May 31, 2011 2:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.
#18328 by Umpqua_gold
Tue May 17, 2011 6:38 pm

Food for thought. Personally, I will not pay to pan. Anywhere. If I want to spend money on dirt to dig, I will go buy a bag of readymix cement from lowes. Believe it or not, after thoroughly rinsing the gravels, I have found gold in cement mix.

I found that out because I had mixed up some cement for my wife to make stepping stones with the kids handprints in them. Naturally, There was about a third of a bucket of cement mix left, and I panned it. Don't go out and buy cement thinking you are going to get rich though, as I only found a few tiny flakes in that mix. My moral of the story? I would rather pan cement mix than pay an outfit(s) that are simply mining the miners.
#18513 by ClickTheYellowChick
Sat May 28, 2011 12:55 am
Well, Umpqua, you at least got gold in your cement mix left overs, AND had a happy wife for making the kiddies' handprints, like a good Daddy you are.

Sounds to me like you scored big, allright.

And you didn't have to drive to an LDMA scalp'em event t'do it. Slept in your own bed at the end of the "cement day" and everything.

Something to be said for Lowe's Cement I reckon.... :!:

I know I've Gold Magic Green Wheeled washed playground sand from Home Depot there in the Portland Metro area when I was living on that side of the state. THAT was fun, and I got some color also.

Thanks for sharing your story. I liked it!
#18523 by mendoAu
Sat May 28, 2011 9:40 am
Hey guy's....I got some bags of contrete mix I'll let you go thru....please deposit after use in a flat textured pad in my backyard when done,,,,thanks*********** :D
#18535 by ClickTheYellowChick
Sat May 28, 2011 7:46 pm
Milwaukie Gold, I don't how to respond to your post.

, As the price climbs higher, the price of LDMA membership will climb higher as well. You could end up getting all your money back by selling your membership in a few years when the LDMA joining fees are off the charts and not in a good sense, and still have had some places to at least try without any redtape/govt interference.

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