After taking a few days off to hike the Grand Canyon, I have returned to the real reason we are in Arizona – GOLD! Proximity was the main reason we headed south from Tucson to the “Maybe, Maybe Not” claim near Patagonia.

I dug a few holes without much success. A couple of experienced prospectors showed up a few days later. One of the guys gave me a few suggestions on technique which really helped increase yield, like about 1000%. Mind you, we’re still talking about small quantities. Lauren, my mentor, told me he is pleased if he gets a gram of gold per day (32 grams = 1 ounce.) I am too. That’s about $40 worth at today’s spot price ($1200/ounce.)

20140303-080727.jpgDRY HOLE
My cartoon is an “I wish” scenario. Mary and I had originally talked about prospecting as a joint venture but she has shown considerably less enthusiasm for digging dirt than I have. She is tolerant though; I’ll give her credit for that. She hasn’t ever balked at my excursions into the desert.

The Maybe, Maybe Not claim turned out to be a nice place to camp. We had a nice little valley to ourselves. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, desert scenery. No rent.

Following Lauren’s suggestion I was excavating a particularly rich bank of the dry wash near our campsite and I was really getting into the routine and then a big rain came. I would say about an inch of rain fell in one day. Southern Arizona has been experiencing an 8-year drought, they tell us, so this was a very welcome event for the area. This should set the desert abloom in the coming weeks. Since the technique I’m employing is “dry washing,” the wet soil has shut me down for a while. Hopefully, the Arizona sun will dry everything out in a few days and I can get back to work.

We moved over to some BLM land outside of Organ Pipe National Monument yesterday. The reason for this is a phone message we had waiting for us when we emerged from the Grand Canyon. Seems I had lost my cell phone on a hike at Organ Pipe a few weeks ago and hadn’t even realized it. Another hiker found it up in the hills and turned it in. We’ve come back to pick it up.

20140303-082010.jpgSUNRISE AT THE MAYBE, MAYBE NOT