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Found 50 results

  1. Ok NursePaul touched down in OZ, picked him up on Saturday, but in his excitement to get over here he forgot his ports with clothes, Z, etc etc. no no regardless of what he says about Airlines, that`s my story and I`m going to stick to it. We are having a lot of trouble communicating, I don`t know what version of English you Yanks use but tis French to me for sure............ So here we are waiting for his gear coming via Pony Express-Cobb & Co and I`ve got the best excuse I`ve every had as to why I`m not finding gold.....................But the xxxx is good yes/no..............and we are sort working out sign language, although judging by the smoke coming out his ears I think we will switch to smoke signals...............
  2. Total haul metal detecting on the beach this morning: 12 cents, one spark plug and 3 bottle caps.The looks on people's faces when they saw me waving my coil in the air and screaming at seagulls like a banshee: priceless.
  3. Well I'm back from my California gold trip.....was a bit under the weather with a summer cold that turned into a sinus/cough thing that lingered the whole time! Argh! Anyway, took a day off early on and rode the quad to this beautiful view of the N Fork of American River: But on to the GOLD! Spent a lot of time playing with the Monster at a nearby hammered hydraulic pit, working bedrock areas like this: Found numerous small nuggies chipping away at the fissured areas, including this nice 1st one using the larger coil, which I love by the way! : However, I was eager to get out with the 7000 and went back to the American Hill area where my buhzillion dollar machine found me THIS!: Hmmm...the Monster was killing the Zed, until it redeemed itself in a wash finding me this nice 4.4g speci! : I had a nice time in CA detecting with Mike B. , Chet, and others, but since not feeling well decided to start heading home with a stop in Rye Patch to experience the solar eclipse at one of my favorite places: And I was rewarded with a beautiful 2.4g eclipse nugget: Here's a better pic: Thought I was the only idiot out there in the heat, but ran into 2 gals, Carol and Janna who had Gold Monsters so we detected together a few hours....Carol got her 1st Rye Patch nugget! Then I ran into Rick and Rudy who as you know from Lucky Lundy's recent post, found a fantastic 1/4 oz nugget. The guys were very generous with their time and gave me some nice tips! So no big lunkers for me, but I had a great time with some great people, and ended up with just about a half an ounce of beautiful Calif(Monster, 2300, 7000) and Nv(11 pieces on left w 7000) gold, along with a very special Troy oz silver Prospector coin given to me at the Goldhounds meeting by El Presidente Mike B! Till the next hunt! Cheers! :-)
  4. With a bit of research looking at old topo maps and aerial photos, I found another promising site 5 minutes from my home. It's currently a school built about 25 years ago with a nice size sports field. What I found is that an older school was previously located where the sports field is now. Bingo! Along the street I could see old sidwalk and concrete steps outside the school fence so decided to start there on Saturday. Fisher F75 w/5"x10" concentric, de (default) process, gain of 70, no disc, 4H tones. Quite a bit of trash, but still manageable with this coil. Found a couple copper pennies (one at 4" depth, other a bit shallower) which I couldn't identify -- good sign -- so put them in the secret slot of my nail apron. After about 3 1/2 hours of my allotted 5 I decided to switch to the 5" DD round coil (otherwise same settings) and test the schoolyard on the other side of the fence, but still in the shade. Might have been my first hit -- boucing a bit but in the 'good coin' range (i.e. higher than Zincoln) so started to dig. I had a couple issues with this hole: 1) 1/8"-1/4" roots of nearby tree -- try not to cut those, this isn't my property..., and 2) about 2-3 inches down I was hitting crushed stone. Was this previouly a driveway, or was it backfill? I should have been a bit more careful but when it's getting later in my hunt I'm tired and tend to work fast (sloppy). About 4 inches down I see white metal... Could it be? Out comes a coin and turning it over I see the classic reverse of a Mercury dime! My research has been justified; this is an old site. Kept searching but nothing else turns up of value. End of day 1 but I already have plans for day 2, even though I have other plans/tasks and won't be able to get out as early or for as long. (Good news: my sloppy digging/prying didn't mar the coin, but lesson learned?) Day 2: decided to try put the concentric coil back on and return to where I found the Merc. I'm getting a lot of clipping of signals (recall, no disc so that isn't it) and start wondering if there is a problem. Then I remembered how many overloads I had gotten with the 5" DD the day before. Was this area littered with sheet metal scraps large enough to cause overloads and clipping? I kept going without success, then decided to wander over to another spot near the fence (less likely backfilled). Got a strong signal with high ID but when pushing the coil close to the ground (better pinpointing and ID determination) the detector overloaded. Hmmm, this seems like a small target, but overload? Pop can? I decided to investigate (I'm one of those paranoid searchers that just knows that as soon as I skip one it'll be the Heart of the Ocean ) so I push the tip of my Lesche down about an inch and out pops some kind of silver(?) jewelry, annular shape (but not a finger ring). Into the hidden pocket for later inspection. As I return to where I found the Merc my eye catches something very bothersome -- a 3-4 inch diamter hole in the ground, rather deep. Had I forgotten to fill in my excitement yesterday? But where is the dirt pile? I'm sure this is something I had dug, but I never fail to backfill. In fact, after cutting a sod plug, everything that comes out of the hole goes into a gold pan I carry just for this purpose. Empty the pan back into the hole and replace the plug. I didn't leave my gold pan so I had to have refilled. WTF?? Well, I need to fill it back in so I look around for some stones. Peering on the other side of the fence (there was a deep drainage cut next to the street and I had seen rubble there yesterday which would work) I see another similar hole! Now I'm really annoyed. Is this why detectorists get banned, accused of not filling their holes? Obviously some animal (humans are animals, too) had re-excavated a couple of my holes. After filling in both I have a decision to make -- should I just cut bait and jump ship? I don't want any more of this to happen. This is a schoolyard and kids can twist ankles in such a hole. Then I decided I hadn't done anything wrong. Why let someone ruin my day? With the signal overload still on the back of my mind, I decided to switch to the Fisher Gold Bug Pro with 5" DD and see how it performs. I also was curious to see what ID's it shows. Retracing my tracks inside the fence I confirm with several overloads -- something big is under the surface and I'm not digging it. Also, the sun is moving such that I'm running out of shade inside the schoolyard and I recall that I had left some ground unsearched outside the fence (where there is shade) so back there I go. The usual junk (foil, grrrr) but before my 3 1/2 hours are up I made three interesting hits which I'll finish with here before showing the loot haul. A) Getting an inconsistent ID near nickel 5 cent -- that is typical of ring and beavertail so this is my guess. Handheld pinpointer (White's TRX) signals so I dig and find a small nail. Now most of you know that nails, depending upon orientation, can be all over the ID scale. Was this it? Then I look in the gold pan and there is round disk -- had already pulled it out without noticing -- dark (nickel size) coin. So the signal was jumpy because I had two targets, one good and one bad. I'm learning all the time. B) searching right along the vertical edge of the concrete sidewalk I get a high ID (but not clean) and decide to dig. Nothing on the TRX at first, but then a couple inches down it sounds off, and a bit more digging reveals a tiny ring. How can that read high? Back over the hole with the GB-Pro and another signal, this time some junk (can't remember but probably wad of aluminum foil). Was the high tone from the junk? Did I even get a signal from the ring or was this find completely serendipitous? Into the hidden chamber! C) about out of time, I get a strong coin (copper penny or dime) hit and figure it's close to the surface, probably a recent drop. Immediately I see an exposed tree root right where the signal is. Have to dig around that. TRX sounds strong and as I work my way around the root it seems like it's actually inside the root. Now what? In the past when this has happened I've just thrown in the towel, not wanting to damage anything. But I noticed the root appeared to split into two branches so I pried between and out pops a penny. Hmmm. I still figure it's new (Memorial, but not Zincoln) and put it into the pouch. Done for the day, I decide to attempt to atone for my sins (holes I dug, filled, and someone else redug) so I gather up a bunch of trash that the wind had collected along the fence inside the schoolyard and headed home. The picture shows my good finds. The two days yielded 4 Zincolns (junky looking, as typical), 2 Jeffies ('77 and '81), one clad dime and one clad quarter. No copper Memorials but 3 Wheaties -- a '46-D from day 1 and a 1919 (considerably worn) -- this latter being the one nearly on the surface stuck in the tree root! The Merc is in nice condition but a super common date (1941 plain = Philadelphia mint). I suspect the gold ring is cheapo plate with a glass 'stone' but need to investigate further. I'll also do a specific gravity measurement on that other piece of jewelry to see if it is really solid silver or just silver plate. Neither of these had any markings that I could see. My find of the hunt (from day 1) is the pictured penny -- 1932-D. Without considering the scaling from decades in the ground, the condition is approaching extremely fine (EF) based upon the lack of wear to the reverse wheat stalks. I'm soaking in olive oil per advice from SS-Al and Deft Tones, hoping this will clean up the scales. Looking at my Redbook, I count 140 date+mintmark 'business strikes' (meant for circulation) Wheat pennies in the 50 years (1909-58) they were minted. The 1932-D is #16 in lowest mintage. This is easily my scrarcest Lincoln detector find ever. With the scales it's not worth much, and even cleaned up it's likely only worth a few bucks (haven't searched Ebay for the appraisal), but it's still a top find for me. Conclusion: In the past 7 weekends I've found old coins at all four sites within 10 minutes of my house. I'm not done searching any of them. However, I recall reading here (sorry, forget who the posters were) that some recommend to stop digging in the dry season in public places (like my parks and schools). I'm going to heed that advice. It's less likely that whoever redug my holes would have done so or made such a mess if it weren't dry season. Besides, I have some creeks to hunt which just might (very great longshot) yield my first detectable gold or possibly some coins. Crazier things have happened. That will keep me busy until the fall rains. And if I have just a little time to spend I'm going to work the backyard on my digging techniques -- try for smaller holes. That's gotta help in the long run, too.
  5. This is a long post, so if you are in a hurry you can just jump to the end to see the (fuzzy) pic. I've been searching a particular muni park for about a year now. It has been a city park since the late 40's, and in the late 19th and first quarter of the 20th century it was a stone quarry which eventually filled with water and became a swimming hole (legal or otherwise). You wouldn't know its history from looking, though. I'd estimate I've hunted there for 40-50 hours and two best finds are a 1900's Indian Head and Civil War button (don't know how that ended up here). About 6 weeks ago I noticed that an old tree overhanging the park (but appearing to be on a private lot with house) had been surrounded by one of those orange plastic fences with associated "keep out" signs saying something about "vegitation protection". At first I feared I might even share some responsibility since I've dug under that tree multiple times. Did I damge the roots? I decided to lay low and work in my other parks and schoolyards until the vigilante posse tired and went home. Last week while driving by I noticed that the house (with the tree on its property) was gone! Unfortunately much of the lot had been dug up and smoothed, but quite a bit was still in its original sodded state. I fairly quickly reached a conclusion (which might not be right) that the city had bought the property to append to the park. In my possibly faulty thinking this made it fair game for hunting. I was out-of-town for the weekend but the morning of the 4th was open, so.... I took all three of my VLF's with small coils (5" round on F75, 6" 7.5 kHz round on my X-Terra 705, and 6" coiltek prototype DD on the Gold Bug Pro). I started with my new F75 in discrimination 'de' (default) process wide open for any metal, 4H tones (four in number with nickels hitting high), and I think a gain of about 90. Started swinging at 6:55 AM and within a couple minutes had my first positive signal. I tend to dig-it-all (except ferrous and maybe foil), at least starting out, so pulled out the Lesche (garden trowel size) and at about a depth of only 2.5 -- 3 inches (7-10 cm) out popped the all too rare glint of silver ("silv in the hole!" as KG and Ringy like to shout, but I kept silent). Those of you who coin hunt know that most of the time (all the time in my limited experience) you know silver immediately because unlike copper, nickel 5c, nickel clad, and the disgusting zinc coins, silver doesn't tarnish/discolor in the ground. First good target = first dig is a silver Mercury dime. I avoid rubbing coins right out of the ground and I don't wear bifocals anymore when hunting so I couldn't see a date if I wanted. But I knew the coin design I had. Date to be determined later. By about 8:00 AM, with a few more good targets (copper pennies, but I couldn't see a Memorial and, as above, wasn't about to rub to find out) I decided to switch to the Gold Bug Pro. After another hour I went to the X-Terra 705 and finally with only about half an hour remaining before I had to get home and cleaned up for a holiday reunion I went back to the F75, but this time in fa ("fast") process. (Since my original dig I had not found any real silver, but in total I had 11 copper pennies, one Stinkin' Zincolnd, and one clad dime.) In my very limited experience, fast process is much more susceptible to EMI, and I have a Digital Shielding Technology (DST) version F75. So I turned down the gain to about 65-70 range, still quite high compared to many detectors. I looked at my cellphone a while later to see "10:30" and decided "time for one or two more digs" and quickly got an 83 reading, which is right where quarters are supposed to hit on the F75. Down about 4 or so inches I experience another coin hunter's high -- the white reeded edge of a silver US quarter! You now have probably figured out my title -- 'covers' = first and last digs of the hunt are the best finds of the day. Although my picture taking is so bad you probably can't read the date on the Merc, it's a 1937 in F-12 condition. The 1940 Washington is well worn ('G' condition might even be stretching it). Neither has a mintmark and in terms of worth (to anyone but the finder ) these have silver bullion value only. Of the 11 coppers, 6 Memorials and 5 wheats, with the oldest being 1916 (plain = no mintmark, so Philadelphia); two in the 40's and two in the 50's, with none being key/semi-key dates+MMs. As mentioned, one Zincoln and one clad dime. Amazing (to me) ratio of old to new coins. This weekend looks like another opportunity and I've only covered about 50% of the undisturbed ground in that lot, so fingers crossed for more excitement.
  6. Ok, it is not the kind of flakes you normally think of when you think CALIFORNIA. We had a 'cold snap' in the west the last 3 days and that gave me a chance to go out and detect the hot deserts of Southern California. The cold snap came after a Wednesday fishing trip. It started off slow for the white sea bass and the yellowtail. We didn't get any so we went after the rock fish in deep water. This was my first trip of the year and it was a lot of fun. I went over my limit (10) but there were others on the boat that got my extras. At the end of the day we were near the island and managed to get our version of a barracuda and another fisherman got a white sea bass. So I left out for a 3 hour drive to our most productive nugget patch. Last summer we were working it pretty hard and found most of it but Swifty has been finding new patches so we went back. My last 4 trips had resulted in skunks. I was beginning to question my technique and settings. I was finding shots, lead, wires and hot rocks but NO GOLD. My headphones were sounding scratchy and losing the signal when trying to pinpoint. I bought a new set of headphones to make me feel better. (Superlux HD668B Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones) These were recommended on my other post about 'What Can You Hear?.' Now I know what I can hear! I heard all of the same trash but the sound was smoother than my worn out headphones. They were also comfortable (until the very end of the day). So I'm going along with the normal signals and a bit 'long in the tooth' attitude and I heard another hot rock. Even the 7000 and the 2300 find hot rocks in this field. Sometime in the late morning a hot rock was not. It was the rough flake nugget. I saw it in my scoop and could barely see any gold as it was covered in caliche. After a bath in my mouth I knew it was a skunk breaker. I also knew it was thin so I logged it in to my findpoints as .5g. It is really .82g. Friday I had gotten to the field at 4:00 AM and it was a full moon. Sunrise was 6 AM but you could see around 5:30 AM. Sunday's trip was similar but I got there at 5:00 AM and the wind was blowing about 25 mph and the temperature was under 50F. I was cold and went back into the car for a nap. Once the sun was up about an hour I got out and braved the wind until about 2:30 PM. Along the way I found the second corn flake that is 'smaller' but weighs more at .92g. It is a lot of work having fun sometimes but someone has to do it, right?
  7. Quality metal detectors have been around long enough that it isn't easy to find virgin ground, no matter what the target goal (coins, relics, nuggets, even jewelry). As previously mentioned, I got hooked on coin collecting when I was in 1st grade thanks to the influence of my mom and two of her brothers. I found my first coin with a metal detector the summer before my senior year in high school (1970). After school and three years in a good job, in 1979 I sprung for a Garrett Groundhog, thinking I would use it to make a nice profit hunting coins and nuggets the way Charles Garrett and Roy Lagal described it in their books.... Then life (many other interests) got in the way. Fast forward 36 (now 38) years when I was again bitten with the MD bug. A lot happened in the treasure hunting world in those 36 years. Detectors got a lot better, and the hobby (or even 'profession' for some) had blossomed. The low hanging fruit had been picked. There is still plenty of treasure in the ground, but most is not very close to the surface and/or severely masked by junk metal, meaning it's going to take new equipment and techniques and/or a disproportionate amount of digging to find the good stuff. But as always, there are exceptions. I mentioned in a recent thread last week that I had stumbled upon a lot where an old home had recently been razed, and it appears that the city now owns it with the intent of appending the land to an adjacent park. It's like stepping back in time -- a time when the detectors were few and primitive. And on my journey on this time machine I was allowed to bring along a Fisher F75! I felt like Cinderella at the ball. My previous post reported that in 3 1/2 hours on Independence Day I found two silver coins along with five Wheat cents, using three detectors to sample the ground. This past Saturday I stayed the entire time with the 5 inch DD on the F75, FA (fast) process, gain of 70, zero discrimination, 4H tones. I had twice as much time to hunt and I only stopped to get water and food which I brought along in the car. I again dug two silver coins (dimes -- see photo below) but this time 34 coppers, NO zinc, and only two clad (dimes). Earlier my Wheat to copper ratio was 50%. If that held up I'd have 17 Wheaties. I could only hope. Arriving home and soaking them, I was amazed to see 27 reverses with Wheat stalks. You'd have thought I spent the day on a combine in Kansas. Four Wheats per hour. Will I ever again experience such a high recovery rate? To emphasize, I hunted two rectangles in those seven hours, one along the city sidewalk, about 6 ft X 60 ft. The other was of similar area along one side of the now missing house. I wasn't finding 'spills'. One hole had three coppers and another had two nearly touching Memorials, but all others were single finds. The most enlightening thing to me is the depth of the coins. All but one (in that group of three coppers) were 4 inches or less. The Barber dime was in the 3 1/2 --> 4 inch depth range. The Merc was 1 inch deep! I don't think the ground where I found the Merc had been distrurbed or reworked recently. The sod looked typical of the area. Is this what it was like back in the late 80's and 90's? Many of you should remember. I returned the next day for another 5 hours but the glass slipper had fallen off and the coach had reverted to a pumpkin. I'll give a followup post on that hunt plus next weekend's planned return hunts. There has to be more there, but now I've harvested the low hanging fruit and what's left appears to be seriously masked with iron nails from the missing house.
  8. I was detecting a steep narrow gulch with a vertical wall on one side and thick viscous thorn bushes on the other when a red eyed golden fanged rattle snake slithered out from a crevasse right at the level of my jugular vein. As the snake coiled back to deliver my slow painful death, I leaped straight up about 5', did a 360 degree pirouette, an delivered a stunning, precise, back hand blow with my GPZ7000 light saber and bonked the ol' snake right on the noggin. The snake crawled back into his hole in humiliated defeat and I continued detecting. I then found one of golden fangs that I had dislodged during the brief battle for my life. There my be one or two of you that question the truth of parts of my story so I have retained the services of Sourdough Scott to present photographic proof, should it become necessary.
  9. More Rye Patch Fun!

    All Winter/Spring in Rye Patch this year was a tough deal fighting the ground noise. We knew we had to wait till Summer for the ground to dry out for some spots that hold the deep gold. Robin & I, were on and extended road trip that started for a few days in Laughlin, NV and a hunt out in the gold basin area. Then a short drive to Las Vegas for a couple days and then ending up in Reno stopping here and there for a hunt on placers along the way. During this time, a couple Buddies where sending me pictures of their Rye Patch poke. Braving the heat and with night hunts fighting off the Rattlers with some impressive pokes! While in Reno, they told me to checkout weather for the upcoming weekend! What Spring time conditions in June! 😳 We made our hunt plans. I got home and unpacked Robin's Jeep and tossed my Detecting gear in my truck and the next morning bright and early hit the road with some heavy rains on the California side of the hill on I-80. Rains, gave way to partly cloudy in Nevada...new speed limit East of Fernly, NV is 80 mph, what! My hunting partners Rudy & Steve caught me in Lovelock filling my truck up and off we went...arriving at Rudy's last spot of deep nuggets at 11:00 am. Rudy, deployed out of Steve's pickup like a seasoned Veteran and was on his little patch as Steve and I, was still gearing up! He had two nuggets before we hardly had our detectors tuned, each around a foot deep. I knew the area and gave Rudy a wide berth respecting his 23" biceps 💪 as he swings and extra large pick with rocks flying in all directions on each swing of his pick. I soon, popped two deep nuggets and Steve yanked out a fabulous 2 dwt Chevron. We had to run back to the trucks as a heavy downpour of rain gave us a break for a late lunch. Soon after, hit it again, or should I say Rudy with a couple more nuggets before we headed back to camp. Next morning, was more of the Rudy show! He called me over to his chewed up 20 ft long deep nugget Patch for a listen of a target! I stuck my coil into a 6" scrap and heard the classic nugget tone...we both smiled at each other as I gave a head nod of approval 😀. We now began a 30 minute dig through the shale. Rudy's pick at 15" had to give way for my special bedrock pick in the back of my truck. At 20" this target was screaming bloody murder on the GPZ, but so does a 2 dwt'er! Many breaks later and another 4" deeper we knew we were close. Rudy's pen pointer was pointing at the crevice in the bottom of the hole. Steve, finally works his way over to see what we are doing on our bellys with our heads in a big hole! I give way, as I heard his bench made pocket knife open up and Rudy moved his giant finger away from the pointed spot. A couple scraps and out pops the fruit to the effort of the dig! Over 8 dwts nugget, is sweet in any gold field new or old diggings. Steve and I, bowed to Rudy as the King of the short hunt weekend as he added a couple more before he finally let us pick up the scraps in his mini patch. He was laughing at our misfortune sipping a cold one in a lawn chair for a couple dinks! But, it's the hunt, the thrill. What a great hobby to keep your blood pumping...over 18 dwts on them coils. The trip home with a cold I picked up from Robin, hit me hard and so did the surprise snow storm on top of Donner Pass. Home safe and nursing my cold and wishing I was on the hunt, before the heat comes back to the high desert! Until the next hunt LuckyLundy
  10. Last week we had a brief cooling spell in sunny Yuma so I took the opportunity to get out with the Deus again. I was scouting a new area wearing my typical Yuma attire, shorts and T-Shirt and had not yet put on my gear and most regrettably had not put on my knee pads. I was pushing up through some steep terrain with loose gravel and big rocks. I took a wrong step and had one of those slow motion thoughts about this not ending well. It seems that gravity has some fairly predictable adverse effects on short, chubby, 62 yr old detectorists traversing tricky ground. I made roughly 3 rotations on the way down, coming to rest against some nasty rocks. As I lay there gathering my wits and waiting for pain to alert me to any major injuries, I wondered, not for the first time, why I do this, especially all alone. Nevertheless, I picked myself up and found I was bleeding pretty good from a puncture in fat part of my right palm. Then, I felt a searing pain from my right hamstring across my butt cheek to my scotumus maximus. Not cut mind you, just internal wrenching. I assume that's what the NFL calls a "groin strain". So I hobbled to safety and set about to stop the bleeding in my palm. It was only then that I noticed my left knee bleeding pretty good as well. I got some wound wash and squirted the knee clean, muttering "that's going to leave a mark". Since I didn't have the services of our favorite medic VANursePaul, I figured I better let the professionals at this one. I had my son take me to Sunny Yuma Regional Medical Center ER. Fairly quick work, XRays all negative, hand, knee and hip. 10 stitches in the knee, a script for Vicodin and I was on my way in just over 2 hrs. I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to mix my favorite analgesic "Dago Red" with the Vicodin, but the words "alcohol my intensify effect" seemed to suggest otherwise. So, last night I removed the last of the stitches and the knee feels fine, if not a little tender. The palm wound is still really sore and the "groin strain" is a killer. I walked a 1/4 mile this morning on flat blacktop in my neighborhood and the hamstring feels like an ice pick punching through my butt cheek to my nether regions. I'm losing my mind being hobbled and not outside outsmarting some gold nuggets. We have a bit of a cooling trend over the next few days, highs in the low 90's, so I'll be back at it, albeit a little slower and a little more careful. Hopefully, good news later this week on the rescheduled outing 4 with the Deus HF. So until then, as Sgt Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues used to say, "let's be careful out there".
  11. Title chosen because I'd be banned if I wrote what I really wanted. Spotted a camper parked in the scrub not far from a well, so went to see who and introduce myself. No one was there so I followed the tracks as they were heading to the well. They went passed the well and towards the next one which isn't in a known gold area but is in an area that holds a lot of water especially after the rain we've had. Bugger me if the track didn't keep going and into a no go area. I knew I would either come across them heading back out or bogged. Sure enough, 4klms in and there's a Hilux duel cab bogged up to its eyeballs with a very relieved to see me NSW couple in their 70's. They had been there all day with nothing but a now empty thermos of coffee, no comms, no recovery gear, no food or water. And of cause I get bogged trying to get them out. As it was 4.30pm no option but to stay put for the night. I gave them what food I had as they had not eaten all day, plus plenty of water. They slept in their ute and I slept in mine plus in front of a fire when it got too cold. They next morning I hiked 17klms out to the road with the intent of getting a lift the 60klms into town and then a lift back out to the homestead to pick up my other ute and come get the couple and drop them at their van. I'd let them worry about retrieving their ute themselves. As luck would have it for them and me, a mining company offered to get us both out which they did with the aid of my 5 chains and two snatch straps plus a hell of a lot of shovel work. A very embarrassed but pretty shallow thankyou from the couple and a carton of beer and about 20 very greatful and heartfelt thankyous from me. And now the track is stuffed for about 100 yards. Unfortunately, the laws in Australia are written in such a way that makes it illegal for me to head butt them.
  12. Got out Friday, and decided to use the good ol Boat Anchor 19 " coil on the ZED. After finding the Specimen Gold, and into it 2 hours, my Bungee broke, and I had to go to my backup bungee, and also switched back to the 14". I was using the High Yield Mode with the 19" coil, since the soils here are not to bad, and I seem to get a little more depth using the 19" with High Yield. Dave.
  13. I bought a 1000 square meter residential stand in Bulawayo sometime in 2015. The Civil Engineer who helped me clear the place of trees told me that the type of rocks on the property could be carrying gold bearing veins. I took pieces of the rocks for assay and the results were promising. (See picture below for grades per tonne). Unfortunately one cannot mine on residential stands here. Now it turns out there are old mine workings nearby and there is a mine called Old Nickel also and it probably owns the mineral rights in the area. It motivated me to take an interest in finding out more about gold as my country is basically rich with all sorts of minerals all over. Bulawayo is generally a gold bearing town, there is what is called the Bulawayan Greenstone belt. So it runs even under my house and I sleep on gold ore that I cannot touch and spend my days on a desk job. It struck a cord of discontent in me that has brought me to the point of now being about to dig my 1st shaft 30 km from town where, with the necessary paperwork, one is allowed to mine. Initially I had bought a GPX 5000 which I ended up selling because I just did not have the time to walk around in the bush detecting, worse still neither did I have the patience.
  14. I've been chomping at the bit to get outdoors, like everyone...so, after a few delays, my wife was sick (better not go yet) and so on and so forth I finally made it out on the road at 3am Wednesday morning (insert happy face here). The road was empty and conditions were clear, the drive up to lovelock was easy as 6 hour drives go and the gnawing pain on the left side of my lower back was tolerable. I checked into the casino at 9 in the morning and they had a room ready right away, things are going well...a good sign. I was doing a little research over the winter and came across this travel blog with listings for all the ghost towns in Nevada as a google earth overlay, the link is to a google earth KMZ file Http://www.forgottennevada.org if you have not seen this it's great information complete with history, gps cords, directions and photographs. So the first day I did a little touring around the towns of Tunnel, Mazuma and Seven Troughs, really interesting seeing the old relics in Tunnel and the canyon where the town of Mazuma was washed away in the 1912 flash flood. Thursday the weather was really nice, there was a little breeze, but low down in the washes the conditions were perfect. Later towards the end of the day I managed to hit a little section where the soil had eroded down about 6 inches to bedrock and within a fairly short span hit 3 little nuggets all sweet high/low with a slight warble, lodged in the bedrock shale and under a trickle of water. the first nut being the largest and my first piece of chevron gold the second piece slightly smaller and the last one was the baby (nice little happy gold family). Friday was perfect weather and only a slight breeze, I headed back to the same area, but couldn't repeat my previous days success. Saturday I hunted a different spot and it was pretty much a bust as the wind was really blowing. I took a drive up on top of the mountain (should have headed home) just for a look around and the wind was blowing so strong it was difficult to even walk. Sunday morning I headed home west on i80, light snow in lovelock and by the time the highway started to climb conditions were deteriorating and the road was getting slick. I kept finding my self dropping my speed down to about 35 and cars were blasting past me doing their best to get as close to the speed limit as they could, feeling bad I picked my pace up to 45 and (foolishly) set the c control at 40 as I was feeling like I was obstructing traffic and felt I was being overly cautious. One mini van passed me doing at least 60 and I thought to my self I'd probably be seeing his car again later down the road. High wind advisory was in effect and just as I crested the hill a really strong wind gust hit me from the right and i80 downhill was all ice...there it is and right away you know this is not going to end well. The back end of the jeep kicks around hard and I let off the gas, steer into it and s&!t, the damn c control kicks in I forgot that I'd set it earlier and my jeep is powering into the counter steer on ice downhill. Jab the brake zig zagging several times and the damn wind is blowing me across from the slow to the fast lane and I'm running out of room. One more zag and my backend slams into the guard rail hard, in my mind I can see the rear fender/bumper askew at an odd angle mentally I'm considering the replacement of parts. The one thing I'm thankful for is the impact gave me an opportunity, it stopped my zig zag death spiral...knocking me straight, no need to stop as I'm back in the right direction, jeep driving fine and nothing I can do about it now. I keep looking in my mirrors and can't see any damage, no clanking flapping things shouting to passing vehicles of my adventure, hmmm. 5 minutes passes and traffic slows to a stop, the guy behind me pulls along side to ask if I'm OK, I thank him give a shrug and a thumbs up just as the truck in front of me moves just enough to reveal the mini van that had passed earlier, blocking all lanes after careening front end off same said guard rail. As I slowly passed the unfortunate driver, the front end of the mini van struggled a small wave of acknowledgement, my jeep rolled silently past ignoring the gesture. I80 was closed and my nerves were slightly on edge all other routes home were closed as well, so I resolved to spend the night in Reno and checked into the el dorado. After finding a parking spot I began checking my jeep for damage, don't see any...fenders are fine bumper is where it was last time I looked at it. No bent metal anywhere...except the bottom right corner of the rear license plate is bent, the plastic plate holder is fine as it sprang back into normal shape after impact, a little dirt smudge on the rear plastic fender and smudge on the rear left Micky Thompson, but no permanent marks. The alignment seems fine and everything works normal, I'll have to inspect everything more, but all seems well...teflon coated. just bent the license plate, I could straighten it, but I'm thinking that might be bad luck and it adds "character." Things were supposed to improve on i80 late in the afternoon the following day. Monday trying to kill time until the roads open up I joined the morning Holden tournament and won first place, paying for my road trip. Feeling lucky I jump in the jeep as Truckie residents are being allowed through and my lucks on a roll so might as well see what happens, long story short I'm gonna play the morning Holden tournament tomorrow and see if I can repeat. After hitting the roadblock and giving cal trans my best poker face "Truckie sir" at state line my bluff was to no avail and they turned all the sinners around at the Donner road exit. I didn't bring a scale so I'll weigh my 3 little treasures and update when I get back.
  15. Hi everybody, just wondering how many of us when learning or many other circumstances that come into play have made you walk away from a target iffy or not that plays on your mind that you need to return? Or have gone back and done well on the gold.
  16. I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to go do a little detecting between storms so I pushed the Jeep out of the shed, aired up the leaky tire, topped off the brake fluid and rolled it down the driveway and got it started. I tossed in the GPZ and off I went. Then came back for my pick. Our rainfall here is now about 250% above normal and I came to a mud hole where there has never been one before. I eased the Jeep in, not knowing how deep it might be, and the left side sunk in past the floor board. I would have been ok but I hadn't yet turned my hubs in. I crawled out over the hood and turned the right hub in but since the jeep was listing about 35 degrees to starboard the down hill side was a different story. Needless to say I slid off of the hood head first into the mud pit. As I traveled on around the North side of the mountain I started encountering snow drifts and I finally came to one that slightly detained me but after about an hours worth of digging with my pick I was on my way. And then went back and got my pick. I arrived at where I normally park and started wading through the snow to the gulch that I wanted to detect in. This gulch is quite deep with vertical sides and normally runs very little water. Not this year. It looked like a major contributor to the problems at the Oroville dam. I figured that if I was careful I could stay on top of the boulders and work my way down the gulch and detect the freshly scoured bedrock between the snow drifts. That worked for about two steps. I wound up wading in snow melt water up past my knees. The sun and the temperature were both going down fast but I started finding little nuggets one after another. My fingers, toes and brain were becoming numb so I knew it was time to quit but I did find 7 nuggets for just over 3dwt. I got to thinking about all my friends at Detector Prospector. All you wimps that go to Arizona, Florida and southern California deserts for the winter. And the ones that are at home watching TV and sitting at their computers and those that are south of the equator that have no challenges whatsoever when nugget hunting. YOU ARE ALL CRAZY! In fact,as soon as this storm is over I going right back! to get my pick. Foot Note: Chris Ralph has posted a photo of a pretty nugget he found between the storms. He may exempt himself from my harsh judgement.
  17. The July 2016 issue of the ICMJ magazine contains an article I wrote reprising my 2011 trip to Australia to hunt gold with Chris Ralph and Jonathan Porter. Subscribers can view the article online at http://www.icmj.com/article-notloggedin.php?id=3479 There was of course a lot more to say about the trip than was contained in the article, and in particular I have a lot more photos to share. I kept a diary while on the trip, and this thread is intended to provide a much more detailed look at the trip. I will keep posting on this thread in a serial fashion similar to what I did with my Alaska gold adventures with my diary providing daily details. It all started in 2010 at the old AMDS Adventure Forum when I made this post on a thread: "Hi murph, You know, for many years it was my dream to go hunt nuggets in Australia. I got Doug Stone's books and read everything else I could and dreamed of those monster nuggets. But as years went by I read between the lines and figured it is a tough go to find the big nuggets in Australia these days. The fact is you only read about people making finds, but plenty of visitors to Oz find no gold. There is always the home team advantage. It is not so much what you know as who you know, and I'll always have a tremendous advantage in Alaska just because I've lived here all my life. Though I do have a few contacts in Oz that might give me a leg up on the average visitor. Still, it may be that my chance to visit Australia is coming as my circumstances have taken a turn for the better. So maybe in a couple years?" That in turn generated a response from famed Australian gold prospector Jonathan Porter: "Steve I will tell you this, if you ever decide to visit Australia it would be my pleasure to show you around. There is still plenty of potential here in Australia, the auriferous areas are just too extensive and in some cases very inaccessible so there just has to be good nugget patches waiting for someone gutsy enough to come along and swing their coil over that first lump. I intend to get into some tiger country this year and could do with a good partner who doesn't need a gold fix every day, interested? - JP" It turns out that JP and ICMJ Associate editor Chris Ralph had been discussing the possibility of a joint prospecting trip in Australia. I had met Chris previously when I had invited him up to visit my Moore Creek pay-to-mine operation several years earlier. A few messages were passed back and forth offline, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join in on the adventure. Trying to pick the best time as regards weather was a big priority, and it was decided that the fall of 2011 would be the best bet for putting a trip together. Australia is in the southern hemisphere, and so the seasons are the reverse of what we experience in the United States. Our fall is their spring and we timed it to hit cooler temperatures that would be warming while we were there. Jonathan's advice was critical here. We wanted several weeks to give it a good go and decided the entire month of September 2011 would work well. That gave us plenty of time to plan and make arrangements so we put it on our calendars. To be continued.... Photo courtesy of Aurum Australis
  18. Hi guys, I am sure that many of you are familiar with Dave McCracken. Not sure if this has been noted on here earlier but here is the link to what could have been tragic. http://www.goldgold.com/newsletter-january-2017.html JW
  19. Picked up an SCD2300 for my son from a fellow member of this forum right before Christmas. Thanks Allen! Finally made it out for just a few hours today with my 9 year old son. Third target, a nice little picker! First 2 targets were the tiniest shot I have ever found with a detector. I am amazed at the response from the SDC on such a tiny target. We were working around a small bedrock outcropping and I was teaching him what to listen for and how to retrieve a target. After the first two targets were lead shot within about 12 inches of each other, the third target had to be shot also (within the same area). I wanted to move on and he said no way let's dig it. About an inch into the decomposing bedrock the target had moved. He grabbed a handful of dirt and had the target in his hand. The target was small and he was having a little trouble figuring out how to split the dirt between his hand and the scoop, but when he finally had a few small bits of dirt in the scoop I could see a glint of yellow. Once he realized it was gold he kept saying I told you we should dig that target! Dad you wanted to walk away! I will probably never hear the end of it. Well, he was right! We spent about 3 hours out in the Motherload on an absolutely beautiful afternoon. Temps on my truck showed 60 degrees. We moved to another spot that I found several nuggets at a few years ago to give the sdc a go to finish the day. Steve H. you, Chris R., and Steve W., and Mike G. were there the day I found the nuggets at this spot. First target was the tiniest piece of gold I have ever found with a metal detector. It does not even register on the scale. I didn't take a picture of the tiny piece cause it probably would not even show up in a picture it was so tiny. I am amazed that any detector could find a piece of gold so small. I doubt it will even register on my gmt. We had a great day and my son should be able to really use this detector on his own next time out. He took to it like...on... Funny thing he found some old rusty sardine cans and a broken old flashlight to take for show-and-tell at school tomorrow along with his piece of gold. Looking forward to getting out again!
  20. Freezing Rain here in Kansas thought I would share my story if it's ok with Steve. Two Gold Coins It was July in 1985 I had been Metal Detecting since the early 60’s. I started with a Heath kit from Radio Shack than 2 Compass detectors Judge and Judge-2 , in 1983 I bought a Teknetics 8500 and converted it to a hip mount . In July 1985 after a summer rain my brother was hunting arrow heads in a plowed field and a Deer had ran across the field his hoof had flipped over a 1880 Silver Dollar. I got a call that night from him and he told me the story said he would tell me where it was for half of what I found. That was agreed to so the next day we met and he took me to a field by a small creek and I commenced to hunt it. He started to hunt for Arrow heads again and I went to swinging my coil hoping for another silver dollar the first hit was a 1882 Gold 5 Dollar coin I stared in disbelief my first gold coin and I would have to give him half. That was not going to happen As it is in Kansas in July after a rain it gets very hot and I was swinging as fast as I could to cover more ground I was beat and left worrying how to share a 5 Dollar coin, after all I had agreed to half and keeping ones word is what I have learned to abide by. The next day I was early at the site it was getting hot already There were a few coins found Indian heads, a seated half, and liberty head nickels, early Wheat's and I was getting overheated when a front came through with a cool breeze that could only come from heaven. Then it happened a hit and 1880 $5 gold coin appeared in the dirt, my worries were over I gave my brother his half of the Gold coins and I kept the rest of the coins that I had found. Later we determined that it was a picnic grove from a small town a half mile away that was 4 houses and a church away from being a Ghost Town . My brother still has the Silver Dollar he found and the $5 gold coin I gave him and I still have my first $5 Dollar gold coin KS Stick.
  21. I keep on having strange things happen at sites I map dowsed for gold and minerals, one time for treasure. Just wondering if this ever happens to anybody else? This last time I am 95% sure I was talking to a ghost woman in the Maine woods and trying not to be attacked by her snarling white Labrador dog. She seemed to know I was searching for something? I was trying to find a gemstone deposit I had left alone in them woods 30 years previous when I had found this perfect dark blue pointed hexagonal crystal under a rock formation, long as my index finger, and flawless, sun shining thru it but could not bear to break it off...dammit...was in the right place at the right time for a change...might have been a dark blue topaz crystal I am thinking now... Somehow she knew I was looking to find it I am thinking? This woman looked just as real as anybody else that I see every day and ditto for her dog but I thought it was rather odd she was out in the deep woods wearing short shorts and the ferocious pooch NEVER once barked at me, just was snarling, growling, teeth bared, looked like it wanted to tear my face off, and unleashed, and she did nothing to calm it down...She also had a leather thing on her belt, by her hip, which she kept pointing towards me.It looked too small to be a pistol holster, am guessing it was about 3 x3 inches square. I had a heavy knapsack of rock busting tools and a 6 foot crowbar in hand but was exhausted from my hike up and down steep hills and trying not to fall down in the rocks along the creek. I was standing beside the creek, admiring the tumbling mountain waters when I turned around and the 2 of them were right behind me. She asked for my name and I gave her my first name. Then she says she was out for a walk in the woods to see who might be out there. I had got all my permissions arranged but she did not accuse me of trespassing. Just wanted to know what I was Searching for? I told her I was kinda lost and my car was parked by the ford. But she seemed to NOT know what a ford was until I explained it to her. So then she points up the hill behind her and says that trail will take you back to your car. I only took my eyes off her and the angry dog for a few seconds but when I turned back , she and the mean dog had totally vanished , no branches cracking, nothing...I took this event as a sign I should give up my search for the crystal deposit and hoofed it back to my car. When I went by the shop where I had to get the permissions, I related my tale. One of the workers lived barely 1/2 mile from where the incident happened and told me she didn't have a clue who the woman was? Dunno if I will ever get brave enough to go look for the crystals again now? Heck, how do you test if you are talking to a ghost vs a real person and that snarling dog? Heck, I couldn't move a muscle without that beast tensing his hind legs, looking to tear me to pieces... I never heard of ghosts guarding mineral deposits ,only pirate gold.... -Tom
  22. Robin & I, planned to met our Friends in Las Vegas! After carefully stuffing everything from her high heels, camping gear and detectors into her Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, we hit the road to the Luxor Casino for a weeks stay. Needless to say, my Partner Mike and I, planned on leaving the Wives back in Sin City with our $, for a couple days of chasing nuggets on the Arizona side of the river. We met up with another friend, who Winters in Glendale, AZ and hit the hills in and around Gold Basin for a fast hunt of some old patches. Mike, didn't let us down and we scored several nuggets with some great Weather and comradeship...it's the hunt and the sweet sound of a nugget under your coil. Nuggets are just the bounus! All good things have to end and we headed back to Las Vegas and our Ladies and finished our Las Vegas gambling, drinking & eating spree. Now, to re-pack that Jeep to head down to 29 Palms to hunt the Dale District with Robin. She has never hunted there with me, but seen the nuggets I'd bring home and the many stories and pictures of some very special nuggets. Well needless to say, she was nursing a very fun last night with her Girlfriend on our drive South. We arrived and I stopped and tossed the Jeep empty and then loaded up our mining gear and hit a nearby patch...Robin, was moving awful slow, lol. So, we went back to our gear and I setup camp before it got to dark. Set the tent up and made it almost as comfy as that Kig size bed back in Vegas, lol. Next Morning, she looked like she didn't sleep a wink. I made some strong coffee to knock the last of her Margaritas out of her and gave her a pointy finger and I set off for the hunt in the chilly desert morning with her sipping coffee. Well every now and then I'd pop up on a hill and I'd think I could still see her sitting there? Couple hours later I look over that way again and see the hatch back of the Jeep was shut, well she must be feeling better and she is hunting? Well 4 hours and no good, but I was hungry. Headed back to camp for a fast sandwich and I hear her say any luck! Robin was in the front seat of her Jeep reading a book! I told her no luck, and there is no gold here, lets load up and drive back home! She was happy and she had that Jeep nearly loaded before I finished my breakfast, lol. Yes, all that stuff fitted into that Jeep! Well until the next hunt...good or skunked, they are all fun! LuckyLundy
  23. Skunked Minus

    Silly me, I didn't think you could do any worse than getting skunked, but today proved that there is something worse. Somewhere along the way, in a very rough and steep hydraulic pit I lost my detecting pick. I didn't just leave it laying, it somehow got brushed out of my pivoting hammer holder on my belt. Too darned wiped out to go back and look today, I'll make a special recon trip tomorrow and find it. I just hate "do it twice" type things.
  24. I took my well worn Polaris 500 out for some exploration in an area that produced gold last year. It had been giving some fuel problems so my son replaced the carburetor and all the fuel and vacuum hoses. It ran fine at home, so I thought it was good to go. I got out to gold country and about 3 miles out from camp it crapped out from a want of fuel. I could get it started and running only if choked. I had no tools with me and decided to walk back to camp and futz with it tomorrow. This morning I packed basic tools and plotted a walking course that would at least take me past some spots that had produced gold last year. After numerous hills and gullys I crossed a gully that had some exposed bedrock so I detoured and noticed signs of digging in a portion of shallow overburden. Sure enough someone had scrapped a signal and given up thinking it was just hot bedrock. I pulled 2 tiny bits of gold out of the same hole and noticed that this particular gully ran NW in the direction I needed to go anyway. As I got further up the gully I could see that the oldtimers had handstacked portions of the gully and someone in the near recent past had detected it, marking target spots with a few stacked rocks. I can only assume they detected it with a VLF because I started finding gold with the Zed in the deeper sections and in the banks under handstacked rocks. After 3 decent nuggets I was stoked and forgot all about that crapped out quad. As always good things come to an end. I got to the end of the gully finding all the gold pictured below. I climbed a high spot to get my bearings and found that the quad was only 1/2 mile away. I got down there and futzed with the quad and found that I could get it going with minimal throttle and choke locked. I poked along until it died again with no sign of restarting. After futzing with the fuel lines a while longer I found the newly installed hose had pulled the fuel return cock fitting out of the carb. I jammed it back in, she started right up and ran like a scalded dog. So, if my quad had not crapped out and forced me to walk over some new ground, I probably would have come home with a few crumbs. Although, I still have high hopes for the area I intended to explore, you just never know. Bye the way I was running the Zed WFO, HY Normal, Sens 20, Volume maxed, Threshold at 1(only because there is no 0). Very quiet ground to work in, minimal trash. The lack of threshold is making some tiny nuggets pop through, maybe its just me, but I'm really liking these settings. Until next time, keep er low and slow.
  25. The Aftermath

    The unpleasant effect of unloading your truck with all your gear! Now, I don't mind loading it up with the same gear and I more than enjoy the hunt for nuggets. My poor truck is always stuffed with gear and I'm glad I had the forethought of purchasing a Dodge Mega Cab which is also packed with stuff I don't want to get wet during the trip! I've also, slept countless night in the back Cab as the seats fold down big and flat. But, unloading it is a chore that I must be medicated for! I had a fun Veterans Day Week hunt in the High Desert...can't wait to load my truck up again, but...Until the next hunt! LuckyLundy
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