Back in the last 90s, we were boondocking on BLM land in Quartzsite around this time of year. My late husband, Bill, and a friend Bob started snooping around Quartzsite for gold claims. We found one and soon became the proud owners of a claim we named the Double Nugget, after a nugget of gold Bob found while drywashing in the stream bed on our claim.
Our claim has been heavily worked in the past. Our main goal was to clean it up plus have some fun searching for gold. It was a place we could boondock while working and restoring the claim as well. Bill, with his metal detector, found mostly pull tabs, bullet casings and nails. Bob found flakes of gold by drywashing, then panning out the remaining black sand for hidden gold. While we haven't found much gold, we have fun and do have a heavy crop of chollas and barrel cacti!
Each year when we are in Quartzsite, we park with the Boomer BOF of the Escapees RV Club and invite anyone interested out to the claim with the lure of "any gold you find is yours to keep!" This year we had 28 people caravan out to the claim with us. Most people headed to the wash- the most likely place to find gold. Others enjoyed the sunshine. One woman read and took a nap!
Five of us hiked up the mountain behind the claim. Here is a view of the claim and one looking out towards Quartzsite. The white in the distance is hundreds of RVs parked in the desert,
Over this hill and then down the other side, we found a cabin with a geocache located inside. The sign threatened us with being shot if found here, though people obviously respected the cabin. No sign of vandalism. Prospectors take their claims seriously!
This is a new claim owner from when I last checked out this cabin. He/she must have a sense of humor. A few graves decorate the slope and a homemade toilet sits in full view of passerbys.
The claim is about four miles beyond the 14-day BLM parking. We have boondocked out here and enjoyed the mountains. I've seen desert big horn sheep sunning themselves on the tops of the mountains near the claim. Other than a few passing ATVs and occasional vehicles, it is very peaceful. If we get another rain, these hills will be covered with wild flowers in a few weeks. We may not have a lot of gold, but we've struck it rich in other ways! Jaimie Hall Bruzenak