Natures Gift Mosquito Gulch photo by Lin
Official publication of The Gold Prospectors of Colorado
PO Box 1593, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80901

volume 38 no.12

GPOC Christmas Dinner
December 14th

Cache Creek! Contacts! December Calendar! December Activities! Christmas 1806 ! El Pueblo History Museum ! California Suction Dredging! Public Lands for the People! Colorado Gives Day! Staffordshire Hoard ! White Christmas?! Santa Claus in the Mines! Santa Claus in the Mines! Bats ! Abandoned Mines! Colorado Weather! Celling Your Soul! Wildlands! Humor! 2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 9 10 10 11 12 12 13

We will once again celebrate the season with a potluck dinner at 7:00. The club will be furnishing the meats thru the generous assistance of club members. Club members are requested to bring a salad, vegetable or desert of their choosing. We have found that in the past there have been a variety of dishes to choose from. Please remember to label your containers so they can be returned to their owner. An easy way is with the stick on address labels.

There will be a surprise gift for those attending along with door prizes and a few games to get you in the spirit of the season. Each year the GPOC generously donates to the Toys for Tots program. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for a boy or girl for each member in your party.

G LD NUGGETS is a blog for and by GPOC members. Gold Nuggets is an informational hub for members to keep up-to-date with GPOC news and events. We encourage you to email your news items and information to the webmaster at Join GPOC on FACEBOOK! You need your own Facebook account. Access GPOC on FACEBOOK through a link on the GPOC website.

President Ben Higley

Treasurer Bill Smith Webmaster Stacey Smith Editor Lin Smith

Membership Claims

Trustees One Year Gary Beaderstadt Two Year Diane Anderson Three Year Jim Blakenship


Vice President Wayne Wittkopp vicepresident@gpoc. com Secretary Elise Pearce

Cache Creek Host Program Still Under Consideration
  At the November GPOC board meeting, the Board voted to end the GPOC participation as camp hosts at Cache Creek. Jim Blankenship and Bill Smith agreed to meet with the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office to formally advise them.  During our General Membership meeting, several members expressed concern over the Boardʼs decision and asked that we discuss alternatives with the BLM that would allow them to keep the area open to prospecting.   Jim, Linda Smith and Bill Smith met with Ms. Stephanie Carter and her staff at the Royal Gorge Field Office on Nov 15th.  Stephanie explained the BLMʼs current efforts to improve management of the Cache Creek property as a “recreational panning area.” The BLM is working to establish new plan of operations with new regulations that will support stronger enforcement capability.  In the meantime, they hope to have the area kept open and maintain close surveillance of activities.  This canʼt be done without a camp host.   We expressed our concerns about inability to enforce current guidelines, potential for physical confrontation, addition of tasks beyond the current agreement, and conditions that are giving GPOC a bad reputation.  Stephanie agreed these are all valid concerns, some of which can be addressed immediately and some of which their future plan of operations would address. We reached agreement on the following: ·     Continuation of the camp host program will require re-negotiation of current contract ·      There needs to be clear limits on camp host tasks and responsibilities ·      The BLM cannot have the camp host perform any enforcement ·      The BLM needs to provide training for camp hosts ·      The camp hosts would monitor the area and advise people of unsafe conditions and work ·      The camp host would document observations and advise the BLM Field Office of unsafe conditions ·      The BLM would be responsible for all enforcement action and would perform • Minor reclamation on a regular basis during the season to eliminate unsafe conditions   Even though the Board voted to terminate our involvement in the camp host program, Jim and I (as board representatives) agreed to have the Board reconsider our position if the BLM is able to put in place a satisfactory agreement to safeguard our members, limit their tasks, and reduce the opportunity for further damage to GPOCʼs reputation.   We will meet with the BLM again in the February timeframe to conduct further discussions and make a final determination on the future of Cache Creek. Bill smith
GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12

Prospector’s Quill
Editor Lin Smith
Gold Prospectors of Colorado P.O. Box 1593 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80901 The GPOC is a 501(c) charitable organization
The Prospector’s Quill is the official newsletter of the Gold Prospectors of Colorado. The opinions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the club or its members. The editor, club, officers, and contributors do not assume any liability for damages resulting from use of information in the Prospector’s Quill. Articles of interest are welcomed. All articles submitted for publication are subject to editing. Submission of articles must be received before the 20th of the month. Unless noted, non-profits may reprint or quote from articles, provided credit is given to the author’s and publication and a copy of the newsletter the article appears in is sent to the editor of The Prospectorʼs Quill at PO Box 1593, CS CO 80913. All pictures are the property of the photographer and are not to be copied or reproduced.
The information is provided solely for the readerʼs g e n e r a l k n o w l e d g e .  G P O C a s s u m e s n o responsibility for its completeness or accuracy.  Although care has been taken to produce the information in the Quill, information is provided without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information. I want to thank you in advance for pointing out my mistakes! However, it is YOUR responsibility to research resources and make sure that you are in compliance with all laws and regulations, as well as following the GPOC CODE of ETHICS.



December Calendar
For further information contact:

Board Meeting

Claims Committee

Bentʼs Fort 8 miles east of La Junta, Colorado on State Highway 194 Pastimes of the 1840s at an isolated trading post including candlelight tours of the fort. For reservations for the evening tours, phone (719) 383-5026

3rd,4th,10th & 11th
Victor Lowell Thomas Museum 202 Victor Avenue Victor, Colorado Free admission
11:00 AM-4:00PM
Please refer to the information below for further events.

Gold Hill Police Station 955 Moreno Avenue, CS, CO 7:00 PM

There will be no meeting for December.

Claims Committee Meeting All members are welcome to participate in the meetings. Current and future claims will be discussed as well as developing plans of operations. This can be a great opportunity to learn the process and resources for filling and maintaining a claim.

see info below

General Membership Meeting

Flatirons Mineral Club Annual Gem & Mineral Show
Boulder County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building, 9595 Nelson Rd, Longmont, CO Friday 10-6, Sat 9-5, Sun 10-5 FRIDAY 10-6:00 ADM. $3.00 AGES 13 & UP SAT. 9-5:00 ADM. $5.00" AGES 13 & UP SUN 10-5:00 ADM $5.00" AGES 13& UP AGES 12 & UNDER FREE WITH PAID ADULT

Christmas Dinner and Toys for Tots
7:00 PM 3400 N.Nevada CS, CO

T-rex Encounter Presented by Denver Museum of Nature & Science at Denver Museum of Nature & Science thru Jan. 8, 2012

Victor Lowell Thomas Museum Victor, CO

Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11

Free Admission The Victor Lowell Thomas Museum will be open for special Christmas hours Saturday and Sunday, from 11am to 4pm weather allowing. To support Victorʼs efforts at having shops open for holiday shopping, and to offer the community a gift of free admission, the museum will open for those weekend days if weather allows. Put on an extra sweater and come see the museum and do some unique gift shopping as there is no heat. If weather is snowy and icy,  please call ahead at 719-689-5509 to be sure we are able to open for the day. “The Christmas Donkey" Holiday Show  Butte Theater 139 Bennett Ave., Cripple Creek, Colorado Local character William Otis is well known for his eccentric behavior; breaking into song at the drop of a hat and conversing with a donkey. But when he starts dressing like Santa Claus (and begins dressing his donkey as a Reindeer) itʼs only the children of Cripple Creek who know the truth: Old Bill Otis is the next Santa Please call (719) 689-3247 or visit The Elf Emporium Holiday Gift Bazaar Dec. 10 -11 Victor, Colorado At the Victor Community Center at Portland Avenue and Second Street. In the event of drastically cold weather that weekend, the
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museum will set up a table at the emporium with items from the gift shop. Train Show Dec. 10-11 The BMRC has hosted an annual Train Show for the general public for the last 34 years.  This year's Show will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont, Colorado.  The Show will feature several operating layouts, prizewinning models, a layout to be raffled off, many vendors and opportunities to meet and chat with railroad modelers of this area. The Show will be open Saturday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  It will be open Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $5.00 (children under 12 free). Georgetown,Colorado Christmas Mart Free Admission! Weekends of Dec. 3rd and 11th 10:00am-5:00pm Each December the town of Georgetown transforms for two weekends into a bustling Christmas scene reminiscent of Christmas of long ago. Outdoor European Marketplace, holiday entertainment, horse-drawn wagon rides, St. Nicholas, Santa Lucia children’s procession, museum tours and more. spevents/xmarket.htm



Captain Zebulon Pike

2011 Historic Mining Headframe Lighting,Victor Print a Lighting Tour Map  The giant headframes that remain as ghosts of 1890's gold mining days will again light up the night sky around Victor and Cripple Creek this holiday season. These unique mining artifacts, also called gallus frames by local miners, are one-of-a-kind remnants of the gold rush era. Holiday ornaments, some as large as 20 feet tall, will be lit against the starry night skies of Victor and Cripple Creek. A self-guided driving tour map will be available at the Victor Hotel at 4th & Victor Avenue as well as the Cripple Creek Welcome Center and online at The lights will be best viewed after dark and will be in place Nov. 25 and then Friday-Sunday nights in December through New Year’s Day, weather/safety and volunteers permitting. This holiday lighting tradition is 14 years old and is sponsored by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, on whose property most of the headframes are located. Volunteers staff the generators and line power connections each weekend. For the outdoors minded, the Vindicator Valley, Little Grouse, Independence Millsite, Golden Circle, Gold Camp and Battle Mountain Trails are open to the public during days in the winter. Come prepared to hike, bike, horseback ride in mountain weather. If there is enough snow, the trails are open to cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Chaffee County US-285 north of Poncha Springs at milepost 132
Earlier, Spanish and French explorers had passed through the area and in 1802, mountain man James Purcell reported bountiful beaver on Chalk Creek. Purcell told Capt. Zebulon Pike of gold in Bayou Salado (South Park) in 1806. Pike dutifully noted the report, but it didnʼt trigger a gold rush. That was to come a half-century later. Pike and 22 men, assigned to set the southwestern boundary of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, sought the Arkansasʼ headwaters. The Christmas 1806 historic site on U.S. 285 commemorates Pikeʼs visit. Frustrated in their attempt to climb Pike's Peak on November 27, 1806, Zebulon Pike and his party of 15 trudged on through South Park looking for the Red River, southern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. After crossing Trout Creek Pass, the explorers came again to the Arkansas River, with food perilously low. On Christmas Eve two hunting parties shot eight buffalo, and Christmas day was spent near the mouth of Squaw Creek (one-half mile to the south) feasting on buffalo and repairing equipment. Early in 1807 Pike crossed into the San Luis Valley at the Great Sand Dunes and built a log stockade (reconstructed as a state historical monument) on the Conejos River near present La Jara, where he was taken prisoner by the Spanish. The Spanish authorities confiscated Pike's journals and they were not recovered by the US from Mexico until the 1900s. He wrote an account from memory of his expeditions, which was published in 1810 as The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to Headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the Years 1805-6-7.[6] It was popular and later translated into French, German, and Dutch editions. His account became required reading for all American explorers who followed him in the 19th century. Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1965). Elliott Coues. ed. The expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to headwaters of the Mississippi River, through Louisiana Territory, and in New Spain, during the years 1805-6-7. Ross & Haines. 1895

Winter Mercado~Pueblo, Colorado Dec. 9th
10:00am - 4:00pm Experience frontier Christmas time at the Winter Mercado in the trading post at the El Pueblo History Museum. Smell the holiday foods being prepared among the fire lit adobe rooms and play some games. In the spirit of a Mercado, craftsmen will be making and presenting their wares for sale.

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On Christmas Eve, in 1854, the Ute and Apache, led by the Ute Chief Tierra Blanca, attacked the people in the fort in what is known as the Fort Pueblo Massacre. During a celebration at the post, the traders let in a group of Indians who they thought were friendly. However, the Indians attacked, killing 15 men and kidnapping a woman and two boys. The soldiers at Fort Massachusetts were fortified with troops from Fort Union, New Mexico to permanently subdue the Indians, who were eventually forced to cede their lands in the San Luis Valley.  Shortly after the Fort Pueblo Massacre, the post was abandoned and other settlers soon built over it. El Pueblo History Museum Information 301 North Union Pueblo, CO 81003 View map Hours: Tues–Sat, 10 am to 4 pm Admission: Members: Free Adults: $5 Seniors (65+): $4 Military with ID: $4 Students with ID: $4 Children (6-12): $4 (Free on Sat.) Children (under 6): Free Today, the El Pueblo History Museum sits near the fortʼs original site. The museum includes a replica of the old trading post as well as an archaeological excavation of the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post. 719-583-0453. Further studies: http://

In conjunction with the winter of 1806 and Lt. Zebulon Pike the El Pueblo History Museum provides one the opportunity to further study the history of the area and the influence of Pike, the fur traders, and the Spanish culture in the settling and development of Colorado. The massacre on Christmas Eve in 1854 at the fort is another reminder to us of the struggles our forefathers endured in establishing Colorado. It is thought that the first European construction in the area of Pueblo was most likely a small picket stockade constructed by Lt. Zebulon Pike in 1806 near the confluence of the Fountain and the Arkansas. French trappers recorded a couple of visits to the area where they found the old stockade. In 1841, George Simpson passed through and found a cluster empty log trading posts (this was a trading place that was only occupied at certain times in the winter months by some of the traders from Bent. St. Vrain & Co.). The winter of 1841-42 was a very profitable one for Bent, St. Vrain & Company, and their traders. Some of the traders were looking around for a way to strike out on their own. Uncle Dick Wootton had just returned from a trip escorting several thousand sheep back to Missouri for Matthew Kinkead and had several thousand dollars to show for it. In May, 1842, Kinkead, Simpson, Robert Fisher, Joseph Mantz and Francisco Conn began the construction of Fort Pueblo. We have no data or drawings from the site but most historians figure it was most likely a smaller version of Bent's Fort. Over the following years, many different traders, with their Indian and Mexican wives and families, used the fort for trading purposes but they've left no clear chain of title for the property. El Pueblo History Museum is built near the original remains of the El Pueblo Fort. The original structure was built of adobe bricks on the north side of the Arkansas River, the international border between Mexico and the United States (the river today is about 1/4 mile south of where it was then). While a lively exchange of goods and services was happening at the settlement, the El Pueblo traders were also traveling around to trade in Indian camps and throughout the region. After years of disease, starvation and frustration at their inability to stop these foreigners from encroaching on their lands, the Utes and Jicarilla Apaches resorted to raiding the settlements. On December 24, 1854, Tierra Blanca and his Ute and Apache warriors attacked El Pueblo. They killed or kidnapped everyone in the place. Most of those kidnapped were ransomed and returned shortly afterwards but the massacre was the end of the original settlement. The neighbors came in to bury the dead and retrieve what they could, then the fort was abandoned. The next settlers in the area just built right over it like it was never there. And then in 1988, Dr. William Buckles (of CSU-Pueblo) began an archaeological excavation to locate the remains of the original trading post. The investigation uncovered partial remains in the middle of the downtown business district. In 1990, the El Pueblo History Museum was opened very close to that excavation site. So what we have here is a reconstruction of that old settlement in the yard of the Museum building. Inside the Museum are wonderful displays and exhibits depicting what life was like for Native Americans and newcomers alike, from prehistoric times through the 1900's in southern Colorado.

El Pueblo History Museum

Artifacts and images of the fur trade era and the founding of El Pueblo are featured, including furs, hides, and the carved wooden grain chest owned by William Bent, founder of Bentʼs Fort.

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12

Suction Dredge Status in California November 2011 Interested Parties I've been receiving telephone calls and email messages asking if the Department of Fish and Game expects to resume the issuance of suction dredge permits in November. While it is true that at one time we projected the adoption of final regulations in November or December of 2011 this is no longer the case. In short, the adoption of Assembly Bill 120 has substantial implications for the current moratorium. Rather than repeat what is already available on this issue I suggest you go to and review, in particular, the first two topics on that website. The website was updated on October 3, 2011 and remains current as of this time. Mark Stopher Environmental Program Manager California Department of Fish and Game 601 Locust Street Redding, CA 96001 voice 530.225.2275 fax 530.225.2391 cell 530.945.1344

PLP files motion for preliminary injunction against State of California to reopen suction dredging Public Lands for the People has filed an amended complaint and a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the State of California to lift the ban on suction dredging. The state legislature implemented AB 120 on July 26, 2011, which included the requirement that "any new regulations fully mitigate all identified significant environmental impacts." Mark Stopher, the former head of the California Department of Fish & Game, admitted this is a standard that is impossible to comply with under the California Environmental Quality Act. The process of promulgating revised regulations ground to a halt with the passage of AB 120 despite a court order that directed Fish & Game to complete a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report and issue new regulations. The amended complaint and motion were filed in San Bernardino Superior Court, and a hearing is tentatively scheduled for January 18, 2012. Read the Motion for Preliminary Injunction (pdf file) Read the Amended Complaint (pdf file)

In this newsletter, GPOC provides links and references to other websites.  GPOC has no control over information at such sites hyperlinked or referred to.  These links and references are being provided for the convenience of the readers, and GPOC does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for the content, nature, or reliability of any linked or referenced website or any link contained in a linked or referenced website.    GPOC takes no responsibility for monitoring, updating, supplementing, or correcting any information on any linked or referenced website and makes no representation or warranties regarding such information.
GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12 WE ARE ELECTRONIC at 6


Free Holiday tours of the Governor's Residence at Boettcher Mansion
December 10, 2011 - December 16, 2011 400 E. 8th Ave. Denver, CO 80202 PRESENTED BY Colorado Historical Society The Governor's residence at the Boettcher Mansion will be open for holiday visitors for an entire week from 10 am 2pm starting on December 10, 2011 and continuing daily through December 16, 2011. The decorations this year will reflect the theme of “Holiday Heritages.” Entertainment will be provided at various times throughout the week in the Carriage House.

Colorado Gives Day
The second annual Colorado Gives Day takes place on Tuesday, December 6th, beginning at 12 am and continuing for 24 hours.  Last year, the single biggest day of giving in Colorado inspired the generosity of thousands who donated $8.7 million on line to 529 of their favorite local charities. Colorado Gives Day is a project of, an on line resource created by Community First Foundation that profiles Colorado non-profits and encourages charitable giving by providing comprehensive, objective, and up-to-date information about  hundreds of Colorado organizations. The website: index.php

Natureʼs Comebacks
   Cosponsored by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and The Nature Conservancy of Colorado (TNC) Nature is resilient, and given opportunity and a little help, it can fight its way back to health. Join us for a screening of the inspiring IMAX film about animal rescue, Born to Be Wild 3D, and an evening with Chris Pague, TNC senior conservation ecologist, who will share his own stories of how nature is making a comeback in Colorado and around the world. Afterward enjoy dessert and coffee and a chance to socialize with people who work to conserve our planet. Thursday, December 8 7 pm Phipps IMAX Theater $12 member, $15 nonmember natures-comebacks

Staffordshire Hoard Goes On Display in Washington DC
The Anglo-Saxon hoard contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver. The exhibition is at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC containing the UKʼs largest find of Anglo-Saxon treasure. On July 5th 2009, Terry Herbert, a metal detector enthusiast, discovered the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. From farmland near Lichfield in Staffordshire, England, Terry and a team of archaeologists unearthed more than 3,500 pieces from hundreds of individual objects dating to about 650 A.D. Valued at close to $5 million, the hoard includes exquisitely crafted artifacts, most of which are military in nature. More than 100 of these artifacts will be on exhibition at the National Geographic Museum including elaborate gold and garnet sword fittings, decorative elements for helmets, crosses, and a gold strip bearing a Latin inscription from the Bible. It will stay on show in the US until March 2012. Explore the history behind the gold hoard as you travel back in time thirteen hundred years to Mercia, one of the most powerful and aggressive kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon era. Although it may never be known who buried the hoard or why, the gold treasures offer clues about warfare, the spread of Christianity, and Saxon craftsmanship. The Staffordshire Hoard is now jointly owned by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum. museum/

Will We Have a White Christmas?
There is a 50% chance that Denver will have a white Christmas. If you look on the probability map most of the areas we search for gold have a greater than 90% chance.

Thereʼs also a wide range of learning resources online for students: BBCʼs Primary History – Anglo-Saxons The period of record of the data for most of the maps is 1961-1990. The map above from the Climate Atlas shows the statistical probability (in percent) that a snow depth of at least 1 inch will be observed on December 25th. Highest probabilities are in northern and mountainous areas of the country. The probability was computed using snow depth observations for December 25th for the full period of record for a given station (rather than just the 1961-1990 climatological normals period). Britain Express – Anglo-Saxon life Education Scholastic – Anglo-Saxon riddles The Ashmolean Museum – Anglo-Saxon resources arrival_index.html Here is a education packet for teachers and students. christmas.html

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# In a small cabin in a California mining town, away up amid the snow-clad, rock-bound peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, sat a woman, in widow's weeds, holding upon her knee a bright-eyed, sunny-faced little girl, about five years old, while a little cherub of a boy lay upon a bear-skin before the open fireplace. It was Christmas Eve, and the woman sat gazing abstractedly into the fireplace. She was yet young, and as the glowing flames lit up her sad face they invested it with a weird beauty. # Mary Stewart was the widow of Aleck Stewart, and but two years before they had lived comfortably and happy, in a camp on the American River. Aleck was a brawny miner; but the premature explosion of a blast in an underground tunnel had blotted out his life in an instant, leaving his family without a protector, and in straitened circumstances. His daily wages had been their sole support, and now that he was gone, what could they do? With her little family Mrs. Stewart had emigrated to the camp in which we find them, and there she earned & precarious livelihood by washing clothes for the miners. Here was a hard lot; but the brave little woman toiled on, cheered by the thought that her daily labors stood between her darling little ones and the gaunt wolf of starvation. # Jack Dawson, a strong, honest miner, was passing the cabin this Christmas Eve, when the voice of the little girl within attracted his attention. Jack possessed an inordinate love for children, and although his manly spirit would abhor the sneaking practice of eavesdropping, he could not resist the temptation to steal up to the window just a moment to listen to the sweet, prattling voice. The first words he caught were: "Before papa died we always had Christmas, didn't we, mamma?" "Yes, Totty, darling; but papa earned money enough to afford to make his little pets happy at least once a year. You must remember, Totty, that we are very poor, and although mamma works very, very hard, she can scarcely earn enough to supply us with food and clothes." Jack Dawson still lingered upon the outside. He could not leave, although he felt ashamed of himself for listening. "We hung up our stockings last Christmas, didn't we, mamma?" continued the little girl. "Yes, Totty; but we were poor then, and Santa Claus never notices real poor people. He gave you a little candy then, just because you were such good children." "Is we any poorer now, mamma?" "Oh! yes, much poorer. He would never notice us at all now." Jack Dawson detected a tremor of sadness in the widow's voice as she uttered the last words, and hid wiped a suspicious dampness from his eyes. "Where's our clean stockings, mamma? I'm going to hang mine up, anyhow; maybe he will come like he did before, just because we try to be good children," said Totty. "It will be no use, my darling, I am sure he will not come," and tears gathered in the mother's eyes as she thought of her empty purse. "I don't care, I'm going to try, anyhow. Please get one of my stockings, mamma." # Jack Dawson's generous heart swelled until it seemed bursting from his bosom. He heard the patter of little bare feet upon the cabin floor as Totty ran about hunt' ing hers and Benny's stockings, and after she had hung them up, heard her sweet voice again as she wondered over and over if Santa really would forget them. He heard the mother, in a choking voice, tell her treasures to get ready for bed; heard them lisp their childish prayers, the little girl concluding: "And, O, Lord! Please tell good Santa Claus that we are very poor; but that we love him as much as rich children do, for dear Jesus' sake—Amen!" # After they were in bed, through a small rent in the plain white curtain he saw the widow sitting before the fire, her face buried in her hands, and weeping bitterly. On a peg, just over the fireplace, hung two little patched and faded stockings, and then he could stand it no longer. He softly moved away from the window to the rear of the cabin, where some objects fluttering to the wind met his eye. Among these he searched until he found a little blue stocking which he removed from the line, folded tenderly, and placed in his overcoat pocket and then set out for the main street of the camp. He entered Harry Hawk's gambling hall, the largest in the place, where a host of miners and gamblers were at play. Jack was well known in the camp, and when he got up on a chair and called for attention, the hum of voices and clicking of ivory checks suddenly ceased. Then in an earnest voice he told what he had seen and heard, repeating every word of the conversation between the mother and her children. In conclusion he said: # "Boys, I think I know you, every one of you, an' I know jist what kind o' metal yer made of. I've an idea that Santy Claus knows jist whar thet cabin's sitiwated, an' I've an idea he'll find it afore mornin'. Hyar's one of the little gal's stock'n's thet I hooked off'n the line. The daddy o' them little ones was a good, hard-working miner, an' he crossed the range in the line o' duty, jest as any one of us is liable to do in our dangerous business. Hyar goes a twenty-dollar piece right down in the toe, and hyar I lay the stockin' on this card table—' now chip in much or little, as ye kin afford."

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12



Brocky Clark, a gambler, left the table, picked the little stocking up carefully, looked at it tenderly, and when he laid it down another twenty had gone into the toe to keep company with the one placed there by Dawson. Another and another came up until the foot of the stocking was well filled, and then came the cry from the gambling tables: "Pass her around, Jack." At the word he lifted it from the table and started around the hall. Before he had circulated it at half a dozen tables it showed signs of bursting beneath the weight of gold and silver coin, and a strong coin bag, such as he used for sending treasure by express, was procured and the stocking placed inside of it. The round of the large hall was made, and in the meantime the story had spread all over the camp. From the various saloons came messages saying: "Send the stockin' 'round the camp; boys are a-waitin' for it!" # With a party at his heels, Jack went from saloon to saloon. Games ceased and tipplers left the bars as they entered each place, and miners, gamblers, speculators, everybody, crowded up to tender their Christmas gift to the miner's widow and orphans. Any one who has lived in the far Western camps and is acquainted with the generosity of Western men will feel no surprise or doubt my truthfulness, when I say that after the round had been made the little blue stocking and the heavy canvas bag contained over eight thousand dollars in gold and silver coin. # Horses were procured, and a party dispatched to the larger town down on the Consumnes, from which they returned near daybreak with toys, clothing, provisions, etc., in almost endless variety. Arranging their gifts in proper shape, and securely tying the mouth of the bag of coin, the party noiselessly returned to the widowʼs humble cabin. The bag was first laid on the step, and the other articles piled up in a heap over it. On the top was laid the lid of a large pasteboard box, on which was written with a piece of charcoal: "Santy Clause doesn't always giv poor folks the cold shoulder in this camp." # Christmas dawned bright and beautiful. Mrs. Stewart arose, and a shade of pain crossed her handsome face as the empty little stockings caught her maternal eye. She cast a hurried glance toward the bed where her darlings lay sleeping, and whispered: "O God! How dreadful is poverty!" # She built a glowing fire, set about preparing the frugal breakfast, and when it was almost ready she approached the bed, kissed the little ones until they were wide awake, and lifted them to the floor. With eager haste Totty ran to the stockings, only to turn away, sobbing as though her heart would break. Tears blinded the mother, and clasping her little girl to her heart she said in a choking voice: "Never mind, my darling; next Christmas I am sure mamma will be richer, and then Santa Claus will bring us lots of nice things." "O mamma!" The exclamation came from little Benny, who had opened the door and was standing gazing in amazement upon the wealth of gifts there displayed. # Mrs. Stewart sprang to his side and looked in speechless astonishment. She read the card, and then, causing her little ones to kneel down with her in the open doorway, she poured out her soul in a torrent of praise and thanksgiving to God. Jack Dawson's burly form moved from behind a tree a short distance away, and sneaked off up the gulch, great crystal tears chasing each other down his face. # The family arose from their knees, and began to move the stores into the room. There were several sacks of flour, hams, canned fruits, pounds and pounds of coffee, tea, and sugar, new dress goods, and a handsome, warm woolen shawl for the widow, shoes, stockings, hats, mittens, and clothing for the children, a great big wax doll that could cry and move its eyes for Totty, and a beautiful red sled for Benny. All were carried inside amidst alternate laughs and tears. "Bring in the sack of salt, Totty, and that is all," said the mother. "Is not God good to us?""I can't lift it, mamma, it's frozen to the step!" # The mother stooped and took hold of it and lifted harder and harder, until she raised it from the step. Her cheek blanched as she noted its great weight, and breathlessly she carried it in and laid it upon the breakfast table. With trembling finger3 she loosened the string and emptied the contents upon the table. Gold and silver—more than she had ever thought of in her wildest dreams of comfort, and almost buried in the pile of treasure lay Totty's little blue stocking. We will not intrude longer upon such happiness; but leave the joyful family sounding praises to Heaven and Santa Claus. —Anon.

Elocutionist's Annual Number 12 Comprising New and Popular Readings Recitations, Declamations, Dialogues, Tableaux, Etc., Etc., National School of Elocution and Oratory; Philadelphia, 1884. Page 44-49.

In reading this story remember the Toys For Tots Program that the GPOC participates in every Christmas. Please bring a new unwrapped toy for a boy or girl to the GPOC Christmas dinner.

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12



In October, a teen from Golden was rescued by a team from the School of Mines when

Abandoned Mines

he and a friend entered an abandoned mine shaft. The two teens had traveled over 100 feet when a ledge gave way trapping one of them. This is another GOOD reminder that abandoned mines hold may dangers: water, rotting timbers, loose rock, deadly gases, etc.

Cave Closures Battle Bat Epidemic
By Nikki Bauman Adventuring through natural caves and nonactive mines in Colorado have been popular hobbies and destinations for spelunkers and tourists alike. However, plans for cave exploration have been put on hold in order to protect one of nature's most misunderstood creatures: bats. North American bats are under attack by the white nose syndrome, Geomyces destructans, a fungus originating in Europe that is already established and prevalent through the Northeast and South United States. Over 1 million bat fatalities have been reported due to white nose syndrome, and the worry in the West is that the disease will soon migrate this way. Bats are a vital component to their ecosystems, acting as pollinators, seed dispersers, a food source for predators, and pest controllers, as they eat thousands of insects a night. In the winter, they hibernate in dark, moist environments where their metabolism slows down and their immune system virtually shuts down for the season. This is when the fungus attacks. Both organisms seek out caves with temperatures ranging from 41 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit, with at least 90 percent humidity. Affected bats show signs of white powder on the nose, ears and wings. The fungus irritates the bat and wakes it from hibernation. The bats prematurely use up fat stored for the whole winter, and the unnatural extra activity results in starvation. So far this has been observed among little brown bats, northern long-eared bats, and the already endangered Indiana brown bat. Two other species, the Ozark big eared bat and the Virginia big eared bat, are on the endangered species list and at a high risk of contracting white nose syndrome. Since the discovery of white nose syndrome in the U.S. in the winter of 2006-07, research has been inconclusive that humans play a role in the spread of the fungus that causes white nose syndrome. Through research it is now certain that the primary vector for the spread of the fungus Geomyces destructans is bat to bat, with the secondary vector being from cave to bat. While there has been suspicion of human assistance to the spread of the fungus in instances with long-distance jumps, none have been directly tied to the work of visitors to caves. Those who obtain permits to handle bats for research and conservation practices must follow protocols established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The protocols can be found on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, and include rules such as: • No gear/clothing can be used east of the Mississippi River and reused out West without proper disinfection with bleach or professional Lysol agents. • Dead bats, bats with radio collars, or tagged bats must be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for species counts. • Never handle a bat without a disease transmission barrier, due to bats sometimes carrying the rabies virus. Until we can learn more about white nose syndrome, caves will remain closed in the Rocky Mountain region and foothills including Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. This refers only to caves and abandoned mines on U.S. Forest Service lands. This closure is not applicable to commercial or privately owned caves.
GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12 WE ARE ELECTRONIC at

Nikki Bauman is a naturalist at Walking Mountains Science Center. The new Avon Science and Nature Center offers free admission and is open to the public 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Directions to Walking Mountains Science Center:  From I-70, take Avon Exit 167; from traffic circle get on Nottingham Road; take second right onto Buck Creek Road; immediately turn right again, then left onto new asphalt road; Walking Mountains is 1/4 mile down this road. http://

Abandoned Mine Lands
The BLM Colorado Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) database has about 3,200 recorded sites.  These sites are estimated to have more than 5,000 features such as audits, shafts, prospects, etc.  Over 23,000 hazardous mines and 1,300 miles of streams are impacted by past mining in Colorado.

Last year 22 people died nationwide while exploring abandoned mines.

Nikki Bauman


Road Conditions in Colorado roadConditions.htm National Weather Service in Grand Junction The Colorado Department of Transportation, CDOT's, Weather and Road information station for the Grand Valley, 106.7 FM, was recently forced off the air due to a situation beyond their control. 

Know before you go! When planning your winter trip into our backcountry, remember these safety items: shovel, beacon, probe, and KNOWLEDGE. Much of the terrain throughout the Rocky Mountain region is subject to snow avalanches. In recent years, thereʼs been an increase of winter backcountry users involved in avalanches; some involving fatalities. You are responsible for your own safety and that of those around you. Get avalanche savvy and take a certified avalanche course. Backcountry users should be aware of potential risk and should be skilled at recognizing potential avalanche areas and snowpack conditions and act accordingly. Perform careful snowpack evaluations, stability tests. There are plenty of routes for safer backcountry travel in avalanche country. Be able to recognize and use them as needed. Avalanche potential increases with increasing slope angle, snowfall, rain, wind, changing temperatures, other factors. Avalanche hazard can escalate in a very short time. If you do not have avalanche training, consider sticking to low profile, non-avalanche prone terrain. Ski/snowboard resorts provide a high level of avalanche control on their managed slopes within bounds. Remember that during severe weather events, even these areas may be subject to elevated avalanche conditions. Additional Resources Avalanche Awareness - For more information on avalanche education and safety practices, visit the Forest Service National Avalanche Center Avalanche Conditions - Colorado Avalanche Information Center provides forecasts of Avalanche Conditions in the Colorado backcountry.

Invertebrate Paleontology II: Mesozoic & Cenozoic    The modern groups of abundant invertebrates arose from the ashes of the Permian-Triassic extinction. Groups such as mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoids. Examine the fossil groups that are most important during this second stage of invertebrate history. Wednesdays, January 18 - February 8 6:30 - 9:30 pm. Denver Museum of Nature & Science Classroom 303 $110 member, $140 non-member


kers, hban ps s, Hig e Pum Sluic sure T Pres e/ MEN Volum QUIP O High RY E RAD OVE OLO REC IN C D ILT n GOL D BU Desig Gold D AN tate Flour IGNE y3s do’s DES ionar olora volut Re y of C over r Rec perio 3 and 4 stage recovery systems or Su

Bob Butler Buena Vista, Colorado 719-395-2003

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12

Road Conditions

The production and recovery capabilities of the multistage system is far greater than most other highbankers using only the single riffle design. This design will process up to one cubic yard of unclassified gravel per hour with adequate water volume. A very important part of this recovery system is its ability to separate and flush out the major portion of the unwanted light weight sand and gravel while trapping gold and black sand values. This ability can save time, effort and expense when the concentrates are reduced down to the gold and other values. Each state of this system is separate with hi-ribbed carpet and raised expanded metal. On clean up, this allows each section to be cleaned and tested until it is determined which section contains the highest percentage of gold. After many months of daily use, it is always the first stage in the hopper that retains the greater amount of gold and the other stages in line decreasing until the final riffle stage contains almost nothing.Since the first stage contains the most gold and also the least amount of sand it should be “harvested” regularly and the next stages can be run much longer with the final stage cleaned at the end of the day. Also, checking the first stage can determine if the gravel that is being run contains gold or other value. Coming soon: A small attachment to the highbanker that can process the concentrates at the same time the equipment is running.


Avalanches in Colorado

Royal Gorge BLM Office Road Conditions Information on current road conditions and special closures is available 7-days a week, 24-hours a day, by calling our office at  719-269-8500!

Blue Fungus, Red Forests science-bites/blue-fungusred-forests In this Science Bite, Museum scientist Frank Krell explains how the combination of pine bark beetles, fungus, and people have turned many of the green forests in Colorado into a blanket of rust red.

Celling Your Soul
As the number of phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry surpassed 139 million, the Federal Trade Commission reiterated that despite the claims made in e-mails circulating on the Internet, consumers should not be concerned that their cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers at any time in the near future. In addition, according to the agency, it is not necessary to register cell phone numbers on the DNC Registry to be protected from most telemarketing calls to cell phones. The truth about cell phones and the DNC Registry is: Hartsel Depot • Contrary to the e-mail, cell phone numbers are NOT being released to telemarketers, and you will NOT soon be getting telemarketing calls on your cell phone. • There is NO deadline by which you must register your cell phone number on the Registry. • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. Automated dialers are standard in the industry, so most telemarketers are barred from calling consumers on their cell phones without their consent. • The national associations representing telemarketers have stated that their clients do not intend to start calling consumersʼ cell phones. • There is only ONE DNC Registry. There is no separate registry for cell phones. • The DNC Registry accepts registrations from both cell phones and land lines. You must call from the phone number that you want to register. If you register online, you must respond to a confirmation e-mail. • While the telecommunications industry has been discussing the possibility of creating a wireless 411 directory, according to the FCC, even if a wireless 411 directory is established, most telemarketing calls to cell phones would still be illegal, regardless of whether the number is listed on the federal governmentʼs National Do Not Call Registry. For More Information To learn more about the National DNC Registry and the rules that enforce it, visit the FTC at or the FCC at

Federal appeals court says Colorado must abide by stricter federal rules for wildlands In October, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule which prohibits logging and road-building on 49 million acres of public forests and grasslands nation wide. Some experts including the environmental Protection Agency feel that Coloradoʼs plan is deficient. It would give top-tier protection to about 13 percent of the land protected under the national roadless rule, which blocks most road-building on 4.4 million of the 14.5 million acres of national forest in Colorado. The Colorado proposal would make exceptions for expansion of mining, logging and ski resorts. The 120-page decision by the appeals court in Denver overturns a Wyoming federal judge's decision in 2008 that found the national rule illegally usurped congressional power to designate wilderness. Attorneys for Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association argued that Forest Service managers were trying to create de facto new wilderness areas. The Wyoming judge agreed and ruled that the roadless rule violated the 1964 Wilderness Act, which requires congressional action to create wilderness. The Colorado Mining Association expressed its disappointment with the ruling upholding the Clinton Administrationʼs Roadless Rule. This regulation, said CMA president Stuart Sanderson, threatens to put off limits millions of acres of public lands currently available for multiple and productive use. CMA is disappointed that the decision does not reflect a practical understanding of the impact the the Rule will have upon mining jobs or access to needed minerals here in Colorado and the U.S. CMA has worked with stakeholders to support the implementation of a roadless rule specific to the needs and interest of Colorado and will continue to support a common sense effort to finalize a Colorado roadless rule, which is pending final action before the Secretary of Agriculture.

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12



Detectorist's Night

Sgt. Pulltab

A Colorado Night Before Christmas
ʻTwas the night before Christmas, and all through the valley not a thing was a movin'ʼ - not even in the alley. The boys all snug in their bags, were dreaminʼ of a mine with a carbine. The wife in her curlers, she was lookinʼ real fine! A cold wind was blowinʼ, down the stovepipe it moaned. The long winter night I bemoaned. The socks were hanginʼ by a dim minerʼs light and I was a dreaminʼ of a rich mining strike. The girls in their feminine dreams were attuned, to gettinʼ golden rings that wouldnʼt turn their fingers green. The wife wanted jewelry, like gold with big rocks. I wanted my Chevy, down off the blocks. Then outside, such a noise did commence, like something was caught in the barb-wire fence. I ran to the window, and saw pretty quick, the man makinʼ the racket, was Good Olʼ St. Nick. You may think of Santa, in your own mindʼs eye, all dressed in red, but Iʼve got a surprise. That old boyʼs a miner, and dressed as such, he just uses the Santa gig as a crutch. On Christmas, of course, a truck for a rig, he hooks the thing up, to a long string of mules. He climbed on the roof with his sack full of goodies, he backed down the stovepipe, all dirty and sooty. Fat legs in his Leviʼs, chubby hands in his mittens, just like gold he was a glisten. He turned toward the tree, his sack full of gold? He was a miner, from his head to his toes! His neck was red, his shirt said “Gold Digger”. His ball cap read GPOC, it doesnʼt get any bigger! He placed all the presents, using his trusty black-light. I thoughts to myself, this guys alright! Then it was back to the wood stove and into the night. He ran to his truck and threw his sack in the back. Then he yelled at his mules, with absolutely no tack. And I heard him exclaim, as his mules took fright, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a rich strike! Adapted from another poem by Lin Smith ©

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the place it was near dead quiet and my mind started to race! Ain't nobody here, lots of time for reflecting, but all that can wait, cause I'm going detecting! I grab my detector, a scoop for the sand, my Lesche extractor I got from Lucky Dan's. I head out to the car to look for an old site if I'm uninterrupted I'll just hunt through the night. I pulled up right next to an old carnival place the coins in the dirt I started to chase. The tones in my headset were filling my ear sweet silver and gold buried right under here. I pinpointed my target and started a hole I was six inches down digging just like a mole. When a guy comes up from behind me and said what are you doing? Are you out of your head! I turned on my knees expecting police but it was Santa instead. I'm real sorry Santa I was home all alone, so I figured detecting would warm up my old bones. He smiled as he turned to open his sack when he bent over I saw his pants split up the back. So he's into detecting I saw right away my first MD pants looked exactly that way. He pulled out a Minelab with a white Kevlar rod with THAT I could cover a whole field of sod! He also pulled out a few rolls of Mercs and some Liberty halves then he started to smirk. These goodies are yours but I'm gonna be sporty turn your back and then count from one up to forty. I turned and I counted like he told me to do, when I turned back around he was gone! The coins too! The Minelab was laid with its coil straight ahead so I lifted it gently and sweet tones filled my head. So THAT'S what he meant he had made the job hard the silver was buried all over the yard. Coin after coin the Lesche dug up, tilʼ my apron was full and my knees just gave up . Now MY sack was full of the old silver rounds I swear my loot bag must have weighed fifteen pounds! He hadn't shown me THIS many Mercs, it was then that I realized how Claus magic works. Each coin used to be an old beaver pulltab, but his magic had changed it to what's now in my bag. A sleigh flashed by with Santa onboard I waved to thank him for my great Christmas hoard. And I heard him say in a voice loud and bold “Merry Christmas detectorists, may all your targets be gold!”

GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12



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Gold Panning & Prospecting For Fun


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FREE Gold Panning Tips 1,000 GPOC MEMBERS CONTACT OVER Informative! Read our equipment reviews and Prospectors Blog. Allow for a 3/8” margin on all sides of your advertisement. Answers to your questions: Finding Gold, Metal Detecting, Payment must be received before placement. Send Dredging. advertisement with check to: GPOC Quill Editor, PO Box 1593, Visit 80901 Site changes weekly! CS, CO often!

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GPOC OPPORTUNITIES for December 2011
December 14th General Membership Meeting 7:00 PM Christmas Potluck

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The GPOC would like to thank Copy Experts at 2423 North Academy, CS, CO for all of their help in printing the Quill and other materials for the GPOC this year!


GPOC The Prospector’s Quill Vol. 38 No.12


The Prospector’s


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