My efforts in finding a particular actinide mine today failed miserably. Apparently, gentrification and McMansion horse operations have restricted the only access road for rabble like myself. Looks like I’ll have to get actual permission to visit the site. I’ll be more forthcoming with the identity of the mine when I can get a first hand account and pictures.

I did find some interesting pegmatite veins elsewhere. Pegmatite intrusions (or zones) may be enriched in interesting metals like rare earths. My samples could just be feldspar, but the xtal habit seems different.

This is the problem with being an “independent scholar” in this field. If I want an ICPMS or GDMS to get a sub-ppm level elemental assay, I have to fork over ca $400 a pop to get some numbers. An XRD is only good down to ~1 % phase purity. I could find a real geologist to pester, but that wears out fast. Gotta find a way to get some analysis done economically.

I spent some time panning for placer gold in a creek downstream of Ward. It was a complete bust. I drove away with a backache and wet feet. There are no lode mines visible in that area, so perhaps the absence of gold was determined by others long ago.

Aspen Starting to Turn COlor September 2009

Aspen Starting to Turn Color September 2009