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.
My soon-to-be-fiancée and I are heading to Arizona in a few weeks. She's a Science teacher and loves ALL things space. I want to take her meteorite hunting but have NO clue where to start. For the folks whose ever been to Holbrook, I have a few questions:
1. Are there metal detector rental places nearby? We're flying in from Florida so I'd like to purchase/rent when we get there.
2. If we drive into Holbrook, are there maps telling you where to go hunt? I'll continue to look for GPS coordinates before I go. I've read folks talking about railroad tracks...
3. Are metal detectors the best way to find something? Can you "drag a magnet" or use the naked eye?
Thanks for any replies. ANY help will be much appreciated.
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.
Steve has started a topic on the GPZ 19 coil and last Thursday I was using that coil in Gold Basin. Many of us have been to Gold Basin and we roughly know the conditions with gullies, benches, mountains and hills. Little of it is 'flat' but some of the benches are large and open. Some of the ground has been extensively worked with dry washers in the past and present.
My area for the day was on a slope in a well known claim and I wanted to find a deep nugget. I've heard that they are there so I have the right equipment. As luck would have it about 100 ft from where I parked I got a faint signal. It was repeatable so I know I had to dig it. The area was up on a higher slope of a larger gully and had not been worked with equipment. I scraped and scratched and could still hear the signal. Time to dig.
The signal got louder. I changed settings from normal to difficult and could still hear it ... maybe not a hot rock but it could be ?? I'm down now over a foot which exceeds most of my 19" holes so far and I can hear it getting louder so I go to the SUV and get my pin pointer, GB Pro and camera. Still too deep for the pointer and the GB Pro. Lu comes over with the 2300 and can't hear it either. Dig, dig more down next to a big rock ... is it the rock?
GB Pro now jumps around on the numbers 42, 75, 15 ... I'm getting close. Lu says it is a hot rock. I dig and dig with my long handle pick and finally it is out of the hole. I scoop and scoop looking for color and then ... TRASH.
It is an old, long 22 shell casing that has been damaged. Deep trash ... HOW? Never that deep before. Why?
It is my theory that the shell fell into a squirrel hole. It was not a surface target that fell into the dug hole. I'll never know but it was one of my deepest digs with the 19 (18" or so). It would have been great if it was a nugget that deep and it is one of the reasons I will continue to use the 19. I don't think I could hear that trash with the 14. (Writing this perhaps I should have taken the time to try.)
After my learning and disappointment it was time to fill my hole.
I wish it was a gold story.