Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The South Dakota GPAA claims of MaryAnn, Migg and Rainbow

We decided to plan an August trip to get out of the Texas heat.  Destination South Dakota and the Black Hills.  Of course we planned to hit Deadwood, Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, but the highlight for me was the three days at the GPAA MaryAnn gold claim.

There are three GPAA gold claims in close proximity near Rochford which is about a thirty minute drive from Rapid City.  We decided to check out all three and settle on the one we thought was best for us.

We found all three claims with relative ease.  The Migg claim had several people already on it with three campers.  It is the closest of the three to Rochford. The GPAA mining guide directions of 2.6 miles was spot on.

We headed on to the GPAA Rainbow claim.  The guide said 2.9 from Rochford so we expected only .3 more miles.  In actuality the distance is more like 3.5 from Rochford.  The GPAA Rainbow claim was much, much more primitive.  I found evidence that I ha been worked some in the past, but it was very overgrown.  Definitely difficult for the recreational miner.  It would need to be improved a bit to really get in there for some prolonged prospecting.

That left the GPAA MaryAnn claim.  It is a few miles from the other two clams.  The mining guide directions were quite accurate and it offers a nice drive through the ghost town of Mystic. There is a narrow but passable road that leads you down to the claim turning off the main road.

The way down is narrow, but at the bottom there is ample room to turn around and even camp.  The GPAA MaryAnn was just perfect. Right on the creek with room to set up.  We set up our sluice in the creek and set about getting some buckets collected to run.  It was great.  Plenty of material ripe for the digging and a nice little creek for all our needs.

I ran a couple of test pans and found some color.  Nothing big at all, just flour gold, but the gold is definitely there for the finding.  Both days our prospecting was ended early due to mountain thunderstorms.  The second day offered a solid little hailstorm to boot.

We ran a total of 16 buckets over the two half days on site.  Plans are to take the concentrates home to Texas and pan them out there.  I am expecting some decent gold after what the test pans showed.

If you are planning on a prospecting trip to the Black Hills, I'd check out the GPAA gold claims there.  The Migg looked very inviting but was occupied with several campers.  The GPAA Rainbow claim was on the primitive side while the GPAA MaryAnn was absolutely perfect.

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