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Found 25 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. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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".
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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!
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. They say as you grow older, you grow wiser. I think I have found the secret to eternal youth. Shun wisdom. I am planning one more grand prospecting adventure before I get stormed out of the high country. The thought of a vehicle breakdown and a long walk home used to never occur to me but for some reason nowadays it does so I thought I would do a little deferred maintenance on my old Jeep. The first item is a pesky water leak. I poked a stick in the bottom radiator hose this spring when some idiot planted a Manzanita bush right in my way. A quick wrap of duct tape has worked well all summer but now the leak is getting to be a bit much. So this time there will be no half a--ed repairs. I Put on two layers of tape. While I was repairing the hose I noticed the tie rod end had wallowed out the tapered hole in the steering knuckle. This could very likely be part of the cause of a violent shake that always develops between 68 and 74 mile per hour (that and three miss matched tires). Two flat washers and a new nail in the castle nut fixed it right up. Now on to the brakes. Last week I discovered, at a very inopportune time, that some one had apparently siphoned the break fluid out of the reservoir. This necessitated finding a very large, very soft , very close tree, very fast. in such circumstances three out of four aint' bad. So I topped off the brake fluid - again. The next little detail is the headlights. It seems they have developed quite a sense of humor, going out at the most hilarious of times. I'm not much of an elektricalishon so I'll just plan on being home by dark. The last item is the starter. It's been acting up lately and won't engage if I'm not parked perfectly level. So I'll simply ask Sourdough Scott if he would like to ride along. I'm getting wiser all the time. I hope Sourdough isn"t.
  21. A while back Mr. Tboykin was gently admonished by the adult members of this forum to use better judgment concerning the situations he gets himself into. I didn't reply with a post as he had my full sympathy and understanding. I also like to nugget hunt "where no man has gone before" (and few women). I had just spent a long day of detecting an area of cliffs beneath an ancient channel exposure. This required standing on a size 2 ledge with my size 12 feet and hanging on to wisps of grass while I swung the 7000 over my head and below my feet. It was getting late and I was totally worn out so I headed for home but I still had one more bit of climbing to do before I could get to where it was easy going. This climbing maneuver was going to tax the limits of my athletic abilities and failure would mean, at best, a painful fall and the likelihood of breaking something or several somethings. I realized I was going to have to place my left food about waist high and be sure it had a good purchase then grab a questionable hand old above my head with my left hand, launch myself up with my right foot and while in mid air, turn my bu-- (tail) 90 degrees and land on it. I should never have looked down. I saw visions of Ravens picking the eyeballs out of my living but immobile body and bears not leaving enough DNA for proper identification. However the fright gave me a slight boost of adrenaline and I was able to complete the maneuver. With some grace, I might add. I have learned my lesson. Next time I go detecting ---I'll park my Jeep where it's easier to get in.
  22. They say it takes you a year to find your first nugget with a detector. The way I see it I have a lot of catching up to do with the crusty old guys and so I better get to digging. I figure if I try hard enough I can beat the odds, but we'll see. I've been researching a local gold region the past few weeks and have made two trips out in search of pocket gold. Lots of mining activity going back to the 1800's, several claims, creeks with plenty of color to pan. Most people there go to the same spots to look for gold, and the source has never been found. To stay legal I'm focusing on BLM areas, and to stay fit I'm going way off the beaten path. First trip I skunked but dug up some memories that are worth every drop of sweat. The latest one almost ended up very badly. I located what I thought was a vein of white rock (hoping for quartz) using Google Earth. Then correlated this with historical mining activity, claims, and geology of the specific creek I was focused on. I had been waiting all week, Saturday I couldn't get out the door fast enough. I had a frame pack, GMT, .40 S&W, water, food, and tools. My Jeep got me within 5 miles of the "vein." The rest was on foot. First few miles were a washed out mining road, there was a rainbow of green, red, and white rocks. Looked good so far. I knew the second half would require beating the brush. Uphill. Thousand foot elevation gain based on my topo map. It was brutally slow and I had forgotten my machete. Luckily I was able to grab the tree branches to "Tarzan" up the mountain side. Halfway up my first water bottle was empty - who needs a gym when you have gold to find? The brush was thick, I was covered in sap when I hit the clearing. The woods opened up to reveal the "vein" was actually a landslide. The rocks were a mixture of rhyolite, calcite, and some serpentine. Some boulders but mostly scree. I could see the source of the landslide at the very top of the hill - black bedrock with layers of exposed "lasagna." I had come this far, so before declaring defeat it was worth checking out at the very least. But things got dangerous. Fast. The slope was severe enough to require going uphill in switchbacks, not for lack of leg strength, but because with each step a cascade of bowling-ball sized rocks would slide downhill. I had blinders on and was focused on getting to the top of the hill. I knew it was steep but not how steep since I wasn't looking downhill... A habit I picked up due to a slight fear of heights. As I approached the top I paused for a breather. The slope was too great to sit, I had to lay on my chest to keep from tumbling down. There in all its glory was bedrock at the top of the mountain. If I could just make it to the tree line I could bypass the cliff face. My water was almost gone, my shirt tied around my head to keep the sweat from hurting my eyes. I made my first mistake - I looked down. It was several hundred feet to the bottom, and I could see my zig-zag pattern cut into the rocks where they had slid all the way down. One misstep and I would have found myself smashed up in the trees at the bottom of the mountain, no cell service, no other human within miles, and no way back to the road. I had to keep going up, there was no way I could go back down the way I had come. I only had 30 yards to the top of the landslide where the tree roots were exposed from the crumbling rock. But those 30 yards were almost vertical. Every foothold seemed to give way just as I put my weight into it. So I dropped to my belly and crawled. My pick came in handy as I could jam it into the underlying rock for some traction. The trees were ten feet away but the closest root was 5 feet over my head since the bank was undercut. I'd have to stand up and try and grab onto the root. As soon as I lifted my chest off the ground I felt the ground give out from underneath me. I was sliding down the cliff. My left foot caught a slight hold on a boulder and I lunged with all my strength. I stretched out my right arm with the pick in hand hoping to catch that root. THUNK. The sound of metal on wood. I hooked the point of the pick on a 2" thick root that held as the rest of the ground slid down the mountain. Luckily there was no one below me... it was enough rock to bury a truck. The boulders crashed into the way to the trees 200 feet below where I was hanging. It could have been me... I pulled myself up into the web of roots and got my feet on solid ground. Heart was pumping but I did pull out the GMT and went about my detecting at the top of the landslide. Turned out to be a bust for gold, but at least I can mark that location off the list. I found another way back down, had a close call with some target shooters (another story for another day) and hugged my wife extra hard when I got home. Nothing makes a man more thankful for what he has than confronting his own mortality. And at least I have a good story to tell around the campfire at Rye Patch... GL and HH, tboykin
  23. I don't think many here know me well but I recently took a trip West from my home in NC in search of gold, gems and hopefully some fun. My first destination Sumpter Oregon where I trained on the GPX 5000 with Gerry and his crew. I drove my Subaru which was my literally my home for about 24 days and I had the back seat down and slept in it at night. Not the most comfortable but the most affordable. The training went great but would have been better had the weather cooperated as we got rain most of the 2nd and 3rd day so lost 2 days in the field. Even so the training was great and Gerry did his best to train us indoors. The last day of training Gerry put a lot of different nuggets and quartz with Gold on a table and went over them with several different detectors to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of each. Very educational it was. He treated us all to pizza and Beer that last evening. The one day in the field was very challenging as the area we went to was steep. The only ones to find gold during the training that I'm aware of were 2 of the ladies who I believe both used Fisher Gold bug II's. I think there were around a dozen people in the class. I did take the time to visit the Sumpter dredge which is a real sight to see. It's bigger than the dredge on the gold rush show and the buckets are definitely larger on the Sumpter dredge. Since I was in Oregon already, the next place I wanted to see was the White's Factory in Sweet Home. I had discussed my interest in visiting with Tom and he further enticed me with a change to go fishing which sealed the decision. So I visited the plant but neglected to take any pictures but I enjoyed the tour very much. Though some of the components were hand soldered most of the components were installed by a robot of sorts which was very impressive. The area around Sweet Home was very beautiful and scenic. Looked like an awesome place to live. Tom held true to his promise to take me fishing and though we didn't catch but one trout Tom was catching Small mouth after small mouth and nearly skunked me. He's a great young man and White's should be proud to have employed him. Next on my agenda was to try to find some gold so I went ten miles more up the same valley we had been fishing and tried my luck for a day and a half or so at a GPAA claim. Unfortunately no luck there but I did run across an odd critter in the moss when I was digging some bullets: From there I went to Southern Oregon and visited an area that contains Oregon's Gemstone. They are called Sunstones as they often lay on top of the soil and glisten in the Sun. This area of Oregon is the only place on Earth I'm told where these can be found. There is a Free Collection area and also some pay to dig mines nearby. I picked up pocket full both by just picking them up off the ground and by digging a nearly 3 foot deep hole. Picking them up was easier but I did find a couple large one's in the hole. I also went to a nearby mine and paid to get some off a conveyor belt were I pick up some with more color and got several pocketfuls in an hour. Pictured are the one's I found at the free site. Next I went to Northern Nevada to a couple of Opal Mines. The Royal Peacock and the Rainbow Ridge Opal mine both are in the same area. I met a nice couple at the Royal Peacock mine and their 2 young sons. The boys seemed to be trying to help me out but at the same time were finding Opal after opal even some of the rare black opals. They were doing awesome and they found most opals just looking on the surface. While back at the free nearby campground they invited me to share their dinner and got a tip to try the Rainbow Ridge mine which they passed along to me so I went their as well. Overall I think we all did better at the Rainbow Ridge mine, at least I know I did and the boys once again stole the show and found some huge fire Opals along with the many other opals they found. I have to think they (the boys) may have found several thousand dollars in opals. But backing up some the morning before we went to the 2nd mine I got a chance to teach them a little about how to use a metal detector at the campground and let them run around with it (the Eureka Gold) for a while. They seemed to quickly pick up on how to use it and found several items all junk but they were pretty excited to find a shell casing. Attached below is a pic of me and my young friends at the Opal mine In NV This is a little edit about the Virgin Valley Opal mines. This link and links within this link was the best info I found online about the Virgin Valley of Nevada: http://www.goldnuggetwebs.com/VVOPALS/ From Northern Nevada I drove to Rye patch where I had hoped to go to the same place that I had gone to in 2005 and done well but though I remembered how I had got back into the general area from Imaly Nv I couldn't remember how to get to the exact place and never did figure it out. So I just found a likely place and detected some for a few hours but no luck. So I moved on down the road hoping to find the spot but got too far away and met a guy on the road and stopped him and he was heading up the road to a mine and directed me to a place called the Rabbit Hole. I had heard of it being a good place to prospect prior so followed him there and he went on. I spent the next 2 days there looking for nuggets. It was really out of the way and I don't recall seeing any vehicle go by there so I was back there all along for those 2 days with the local critters, mostly rabbits but some Antelope as well that came down to the little pond at the Rabbit Hole to drink. I found many 22 bullets and a few larger lead bullets along with other metal trash but no nuggets. There were some open pit mines and lots of tailing piles but I couldn't find a single nugget. The rabbits help keep me entertained. They came from all directions and met around the pond. They pretty quickly got used to my vehicle and just ignored it and hopped right by me. The Rabbit Hole was OK but since I wasn't finding Gold and had had to drive about 10 miles to find Cell phone service to let my wife know I was still OK I headed off back to Rye patch was was maybe only 20 or so miles away in an attempt to try to find my old prospecting spot again as I had found gold there in 05. I found a similar looking place but it wasn't the place I was looking for but I still stayed there a day and a half or so. I found no gold and found it rare to hit on any target unlike the Rabbit Hole. I covered several miles trying to hit the more likely looking places but no luck. It was getting hotter. I hadn't seen even one vehicle parked any where I went in the Rye patch area. It was just me and my shadow out there searching around. I had really wanted to make it to the Veterans outing but it was still more than 3 days away. It seemed to be getting hotter and I was missing home and my wife and dogs and a bed to sleep in. But at least at Rye patch I did have pretty good cell phone service. I was however concerned about it being really hot near Reno area and heard that the outing would be more of a highbanker kind of prospecting instead of using a detector and the combination of things made me decide to start heading east toward home. I thought I might go to the diamond mine in Arkansas but as I neared that area the weather forecast was for it to be in the upper 90's so I flew on by and headed home. Terry
  24. Steve's 2013 Alaska Gold Adventure

    I spent a couple months in Alaska prospecting for gold in the summer of 2014. That adventure was chronicled as it happened here on the forum at Steve's 2014 Alaska Gold Adventure. It was a great trip and a great adventure, but when I told it I relayed the fact that it was actually part two of the story. Part one happened in 2013 and for reasons you will now discover I kept quiet about it until now. Those interested in the logistics of making the trip to Alaska and details on where I stayed, etc. will find all that covered in the 2014 story so I will not repeat that stuff here. 2013 was a momentous year for me. My business partner and I had sold the business we started together in 1976 to our employees in 2010. My partner immediately retired but I stayed on a few years to oversee the transition. Things seemed to be going well enough that I announced my retirement to take place in the spring of 2013. My wife and I had purchased a new home in Reno, Nevada and so plans were made to sell our home in Alaska and move south. At the same time, some partners and I had acquired some mining claims on Jack Wade Creek in the Fortymile country near Chicken. Alaska. My plan was to move my wife south then spend the summer gold dredging with my brother. The disaster struck. I screwed up the paperwork and the claims were lost. That mess was described online at Making Lemonade Out of Lemons and I even wrote an article for the ICMJ about it. I was not to be deterred however and made plans instead to go metal detecting for the summer. Unfortunately, my brother also had a change of plans and so was unable to make the trip with me. Just as well as I ended up having my hands full. The house sale was in progress and time running out so I boxed and palleted everything we wanted to keep and shipped it south. Then I loaded my wife and dogs up in the car and drove them to Reno. Next I flew back to Alaska and had a last big garage sale. I sold everything I could by the afternoon and out a FREE sign on what was left. Worked great - the house was empty, I cleaned it up, and pretty much left it to the realtors at that point. Finally, on June 16th I jumped in my fully loaded truck and headed for the Fortymile! On the way up just past the town of Palmer on the way to the town of Glenallen you pass Sheep Mountain in the Talkeetna Mountains. It is a very colorful, mineralized peak and it was a beautiful sunny day so I stopped and took this photo. Sheep Mountain, Alaska From the USGS ARDF file at http://mrdata.usgs.gov/ardf/show-ardf.php?ardf_num=AN080 Early Jurassic greenstone and minor interbedded sandstone and shale is intruded by numerous mafic dikes and at least one body of unmineralized Jurassic granite. Greenstone has been hydrothermally altered and contains at least 6 separate gypsiferous deposits in altered zones along joints and shear zones. Deposits composed of pods and stringers of gypsum, quartz, alunite, kaolin minerals, pyrite and serpentine minerals (Eckhart, 1953). The gypsum-bearing material averages 25 to 30 percent gypsum, with a maximum of 50 percent. In addition also reported from same general area are: (1) small irregular quartz-calcite-epidote veins in greenstone containing chalcopyrite, malachite, azurite and possibly bornite and chalcocite (Berg and Cobb, 1967); (2) disseminated chalcopyrite in greenstone over 5 ft thick zone subparallel to bedding (Martin and Mertie, 1914); (3) trace gold in samples of pyritic greenstone (Berg and Cobb, 1967); and (4) minor anomalous concentrations of copper and gold associated with some of the alteration zones and nearby veins (MacKevett and Holloway, 1977). Large area of south flank of Sheep Mountain is stained dark red from oxidation of pyrite in greenstone (Berg and Cobb, 1967). Oxidation of Cu minerals. The gypsiferous material averages 25 to 30 percent gypsum, with a maximum of 50 percent. The six deposits indicated and inferred reserves contain about 659,000 short tons of gypsum material, of which about 50 tons of this material had been mined (Eckhart, 1953). In addition, about 55 tons of clay was mined for the manufacture of fire brick and boiler lining. Samples of pyritic greenstone assayed trace gold (Berg and Cobb, 1967), and nearby veins in alteration zones show concentrations of copper and gold (MacKevett and Holloway, 1977). We did a talk radio show for many, many years at our company. The latest of several "radio personalities" to work with us on the show was Kurt Haider. He had expressed an interest in metal detecting so I invited him up to look for gold. I met him along the way just before we got to Glenallen and headed on to Tok for a bite to eat at Fast Eddie's. Then on to Chicken and finally Walker Fork Campground by evening. This is a very nice, well maintained BLM campground at the mouth of Jack Wade Creek where it dumps into the Walker Fork of the Fortymile River. The campground hosts this summer were a very nice couple named Pat and Sandy. Walker Fork Campground Steve's Camp at Walker Fork Campground The next morning Kurt and I ran up the creek to find Bernie and Chris Pendergast. They were spending the summer camped along Jack Wade Creek prospecting and I was anxious to see how they had been doing. Not bad, they already had over an ounce of gold found before we arrived, and that got Kurt and I all fired up to go look for gold. I had told Kurt, a total newbie, that I had a sure thing. We were going to hit a bedrock area I had detected the previous summer and where I had found a lot of nice fat little nuggets. There was rubble and little piles of dirt, and I thought all it would take is moving the rubble and dirt aside and we were sure to find gold I had missed. We got started after lunch on a steep slope where it was easy to just rake material off and then check with a detector. Kurt Looking For Gold With White's MXT Pro The location turned out to not be very good, but Kurt did manage to find one little nugget, his first ever. He was real happy about that! We did not work at it all that long though with the late start, and Chris and Bernie had invited us over for moose stew. Chris is a fantastic cook so we enjoyed both the stew and a DVD packed full of Ganes Creek photos from the couples adventures there. Finally we called it a night and headed back to our camp. Now time to get serious! Kurt and I grabbed the picks and rakes and spent the whole day tearing into some berms left behind by the miners bulldozers on the bedrock bench area. I just knew we were going to find gold for sure. We would both do hard labor for awhile, then I would put Kurt on the ground with my Gold Bug 2. Working Bedrock With the Gold Bug 2 We worked a couple hours. Nothing. No big deal, just need to move a little more. Nothing. More digging and scraping. Nothing! I would have bet $100 we were not only going to find gold there but do pretty well. The spot had produced quite a few nuggets before and I had refused to believe we couple possibly had cleaned it out. But by the end of the day it was a total bust. We finally just wandered around a bit detecting and I lucked into a little 3 grain nugget. What a letdown. No big deal for me but I was really wanting Kurt to do well and this was not working out anything like I had thought it would. The next and last day for Kurt we decided to hook up with Bernie and just give it a go like we normally do. And that means hitting the bushes and tailing piles wandering around looking for gold. Kurt had his MXT Pro and Bernie and I our GPX 5000 detectors, so we had a horsepower advantage for sure. Still, I was hopeful as we put Kurt on the best spot that Bernie knew of from his extra time before us. Bernie Pendergast and His Trusty Minelab GPX 5000 Very first beep, Bernie digs up a 3 pennyweight nugget! Yeehaw, we are going to find gold!! We all hunt away, with Bernie and I checking in with Kurt periodically. Kurt, it seems, just was not destined to have any beginners luck at all; Bernie and I each found a couple 1-2 gram nuggets by the end of the day but Kurt came up dry. I was feeling kind of bummed out but Kurt insisted he was having a huge adventure, and come to find out he rarely ever got out of town at all, so this really was a big adventure for him. I just wish he could have found more gold, but he was up early and headed back to town the next morning. I was on my own now, so I rigged my GPX 5000 up with my Nugget Finder 16" mono coil and hit the tailing piles. All day. For no gold. However, just by myself that is really no big deal at all. It happens all the time and I do not think anything of it. If anything, the pressure was off trying to help a friend find gold, so it was a relaxing day wandering around. Saturday, June 22 started out sunny with a few clouds. There were some tailing piles across the creek I had been wanting to detect. I had hit them a bit the year before and just dug trash, but had not put in more than a couple hours at it. Still, they looked real good and I had been thinking about them all winter and decided it was time to give them a go. I started out with my GPX 5000 but immediately got into some old rusted metal, like decomposed and shredded can fragments. I just was not in the mood for it that morning, so went back to the truck and got out my Fisher F75. The F75 had done well for me in the past hunting trashy tailing piles and was along on the trip for that reason. I got near the top of the pile with the F75 and on getting a signal looked down and saw a dig hole full of leaves. I try to recover all my trash and get frustrated when I find holes with junk in them. The signal though was flaky, not a distinct trash signal, so I figured I may as well see what the other person left in the hole. I gave a quick scoop with my pick, and gold pops out of the hole! I am not sure if the person was using a VLF and the specimen gave a trash signal, so they left it after half digging it, or maybe they were using a Minelab, and the signal just sounded "too big" so they left it for trash. Too big indeed, they walked away from a 2.37 ounce gold specimen! To say I was stunned would be a vast understatement. The trip had only just begun. The best part of all was that my expectations for the trip were very low. I had been hoping that a month of camping and detecting would get me a couple ounces of gold. That would be more than enough to cover my expenses and make a few bucks. Yet here I was on the sixth day of my trip, and I had already exceeded that amount. This was just great on several different levels, not least in pretty much taking every bit of pressure off going forward. Here is that specimen from a more detailed account of the find I told previously at Fisher F75 Strikes Gold Twice in a Row! 2.37 Ounce Gold Specimen Found With Fisher F75 Metal Detector on Jack Wade Creek, Alaska I had to take a break and go show Chris and Bernie my good fortune. Then I switched back to the GPX 5000 and got with digging everything, including all those bits of rusted cans. Funny how a nice chunk of gold changes your perspective. That, and seeing what somebody else had left behind as trash. I finished out the day finding three more nuggets, a 2.5 gram "cornflake" nugget, a 3.4 gram piece and and fat round 6.1 gram marble. First week, 2-3/4 ounce of gold, This was shaping up to be a really great adventure! To be continued...... Steve's Gold From Jack Wade Creek, First Week 2013
  25. Steve's 2014 Alaska Gold Adventure

    Edit: I chronicled this trip to Alaska first, and then told the story of my earlier 2013 Alaska Trip after the fact. I did well enough in 2013 I did not want to tip anyone off to what I was up to until I had a chance to return in 2014. Therefore this story got told first, as if the other had not happened. And then the years story was told at the link above. My history with the Fortymile Mining District of Alaska began in the 1970's and has continued off and on ever since. Last summer I spent considerable time in the area and have decided to return again this summer. Here is the basic plan. I leave Monday to drive from Reno to Alaska. I am stopping a day to visit family in Olympia then will continue to Anchorage, where I will pick up my brother Tom who is flying up from the Lower 48. Then we will backtrack to Chicken, Alaska and pitch a tent site at the Buzby's Chicken Gold Camp http://www.chickengold.com Last year I mostly camped around but did spend a period of time at the Buzby's operation. When I was out and about I had to activate my satellite phone to stay in touch because there is no cell phone service in the Chicken area. The nearest cell phone access is a couple hours back along the road at Tok. There is WiFi access at several locations in Chicken however, one of them being at Chicken Gold Camp. The WiFi access is included in the price of staying there. I am getting a dry camp site for $14 a day (6 days get seventh day free) but it saves me $300 activating my satellite phone, and WiFi allows me to keep on the forum and stay in better touch with my wife than the sat phone. Bottom line not activating the sat phone ends up paying for nearly a month of staying at Chicken Gold Camp. Right now I am booked from June 15 until July 20 but may extend. Since I will have pretty much daily Internet access for the entire trip I am inviting you along via this thread to see how we are doing plus to perhaps answer questions for anyone planning to visit Alaska. The Internet access in Chicken is not the greatest even at its best, as the satellite dishes point straight at the horizon just trying to get a signal. That being the case plus I will be busy I will not be posting on other forums for the duration. If you know anyone who might be interested in following this point them this way. I will report in at least a couple times a week and probably more often as time allows or something interesting happens. My brother and I will be commuting to various locations from our base camp in Chicken, with a lot of attention paid to Jack Wade Creek about 20 minutes drive up the road. I have access to mining claims on this and other creeks in the area, but we will also spend considerable time on the public access area on the lower 2.5 miles of Jack Wade Creek. See http://www.detectorprospector.com/gold-prospecting-public-sites/sites/alaska-jack-wade-creek-public-goldpanning-area.htm This area is open to non-motorized mining and we will of course be metal detecting. I have detected on Jack Wade a lot, and I can tell you it is an exercise in hard work and patience. It is all tailing piles full of nails and bullets. The nuggets are very few and far between, with even a single nugget in a day a good days work. However, the nuggets are solid and can be large so can add up if you put in a lot of time. Or not as luck does have a bit to do with it. You could easily spend a week detecting Wade Creek and find nothing. So do not be surprised when I make lots of reports indicating nothing found on a given day. We fully expect that to be the case but hope we hope a month of detecting here and at other locations will pay off. I plan on relying mostly on my GPX 5000 but will also be using a Gold Bug Pro for trashy locations or for when I am tired from running the big gun and want to take it easy. I usually run my 18" mono coil on the GPX unless in steep terrain or brushy locations and dig everything. And that means a lot of digging! The Gold Bug Pro eliminates digging a lot of trash and is easy to handle in thick brush. My brother will mostly use my old GP 3000 he bought from me years ago. I am also bringing along the Garrett ATX kind of for backup and also to experiment around with. It also will be easier to use in brushy locations than the GPX. Finally, I hope to possibly have a new Minelab SDC 2300 get shipped to me somewhere along the way to use on some bedrock locations I know of that have been pretty well pounded to death. Chris Ralph will be arriving in Fairbanks on July 8th so I will drive in and pick him up. He will be staying with Tom and I until I return him to Fairbanks on July 21. High on the list is to visit with Dick Hammond (chickenminer) and other friends in the area. The road to Alaska is just another highway these days, with the only real issue being the lack of gas in northern Canada in the middle of the night. The pumps there still do not take credit cards so when the gas station closes you are stuck there until it opens in the morning. Do not try to get gas at Dot Lake at 2AM! I will drive to Olympia to spend a night and day with my mom (12 hours) then on to Dawson Creek/Fort St. John (16 hours), then to Whitehorse (15 hours), and then to Anchorage (12 hours). Four days driving, about $500 in gas for my Toyota 4-Runner. Pick up Tom and some supplies and then back to Chicken (about 8 hours). Anyway, you are all invited along at least via the internet to share in the adventure. You have any questions about Alaska in the process then fire away.