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.
How Miss Paula feels about Oro Expeditions.
Now that Oro is off on Phase II of Expedition '13, I wanted to post a blog that I've already posted on the KDCL Media page. Everyone who's come in contact with Oro knows his passion for these Expeditions, but you've not heard much out of me so here we go...
Oro was channel surfing one day and happened upon a show with this big man in beat up cowboy hat panning for gold in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina. Oro began to reminisce about panning at Philmont Boy Scout Ranch when he was 14...then asked if I remembered Bob, the guy we worked with in Texas taking us into the high desert near Alpine to collect sand out of the dry washes and taking it home to process it for gold. From there his interest and curiosity grew until we were taking vacation time to go prospecting in North Carolina.
I had a great time with lots of pretties found and enough phone signal to do our radio shows with two smartphones and computer for battery power. I like camping, but also like a few creature comforts when I do. LOL
As life sometimes goes, Oro was forced from behind the wheel of Lil' Pete and out of a thirty year career. That's when Oro Expeditions moved from an idea into reality.
I must admit when the ideas started moving from paper and discussions into the real world, I was overly cautious. I was raised by the generation of parents where you worked a job for forty or fifty years, and lived your golden years on your pension, but that's not the reality of my generation.
When Oro pulled out of the driveway on April 14, 2013, it was on a wing and a prayer. Thank goodness there were lots of bus trips this spring to keep the expedition going until it slowly began to support itself through the First Nugget Contest and the generous support of new and old friends, and Oro finding good places to mine for gold.
As we've gotten deeper into Expedition '13, a few more things have come into the light. What started out as a new career path for Oro is slowing morphing into something else. Yes, it's still about becoming self-sufficient through the retrieval of gold and gemstones, but it's also become about other things...the continued access to public lands, teaching people a way to be out in Nature while learning a skill the whole family can enjoy (even if it's just playing in creek), and that can actually add to your pool of resources as a 'rainy day' fund or those times when your retirement and Social Security whimper at the cost of living.
So Oro Expeditions is no longer just about Oro going out into the wilderness to bring home the gold--it's also about sharing...stepping into the battle to retain the few individual freedoms that's been left to us--sharing time with family and friends old and new in the breathtaking beauty that is the wild places of our country where we can breathe, and ground ourselves then carry that balanced and centered energy back into our everyday lives.
As Oro and I work to pull together funding for Phase II, we're once again depending on those that can see the dream, and someday say, "If Oro can do it...so can I." This time when he pulls out of the driveway to head South, instead of cautious, I am optimistic. It's not just Miss Paula supporting Oro in his dream, but also being able to see all the things that can happen when that dream comes to fruition. That's why I suggested crowdfunding to fund Phase II and beyond. I have seen the generosity of people when a dream catches fire, and hope they too can see our dream.
Blessings to Everyone and as Oro says on his Expedition videos..."More Later."
Oro Expedition '13 Crowdfunding Site
Oro Cas shares his thoughts and experiences as he travels the country on his Expeditions.