Petersen Mountain Commercial
Recovery Operation
(Washoe County, Nevada), 2006

20 June, 7:00am, here are some shots of Jon and I working, from a nearby ridge.  The granite bedrock boulder at the upper-right of the picture we call-
"The Monolith"
We were always checking the dumps and piles for
stray specimens.

Our camp looking
northwest from the
nearby ridge.  We
configured it to provide as much shadowing from the wind as possible.  Man did that wind ever shake that poor trailer!  But, it worked great and we thanked Jon very much for letting us use it!

20 June, This is what it's all about!  As Jon works the wall,
he dumps the new material by my feet for me to rake through,
and I check for specimens and signs of pockets.  
Here are some pictures of the mining in action-

That same day we found a granite boulder with unusual stains
of blue chrysocolla and
oxidized chalcopyrite.
A closeup-

20 June, Jon working near
"The Monolith"

20 June, Some closeups
of the wall as we work it.  Though the granite bedrock is fairly weathered, there are still hard spots where the backhoe has to claw
it's way through!
The more broken and
stained the rock is, the
better the potential for pockets!

20 June, As I was digging into a nice looking, mica-filled pocket,
I discovered this huge smoky quartz shaft that was 7cm (3 inches) across and going straight into the wall!  Hoping for a killer specimen,
instead I got faked-out with this piece of crap! 

20 June, Here's a
nice "arm hole" pocket!

21 June, Longtime friend to us all, and partners with Jon, Ed Christiansen and his son Jim came up to visit us.  Ed and Jim were both very helpful as they drove up most of the diesel for the backhoe, which consumed about 500 gallons of fuel during the dig!

22 June, We begin work
in an area we call
"The Portal"

22 June, Mining in the Portal, near the surface, we found this heavily weathered pocket of smokys.  The curious thing about this pocket was that it rolled out of the bank (as Jon was mining with the backhoe) as a basketball-sized clod of clay and crystals!

23 June, Monsoonal moisture begins
to brew.  This is not good news, as Jon is a firefighter
Chief and he could be called away for work if there were an outbreak of lighting fires.  Being Jon is the only
operator of the equipment, this could
mean operational delays.
A nice view looking
north at Foster Hallman's
claim and cool Bonsai tree-

23 June, The work continues, with Jon checking things out.  
Looks like we got some
"mucking" to do!

23 June, While working in the portal, I noticed a small, black quartz crystal face sticking out of the wall.  Like a thousand other flashes and sparkles I had previously checked (and all were crap), to my surprise, this time it turned out to be a big,
fat scepter!
A closeup of this
8cm (3+ inch) sceptered
smoky quartz crystal just
after exposing it
in the wall-

24 June, Another
beautiful sunset after a very
windy, 100-degree day.  
I got plenty of "ear rocks"
on this fine day!
I pulled one rock out of
my ear that was literally
6mm (1/4 inch) across!  It was a very gritty day, indeed...

25 June, Jon continues
mining in the Portal,
with storm clouds to the south.
Heavy Equipment is cool!

25 June, Baking in the sun, while working my shift with Jon,
I discovered a pocket that started spitting out little scepters!  
It produced over a dozen scepters, total!

26 June, A great sunset over the mine, after a
very windy, 99-degree day.

27 June, As we feared,
a bunch of dry lighting came in last night and started an outbreak of fires.  Jon has been called into work and will be gone for the next few days.  Looks like I'll get a few days to rest up...

29 June, Back to work at the Portal!

29 June, Jon hopped off the dozer when he spotted this
pocket in the wall, producing some fine scepters!

1 July, Another nice pocket!

1 July, The best scepters from pockets
found over the last few days of work!

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