18 Sep 17

Members,

It is amazing at how fast the 2017 prospecting season swept past us.  This year we held outings near Lansing at Barkus and Sebewa, further north at West Branch, and a few hearty members with time dug in the Lake Superior beach for our final outing of the year. What a wonderful way to enjoy nature.  Talk to your friends and neighbors about joining us for an outing or two next year.  They will most likely enjoy working a shovel when it isn’t work. Better yet, you will enjoy the look on their face when finding their first gold dust in MI.

We held our 2018 election of officers during the Barkus outing on 26 Aug because earlier in the year it appeared that few members would be able to dig on Lake Superior in Sep when we normally hold the election.  The current President, Nick; VP, Shawn; Secretary, Brian; and Treasurer, Dennis were re-elected.  Michael, our Claims Director, did not seek reelection and no other member expressed an interest.

So…. our Claims Director position is open.  If you would like to help the club by finding great places to prospect, please give Shawn or me a yell. We have a job for you.

If you are able to pull our trailer to three or four of our five outings in 2018, your help is greatly appreciated.  Really need someone with a fifth wheel RV or a tent camper with a pick-up to tow.

Our on, then off, then on again Muskallonge Lake trip to the Lake Superior beach worked out very well for members who ventured to the beach.  Dennis and I prospected about 1/8 mile of beach from the overlook to the west on Fri.  Best place we found was at the west side of our survey.  We didn’t try east or west of the stairs because we couldn’t walk the beach. The waves were licking the bottom stairs: Big difference from two years ago when we could walk 150 FT to the water’s edge.

Walter, a new Canadian member from Ontario serenaded us and the whole campground with his Alpenhorn music at our night before the campfire. Think of Ricola cough drops. It’s beautiful music.

Dennis told me Sat evening that everyone digging found many colors.  It was a beautiful day for Superior prospecting. Karen and I left Sat morning due to the death of my 45 year-long military brother and very close friend.  We didn’t attend the outing or the potluck.

The short version of a long Muskallonge Lake State Park on again-off again story:

I told Mike Pung two months ago that the State Park Director prohibited batteries on the beach after I was informed by a Newberry GPAA member earlier this year.  Mike briefed the Lansing State Parks Director plus his staff via teleconference from OK. Mike showed the State Parks folks, via a promotional video, how environmentally inconsequential his recirculating Gold Cube and similar battery-powered sluices work.

They agreed to reverse their decision and the park manager, Jim, let me know that he received the approval.  That allowed us to put the outing back on schedule.

I know this uncertainty caused some members to consider other opportunities and we are committed next year to a minimal risk plan plus possibly an additional outing to Muskie.

The Board should have a firm 2018 plan by 1 April but no later than tax day.  The 2018 planning meeting will be in Howell, MI late in Mar. We will post the meeting details by 1 March and all members are welcome to attend.

I proposed at the GPAA Midwest Summit in Ohio a couple weeks ago that GPAA-CA make Barkus a year by year claim which allows GPAA members to dig and hold outings without an individual dig fee.  Camping will still cost.

If Barkus becomes our new home, our officers will consider digging a pit away from the creek or we may truck in a few yards of gold-bearing material each year.  Hope the new Barkus owner, Yogi, and GPAA-CA can make a deal.

Nick