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Found 64 results

  1. Hi team, Three weekends ago Mrs JW & I went to Dunedin City to see Stevie Nicks in concert. The last time I saw her was when I was 18 when Fleetwood Mac came to NZ. That was 40 years ago Also saw Chrissie Hynde & the Pretenders. The next day on our way home we went via Macraes flat to check out Oceana Golds Macrae mine & the Fraser open pit. You may recall a post I did a month or so ago that showed the Waihi Martha Mine open pit & the large pit wall collapse. Oceana Gold bought & took over the Martha mine from Newmont last year. They have been mining at Macraes since 1982 & have discovered a large & long fault zone. The Fraser open pit is the largest of about four open pits along the fault zone with continued drilling & exploration along this zone. They are under ground mining from the bottom of the fraser open pit which you will see the portal entrance in a couple of the vidoes. This modern day mine is in the area of old late 1800's under ground workings. Map of the under ground workings below the open pit The old Stamper Battery The weekend after that I went out for a detect on the sunday. I headed to a gully of old timer diggings that I have been down with the Zed but not in the hot settings. The ground has dried out quickly. From this To this I got a faint little hit amongst the old timers turned over piles in the above pics. A few scrapes into the crushed & decomposed schist that the old timers would have thrown out from the bottom of one of their holes. Now on the top of the pile. One they threw out for me. Right kind of them. Cheers boys. I then got a deeper signal on the edge of a throw out pile & it was living on down. This was getting exciting. Then....Bingo, it was out Along the same throw out pile another faint little hit. Another small bit Things then dried up for a while. I came across the remains of an old timers rock hut shelter that had collapsed badly. The dried mud was still holding these stones together I then got a very faint signal that had me digging quite deep. The signal was booming but I needed to get the GB2 or the GM 1000 to pin point & tell me if it was iron or not. . I was getting quite hot & was in need of a coffee break & a breather. So I headed up to my wagon. The door I opened had the GB2 handy so I grabbed it. Had my coffee & breather & headed back to my dig. Pin pointed with the GB2 & it also told me it was not iron. Here is why. That was it from these workings so I moved on to another small gully. I lucked out there with the Zed but there was a small area where I had snagged quite a few small bits with the GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono. I hit it with the GM 1000. Ended up with 4 tiny bits for the monster And one for the GB2 That was it for the day. I called it quits & headed off to see the farmer. On seeing him he asked if I could do him a favor. Sure I said. What is it? He replied. "About a month ago I was helping the neighbor tail some lambs. A girl working there was bringing in the lambs & while she was holding one it kicked out & knocked off one of her ear rings that went flying off into the long grass. It was a pair of $2000.00 gold & diamond ear rings so she had lost a $1000.00 ear ring". What was she doing wearing those tailing. I said. The farmer & his wife laughed say. That is exactly what we said. Any way....he asked if I would mind trying to detect it. No worries I said. So he phoned up the farmer & it was arranged for me to meet them & they would take me to the spot. The so called "neighbor" was bloody miles away, but it was on my way home so no real drama. Long story short. I found it with in 5 minutes. She was stoked, & so was I. Reason I was Stoked. Gold workings on their property . So my days result was 9 bits for 2.95 grams.....and a $1000 earing Cheers guys. Good luck out there JW
  2. Tom(CA) and I have been working a site that we researched that's produced several 1850's - 1860's seated coins, and some rogue early 1900's coins, as well as a variety of period relics. We tried to get one more trip in before Old Man Winter completely shut us down, and it did in fact shut us down, but not before I finally, got something I've been looking for for a long time, and after watching others find them over the years (I saw Tom dig three!!!), I was starting to think it would never happen. Well it finally happened, and it turned out to be a good one, an 1865 San Francisco minted Liberty Half Eagle!! Here she is out of the hole: Here she is rinsed off: Here's a video of the hunt: Less than 100 known, Mintage: 27,612 Although the mintage of the 1865-S is quite a bit higher than the mintages of the S Mint Half Eagles from 1858 to 1864, it compares in overall rarity to the 1858-S, 1860-S and 1863-S and is only slightly less rare than the others. Almost all known examples of this date are well worn with VF and lower being all one can expect to find. The 1865-S ranks second in the entire $5 series according to average grade and I do not know of a specimen that would grade better than EF. The very few specimens that I have seen were rather softly struck and the mintmark was always quite weak. Thanks for looking, hopefully the next one comes easier
  3. Most of us Prospectors are avid outdoorsman! You can find us with the same smile on our faces be it fishing or hunting. This Deer Season my old Buddy NuggetSlayer (Jeff), headed up to the hills to hunt some Deer. Well early into the hunt on opening day, he took carful aim at a 2x2 Blacktail Buck. One well placed shot, Jeff let the Deer run over the top of the ridge to bleed out as he hike to find the blood trail to track it down. It ran a little further than he expected, but the woods opened up and was easy hiking following the Deers trail. Called his hunting partner on the radio for some help, he had it field dressed ready for the hump back to the truck, when he arrived. With all the excitement of the hunt, he was dreading dodging all the pine trees and brush on the other side of the hill and down to the truck. Then it hit him, he was smack in the middle of and old Hydraulic Pit. He quickly changed from his hunting hat (even though it’s the same dirty one) to his prospecting hat! Deer hanging at camp and rested up he hiked back to the Hydro Pit and scouted it, he sent me pictures of both Deer and Hydro Pit. I told him it looks like a no-brainer, just a matter of getting it under the coil and dig it! We waited well after hunting season to finally get there with our GPZ’s. Chilly start with the trucks temperature gauge saying 25 degrees. But the little hike over the ridge made it feel a few degrees warmer, lol. As any Hydro Pit, plenty of trash...Relics to some, but the wrong color for today’s hunt. I finally, found a dink and called Jeff on the radio. Didn’t take him long to find one several yards from me. Jeff, made a big circle and came back to his spot and heard another possible target at the edge of his dig hole...yep another nugget! Well to make a long story short, he found a little spot that didn’t get washed away back in the day. We messed around making his hole bigger and 14 of them 15 nuggets came out of that pay material. Well this spot is to far for a day trip and it’s way to chilly, until after next Springs snow melt to finish this spot off and to explore the entire Hydraulic Pit. Now, Jeff can afford some Potato Salad with his Deer Steaks! Until the next hunt LuckyLundy
  4. Recent Encounter

    Had a couple hours yesterday so I thought I'd hit a county playground where I'd found some gold jewelry in the past. Headed out with my PI and a recently borrowed 5 x 9 folded mono coil to see what might come up. You know, I never realized there could possibly be so many bobbie pins in the world. This machine has no difficulty locating these small metal objects. But with careful listening, the audio gives just enough hints so I became very close to 100% sure of what these targets were before digging. Well anyway, on with the story. I'd been hunting about an hour when a young man carrying a back pack comes to where I was hunting and proceeds to ask if I'd found anything good. Reaching into my pouch I pulled out my very meager finds and a small silver pendant. Not much but I was enjoying the day none the less. The young man proceeded to open his back pack and removed several containers of silver, copper coins along with many old relics including some nice buttons and buckles. Some of these coins dated back to the 1800's. Looked like his entire treasure was in his back pack and in fact it was, he explained, when I leave the house I take them with me, fearing someone might break in and steal them. I had to ask how he had acquired so many coins and relics and he stated he too was a hunter and uses the Mine lab Etrac. Had to ask again and this time he answered mostly old home sites. I continued to ask where and his answer was I knock on doors and ask to detect and this is where most of his finds have come from. Amazing what this young man has found in the same counties where I have hunted for some 20 years. He seems to have done everything right to acquire that many old silver and copper coins and on top of that many gold rings to boot. Well we continued to talk and I had to ask if he belonged to any of the treasure forums on the internet and his answer was no. But he said I have a private Facebook group and invited me to join. The conversation continued for some 30 minutes or so exchanging hunting experiences and finds. The whole time thinking just how smart this guy was and what I stand to learn from him even though I had more than a decade of addition experience. The park was starting to get crowded so we decided to leave. What a chance meeting to talk to a fellow hunter in my area. That afternoon I checked my email and sure enough Shane had subscribed to my you tube site. So I requested to join his treasure hunting site on Facebook and he accepted and the journey begins.
  5. Hello all! This weekend I am heading out for a Motor Cycle Camp trip (Adventure Bikes) and we always take our detectors. Hoping to find some nice out-of-the-way areas that have not been hit too hard. Camp Grounds have been a good source of hunting for us in the past and we have made about 5 trips this year on bikes, some are local day trips and others are over-nighter's. I love doing this and it has gotten me out to some really neat/old places. Just curious if anyone else out there has done this same type of hunting - MC/camping etc. I'll post the adventure here if anyone is interested.
  6. The Gold I've Missed

    I started missing gold as soon as I started detecting, and this is the sad saga of just how much. Wedderburn in the north of the central Victorian goldfields is where I found my first color, and Schicer gully was where I lost my detecting virginity. A little piece of a few grams beneath a tree. After finding no more there, my mate at the time (who first introduced me to prospecting with a detector) and I moved to Beggary hill, just to the north of Wedderburn, where we found a patch of small colors on the side of the hill. I was trying to learn as much as I could about this detecting game by making friends with some of the guys who knew a bit about alluvial gold and where it could be found with a detector. I had learned about 'surfacing', and the importance of detecting around these areas, so a patch of shallow surfacing nearby captured my attention, but there where so many old tin cans that I gave up on it after a few hours. A local chap that I had become friends with lived in the town and had a mate who made his own rum. On a regular basis I would drop in to his place with a couple of bottles of Coke, and we would talk about gold. On my arrival one night he brought out a pillow case in which was wrapped a very large nugget. It contained a little ironstone, and was a magnificent piece that weighed 84 ozs. His son and two of his mates had found it using an early Whites detector that my friend Luke had loaned to the kids for a school project on gold prospecting. He then bought out a local map to show me where the kids had found it. Well, you guessed it. Down by the fence among the tin cans where I had given up on Beggary hill.
  7. After 2 years going solo on my prospecting trips I found out that by buying a caravan my wife would finally come prospecting with me. Originally we bought the caravan for trips away but she said she didn't mind if we took it away to prospecting areas now and again. The only downside is I had to buy something to tow the van so I bought a new jeep and she said no bush bashing in it as she doesn't want scratches or dents. My Prado is slowly getting destroyed with all the rough tracks and river crossings I do in it. So it looks like ill be doing lots of walking for the time being. The next door neighbor had an electric powered mountain bike which I bought but it needs a new battery. The bike does 80kmh, but I think I'll stick to 20kmh and at least get there in one piece. Should be really good to be able to ride across the country looking for potential gold bearing ground. Walking takes too long. Anyway, we took the van for its maiden voyage 6 weeks ago and the wife loved it. She reads a lot while I detected which seemed to work. Hopefully one day she might even have a go at detecting. There's nothing better than coming back to the van for a hot shower and a home-cooked meal. Usually, my solo trips consist of detecting from dusk until its dark, eating dry bread and a can of soup for dinner. Then crawling into the rooftop tent and going to sleep. As I only get to the Golden Triangle once a month I need to make it count. I found cooking/cleaning wasted to much time. Heck, i don't even have time to butter my bread so the butter stays home. A good day detecting for me is around 11 hours straight. And that's swinging the 18" Elite. Usually can only manage 2 days of that and then i want to go home. Besides, i think the family doesn't mind me going every month because there short trips. We're off again next week this time to Daylesford which is a nice little town. I'll probably get up at 5:00 am and detect until 10:00 am then take her out and go for a few walks. Got a new "SteelPhase sP01 Audio Enhancer" coming this week so that will be good to see how it compares to the B&Z booster. Heres a picture of our last trip. It was a stopover at Waanyarra on the way home. Ended up finding a few bits near the campground so that was a bonus.
  8. Hello all and happy Monday. I was able to get out for the day yesterday and decided to tackle an area I have been researching in the local forest. An old trail camp site with no car access. This place has a lot of history even before the Forest service took it over and made it a public camp. I hiked in and brought my X705 with the Elliptical coil - I should have brought my 6" DD for where i was at, but the Elliptical worked OK. I just focused on two sites with the 2 hours I had to hunt. I was stoked to score my first piece of Silver - 1940 Merc. and then a nice 1955 Wheatie. Kept going and what was ringing out like a solid Nickel, ended up being a nice Titanium ring!! Also lots of Pennies, Dimes and Nickels with most dating in the 60's and 70's. As I was hiking up and out of the Canyon, I came across this.. I was very happy on my drive home and I feel confident that I have found some virgin ground that I can go back to again. I want to back-pack in some time and spend the night for a real good hunt. that would be fun.
  9. One Bit Of Color

    Well, I had a day. I got up at 4 AM and headed for the nearby goldfields about 3 hours away. My days there have been few recently but today was a chance to do some exploring and 'go overs' on some heavily worked areas. There was a stop about an hour and a half out for gas, breakfast pizza and coffee. Upon my return to the freeway I was greeted with a thump and loss of power on my 4Runner. I had to pull over. No loss of fluids but an awful valve noise. Ah, has it blown up after my trips to Wyoming for the Eclipse and norther Nevada? I limped along the freeway out of traffic and made it to a safe place and contemplated my fate. A long tow truck? Call a friend? Is it fixable? I just happened to have a code reader and it said #4 cylinder was not firing. Made me feel better so I looked up the Toyota dealership only 7 miles away. I made it there about 7:30 AM. I knew it was going to cost me but no choice. About 3 hours later I had my bill and answer. A spark plug had broken. They charged me $650 in labor costs and $200 in parts for plugs, coils and wires and gas cap! I was on my way. I got there about noon and went to the new spot as planned and nothing to be found. It was time for the work over location. This was similar to my Saturday outing. A heavily worked place. I found a .25g then. This time I got a bit better. Just about sunset I finally got that mellow Zeeeeeee sound. I dug and dug and was pinpointing and lost it. What? I went back to the hole and it was still there. Down about 10-12 inches was this nice chunky 2.08g nugget. What a day. I need to go back tomorrow and use the 19! Mitchel
  10. This note will probably take longer to read than the time I actually spent on the ground… but here goes… I was itching to get out between rain showers today… I think I may be in raingear for about a week if I want to get out and hunt… so I had a little time between con calls and took advantage of a break in the clouds at lunch I have this little park near my work.. it is a place that over the past year, I have pulled 21 wheaties and 4 silvers (lawnmower quarter, merc, rosie, war nick)… most in one corner of the park. I have covered this same ground with the AT Pro, Etrac, CTX, Explorer, ATX, and today, for the first time the Vaquero… with most of my coil combinations over the year. As you can imagine… the ground has quieted down a lot, since I also tend to dig some junk targets everytime I go out there. I usually spend 30 to 60 minutes hunting when I go… since I can get there and back to work fairly quickly. Anyway… I decided that today, rather than hitting a new tot lot in the area, I would take the Vaquero to “my park”. By the way, I have seen other detectorists there in my 12 months of going (AT Pro’s mostly) and I am sure other area detectorists have pounded this park over the years as well. It is a 1920’s park in the middle of the oldest neighborhood in my town, so it isn’t a secret to anyone looking. I wanted to see if I could get any new hits in the area I have hunted most, using the Vaq and the 5.75 widescan. Also, I grabbed a clad quarter and a copper penny out of my car to do some testing. My normal setup is to ground balance, then set a little negative, run in silent disc mode just above iron (but below nickel), sensitivity up around 8 or 10 and listen for the beep. Then thumb the disc to see where the target is sitting… take a guess as to the target and dig. I dug a piece of can slaw and a newly dropped bottle cap… but I wasn’t getting many solid signals. I finally got out into an open area that was pretty quiet on the machine and decided to drop my coins. I dug a 4” plug and placed the copper penny flat in the bottom, and covered it up. Then about a foot or so away, I dug a 7” plug (length of the lesche blade) and placed the quarter flat in the bottom… then covered it up. Grabbed my Vaq, and took a pass over the copper penny. A pretty solid signal, ringing all the way up into copper… definitely a digger. Then I passed over the quarter… nothing. I passed over it several times… occasionally getting a chirp, but nothing that said “target here”. I played with the sensitivity and re-ground balanced, even setting it more negative… and was able to get a little better response… but that also made the machine false all over… still the beep wasn’t something I could repeat on subsequent passes. So I decided to try putting the machine in all metal… I haven’t used this mode with the Vaquero, but had only read about the setup, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried to set the threshold to a nice quiet hum, but it seemed to have only two options as I turned thee knob… on or off. So I set it to on… and proceeded to sweep the targets. Over the penny I got a nice response above the threshold… so went to the quarter… and it wasn’t as pronounced, but it was a solid bump in the thresh and repeatable in the exact spot I buried it. I switched back to disc mode, and the quarter was all but gone. So, armed with this new tool, I switched back into all metal and chose a line through my most heavily detected area toward my car… and hit a few threshold bumps and dug them to find some old rusty iron, or a pop top… each time checking the target in disc before I dug… they were iffy or silent in disc, but in each case I dug a target of some kind from the all metal/thresh bump response. Targets I would have walked over in disc mode. One target was completely silent in disc, but was giving me a nice mellow bump in all metal.. so I dug it to find a full ring pull (ring and beaver tail attached) at least 7 inches if not 8. So there is no issue with the Vaq going somewhat deep while in all metal. Of course, there is no way to tell what type of target you have, because you can’t get a hit in disc. Kinda like running the Pi machine. But here is where the story gets interesting. I got back to my car, and decided I had a few more minutes before I had to leave, so I grabbed the etrac out of the back loaded with the 13” Ultimate running the Andy S. pattern and headed out to my makeshift test garden in the middle of my park. To my credit it took me a little while to find it thanks to careful plug and replace technique as to maintain the park landscape. When I finally found the penny, it was a sweet multitone melody, solid hit in all directions, forward and back on the swing… but here is the kicker… while the conductive number was reading at 40, 41, 42 consistently… the ferrous number was reading 07, 08, 09… never up to 12… on a 4” copper target. Now, the tone was solid and sweet, and no way would I have passed that up… but still, I was surprised to see the ferrous numbers so low on such an easy target. So I moved over to the quarter at 7”. I thought there was no way I wasn’t going to get a solid tone using the Etrac with the 13” coil on a flat quarter… but I was wrong. I got a bit of a chirp on my first pass, then it was gone, I would get a chirp every 3rd or 4th pass, but scratchy. I shortened my swing, and targeted in on the chirp and finally was able to get a semi repeatable tone… enough that I would dig it in the wild during a hunt… but it wasn’t banging like a screen door by any stretch. I tried both in auto +3 and manual (22 I think) and was getting 16 or 17 in auto… but to difference in the tones from the quarter. And the most surprising thing… was that while the tone was ringing high… the id was reading in the 20’s for ferrous on 4 or 5 swings out of 8. Every now and then I would get a 12-46, but mostly it was 22 or 24 -45/46/47. I was shocked at the way the ground was impacting such an easy target. Anyway, to finish my version of War and Peace… I started thinking about all the iffy targets I walked over in the past with the etrac and ctx because I was putting too much emphasis on the id readings. I mean, I knew that at depth, the id would start moving, especially the ferrous id… but nice moist soil (granted, no halo because it was newly buried), laying flat, at 7”… I really thought it would be easy for the etrac, and even for the Vaquero in disc mode… but I was proven wrong. So I headed back toward the car, looking for a nice high tone squeak, with id readings with FE in the 20’s. I walked over one target that ended up being a rusty nail, but the next target came in as 22-41, with a high tone. It was a wheat penny, at about 5”, that I have detected over the top of at least a dozen times, if not more, and assumed it was iron, either by it being disc’d by the machine or it being disc’d by my brain. I just wish I would have had the Vaq with me to test it (left it in the car), both in disc and all metal, to see what it sounded like. So, in conclusion… I learned a valuable lesson today with the Vaq and the Etrac. How discrimination impacts depth, and how relying on the machines assumption of the target too heavily can potentially cause you to miss good targets. I am looking forward to taking another run at “My Park” with this new information to see what else I have missed. Also, I am happily surprised by the depth of the Vaquero in AM. At least in today's test and in my ground, it was as deep if not deeper than the etrac. Tim.
  11. How Many Remember

    Years ago on the Tesoro site forum there was 2 guys that took a week per year and traveled around in upper New England area hunting. They used Explorer and knocked on doors to ask permission. It was amazing what they found. They were really good writers as well. But when the Tesoro site went down all was lost.
  12. 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.
  13. 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! :-)
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?
  19. 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
  20. 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...............
  21. 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".
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.