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
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=673008159401802

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.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SwordfishMining
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.

P1020538
P1020545
P1020548
P1020570
P1020578
The quest goes on…

really
Stable

Holloway Fire Contained In Nv, Others still burn.

Hiya all;

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.)

Looking East towards…

 

Memorial Day Weekend tailings digging at the Rainbow

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.

Fresh tailings opal from Rainbow Ridge 2011.