The Forest Service meeting was scheduled for May 19th a Friday and since the regular scheduled meeting for panning on the claim was ready at 1:00pm on Stemple Pass, no need to return to Lincoln was necessary anyone can learn about panning for gold on the three claims with this club every third Saturday through the summer without any leadership.
A great thing about this Blackfoot River Chapter is the desire of its leaders to help its members. On the upper level of this claim is called the Hose Laugh. It is listed on the board as you enter the claim. On this claim are several landings to park, a port-a-potty and a section they have dug out piling the dirt up so the gravel is available for its members to take home and process for gold.
It is great to have leaders of a prospecting group be considerate of its members and engage in activities that help them, not deter or destroy relationships like some other groups do. Leaders dug out this area so it is easy to access the gold in the land. Gold nuggets have been found in these piles of dirt recently and so can you, if you join the club. Montana gold claimed in Lincoln, Montana right here. We thank the leaders of this club.
Like so many prospectors, Ed Kline, a club member camping on the claim Sunday morning went for a stroll to find metal with his detector. He said, “I’ve found enough nails to build a house.” Hmm…where are those elusive gold nuggets?
Anyhow, Ed is a very supportive member of the club who is feels responsible for helping others enjoy recreational prospecting on the Lincoln claim, whether it is the upper, middle or lower one. He mentioned a woman came from Great Falls Saturday, probably from our information provided, who wanted to learn how to pan for gold so he showed her. He will share with you knowledge and experience with gold prospecting on this claim.
This is the hole where a Lincoln guy had been digging in the hillside 7-8 days just off the Poor Man’s Creek running by. He had created quite a huge pile of rocks in the middle of the dig site that has been identified on the Leah claim to produce gold for those who dig there.
At 7 AM Sunday morning, buckets were dug and hauled along the ridge to ferry to Great Falls for our Trommel Day on Sunday. We will see how much we might get from them. The dig site has changed in landscape from previous months as members enjoy their membership.
The sluice is just beyond this site where you can use it in the creek but not dig anything in it. Some gravel from the creek bed was a nice thought but not the thing to do.
One part of working a claim with others is the opportunity to gather wood as well. When members keep track of the land on the claim they can cut down trees that endanger the welfare of the participants and use the firewood if you have a permit from the Forest Service. These guys were helping a buddy get wood for the winter storms. Prospecting brings on the perks.
These guys said the Saturday meeting netted the need for a digging plan in the area for the club and speculation about the switching of the culvert to a small bridge by the Forest Service. Disruption of the mining claim might be an issue, especially when it will be clean up time in September. How does one get to the claim? We’ll find out.
Just as I was leaving my dig site, the creaking and cracking of wood, debris and rocks falling was soon heard. This boulder was unearthed by the digging down below it. As soon as I came back from unloading, I gathered all the dirt, gravel and rocks around it as that is often where the gold resides.
The local digger who came a bit later there said, “Gold is always trying to return where it came from, the center of the earth. So you dig down lower and lower as that’s where you will find it.” Hmm..Then when why was he digging straight forward?
Just glad this boulder didn’t crush my tootsies. The spoils were there waiting for me upon my return.
A major benefit of recreational prospecting with groups that have a claim is the leaders have forged the road to make it possible for you to use the area. This group worked hard getting their paperwork completed with the forest service and BLM to use the water and have procedures in place to dig on land.
There were many members there with their campers spending the weekend; you could come and spend any day during the week and prospect all you want if you let them know you are there and you sign up.
Bob, an out of stater, visiting Montana for several months could take home to Idaho his gold that he found here in Montana. You will always find gold on this claim whenever you go there and dig according to many people who search for gold there. You should try it!
When you get out and participate with others that are prospecting your learning bank grows exponentially. One hears stories of the successes of others while they are working on a common purpose.
You hear stories of prospecting throughout the United States and see the value of different choices of equipment. I could see the benefit of a small sluice box vs a larger one in a narrow creek. Depending on where you are going to prospect your potential purchases can be influenced by what you learn while you are on site and learning from others.
With recreational prospecting you don’t always have to go out and buy lots of equipment in order to prospect; this Lincoln dig taught me that.
When you take a picture at this claim from you cell phone with location setting turned on you will get a specific address or GPS coordinates for this claim. This feature is cool.
The beauty of belonging to some clubs means that you can get help from other prospectors who can come from out of state.
For instance Bob here was panning with his son in Poor Man's Creek and was willing to teach us how to do it right!
He showed our group how to:
It is such a pleasure to have a willingness of strangers to help you learn a new skill. This is what happened for us at the Lincoln dig.
Rain blanketed almost the entire state this weekend, but we left Great Falls to attend the regular meeting of this club in the downpour. When we arrived in Lincoln early we discovered the meeting had been changed from the claim which is the usual procedure and had been moved to Lambkins due to the rain. Some prospectors had been digging on the claim in the morning and had found gold there. They showed us their vials of it procured that morning.
The rain had subsided outside during lunch and we thought we could enjoy a dry dig. We went to the claim up Stemple Pass, following the newbie, Gus from Missoula. He showed us where we could dig and we filled our buckets with gravel to bring home and process through a trommel.
The scenery was gorgeous and we were joined by another member from Helena to dig. The rushing stream that runs through the claim was clear and near. The rain began just as we were to leave, so the skies part for a dry dig and our rain gear stayed dry and unused. Easy access to the parking areas and ridges of old gravel abound. If you sign up for this club at their monthly meetings on the 3rd Saturday of each month you can dig on their claim. People come from all over the state to dig and be a part of this group.