Desert Messenger

February 6, 2013

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Page 26 Go outside and PLAY! ADVENTURES WITH ROCKS proach prospecting with a more casual and practical attitude. By Jenn Jedidiah Free It's that time of the year here in the desert. Our short winter has passed and it is warm, but not yet hot. The days are getting longer. And it is time to go out and play once again. And there is so much to do here, in our beloved Quartzsite desert. There are ghost towns and petroglyphs, stone cabins, and, of course, lots of opportunities to prospect for rocks, minerals, and gold. When prospecting, whether for rocks, minerals, gold, or other treasure, many people have the tendency to rush out and expect to find the mother lode. Given the many TV shows these days depicting gold prospecting and meteorite hunting, it is understandable that folks have a distorted perspective about prospecting. But it is important to ap- Like gold, rocks and minerals are also found in specific places for specific reasons. A basic understanding of geology is helpful in any sort of prospecting. Even if a person has no geology background, books and maps offer insights into local geology that is easy for a beginner to master. It's beneficial to learn a little about the area where you want to prospect. Geography can be helpful, as well. Often times, old place names reflect the wealth (or lack thereof) of an area. Places like Crystal Hill, Copper Basin, Gold Point, and Wonderstone Mountain give a prospector clues as to what they might find there. Maps that show topography and land use are also helpful. It is important to know what type of terrain you will be traveling through to get to the prospecting location, as well as what type Quartzsite First Assembly of God Church presents William Harness Sat. Feb. 9th at 6pm WILLIAM HARNESS is a singer with unusual talent. He has a four octave range which allows him to sing from low bass to high tenor. William has a love for many different styles of music including western, southern, contemporary gospel and classical religious. Love Offering EVERYONE IS WELCOME! 665 W. Tyson, Quartzsite, Arizona • 928-927-5808 of vehicle will be needed. Is the site in the mountains, or in a wash? Do you need 4-wheel drive, or will a standard car be able to access the site? In addition, maps that show land use boundaries are important. Is the site near or on a National Park, State Park, Reservation, or private property? Where is the border of the Military Base in relation to the prospecting location? This information is important to avoid unnecessary conflicts. It is also important to prepare in advance for any excursion. Check the weather several times before heading out into the desert, including right before your trip. Take into consideration, also, what the weather had been in the days prior to your outing. For example, lots of rain can have adverse affects on roads, trails, and washes, but could also be beneficial in exposing fresh material at collecting sites. Armed with this information, you can plan a trip accordingly to take advantage of certain situations and avoid problems with others. Advance planning will help you to prepare tools and supplies for your excursion, as well. Having time to think about what tools and equipment to pack Hand-blown Glass Vases STICKER SALE 20% OFF reg. price! Quiet Times 90 E. Main St., Quartzsite 928-927-8081 February 6, 2013 will ensure that you take everything you might need. It can be discouraging to find out that in the rush to get out the door, you left an important tool behind. Or you can take extra things that you may not think are important at first, but then are glad you had once you're out at the site. Another reason to plan ahead and prepare is to be sure you have enough food, water, and emergency gear for all involved. The desert can be deceptive. Warm, sunny days can change abruptly into less pleasant conditions. Nights are cold. The dry air can dehydrate a person quickly despite cool temperatures. The unexpected can happen. Even short distances out of town can be dangerously far away in the event of an emergency, especially if the problem is with your vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to always be prepared with enough food, water, clothing, and gear for an unexpected overnight stay out in the desert. Finally, go out to have fun. By planning ahead, a lot of the stress and potential problems of an excursion should melt away. Go out to enjoy the desert, the fresh air, and the sunshine. Approach your outing with the attitude of excitement and adventure, but keep expectations low. Go out to find rocks, minerals, or gold, but don't be disappointed if you don't find anything. Take your camera and just enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. Happy Prospecting! For information and locations of prospecting locations in and around Quartzsite come to Rocks In My Head, Space A37, at Rice Ranch. We have a great selection of gold prospecting and rockhounding books, maps, supplies, and equipment available. We are open from 10-5, 7 days a week, and online 24-7 at . Call 605-376-8754 for more info.

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