Greetings and salutations everybody everywhere forever! I hope you find some love in your heart for yourself this year too. Peace is the goal. Heaven is the reward. The fire season is gone and the Virgin Valley ice season is upon us. Please start thinking about your summer vacation to Kokopelli Opal & Swordfish Mining guided precious wood, black and other color precious opals, fee digging. By appointment only at present, attended, opal harvesting the best way we can. You keep all you find after paying up front to try your luck. No mine limit! Multiple faces to dig in- Trees, total opal replacements, precious skins, common.
We are smoked only, not incinerated. Thank all the fire crews (100s of men and women)that got the Nevada side of the fire under control, and the new fires that lit while they were here. Now they deployed up into Oregon to finish off the top half. This fire did burn all the way to the Long Draw fire from last month. It will go over 450,000 acres when it is all over and done I’m afraid. Quite a bit of “Sage Grouse habitat”, just got rehabilitated the way it worked forever. The folks around here figure it ruined around 20 ranches, the families will not be able to wait out the 3 years until they can put cows back on their allotments. The drought has the price of hay up so high, if you can find it, it is as expensive as gasoline. I have a fire sale on for 1/3 off in the show cases in town. It will end as soon as the fire does. It was a gesture to all them of appreciation for their hard work.
There is still smoke in the air from the other fires in Oregon and California which are up wind from here. The smoke is not so bad we are taking shelter with filters on yet. The Klamath Falls Rock and Gem club came out for a weekend at the gem opal mines. There were several nice pieces found but as always not enough…Color was found at my place if not greatness. The buckets from them have not been seen by me, so the might have a piece or two to cut like I found.
We were rained off my claim on Sunday by more thunder storms. In the afternoon it was better and I went back to get one I had been digging on when the rain started. It is almost impossible to leave color showing in the “wall” and leave. At least it did not start another fire. There was rain with this storm. This mine is where my current gem digging is going for the 100 a head fee, 2 person minimum.
End of the mining year so everybody who has a claim needs to make sure those little papers are filed everywhere on time with the fees (hope you don’t have to pay the lease fee of 140, but the law in writing says 100, but the BLM are wanting 189 or something each so don’t lose your claims because you sent a copy and not a small miners exemption with an original signature saying you are a small miner or …all your claims are gone if you don’t fix it just as they say.)
Hiya all; Well all you Opalholics, summer is NOT here. Opening day at the Rainbow never got warmer than the 50s. It was cold and windy with showers. The mud welcomed us and the road into the tailings was one lane of two fresh scrapes down below the 3 inches of mud. I didn’t even consider driving down the other side of the valley that afternoon. Less than half of the normal opening weekend crowd was there. The line of cars got stalled as folks got stuck going in. By 9 we were all digging tho’. It was miserable so no one was wandering around gloating with big ones from the piles to show off in the gloom and drizzle. I did hear repeated finds from a couple piles. Walkin’ tall with mud gloomed onto the boots for sure. 6 or 7 loads were sold and I saw opals from at least 3 of them. Like I said it was a bad day light wise. I’m sure ounces went into the tailings in muddy dirt clods that night. Everybody got back out of the mine Ok. Today was snowed out but it’s supposed to be clearing for a couple days around Monday. Did not talk to any other valley diggers so I can’t give a sitrep on the Peacock or Bonanza mines. The campground was barely populated,but I blame that on the oil situation and the economy going belly up on peoples savings instead of just a couple bad banks. Give us a couple warm days without rain and it will all be dry again. Even with the rain the tailings were dry when you got below the surface (2-3 inches). The montmorillite here soaks up water and breaks down fast but it sort of swells and makes a waterproof crust of dust and the rest of the water just runs off. I have seen tailings from 20 or 100 years ago still like that. Smooth dirt crust on top and originally mined rough chunks under the surface. Well I did find the usual suspects of opal. About 1 -5 gallon bucket all told of every thing including dirt clods and rocks. The un expected big one and some cones. Here’s photos.