Our Lost Silver Ledge in the Desert

Our “Lost Silver Ledge” story, search, and  upcoming trips and videos have been on my mind for some years now.  Years ago now, I was out there, way out there, hiking away from our vehicle and searching for a small meteorite impact crater and any meteor bits with my dad for a search he had been on for years on and off.  My dad alone, my dad and my Uncle, and my dad and me had already been out on many trips to this area and other areas looking for evidence of the meteorite’s impact and possible path as it collided with the earth.  We had maps printed from Google Earth, GPS units, and as many interesting places to search as there are facets to the treasure tale about the meteorite!  On this trip, the crater we thought we saw on google earth was not a crater after inspection yet we did find the location a few miles from the road’s end in the very rocky mountains of this low desert place.  We hiked in with minimal tools, camera, and supplies and I think I had a small pack and my dad may have had his full external frame pack on.  After all there was a possibility that we would chip off parts of the meteorite if needed!  Although my dad believed it would have already been located and removed long ago according to the tale.  We were looking for the evidence of the Space Rock’s impact to connect to another part of the story he and me with him had been following for years. 

Fortunately for this hike and search I had carried along my fairly new metal detector and I was detecting around wherever I could just for the heck of it.  Nearby to our destination area, in a small shallow and sloped rocky gully (close to the top of this hill we were on) I hit a screamer of a hot rock!  The rock sounded off on my machine like a silver dollar or something really strong and not like a typical “hot rock” which is a softer signal and the rock was good sized, flat and pretty long about 12 inches, and white and gray with blackish material in the cracks and seams of the rock.  At first I moved the rock to detect beneath it yet the signal was gone and I realized the signal was INSIDE or on this natural stone and most exciting the signal was not a piece of iron trash or the random lead bullet slug from a hunter long ago.  So, I turned over the large flattened stone and ran my detector over it and the signal was even LOUDER!  My dad came to where I was and we both were excited about the signal coming from the rock.  Looking closer at the rock and only really being familiar with how minerals form in quartz in veins from reading and stories we were intrigued by the spackle-like blackish material in the seams and cracks of the rocks.  Also, the rock was large enough that with the detector we could tell that the rock definitely had HOT SPOTS where the signal went crazy and places where it was much less strong or not at all!  All this is an interesting story, something to ponder, and maybe think about returning to investigate if the rock would be still there.

However, at the time I hadn’t metal detected that long yet I knew this was a special rock or at least thought it could be and to my dad’s surprise I carried the eighteen pound plus stone the few miles out to the vehicle and we still have it!  Before leaving the spot if I recall correctly I put a nickel or quarter from my pocket under another rock right from the same spot to help me find the place if we dd and do return.  I’m not positive about the leaving the coin but I think I do remember that yet it’s been a lot of years now…  I haven’t crushed it or done anything to the stone  yet.  It’s a white-gray quartz rock about 12X10 inches and 4 inches thick.  On the rock you can see thick black material in the cracks, sides, and edges and I’m guessing it’s mostly an epithermal Silver with other trace metals.  With a loop we can see flecks that look like gold too!  In prospecting and mining stories you often read about a piece of “float”, a part of the vein material being transported “floated” away from the source, being discovered and sometimes and hopefully leading back to the source for the prospector.  Also, with great floods or glaciation for example this float can travel miles and miles making retracing to the source impossible and even driving the prospector crazy or causing them to go broke and probably crazy trying to find the source.  Well, this is my first piece of genuine “Float” material like this and because we were near the top of the hill I know it didn’t travel far from the source!!   Anyway, we haven’t been back out there, it’s always on my mind, and we want to make a series of videos about the whole story and hopefully we will end up chipping out Silver vein out of the bedrock with sledges and chisels, carrying buckets of it out, and then do the refining, smelting, and pouring down the road!  I’m hoping to get out there, follow up, and try to locate the Silver Ledge/Vein and make a series of videos about all the details, what we learn, and what come of it all.  If you are familiar with small scale silver processing and separating the other metals please let us know.  We need to learn about it and get some small scale equipment together for the processing of the ore HOPEFULLY!  Also. let us know if you have other questions or suggestions?  We welcome your help and feedback.  Best wishes, have fun, and happy hunting out there friends!  Aaron email: gtao@protonmail.com

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