On Thursday I went out on my 3rd trip with my 15x10 X-Coil to well pounded patches in Southern California. All of these places have been completely trashed. I've only found gold in one of the areas but others have. I did some thinking and testing at my first stop of the morning about dawn and decided to settle down the sensitivity.
Thursday I switched to difficult and something close to Lunk and Coiltek's settings but the sensitivity at 15. This helped me maintain a smooth threshold even with our hotrocks and mineralizations. I've been poking it under bushes I could never get under before and going very slow and finding tiny bits of wire and bullets missed by Monsters, 2300s and 14s but I can't show any gold for my efforts yet. It was more fun on Thursday than the previous two trips where I felt anxious and frustrated.
About the middle of the day I noticed a tire on my 4Runner was low. I couldn't trust going up higher into the mountains so I switched to a spot where a friend had Monstered and found some tiny surface nuggets so I thought I'd give it a try. I was finding trash so that was a good sign. Most of the bbs were long gone. I just kept poking around. I heard a deep signal (iffy) under a bush and was scrapping and digging and the signal brightened up a bit. I was near a little road but I was going down into compressed rock and the signal is getting better. After I'm down past the normal trash I decided to video this hole.
As you could tell I was hopeful.
I don't know how that cartridge got down that deep but it is only the 3 time I remember something like that happening. One time was in Australia and the other time was in Gold Basin.
Better luck next time.
By Chris Ben
Hi all, been pretty busy lately, and what started out as a really slow year ended up being pretty good prospecting wise. The first half of the year was very slow, only able to scratch a few nuggets out of some old patches. Not much luck looking for new areas.
A few buddies and I decided to meet up in the middle of the summer in Gold Basin. Dave, Steve, and a couple of other Chris' . They were out there since Friday evening, but because of work I couldn't get out till Saturday afternoon. Dave was meeting us on Sunday.
I made the drive out from Vegas, and when I got there I tried reach the guys, but no luck. Cell service can be spotty out there, and the must have been out detecting. I figured I might as well get started on my own till I was able to reach them. I ended up in an area where I had found a nice gold quartz specimen years ago, and figured I might grid the area to see if I could come up with a few scraps.
It was found 3/4 the way up a tiny drainage where nothing else was found (by me anyway) I detectected the drainage top to bottom with no luck, so I decided to hit the hillside. About 7 or 8 feet from where I found that specie I jammed the coil under a creosote bush and got a strong signal over a large area. It wasn't a distinct signal like a nugget, so I kind of thought I was some mineralization but decided to dig anyway. There was only about 5 or 6 inches of overburden, so I scraped that off, and now the signal was sounding much more like a target, but still over a 2 sq ft area. I carry a rock hammer in my pack so I used that to tear up the bedrock. I got down about a foot total and now the signal was screaming. One more attempt with the hammer, and now I have signals in the tailings. I pick up a piece of quartz and put it over the coil...bingo!! I found my first pocket. I actually found the source.
I kept working on my hole, still pulling gold out, and still getting strong signals in the bedrock. I was finally able to reach the other guys and dropped them a pin so they could meet up with me. Everyone got some specimens out of my tailings.
Over the next several weeks I brought home several buckets of ore. I kept at it till there was no more signal in the ground with my GPZ.
The next step was to crush and pan...geeze that is tedious work when you dont have a proper rock crusher. It took several more weeks to process the ore.
thanks the pocket ended up being around 4oz!!! And a big to 1515Art and his contest I got to use my kiln to make my first gold bar. Took me a while to figure out how to use the electric kiln, it does take a few hours to reach proper temps, but works great!!
added to the nuggets I found, it was a 5z year!
I still have some ore to crush and a nice speci I may just keep. But definitely learned a lot. I'm going to be looking for more pockets.
2020 has been a pretty good year so far as well.
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~
By Hepplewhite Explorations
We head out most weekends for a little adventure whether it be prospecting, detecting, offroading or ???
Video attached sharing some of our experiences. Thanks and looking forward to seeing some of you in the field!!!!
Will also post some cool photos later, from our last trip, found some cool old sluice boxes etc and equipment on the rivers edge.
Dennis and I took a quick trip down to Baja MX for some detecting. No problems crossing the border at Algodones and no hassles at the military checkpoints. Day 1 is really just a travel day. A lot of Baja Highway 5 is still under construction from San Felipe south. The road got washed out from a storm 2 years ago and the repairs are slow going. Day 2 we got a good start taking my Rokon and Dennis's Yamaha Fat Tire bike about 3 miles up some tricky technical ground of gravel and calcrete bedrock. From there it's another 1.5 mile hike to some of the old placer workings. These placers have been worked off and on for over 100 years so all the easy stuff has been drywashed and detected. I concentrated on 100 yards of old black schist bedrock. The nuggets originally worked down into small cracks and got filled up and over by years of weathering. All of these nuggets had to be chipped out of the bedrock no more than 3 inches deep. The bedrock is tricky because it has varying levels of mineralization and hot zones that hide the target signals. I found that by running max Sensitivity and low threshold with the Patch Locate feature I could pick out faint whispers from the background of hot ground. I picked up probably 10 or 12 nuggets the first day.
Day 3 was a lost day. I got halfway up the wash when my back tire went flat. Normally, we carry everything to fix flats, but this one had "chingered" the valve stem. I had to disconnect the rear chain drive and limp it back to camp on the front drive. I did a fair amount of walking and pushing through the steep rocky areas. Back at camp I pulled the wheel and drove 70 miles back to San Felipe for repairs. 20 minutes work and $10.00 got it going again. My day was lost so I drank beer and had an early dinner.
Day 4 I intended to explore a zone about 5 miles from the end of the trail for the Rokon. I had gotten close last year and although I didn't find any gold, there was a fair amount of old iron trash. I thought that I just hadn't walked quite far enough to find some virgin ground. My ideas were dampened a bit on the way up. I discovered that my newly repaired rear tire couldn't handle the low tire pressure and kept breaking the bead. We used the Mexican method of setting the bead by pouring some gas inside the tire and hitting it with a match. Whooomph, bead set, but I still had to run 20lbs of air pressure to keep the bead from breaking down again. I normally run about 4lbs of air in the Rokon tires since there are no shock absorbers as we know them. That much tire pressure was making the ride hard as a rock and I hit a rough patch that bounced me high and hard enough that I came unhorsed, landing my ribs on the handlebar. Ouch is an understatement. I've got a bruise the size of a softball over 3 of my left ribs. I gutted it out and still explored the new zone for no joy. I found 4 small ones on my way back in the bedrock I had worked the day before. Swinging that pick to break open the bedrock was a new experience with those banged up ribs.
Day 5 was the travel day home. You just never know how long the wait line at the border crossing will be. Sometimes as much as 2 hrs, this time about 45 minutes.
It's always a good trip when you can walk away from it. Minor injuries and break downs are all part of the journey. I'll be ready to do it all again in a week or 2, when these ribs quit hurting.