15 years ago my wife and I were drowsy after driving all night on the way to Glamis desert park. We decided to look for a turn off to spend the night in our motor home, and continue in the morning. After a turn onto Ogilby road off of Interstate 8, near Yuma, we ran across the American Girl Mine Road. We took a chance and turned east and drove for about a mile and found a flat spot to camp for the night. In the morning we were treated to a beautiful desert sunrise over the Cargo Muchacho Mountains. We decided to spend a day or so and do some exploring with our jeep. We discovered that the road led to the historic American Girl Mine. Turns out there is a brass historical placard on Ogilby road which tells of the miners of the town of Obregon, which supported the mining operation. The area has been mined on and off since the days of the Spaniards in the 1700's when they first discovered gold in the foothills. It was such a beautiful and interesting area we spent the entire week Jeeping and rock collecting. We thought about the miners of old and whether or not they left any gold in the ground. We decided right then to come back down with our metal detectors and gold pans and try our hand at prospecting. We were hooked! Our next trip down, we detected and panned and found a few small specs for our troubles. We learned all we could about the area, as well as prospecting for gold. After several trips to the area, we now were armed with proper detectors and a drywasher. Things started getting interesting. We actually found some nice gold. We investigated how to file a mining claim. We also learned that the American Girl Mine site was for sale. It was 160 acre patented claim and owned by a corporation who leased it to the company that did the commercial operation in the 1980's. They mined over 400,000 ounces of gold! Eventually we were able to purchase the site as well as file 200 acres of mining claims adjacent to the patented claims. We now of course own a prospecting and metal detecting sales business, and use the cargo property to hold our outings, give lessons and of course do our own prospecting. We also have a rewards program where our customers can earn access to the claims. Who would have thought that the turn to find a camp spot would have such an effect on our lives.
A few years ago we were headed to the dunes and now we own a prospecting business, own a gold mine, and spend our days thinking about gold nuggets and helping others enjoy our hobby as well.
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