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Detecting In The Cargo Muchacho Mountains


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Great hunting and good story about the hunt!

One of these days I hope to be hunting those nice nuggets as well.

Wish you more luck in the future.

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4 hours ago, Randy Lunn said:

This past weekend I participated in my first outing with the Southwestern Prospectors & Miners Association (SPMA) club. We met at a gas station off I-8 and headed to one of their large claims in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains west of Yuma on the California side of the Colorado River. It takes just under an hour on desert dirt roads to get there but the drive was not bad. There were six other guys and we all bonded well. After discussing the area we split up with half trying their hand at dry washing and the other half metal detecting. I suited up with my GPZ and tool belt and headed out. The rugged terrain with 104 degree temperatures was challenging but felt great. I have not been able to get out much this year. I got lucky. On a moderate slope about four inches down in a crevice of schist I found a 2.1 gram nugget. Yahoo! My best and one of my few nuggets for the year.

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The history of the area in interesting (from westernmininghistory.com):


Mining was first done in this region by Spaniards as early as 1780-81, when placers in Jackson Gulch and oxidized ores in Madre Valley were worked. This is believed to have been the first gold mined in California. Later, mining was resumed under Mexican rule. The district received its name of Cargo Muchacho, or Loaded Boy, when two young Mexican boys came into camp one evening with their shirts loaded with gold. American miners became interested in this district soon after the end of the Mexican War in 1848. Mining became firmly established in 1877 with the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad to Yuma. Large-scale mining continued from around 1890 until 1916 and again from 1932 until 1941, with intermittent activity since World War II.

Happy Hunting!

 

 

Nice little solid nugget you got there Randy, I bet that was fun to find! Looks like the little guy was moving around quite a bit, it’s nicely rounded and probably has more friends around there too. I was just curious, what coil were you using with your GPZ?Congratulations!

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Randy,

Any nugget over a gram makes me feel like a king these days.  haha

I've found a few nice nuggets west of Yuma on the SPMA claims a few years back.

Fred Mason gave me a pointy finger one time.  He said look under the power lines and I found gold!  I told Fred he gave good directions and then he told me I had gone to a different set of power lines than his directions.  He went to my power lines a couple of times and got gold in the parking area ...

Gold is where it hasn't already been found.

Mitchel

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      Lower right group are what I consider the best finds and I'll show a closeup of those shortly.  I'm pretty sure everything around and directly below the horseshoe are related to horses ('tack') including the two obscure pieces inside the horseshoe which are similar, one a piece of leather with two large copper rivets and the other just a bare rivet.  Interestingly I found almost identical pieces in June when ghost-towning in NE Nevada.  I guess leather survives in wet climates as well as in dry ones.  Some of the buckles are chrome plated which I assume (but don't really know) means they are fairly recent, meaning 20th Century.  (I apologize for not taking better pictures.  It was the last day and I was in a hurry to get on the road for a long drive to my next stop.  I left all but the old coins with the property owners.)
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      The 1941-S Merc came from a different site which I'll discuss in a separate post ('Part 2').  The 1911 plain (Philadelphia minted) Barber dime is in nice condition although not a scarce issue.  But I'm still happy to get it.  Unfortuantely you can't see detail on the Large Cent in these photos, but I can with a magnifying glass (still no date discerned 😞), and here's what I've found out so far:
      On the obverse ('heads' side) the lady is facing right.  That's very important because only USA Large Cents minted between 1793 and 1807 faced right.  So that alone tells me that I didn't find a coin which might be as late as 1857 but rather my 'new' oldest coin find ever is now at least 50 years older than that!  I can see some clothing at the bottom of the bust making it a 'Draped Bust' type.  That narrows its birthdate down to 1796-1807.  There are still a lot of varieties in those 12 years and after trying to figure things out on the PCGS site I broke down and ordered the definitive work on these coins.  It won't arrive until Thursday so you will have to wait along with me to see if I can narrow down further info.  Meanwhile, can you help me identify this unknown find?

      It appears to be brass, but is hollow.  The lower left of the picture shows damage, but it's breakage, not corrosive loss.  You can see the seam to the left of the head where it joins the conical part.  It reminds me of a calibrated weight for a scale but the only ones of those I've seen are solid, not hollow.  Anyone??
      To summarize the first part of this trip, in 10 1/2 hours of detecting (oh, I didn't mention that most of two of the three days was interferred with by Hurricane Henri!) I found some very promising post Colonial artifacts while just scratching the surface of a small part of this property.  The (very generous, hospitable) owners were sufficiently pleased with what I found that I've been invited back, but I doubt I'll be able to make my return this year.  I'll probably bring a weed eater next time and detect around that original cabin foundation.  I can't wait....
    • By GB_Amateur
      Upon departing the Colonial Site in NW Massachusetts I made my way towards Eastern Pennsylvania to meet up with member here dogodog and spend half a day detecting one of his sites.  I was fortunate that he had previously mentioned he'd like to get together for a hunt and since I was on his side of the world this seemed like a good time to take him up on his offer.  The hunt was only part of the enjoyment as we spent some time (while driving and also over lunch, which he generously bought) to discuss detecting.
      The site, which is one he's hunted previously but continues to hunt and make good finds -- see his recent posts -- was previously a private swim and sports club recently acquired by the local government.  I don't think I'm going out a limb to say that except for DoD and his friends he's brought there, it had never been previously detected.  This is like stepping on a time machine back to the 1970's but with a 2020 metal detector!
      We began searching an open area which may have been a sports field or maybe just a play area for kids (of all ages) but it was in the open sun and it was becoming what dog said was the hottest day of the year so after about 15-20 minutes we headed to the backside of the property where we could detect in the shade of some large trees.  I was using the Minelab Equinox 800 and 11" coil with my standard park and school settings:  Park 1, 5 custom tones, no notching, Recovery Speed = 4, Iron Bias F2 = 0.  He told me he was finding silver coins at shallow depths so I turned down the gain to 22 from my 24, but even that was overkill although the EMI was easily eliminated with noise cancel.  I actually never did a ground balance since pumping the coil showed the current setting at turn-on was quiet as a mouse.
      The early 15-20 minutes in the open produced some clad and copper Memorials.  The back (shaded) part proved more promising.  I got the first trophy (and as it turned out, my best find of the day) -- a 1941-S Merc in excellent condition other than the dark toning which was surely caused by some chemical in the ground.  After showing DoD, it wasn't more than 10 minutes when he called me over to show me his first silver -- a Roosie.  Then he shifted into high gear and found a 9 kt gold mens wedding band followed by his own Merc.  I found quite a few pennies (see photo below) and a few (not old) nickels the remainder of the total 3 1/2 hours of detecting but only about half the number of coins (old and new) that dog did.  Hey, I didn't want to show him up on his own turf!    Here's a pic of my total recoveries:

      Oh, that's not a pulltab from a dinosaur's drink can but rather a thoughtful gift from DoD -- a detecting towel.  I still haven't figured out why he put a pulltab image on it....  At least it wasn't a Stinkin' Zincoln.  Speaking of which, there wasn't a huge amount of trash, and particularly not that many beavertails which often fool me as being nickels.  I got more aluminum bottle caps (three, one of which isn't shown) than classic pulltabs and not a single modern tab although I was doing some mental discrimination.  Three tacks (which DoD warned me about) sure sounded sweet, as usual.  Here's a closeup of my coin haul:

      As usual my photography leaves something to be desired, but you're not missing much detail.  From right to left:  clad quarter (2001 North Carolina state quarter -- most recent date of all my recovered coins), four clad dimes, three Jeffies (oldest is the top one, a rather crusty and corroded 1941-D).  Next are three rows of copper Memorials sorted by decade:  one from 1980-82, nine from the 70's and four from the 60's.  On the left are three heavily green scaled Wheaties and my best find, the Merc.  I did find 3 Zincolns (shown in the previous photo) but in my book those are trash, not coins.  Here are closeups of the 1941-S Merc (also shown are my two best finds from earlier in the trip which are highlighted in another post):

      Except for the dark toning (which isn't all that bad), the condition of the Merc is quite nice.  I note that the ground in this part of the country, and that include NW Massachusetts where the large cent was found, seems to be even more unfriendly to copper and copper alloy coins (including USA 25% nickel composition coins) than my soils at home.  I know others have found similar deterioration of coin in other part of the Eastern USA.  I don't think it's due to the trees since we pretty much share the same species, so it must be some inorganic chemical(s) in the soil.
      Better than the detect was meeting dogodog and discussing several topics including soil effects, depth of finds, and coil options -- particularly DD vs. concentric.  To put an exclamation point on this last topic, he showed me how well his Tesoro Compadre (w/fixed 8" concentric) performs, which he switched to after a short time detecting with his Eqx800.  I've returned home with a new found respect for Tesoro analog circuitry and am planning on learning my Vaquero.  (kac, don't say "I told you so" even though... you told me so, as have Monte, Rick N, and others here.)
    • By IdahoPeg
      Dang, is it September already? I didn’t even work my little Claim this season! All the easy gold has been gone for a couple years now, and since  I’m looking at a Hip Replacement in the near future (old car wreck injury), it wasn’t worth the flare ups that come from hauling rocks, swinging a pick, and shoveling to get at the remaining gold. So I’ve focused on fitness and biking the hills this summer, with a couple fun detecting trips to Nv to keep me in the game….but the next trip isn’t for a couple weeks and I need a Gold Fix! So I decided that after my early morning walk, it would be time to go play with the Gold Monster😊
      It was a brisk start to the day! My hummingbird feeder was starting to freeze; most have left, but I leave it out for the stragglers. While on my walk and planning where I’d go with the Monster, I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful sunrise….unfortunately due to the awful California wildfires😥. Then I saw the neighborhood Mama Moose….her Baby was with her, but I didn’t catch the young one in the pic. I sure do love my morning walks up here!


       
      Once it warmed up a bit, the Pup and I headed out in the side x side to an area I’ve hit quite a bit before with the Monster, but I was sure it could squeak out a couple more. Lila, of course, wanted to drive😄. 
       
      I worked real slow, and sure enough, was able to find some little bits. And LITTLE being the key word here…check out this tiny speck. Unbelievable that a detector can pick this up! 

      Here’s one of the larger bits found…can actually pose it on the detector lol!

      All the while, my little Pup was protecting me from the chipmunks scurrying amongst the Old Timer’s rock piles…what a cutie 🥰 

      We spent several hours enjoying the late summer sun, the gentle babbling of the nearby creek, the breeze in the pines, and the solitude and contentment only Nature can bring. And I ended up with enough bits to actually weigh…what a great day!👍😊


       
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