Wanderings of The Mind
I have surely been remiss in updating the Expedition Blog so...I'll try and remember everything since the last time I posted.
Right after Miss Paula's last post in August, the Expedition loaded the Nugget Buggy and lit out for the great state of Alabama for a visit to Camp Firefly. It gave me a chance to catch up with the crew there, and do a little prospecting until it was time to return to Tennessee for the opening of dredging season at Doc Rogers. After adding some Alabama gold and garnets to our collection of PLR's, the Buggy was re-packed and meandered north to Coker Creek.
Once again camped in the Tennessee Mountains with no signal for any type of electronic device and too busy dredging to write, I was resigned to spending the winter in the southeast. Thoughts of Oregon and California were filed under Oro Expedition '14 as I settled into collecting my grubstake for the new year.
Miss Paula continued working with the Oro Expeditions' crowd funding site at GoFundMe, as well seeking out sponsors for Oro Expeditions And Then Some... on KDCL Media.
Then Providence stepped in, and "the rest", as they say, "is history."
While in Coker Creek, I made the acquaintance of Mike Payne of PoBoy Dredge. We talked...and talked...and talked some more, and developed a marvelous friendship. Mike felt that it was time to take PoBoy Dredge to the next level. He purchased an ad in the September/October edition of Gold Prospectors Magazine from GPAA, and became a contributor and sponsor of Oro Expeditions--allowing us to step up to the next level. Suddenly Oregon didn't seem so far away.
Once again I packed the Nugget Buggy and headed north to Interstate 70 where I proceeded west. Stopping for gas, food, and catnaps. I was soon in Denver, Colorado, where I stopped for some real sleep and to meet in person for the first time since we met three years ago, our beautiful heart sister, Dia Nunez of The H20 Network. I also did a little prospecting at the GPAA claim outside Idaho Springs, Colorado, just to say I had some Colorado gold in the sniffer bottle, then it was WESTWARD HO! once again.
There was a beautiful sunrise over Flaming Gorge in Utah before we struck out across Wyoming to meet up with Interstate 80 through Salt Lake City, Utah and Nevada before catching the two lane into Klamath Falls and on into Grant's Pass, Oregon.
In Grant's Pass, the first stop was at the Armadillo Mining Shop. We met a wonderful lady named Samantha, who has been very helpful in giving us the 411 on the contacts we'd carried with us since Coker Creek. THANKS JOHN & NICKIE! The Expedition met some fellow miners on the Illinois River, who have been generous in sharing their knowledge.
So here we are ready to settle in until it's too cold to play in the river. I had to wait out another rain storm, but we're doing a little hard rock mining, found some mercury gold, and generally learning the ropes for gold mining in the great northwest.
Once it gets too cold in Oregon...another friend moved to northern California last year sooooo....we'll see what happens next.
Oh...Miss Paula's been busy too.
Check out some of mine and her pictures.
We made it home in time for Miss Paula's birthday, and in between the 'Honey Do' list, preventive maintenance on the Nugget Buggy and Expedition equipment, we've started implementing plans for Phase II of Expedition '13. You can find the basics under the Phase Two tab, but we have some other irons in the fire. too.
Oro Expeditions has taken the plunge into crowd funding. You can find our page at Oro Expedition '13 Fund. Listen to Oro Expeditions And Them Some..., Tuesday at 8pm edt for the announcement of the winner of the First Nugget Contest, and the rewards for contributors to the Oro Expedition '13 Fund.
Those announcements and a lot more on tonight's show.
As my time at the Rooster Ridge GPAA claim in Coker Creek, Tennessee draws to an close, the Smokey Mountains gave me one heck of a going away party.
The severe thunderstorm that passed through Coker Creek Friday afternoon left a trail of injuries and destruction in its wake.
Tree limbs came down, canopies were thrown across the fields, leaving cuts and bruises behind. Tents and camps overturn and torn.
So we patched up the cuts, downed painkillers for the bumps and bruises, and tried to set camp back to rights as best would could. Though it could have been much worse, the storm took its toll on Expedition '13.
It appears that we'll be able to finish this leg of the Expedition, but before we head west, the Expedition will need a new tent.
Since the First Nugget Contest is winding down, though you can still participate until we get the nugget home, Miss Paula has established the Oro Expedition Tent Fund.
You can click the donate button anywhere on the website, or if you're a business that would be willing to do a barter exchange...one large three season cabin tent for the equivalent in advertising on KDCL Media, and recognition as a sponsor of Oro Expeditions--contact Miss Paula.
We leave behind many THANKS and BLESSINGS to the friends we have made in Coker Creek and Tellico Plains, and are already making plans for a return trip in the not too distant future.
SPECIAL THANK YOUs TO:
Ron at The Welcome Center
Bill & Marsha at Bill's Pit Stop of Coker Creek
Dixie at Caney Creek Village
Rose and the crew at Subway
Tyler at KramBonz
John & Nickie
Joyce & Vern
Chris & Jack
Michael & Melissa
James, Christina & The Girls
Jim & Trish
The Coker Creek Chapter of the GPAA for being our home away from home
Today is going to prove to be another hot one. The rain that has been on again off again seems to be over for the foreseeable future. Me and the Nugget Buggy are stuck in gold camp waiting on Mississippi. It was only a few days ago that him, Griss and Joyce took for a visit to the Weekenders’ claim in Georgia.
Today is a big day for Expedition ’13 as it is the day the Expedition goes ‘motorized’. If everything goes according to plan, I will be dredging on the Coker Creek GPAA claim before afternoon.
When Mississippi shows up, I’ll be trading him 30 Jacksons and a large Keene sluice box for a PoBoy 3 inch dredge. A big THANK YOU to K.B. for his belief in the Expedition and the foresight for success.
There’s been so much going on there hasn’t been time to sit and write it all down. Moving camp to the Rooster Ridge GPAA claim and getting settled in, I had to chance to explore a bit and chat with some of the bordering neighbors. A great cast of characters and hearts the size of the Smokey Mountains.
Then there’re the people who I’ve met as they stop and sit a spell at the campground. The Briggs Brothers from Mississippi…have met some great folk from that state since I’ve started this prospecting adventure, who were on vacation and tramped the woods with me for several days. Thunderstorms chased us out of the creek a couple days, but we had great fun.
The Memorial Day gathering of the Coker Creek Chapter of the GPAA was great fun. This was my first such gathering, and it was an experience. Lots of new friends made and so many new acquaintances I need a notebook to remember all the names, but I’m definitely looking forward to a refresher course on names during the Coker Creek Gold Festival, June 15, 2013.
Of all the great people we’ve met around the campfire these past couple weeks I want to take a minute to shine the spotlight on “Mississippi” from PoBoy Dredges. I got the chance to run one of these little dredges, and I love it. It fits in the back of the Nugget Buggy, and it’s portable and easy to assemble.
I want to take a moment before I wrap this up to say a HUGE THANK YOU!!! to the people and businesses of Coker Creek and Tellico Plains that have helped support Oro Expedition ’13 with their energetic exchanges of goods and services. Miss Paula & myself also thank everyone who has bought a chance in the FIRST NUGGET CONTEST.
Ron at The Welcome Center
Bill’s Pit Stop of Coker Creek - Say you heard about the on KDCL Media
KramBonz BBQ - Say you heard about the on KDCL Media
Rose at Subway
Dixie at Caney Creek Village
The “Motorcycle’ Campground
Ralph from Florida
Michael & Melissa
Captain Jim, President South Mississippi Chapter of the GPAA
All the great folks from around the campfire at Rooster Ridge
And Our Newest Supporter:
We’re still ironing out the bugs with the technology to get my videos back to the studio. Miss Paula may be making a personal pick-up if things fall in place for her to visit gold camp in time for the Coker Creek Gold Festival.
Mark your calendars for Tuesday nights at 8pm edt for Oro Expeditions And Then Some… for weekly updates from Expedition ‘13
So be sure to stay tuned!
It’s been ten days since our last entry, but a lot’s happened since then. The huge storm that hung out with us for a week nearly washed me away, and there were several mornings when I woke from dreams of our old waterbed to find my air mattress floating around the tent.
Some new friends, I’ve made in town, were kind enough to lend this prospector a dry place to sleep a couple nights so I could get warm and dry. The Nugget Buggy has definitely earned its keep, too. LOL Now all the rain swelled the creeks and rivers slowing down the Expedition, but the weather has been beautiful for the past week even if the frost has been on the grass a couple mornings, and I’m back in the water again.
My 14 day time limit in the Cherokee National Forest was up so I moved gold camp to the GPAA claim outside the town of Coker Creek, and settled in to meet my new neighbors.
A pair of brothers from Mississippi were spending their vacation on the claim so we spent a couple days running the woods with our sluices boxes collecting those shiny bits of gold metal. A little company in the creek makes the day sluicing pass by quick.
Along with those little yellow rocks, there’s also a few artifacts I’ve found here and there along with some beautiful clear quartz points and clusters, and a couple other brothers that protect my camp from the wild hogs and bears. Man’s best friend and first alarm system.
Miss Paula will soon be in possession of the videos from the first month of Expedition ’13 so be sure to keep checking Facebook and YouTube for her announcement.
Until next time, may the bottom of your pan always be yellow.
Oro Cas shares his thoughts and experiences as he travels the country on his Expeditions.