Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gold Digging (again)

When we arrived at the Thousands Trails rv park, we met Mike and he happened to mention he had been doing some gold digging.  Ed leaned over to me and said "I want to talk to him."  That did not surprise me.  Over the course of the four weeks that we have been here, we have developed a friendship with Mike and his family.

  At first Mike just told us where to find a creek that we could pan gold in.  Then we just asked him to go with us.  Back when we did the gold panning in North Carolina we paid for the dirt, this time we just went out in a creek and dug up the dirt.

We get there and go down an embankment to the creek. 

We have to haul everything down to the creek
Then we walk a ways down the creek

We had picked up some new waders in Bronson, so we got to use them.  When we first arrived at the creek, there was ice on the water so I was glad to have them. 

Mike didn't have any but he sure could have used them
Panning for gold is hard work.

Mike made this sucker tool.  You  dig  down to the bedrock (the rock bottom of the creek)  and then suck up the dirt on top of it.  That is where you are suppose to find the gold.  After you get the dirt up then you have to pan it.

There is a small speck of gold in there.  If you look really hard you may see it.  lol

The second time we went Mike's wife Sherry went with us. 

Looks like she is taking it easy,  but she is just taking a lunch break
Third time we went out we went up in the hills.  Ed and Mike planned on moving some rocks and digging out some of the dirt out from under it.

They moved some big rocks

 I took the metal detector out to see if I could find anything.

Climbing these rocks were  hard

It was rough going but it was fun

All I found was some bullets, It looks like the area was used for  target practice.

This is the result of our hard work
Ed says in 10 years we might have 50 dollars worth  lol
Well there is another episode of our gold digging days.  Hopefully with many more to follow.  Oh by the way,  when we are done we collapse.

Bye for now     Ed and Lyn

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jerome, Arizona (A Ghost Town)

We heard there was a ghost town near here so we decided to check it out.  Ed and I are both thinking that it is  an old deserted type of western town.  I think we have seen too many movies. lol  It was nothing like  what we were expecting. 

Jerome is built on the side of Cleopatra Hill which had rich ore deposits. First it was just individual claims and then it was bought by a mining company.  By 1920 the population was almost 15,000 people.  After the mines shut down in the 1950's, the population went down to 100.  This was when it became known as a ghost town.  Today the population is almost 500 and has become a thriving tourist town.  It sort of reminded us of downtown Shipshewana only more interesting because of where it is built. 

This overlooked the valley and this is a piece of the mining equipment.

The first thing we saw was this police car and the residential part of the town.

How would you like to walk up and down this every day

of course Ed wanted you to see this car
The town had art galleries, restaurants, gem shops, just a little bit of everything.  There were quite a few tourist there, not quite sure they were buying anything.

a lot of shops
These were made from tree roots

I had taken some other pictures in the art gallery and then found out you are not suppose to take pictures and had to delete them

an old washing machine just sitting by a building

An old movie camera

Ed took a picture of this sign

 Some of the buildings didn't have much left of them.

This was what was left of the jail

Than of course they  have some neat old buildings

looked like this might have been a hotel

The town is located on 89A and is known for it's curves so we decided to check it out.  It's not a place for an RV but on our way up the road we came across a fifth wheel pulled off the road.  They were over heating.  I told him the rv magazine told rv's to stay off this road.  He said he hadn't read that magazine.  We went further up the road.  The twists and turns were amazing as was the scenery.  We turned around and went back and Ed stopped and told the owner of the fifth wheel he might want to turn around.  Getting turned around and going back through town wasn't easy but going forward wasn't going to be easy either and maybe impossible since he was already overheating.

This was where we had been

Ed saw this sign along side the road with this sticker on it
There is an actual ghost town part farther out of town but it was getting ready to close so we didn't get to go through it.  The woman in the store told us to come back so we went back after Thanksgiving.  She didn't bother to tell us they were closing down until the day after Christmas.

We went up there and there was all kinds of old equipment, old trucks just everywhere.   There were a couple of converted buses.

an early motor home

There was stuff everywhere

looks like someone was living here

You went through this building and behind it was the ghost town.  You had to pay $5 to go through it.  We got there about 20 minutes before closing so didn't go through it.

After we left the ghost town we saw a gravel road and decided to check it out.  We realized we were going up the mountain.  We followed it for about 5 miles and wasn't sure where it was going but decided we would turn around and go back.  But this was the view going up the mountain.

We had a really good day, but when the sun goes down it really gets cold.  But we have really been enjoying the scenery.  We have been doing some gold digging and that is going to be our next blog.

Bye for now.    Ed and Lyn