Ka-ristol huntin’

Crystal hunting in the Fall.  Hard to top that.  We started our day with a hearty home cooked breakfast.   Eggs, sausage, cinnamon rolls & OJ.  Ave was in charge of the eggs and made me scrambled in meat grease.  Very nice.  Then he made himself one handsome omelette.KODAK Digital Still Camera

After breakfast we packed our backpacks with snacks and drinks and drove out to Lake George in search of adventure and smoky quartz.

It was very nice having a companion to open the cattle gate as we headed off-road 🙂

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We had about a half mile hike to get to the hunting grounds, but first we had to cross a little creek.KODAK Digital Still Camera

We first tried walking across a fallen tree, but it didn’t reach all the way across the creek so we pulled off our shoes and socks and rolled up our pants and waded through the icy cold water.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

When we reached the other side of creek we had to walk through a thicket and there were lots of thorns and thistles, so we got a little scratched up.  We spent a little time pulling thistles from our feet, socks & pants before proceeding with the hike.

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It was a nice, easy trail to our destination, but both of us were feeling the altitude.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

We took a snack break at the top of the hill, poked around the granite and found a few pieces of smoky quartz.  Just chips and pieces, but souvenirs nonetheless.   Most of the aspens in the area had already dropped their leaves, but Ave noticed these two aspens still had their leaves.  He said “look how yellow those are!”  We had to have a pic.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

It was about 3:30 in the afternoon so we started our hike back to the truck.  Ave noticed an interesting old tree trunk that had been burned in a forest fire.  He suggested we take a pic of that too.

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We both liked the way the sun sparkled on the creek, so we took a few more pictures of that on the hike back.


…and hit McDonalds on the way back 😉


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Da Bears

Last Monday morning, 6:30 AM, got in the truck to go to work and saw an 18″ hole clawed in the shed door where the garbage bins are kept!

I sat there in the truck for a minute, looking at the hole and wondering if a bear might still be inside there.

Decided I should clean up the trash, so I went back to the house, grabbed a rubber glove and a trash bag and cleaned up the mess.

Then I got back in the truck and started pulling out of the driveway when I spotted THE REST of the mess!

Well I just couldn’t leave that there, so I go BACK upstairs and grab a bigger trash bag and clean the rest of the trash.

That’s bears for ya.

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Back on the “NoPaz” Trail – Sept 2, 2017


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A little buck jumped up on the boulder beside the porch at my apartment.  “Aspen salad.”

Wow.  What a gorgeous day for a hike to the claim.  Been a few weeks since I last walked the claim.   Full sun from 10am when I got there, to 4pm when I left.  Warm, but not excessively so, and I was feeling pretty good as I started my way into the woods.


The Flower Report:   Boy, early fall is putting on a good show.  The aspen’s haven’t turned yellow,, but the grasses in the meadow seem to have greyed.   I was surprised to see so many flowers still in bloom, and their colors really popped against the backdrop of drying grass.

Daisies:  The image on the left is how they looked through amber sunglasses.  Image on the right is just plain, no “filter.”


Took a break halfway up to the claim.  Tested the new “mini-tripod” (thanks ma 🙂

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Countless ripe raspberries all around.   Thought I might try to pick a few but they were very small.  Tasted great though.

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When I arrived at the claim boundary I noticed that someone had unfolded the tin plate on my “discovery marker.”   Inside that folded plate is a ziplock bag with a copy of my claim papers (as per statute).   It looked to me as though they punctured the tin with a pick just so see if there was anything inside it.  I could tell they hadn’t opened the ziplock to inspect the papers.

It was a little disappointing to see my work vandalized, but this sort of thing happens all the time to claim markers, and at least they didn’t pull it all apart and leave the papers on the ground.  Just someone a little curious.   I decided I was curious too, so I set up the motion-sensing trail cam and left it pointing towards the claim post.

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Did a whole lot of hiking on the claim, scouring gullies and washouts I’d never walked through before, but didn’t find a thing.  Then, as I was leaving I stopped for water and noticed this stone in the shade of a larger rock.  It was 5 feet away and from that distance I was nearly sure it was something valuable!  For a moment I had that elated feeling, but when I picked it up it was just a piece of quartz that had a topaz-like facet on one side. Yeeouch!  It was what the miners call a “teaser,” and a good one at that.  I was so fooled by the thing that I decided to keep it.

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More flowers on the way back to the truck.  Had to take a pic.

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A fine day of fishing

We started fishing the reservoir at about noon.  After an hour or so we heard thunder and spotted lightning so we took shelter in the car and ate subs and chips and Skittles.  Before long the weather passed and we headed back to the water.

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Close to 3:30 the fish started hitting.   Lost a few close to shore.  Lost a few on shore.  Lot’s of bites kept us busy.

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

Hardly a lull in the action

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And everyone put a fish or two on the stringer.

KODAK Digital Still Camera


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There’s a fox and the 4Runner.

‘Rained out’ the last couple weekends, so no prospecting to report.

Meanwhile I’m excited to get the 4Runner in the game (thanks Mel 🙂 )  Ordered and received parts for it last week and I guess it’ll be ready for prospecting by September.   4WD and all-terrain tires will be such a nice addition to these outings!


Anyway, here’s a few pics of a fox that wandered up under the blue spruce by the deck.  Sunday, July 24.   It was only 25 feet away and it didn’t run away when I walked outside to take a photograph.  Certainly the best view I’ve ever had of a fox in the wild.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

“I’m looking at you, buster”  (That’s what this fox says.)


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More nature? Yes, thanks.

Drove out to ‘the spot’ Saturday evening, just to get out, and hoping to see a thunderstorm pass over the peak.  Thought I might get a show as I approached the parking area but these dark clouds stayed north and within just one hour the sky was nearly clear.

Had to keep an eye out for deer on the drive home (8pm).  Saw a good 10 or 12 grazing by the side of the road:KODAK Digital Still Camera


Went back again this morning (Sunday), early, in case of rain in the afternoon.  Combed the ground for a couple hours.  Didn’t find any “valuables” but hey, this is prospecting.

Brought this home as a souvenir:  A sort of interesting cluster of granite and small white quartz crystals:


All this rain has been good for the flora.  Lots and lots of orange “Indian Paintbrush” and purple/yellow “Showy Daisy” throughout the aspen groves.

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These weren’t in bloom last weekend, and I only saw 3 or 4. “Mariposa-lily”

And this is the first wild raspberry I’ve seen.  I think there will be lots of these soon, but this is the first (and only) berry I’ve seen so far.


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Nature City

Had the house/property to myself for most of last week without internet, so I took advantage of the deck chair and the view from the porch.  Ain’t I ambitious.

All sorts of sparrows making noise in the trees last evening. The yellow and black and whites vs. something brown and gray.  Others just chirping.  One bird adding it’s own unique sound from somewhere in the shade of the bottom branches under a tall blue spruce.  No big bird bullies to be seen. Just the serious little ones all scattered through the trees. The big birds of spring are gone. This is little bird territory now.

The tall tall blue spruce

There’s been a hummingbird out here too. It’s been around longer than the big birds and the little birds combined. The hummingbird’s still busy in the woods hours after the little birds go quiet. The hummingbird is first to rise too.  

Went rock hunting a week ago Sunday, but after hiking nearly all the way in I heard thunder and turned tail.  Rained out, but I got to sweat plenty in the sun while it lasted.  

Saw a few “new” types flowers but I was lazy and shot them with the phone so the pics didn’t come out clear.  I’m planning to I.D ’em after I’m done with “High Country Coin Laundry” in Woodland Park.

Pineywood Geranium

Fairy Trumpet flower

Blanket Flower


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