A Mining Adventure From Last Year, Still Pondering...
20 posts in this topic
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.
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...............
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
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?
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".
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.