Gold Dust Woman

When you live in Arizona you wonder if you can find Gold in “them there hills!”

Sweet man and I belong to a Gold Prospecting Club. We enjoy getting out in the back country not only for the beautiful views…

but for the hopes of finding beautiful rocks and perhaps some GOLD!

When you do serious prospecting you must first find your Club’s Federal Claims. We have a map and look for the Red, White and Blue claims. (that’s our club’s federal claim markings) Here are examples…

If it’s not our Club’s claim then we don’t prospect there.

We like looking for Gold in ravines, washes and creeks. Most of the time they are dry so thats the best time to look. Below you can see evidence that other prospectors were here before us. Their bucket prints can be seen.

Here is a ravine we will try our luck at.

This is not a time to be a fashionista! Ha! Ha! It’s dusty and dirty…

This is an old picture of me (I call myself Gold Dust Woman because at the end of the day we get pretty dirty and some of it could be gold Dust!😂)

Now here is what you need…

I use the vacuum. It’s loud and I use ear plugs and shooting ear muffs! Oh yea… I am quite the sight!!

I vacuum up the area that has black sand (gold is usually found in it) but also around rocks, crevices and bedrock (the rock at the bottom of the wash.) Gold is heavy… it sinks… so I try to get to the bottom of the area I am at.

When the bucket is full Sweet Man runs what I vacuumed into the dry washer. Remember… Gold is heavy… it will fall to the bottom of the dry washer and the sand, dirt and rocks fall off onto the ground. At the end of the day… we head home with a bag full of sand, dirt and hopefully GOLD!

We come across cattle gates. You may go through but ALWAYS close the gate. It’s the Law of the Land!

You never know what you may come across at these gates!

This sign gave us a chuckle!

Along with trying to find GOLD in the washes. We also look for dirty or “rotten” quartz.

Inside there could be gold. Sweet man has a rock crusher and we always hope to find some!

The bag of dirt is then panned at home where water is available. Panning is a technique that I cannot do! Sweet man can separate the dirt from the black sand.

And most of the time that Black Sand has Gold in it!

He then suctions up whatever GOLD is in pan into the Snuffer Bottle.

It’s a lot of hard work but we have so much fun! And we see beautiful Arizona at the same time!

Mines are always in the area. A tip off is when you come across a “dump” a “miners dump!” These are part of our Arizona History.

Many of the cans are Tobacco, beans, sardines, coffee and canned milk (cream for their coffee.) These are hard to come across so when you do …you stop and take pictures!

Many mines are blocked off but as we all are aware of some are not…

And once again… let’s not forget those gorgeous views toooo! How we love our Arizona!

Mt. Humphrey!

Now I leave you with this…


Those bigger pieces are called Pickers… about 1/4 of the size of my pinkie finger nail. Obviously we better keep our day jobs! Lol!

Thanks for gold mining with us! It was so nice to have you come along. Did you find a nugget?

Until Next Time ~Nancy

21 thoughts on “Gold Dust Woman

  1. Where can I find that pile of old cans, love that kind of stuff. Where we stay in Quartzsite has a lot of old mines, current claims, and I’m pretty sure gold. We just want to find a nugget on a hike someday.

  2. Thanks for the enlightening education on prospecting. I can see how you and your friends have fun exploring the back country. AND you’re always a fashionista!

    1. It’s funny… the other day my nails were painted and heels were worn. And a few days later I’m in the dirt… looking for Gold! Kind of amuses me.

      Thanks for reading Pam. 🤗

  3. Yep! we have panned for gold and nope, we ain’t rich Pa…but it is always an adventure and that is what life is all about Nancy, as you and your sweet man already know. Gold and gem stones can be found in the usual and the most unusual places. Aside from turquoise in New Mexico, I have some “stones” from of all places, San Diego!!! Yes, you can mine for gold there too.

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