2015 Is in the books…almost

Hiya everyone. Hope your year has gone well.
Sorry my blog has slacked off this year. I’m hoping to be a lot more regular next year since I won’t be dealing with as much stress. You be surprised at how few people are rockhounds, let alone miners if the price of gas is any indication. Next year will be better.
I’ve had my knee operated on this year and am now recuperating from my hand operation to rebuild a joint, so not wanting to type much. Just wanted to show off a nice opal from Rainbow Ridge I cut back in the nineties – again for all of you have seen it for 2 decades now.

I can’t wait for the new year to get rolling and refurbished wheels to arrive. Maybe I’ll actually get a few stones polished instead of just rubbed. Schedules are behind these links for the show dates this year.
It’s also the 10th anniversary for Gem and Jam weekend. Someone will be representing Ashland OR.
Gem & Jam Festival
Need to heal up. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and however else that translates.

Virgin Valley Precious Opal by John Church
Virgin Valley Precious Opal by John Church

Oh and I’m putting my photography, jewelry, writing and such on Tsu my link to get in is https://www.tsu.co/ResortDog
I’m thinking this will be a lot quieter and considerate if smaller new pond than FB has gotten to be. I never got my Google+ going. It all takes time and we need to find a place to relax. At least I do. Finding opal is enough excitement for me. You might also make a comment about the Sage Grouse management
at a meeting http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse/public_meetings.html or call 775-861-6585 or email: gseidlit@blm.gov all info at website www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/sagegrouse.html plan, after we all made agreements to do otherwise. No new claims and permits needed to just go look for 20 year maybe and the clock is already running on the closed areas for the rest of 5 years at least. A lot of residents will go under before much time that goes by. Gif map of areas affected

Lenticular clouds Southeast of Adel OR
Lenticular clouds Southeast of Adel OR

Erosion in my toolbox.

Could be another one of those wet summers here at the mines. Had to wait for the surface mud to be shoved out of the way yesterday still at Rainbow Ridge who was a week late in opening. The tailings are drying out nicely as long as you don’t wade in the puddles up on the tops of the piles. Found me a few opals worth pictures, but they are still in the buckets out in the car. Nothing was undried so no need to wet them again other than to scrub off the clay. That is what makes the domes vary in price so much – was the opal already dried and cracking before it was put on display in water or was it never allowed to be tested and may dry properly. ( To be polished or lumbered and stones constructed without having to worry about existing cracks first from trying to dry such a huge chunk of silica.) Been doing better than average on the surface hunting areas from the deluges. Photos after they get their bath.

Denio Jct Open again for Memorial Day weekend on.

Just a quick note as I have to get my beauty rest before playing in the mud digging for opals again in the morning. The Denio Jct has been reopened under new management, at a reduced level for a bit, no bar, but still have motel and meals and some supplies. *8am to 6pm* will call number for rooms after hours. Fields Cafe to the north East or Adel Store to the west is the only and nearest gas to be had.

Denio Junction Closed

Until further notice get gas at Adel, Cedarville, Fields, Orovada or Paradise Valley and plan to get back on what you brought. Hopefully they can get Denio Jct it back open, or new owners can, but I have not heard what or when. Sorry as you have to drive further or camp. Other than that, the no-see ums reminded me the mining season is fast upon us as I was out gathering geodes the other day. Bring your insect repellent with you for the evenings. I’m still mining and selling claims this year, but the opal seminars or any guiding for pay on the refuge is on hold until I get around to being permitted by Fish and Wild life apparently. In no way does this interfere with the opal mining business as far as I can see and the Kokopelli still plans on being legal too.

Winnemucca Basque Club
Winnemucca Basque Club Dancing their shoes off in Denio.

Cool June in the Valley.

Howdy Howdy; Its been a break in the heat now for a week. It has only gotten into the seventies and low eighties. Despite the slower than expected opening weekend in the campground, it has been a steady spring with lots of visitors. I’ve been in and out trying to help get the Kokopelli open where we want to build. This week ought to resolve all that and by next month…well the floor will at least be there. It is already leveled where my truck was parked.

Coming: Gift Shop
Coming: Gift Shop

I’ve heard of wonderful things coming out of Rainbow Ridge Mine justifying the price raise to 100 for tailings (& loads to 600). Loads really are by reservation only as some digger told Opal Negra as they bought some jewelry on the way out. The Bonanza is open for tailings digging and the Opal Queen is not open. The Peacock has to have had a lot of business by the number of folks going up and down that side of the valley so I assume the opal is coming out. There really is NO number or way to quantify or qualify what has been mined if the owners don’t show it off. To tell the truth, I warn people when they do find worthy opals and get them home that it is called the thieves stone because the way thieves will snatch it if they can’t be caught, or think they will like brash teenagers. Treating it like another agate has cost about a quarter of the owners their prize. Just saying they rate the case display, not the coffee table. I have the pictures of a few expensive reward able for return items on my website. Have to look among all the pleasant things to find their captions.

I did rescue the “drying pieces of what turned out to be Contra Luz Opal from the Peacock out of the mineral oil it has been in a few changes of for well, over 6 months easy. Not sure I trust it to do anything else with and maybe make all this go away. That IS the problem with trying to dry a big or probably unstable opal without going the extra yard and replacing the water with resin or? I put a movie up on Facebook in the Virgin Valley Opal Group

45 degree contra luz
45 degree contra luz

Ghoulish twig cut off
Ghoulish twig cut off

I sent off to “our Guy” a very gemmy bark. Can’t wait to see what is made with it. He must have a thousand cts (I know between us we do) of precious wood jewelry. Or if you have to be snobbish semiprecious due to the fact it has some matrix and is treated. We aren’t trying to fool anyone. Some does not have to be treated. My Esty store has some treated at 20 a ct.
or even dry rough to play with.

I’ve been busy with vehicles, fee diggers, claims guests and gardening work. I knew a house was work but acreage just quadruples that. Other things like trying to replace or repair my old Forester took way too much time long with the replacement vehicle. I’ll trade a contiguous set of ten 20 ac lode claims for a new/almost Subaru Forester. That’s 200 acres unpatented mineral rights with access on the side of Rock Springs table between the Rainbow and the Peacock. Woods and opal coming out of the touched on one side & I can point to where to start digging on the layers on the other side hill. Call me to discuss. Got more disposable cash you’d like to convert into hard assets? I have the ten claims buffering (200 acres you drive up) to Rainbow Ridge Mine. It has separate dead end access, gated in winter with power lines across property. I’ll buy my own car with what was left after taxes. I won’t trade for out of state property. Pardon my barking; I’ll stop.

The quest goes on…


2014 Season Update – NOT

Howdy everyone. Seems I have gotten behind the ball this year. Not even going to try to keep up with Facebook now that I’ve missed week. I tell everyone that is what personal messages are for. Don’t try asking me questions in comments on groups LOL. Somebody has to tell me where they are.
I did not realize it was opening day at Rainbow Ridge until after 2pm – 2oo miles away. I did get some Jasper LOL. The Kokopelli did not get it’s doors open this year. So sorry I have been saying it was, but not yet.
It was a grey day for the diggers at the fee digs and there were over 20 camps by the pond when I went by later that night. (I had used up my 5 gallons of “good” water on the trip and need fresh.) Opal Negra made it again and Opal Queen is no show. This weekend is sold out at the Ridge for fresh piles. Weather is 80s and 40s and the Night Blooming Primrose is here again. Even got some Iris blossoms after the first were frozen. The field artillery has been brought out for some Memorial Day fun by Fields.
I do need to sell some of the wonderful stones languishing in my larder. Like these that got a little sun (and wind -mute).
Ghoulish Twig
So off to the Races and I don’t mean Indy, I wish.

The mining district caught a storm!

First storm of Feb 2014
First storm of Feb 2014

Better give a little update to the news. Kokopelli Opal Mine has published some new pictures and announced the 2014 digging schedule. The fees are listed on their website with the numbers about the Senior, Children and Military discounts. $160 a day for adults. Their Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/kokopelliopals. They posted a few pictures of some of the wire wrapped stones and cut gems they have for sale. I really should get a store on my website, but in person is still the best way to pick gemstones. Online can be cheaper but it’s not always what you see.
We got 3 inches of snow last night and the roads are sloppy. It is supposed to be turning to rain in a couple days while freezing at night. The North facing mines will be un reachable for weeks if not months now. Swordfish Mining does have the first to dry out mine that produces Fire Opals. Snuggle up, it’s going to be a chilly week around here.

Harvest Moon Musings…

Thats the spikey leaved thing.
locust looming

Another full Harvest moon has passed by. This year seemed longer for going faster it seemed than last year did. I know climbing the side of The Horn to sleep in a deer bed with spirits was getting old. No ticks tho’; must be doing something right. Gotta check the wolf too so she is not being sucked on and catch some nasty disease. Only got close to one unknown strange animal, a badger? We went another way, and heard coyotes, owls and burros off and on. Slept on the ashes of the dead so to speak and for all the wrong reasons I’ve never been taken there, so I don’t know where they actually are, but it was close. Nice view looking down on the whole Virgin Valley. Can really see the clay layers come and go under the mesa and into most of the mines. Well, either from up there or the edge of Rock Springs table on the south. The dawn was nice tho’ and frosty but not frigid yet. It has made the shift to fall and heater weather. Knees are not liking the coming down anymore. Got me a couple pounds of common opal and woods along with an arty face rock. Fee digging on the Kokopelli has been expanded by opening the bank right above the roads in 2 places for the lame to hobble to easier without having to chance driving a rental over rocks. We are producing solid opal limbs and glassy woods there and I’m getting more bright veins in woods to be cut from both of the paleo wood beds.

The Horn and northside from the Shhh Opal Mine.
Opal Mine in front of the North West side of Virgin Valley Opal Mining District, Humboldt Co NV

Tours Available for more than opals.

I’m getting tired of digging opals by myself waiting for the business environment to finish the plans from last year…..Thunderstorms are tearing up the land and works been done to log off trees and clean debris. Harney Electric Co-op just trimmed the trees out of the wires last month so we were saved any flickering in town. There were at least 2 lightning fires in sight from town, 5+ acres up out of reach on Pueblo Mtn and some over the ridge in the Holloway Fire un burned area. Have not got out today to see if the little rain with the storms put them out. I know they did not turn toward town and get us fire fighters out. I left the Nomex in the car in case.

In any case I was just saying I’m in business if you want to hire me. I still have mining claims for sale and a couple nice areas on consignment that still need moved. If anybody (boy is traffic low this year) wants to dig on NEW dirt not the same old holes. We are the folks to call. Either Swordfish Mining or Kokopelli Oplas gets you here. If you do visit we would be glad to show off the new stones we are cutting and setting for next winters showings. Tuscon would be more likely if we a delivery to take. Opalised woods in common opal with only the occasional streak or soaking of precious are getting in my way at the warehouse. Like Arizona woods after dealing with the cracks and shapes, they chip, they tumble, they carve, they sit in blacklights giving a great show and never sunburn. But I digress. I need to go clear debris. Buy Opal – YOLO.

If it ain't mined it was grown.
Nevada Mining History