Surprise Statistics for the Truck Camper Blog

For the first time in a long  time (more than 3  years) I took a look at who is reading the blog.

Readers surprised me!

    1.  61% are 18-34 years old.
      I figured that since I was in my 70’s and was retired that was the demographic with whom I was communicating. Surprise.
    2. 54% are men.
      Since I am a woman and post mostly on women’s groups I figured the readership would be 70-80% women. Surprise.
    3. 80% are new visitors.
      Since I have not tried to attract any new visitors this is startling. Surprise.
    4. New visitors stay on the site only 24 seconds.
      Repeat visitors are on for 4  minutes and 22 seconds. Love those repeat visitors, but what are they doing for all that time? Surprise.
      Why are people landing on this blog only to flee so fast?
    5. How much Google knows about who lands on the pages.
      So much. Not a real surprise.

What to do?

Go camping in one of the two free spots I found..

Fish Creek

Fish Creek in Dolores County. It is down a dirt road for about 8 miles. Nice little creek, beautiful flowers, loud birds and no gold in the creek that I could find.

Dam Free Camping

Near Dove Creek, Colorado, above Bradfield Ranch is a long dirt road, with cows, dead ending at a back end of a dam. Still and quiet. In 12 miles and 5 hours I saw only 1 person … a worker at the dam who walked during his lunch hour.

So if you have gotten down this far on the page I want to know what you would like to see on this blog. More equipment reviews? More personal stories of my journey? More of what? Less of what? Talk to me!


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Maps While Wandering

Looking for the mine claim

Hiking in Colorado

After several miles of hiking I opted for the truck.

I needed the NW gps corner of the placer claim. That was the corner nearest the road. But I had only the center gps. In the middle of 20 acres.

The PLSS, Public Land Survey System had the info. I tried using the government link, but got confused by the second click. After much poking around I found a site, earthpoint, that would give  me all four corners and the center  for free. Phew.

NW 37.7795117, -107.9492450 (yes, I am revealing the sacred spot!)

Thanks to earthpoint I found that I had been “prospecting” about 700 yards west of where I was supposed to start.  Ooops. No gold, but I did find other fun stuff while waiting for the water in the wrong tributary to go down.

found detecting 2

found detecting 1



In case you want to know more about barbed wire, check out the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum!

I am still hooked on physical maps. Check out my map page.

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Truck Camping Hobby

Tools for Hunting

An important part of living full time in your truck or van or car is to have a good hobby. I needed something other than reading, and became obsessed with finding meteorites. That progressed to metal detecting for historical artifacts. That enlarged to hunting for gold.

meteoriteToolThe knee guards (thanks so much Mary!) are wonderful for hunting gold or artifacts or meteorites.The Fisher Gold Bug Pro Metal detector has been perfect. After 5 years I am still learning how to use it to it’s capacity. The pinpointer saves time in trying to find an elusive signal.

gold hunting tools

This is a very bare bones approach to hunting for gold in a river, but it will do to start out with. The pan is in terrible shape, much duct tape holding it together. I have ordered a new pan. I spent much time picking the big and medium size rocks out of the pan. So I ordered a 1/4″ classifier . I also ordered a “snuffer bottle“. The snuffer bottle is for the tiny “flour gold”, which is darn near impossible to pick up out of the pan. That tiny size of placer gold is why I carry the jeweler’s loupe. The yellow grains could be gold! When I hunt for gold in the rocks and bedrock I bring tiny picks, long screw driver, and a heavy hammer in addition to the metal detector.

I also have a plastic bucket and a small shovel. I found that taping hand tools with yellow electricians’ tape is the only way I am not leaving tools behind. The green tape is how I identify my screwdriver from yours.

And yes, I get wet and cold and tired while having fun, hunting for gold!

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Truck Camping in The Mountains

You know that I bought a mining claim (Hunting for Gold). I thought I knew what I was doing. Well, not so much.

After spending 5 months in AZ at 746′, I spent a week in Cortez at 7,102′. Then I went to the camp spot at 10,103′. It was very funny hearing me set up camp. Heavy breathing. Clam tent in snow

For the gold hunting expedition I purchased my first truck camping tent, a Clam. Extremely easy to set up. However, the weather was too extreme for the tent. The center dome of the Clam tent popped down on my head during some heavy (35mph) gusts. Then the next night it snowed. The dome collapsed again, and I had to clear out much heavy snow before it would stand up. So sad. I gave the tent away.


So that was tough. It got tougher as I was unable to hike to the claim. Aggh. That was what I was planning on. But no, the hike was about 4 miles with a final drop to the river of 600′ along a very skinny trail. I could see walking down, maybe, but coming back up with all of the tools … I couldn’t imagine it.

Then I spent two days trying to figure out where the access to the claim was. I thought I could read maps. Finally found out where to park to walk down to the claim and chickened out on driving closer. Me? Chicken out driving?
Then I chickened out crossing the river to get to the claim. Fast rushing water above my knees over slick rocks. I decided to wait a few days for the water to recede. I got close to the claim and spent 2 days practice panning on the banks of a tributary.
Then the wildfires happened. The smoke was so thick that I struggled to breathe. So I retreated, waiting on the fires to calm and the waters to recede.
Much learning in another truck camping adventure. 

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Hunting for Gold

Truck Camping on the Dolores

I want to be in the mountains of Colorado in the summers. I am getting tired of moving every two weeks. How do I do this with spending little?

Well, the virus check bought me a 20 acre placer mining claim. It will cost me $155/ year (maybe). I love metal detecting . Hunting for gold in the Dolores river for 5 months of the year seems like a deal. That will be $31/ month (maybe). That means that I will have to find only 3 grams of gold every year to pay for it. It looks like this may not be right. More trying to figure things out. It looks as though all I will need to pay is a “Maintenance Fee Waiver” of $15 and maybe an “Affidavit of Annual Assessment Work” for another $15. So $30 for the year?! Dealing with bureaucracy is entertaining. I don’t have the whole story yet.

The picture below was on the ebay site. I fell for it. In the description of the claim they said that 2wd could get close to claim. I have 4 wheel drive. Hope I can get very close. We’ll see. Dolores River

I own all of the minerals on the 20 acre claim. No one else can search for gold or minerals. However, anyone can be on the property, hunt on the property, fish on the property, camp on the property. I am allowed to camp out on the property for as long as I am mining. Everyone else can stay only 2 weeks. I have a gold detector, I have pans and brushes and digging tools. I bet it will take me several years to prospect the whole 20 acres.

I don’t think  this area  is a great gold source, but it is 20 acres to camp on next to a beautiful river for 5 months in the summer .

One extra fun thing about this purchase is the learning of government vocabulary. There are no gps numbers for any mining location. The claim is defined by townships and range and section and aliquot. A claim is also defined as lode or placer, active or closed. It took me a long time to figure this all out. Still learning. And I am excited. Excited to see if I can get to the claim, get any gold, excited to try a new activity and learn new stuff.

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