By Gerry in Idaho
Back from our Mexico gold hunt and wanted to share a few photos and my story.
Every day I swung my 7000 I found gold nuggets. 60+ pieces weighing over 41 grams. (picture of gold and shovel is to show size comparison as some pics make the gold look bigger) So there is good gold to be found, but you don’t fill your pockets as we all dream. The locals who hunt there all use 7000’s and they are really good. They only miss the faintest of signals or the occasional boomer off the beaten path. Me being a 6’ 2” 230 lb guy is hard to get into the cactus bushes to find virgin ground. In fact I only found 1 small patch of undetected ground that held gold and over 9 grams came from that patch. The local Mexican folks have no issues getting into the thickets and I could see their dig holes in them. I give them credit for their desire and determination.
Cactus, the guardian angels of the MX gold is everywhere. With over 600+ species alone in Mexico, I was amazed to see and able to get pricked by (it seemed all 600+ kinds) many. Some of them are masters at growing in the funniest of shapes and statues. I was amazed and giggled many times while trying to find a landmark for return. Best to use your GPS on the 7000 (thanks Luck for showing me) as it is really pretty easy. I learned quickly, most of my clothing including the Merrell Hikers were no match for the variety of pokers. I took 3 different pairs of boots and the all leather, heavy duty uncomfortable ones were the least effected from the pricks. I took a pair of shorts and T-shirts for hotter days but could not wear them. Long sleeve shirt and thick pants were a must. Found out on my 1st day there getting on my knees or anywhere on the ground was dangerous and I ended up buying a thick pair of knee pads.
I managed 3 small pickers in one spot at the bottom of this wash.
This looks like a cactus nugget right? I think I'll polish it and give it to my wife.
Lunk was all eagle eyes and found some rare pottery shards probably from a water transport jug.
There are desert tortoise to be found (more rare than gold)
We were even rewarded seeing the ancient grinding pads, two of them, called an arrastra and were used to grind ore.
Their desert is more beautiful than I expected and also has a much greater degree of mountains to climb that what I imagined. Another interesting part of the trip seeing the antique ways of prospects (100 to 200+ yr old dry wash piles) and their claim corner markers. Lunk always looks so serious. Notice he wore snake guards. I asked him about them and he said the snakes were not bad this time of year. He did not tell me to bring some for the attacking cacti and all their brothers.
My coolest find of the trip was actually not gold at all but a copper type coin that looks to be hammered, made (very thin and off center struck) and has some words and symbols. I’ve been updated with identification as an early MX ¼ reale coin from 1830’s. The 2 nuggets and coin were all in one small area together.
I also spotted (on the run) a small buck deer. A few days before, I found a big daddy antler.
The last day in MX was me on the beach enjoying the Gulf of California (on the MX side).
The very next day was me in snow as I was heading back to Idaho.
So the total driven miles on my truck for the trip was over 2800. I lived in the back of the truck with the camper shell and the 40 degree nights was no issues for cold. Used my small compact Jetboil burner to heat water for cooking/bathing. The warm upper 70’s and lower 80 degree temps in days allowed for my canned and or packaged meals to be heated by placing them on my dash in the truck.
Plenty of gold is still in MX., but the reality of it is, the gravy is gone. You’ll work you butt off finding it and most pieces you find are sub ½ grammers. It reminds me somewhat of Rye Patch, NV in a way as most folks won’t find any and those who do usually only find a few each day. The really big ones for the most part have already been found, but popping an occasional 1/4 oz’er+ is still possible. My own biggest piece of gold for the trip was only 4.9 grams, but I did see one find that was a multi ouncer 3 to 4 oz. Was the trip worth it and did my gold finds pay expenses? I’m all about adventure and as long as my body holds up I’ll go most anywhere with a metal detector at least once. Checking spot gold today shows $1580 oz. so that equates to just over $50 a gram. Take $50 a gram X 41 grams of nuggets = $2000. My cost for the trip with insurance, fees, all food and drinks was $1800. But with me, just like my travels to Australia, it is more about the “just go do it” adventure, than it is the finds or value of.
Hopefully everyone enjoys the pics and story.
I wrote this up awhile back for Kellyco's website but never posted it here for some reason. After posting the story of the Flung Ring return, I thought, why not post this story on the forum since it was one of the most personally meaningful returns of my metal detecting life. Although the returned item was not all that valuable in monetary terms, it was priceless to the lady who lost it and became even more priceless to Mary and me as we put it back in her hands.
My wife Mary and I were spending a nice day at Daytona Beach Pier this past summer..she for painting and me for detecting. While I was hunting the beach, Mary struck up a conversation with a lady she met there.
The lady was very pleasant and told her that she and her boyfriend were homeless and lived in a makeshift tent right on the beach. She said the local police leave them alone as they routinely clean up the beach of litter and don’t bother anyone. As the conversation continued, she told Mary that she had lost a sterling silver charm the day before and although she and her boyfriend searched for hours, they failed to find it.
The small charm was the head of a kitty with red “ruby” stones on its head and black eyes. The little charm was extremely meaningful to her and likely one of the most valuable items she owned. Mary told her of my metal detecting and asked if she would like me to try and find it. The lady was overjoyed at the prospect but said she didn’t hold out much hope of ever getting her little kitty back.
Mary brought me over to the area where the lady said she thought it was lost and I began the grid search. About 10 minutes later I got that familiar exciting high tone of silver. In my scoop was a little kitty’s head with red “ruby” stones and black eyes!
When I brought it to her, she began to tear up, thanked me profusely and asked if she could hug me. She called over to her boyfriend who was busy making little items out of palm fronds he sold to tourists. The smile on her face and the tear in her eye was absolutely the best reward Mary and I could have ever hoped for that day.
~The Challenge: Big Beach; Little Coil; Tiny Targets~
~"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"~ Leonardo da Vinci
~Pre-determined settings serve only to get you in the ballpark. It’s up to you to pick the best seat~
The passing of a friend unfortunately has led to me taking ownership of a modified Tdi Pro. My machine is mounted on an Anderson shaft and is factory spec. My old mate had his machine modified to smooth out the threshold and to add some sensitivity. The specifics related to the modifications are not known by me, other than that they were conducted by 'Luke'..Oz Digger.. This happened some time ago. So the modified machine is probably not a keeper, I don't want two Tdi Pro machines.. The opportunity to do a comparison cannot and should not be ignored.
My intention is to focus on small gold performance, the threshold smoothness, the ability to use gain, basic performance and handling characteristics under different circumstances. The machines will use the same fully charged battery pack, same coil, same targets, same test location and conditions on the same day etc. Trying to minimise external variations. I'll start with the usual useless air test. Later I'll follow up with in ground testing on the actual goldfields in mineralized soil. Test coils will be with a small coil and a large coil. Targets will be gold only. The 1 grain ingot, the half gram gold coin, a half sovereign gold coin. Some real small sub gram nuggets to see how small we can go.. There is a process involved so I'll take my time and do it right. Any specific questions or suggestions, speak now or forever hold you peace.. I'm only doing this once. Once it sold it will be too late to revisit..
All the best.
Just arrived in the mail, Nuggeteer 18 x 6 mono, mounts nicely on the Tdi pro using a Minelab lower rod. It is weighty at 1 kg but easily balances on the Tdi Pro, just don't have any metal in your shoes..
When the weather clears I'll go down to the beach and give it a good run. Useless air tests, test garden results and beach run results in the very near future.. karelian