The Annual RAMS Claim Picnic
August 18-19, 2006

by Ted Gildea (RAMS Club)


Once again, it was time for the Annual RAMS Claim Picnic (our club was invited to join them this year). We were undeterred by the threat of rain. I showed up Friday morning at the claims, after first visiting the Lake George rock show. I set up my tent and then the gazebo, which would be food central for the picnic and the entire weekend. Afterwards, I decided to get a little digging in before anyone else got there. Around 2 pm, the skies got pretty dark and I went back to camp to meet Ron and Judy. Ron and I hung tarps from the trees that would later be our shelter while it was raining. We situated the tarps so that they were partially around the fire pit. In this way, we could enjoy the heat from the fire and still stay dry. It rained for a couple of hours both Friday and Saturday night so the tarps proved to be very useful.

Don and Gail showed up next and had to set up their tent in the rain. We had three big bucks walk by in the trees and they didnít seem to be too scared of us. We shared dinner that evening and sat around the fire and talked about rocks. Bob and Chris showed up around 9 that evening. We didnít go to bed until after 11 pm. We heard coyotes off and on all night and the rain came down off and on.

The next morning, we awoke to a partially sunny day. After breakfast, I ran out to my spot to do an hourís worth of digging before going to the ranger work station to meet with our guests. This year, the RAMS club had decided to invite the North Jeffco Club to join us for the picnic. Everyone who was already there started their day of digging. When I got to the ranger work station, Shirley and friend were there and so were Lee and his buddy. After April showed up with her dog, we waited until past 10:30 am for anyone else to show up. There were at least 15 more people signed up from the North Jeffco Club. I had heard from my wife, Gigi, on her way up to the picnic, that it was raining very hard in Denver and Colorado Springs that morning. Everyone got fooled by the weather. It was very nice all day for digging. "Öwhoever looks at the clouds will not reap." (Ecc. 11:4)

We headed back to the claims and were joined by several others: Tom and Wanda, Kevin and K.C., Stan, Martin, and Don and Gailís daughter, Melissa, and grandkids, Christian and Megan. John and his family from Grand Junction joined us. Everyone set out to find their digging spots. We all dug for about an hour and then it was time to eat.

We had quite a feast, more food than you could eat. Hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and lemon pepper pork loin were the main course. We had a huge assortment of side dishes. We wound up having food left over for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. After lunch the digging resumed.

The most notable finds (that I know of) were made by Bob and Chris. Chris was sure excited. They found a lot of Amazonite pieces. Not much else was found, I know I didnít find any thing. Chalk this one up to the "thrill of the hunt", and the fun of camping and eating with friends.

Saturday evening was another fun time of sitting around the camp fire and staying out of the rain. It was better than the night before, because we had twice as many people participating, although some had gone home earlier.

Sunday morning, we got up, had breakfast and packed up the camp somewhat. It was another good day for digging, no rain and not too hot. Early in the afternoon, everyone finished packing and headed out to fight the traffic. Another RAMS Claim Picnic is successfully completed. See you next year!