Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

GPAA Hopeless#1 Radersburg, Montana



     As you look around the GPAA Hopeless #1 claim you can’t help but decide: what is your preference in your search for gold. You ask yourself questions like: Where shall I dig? Where is the most likely place to find gold? Do I want to dig where someone else has or do I dig where there has been no activity? Somehow you got to devise a plan.

     The first thing Taigen Pyne said, “I want to do a test pan in different areas.” Good thinking. He brought water and dug in an old spot, then went to several other spots with some giving forth that shiny stuff.

     Now there was a ridge that showed erosion of rock and gravel and I thought, “Hmm…must be a good place to dig as gold is constantly being unearthed.”
     We pulled out our divining rod and asked various sites what might be a good spot. Some places indicated activity. We’ll see how we did.

     Old holes where others dug might be good places to dig as well because some of the work is done for you. Certainly one wouldn’t want to dig in piles of old rocks as it has already been gone through. Finding your spot is important as intuition often rules.


On Site


     When you arrive on site you are greeted with a post that labels and identifies that you have arrived at the GPAA claim. This is perfect. There is paperwork you can see enclosed in a plastic case that describes details of the claim. This seems so official.
     The note on the post also said, “Stay away from the Vern claim. It looks like a rectangle right in the middle of the Hopeless claim so a GPS would be crucial to be sure you are on the right spot and be legal.
     From the GPS it looked like there was a home nearby but it was just some metal left from the old machinery used long ago. We figured it was when there was electricity as there was an electrical box.
     No water was present at the site, even though YouTube had a video posted that there was rushing water; so not so.
     There was a road all along the claim but one steep hill had my van traversing a terrain that wasn’t too friendly, so we transported buckets of gravel by hand in order to be safe without a 4 wheel drive.
     The heat of the day caused us to bring out the portable umbrellas and hide on the downside of small trees to dig. Be prepared for heat even in late August.






     Seeing the remnants of life gone by from former prospectors when this area was in its heyday is fun. Old sluices and trommel all rusted were picturesque. Fodder for photo competitions.

     Exploration off the road along the way found old home parts disintegrated into the ground and old parts to various supplies prospectors carried with them.

     Radersburg is considered a ghost town now as the population has dwindle so, but it still is alive somewhat and nearby.

    Rust, remnants, useless machines indicate the fading of the luster from the eyes of the prospector as they moved on to some other fancy. But some of us still wonder if we can find what they were looking for in the here and now.






     The land is rather unique as it is nestled not too far away from the highway and a town, but it is peppered with deer curious as to what you find interesting in their territory.

     Everywhere is a small place to hide or dig for minerals. The land is hilly, riddled with mounds of former digging events, and small shrubberies are found in between the ridges and the valleys.

     One would never know that the bustle of downtown Helena and the capitol is just a short drive away. The area is just above the town of Radersburg, off a small road over a cattle guard winding down into a remote area ever so pleasing.

     Other claims seem to be around the entrance to the area so some investigation might lead you to more opportunities.



      The Radersburg area is full of unique scenes of old trucks, buidings and rolling hills.




     There are a variety of holes around the claim that others have dug deeply into that you could choose to dig in.

      One question asked, “Why do people dig under trees?” Gold gets lodged in most any area when washed up and out of the ground. Endangering the trees by eroding the base is questionable, however.

      Deer frequent your activity as digging must seem curious to them.

      There are strips of rock mounds, there are ridges, a large horse trough full of fine dirt from prospecting that might prove fruitful.
      Many piles of unusual rocks found in the area are ever so curious. Some rocks dug from the ground are bustable with many compacted items in them.

     Some dirt is so hard to dig in you just give up as it is like cement and you can’t get around it. It is like baked brick; it’s not rock, but formed clay impenetrable.




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