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The July 2016 issue of the ICMJ magazine contains an article I wrote reprising my 2011 trip to Australia to hunt gold with Chris Ralph and Jonathan Porter. Subscribers can view the article online at http://www.icmj.com/article-notloggedin.php?id=3479

There was of course a lot more to say about the trip than was contained in the article, and in particular I have a lot more photos to share. I kept a diary while on the trip, and this thread is intended to provide a much more detailed look at the trip. I will keep posting on this thread in a serial fashion similar to what I did with my Alaska gold adventures with my diary providing daily details.

It all started in 2010 at the old AMDS Adventure Forum when I made this post on a thread:

"Hi murph,

You know, for many years it was my dream to go hunt nuggets in Australia. I got Doug Stone's books and read everything else I could and dreamed of those monster nuggets.

But as years went by I read between the lines and figured it is a tough go to find the big nuggets in Australia these days. The fact is you only read about people making finds, but plenty of visitors to Oz find no gold. There is always the home team advantage. It is not so much what you know as who you know, and I'll always have a tremendous advantage in Alaska just because I've lived here all my life. Though I do have a few contacts in Oz that might give me a leg up on the average visitor. Still, it may be that my chance to visit Australia is coming as my circumstances have taken a turn for the better. So maybe in a couple years?"

That in turn generated a response from famed Australian gold prospector Jonathan Porter:

"Steve I will tell you this, if you ever decide to visit Australia it would be my pleasure to show you around. There is still plenty of potential here in Australia, the auriferous areas are just too extensive and in some cases very inaccessible so there just has to be good nugget patches waiting for someone gutsy enough to come along and swing their coil over that first lump. I intend to get into some tiger country this year and could do with a good partner who doesn't need a gold fix every day, interested? - JP"

It turns out that JP and ICMJ Associate editor Chris Ralph had been discussing the possibility of a joint prospecting trip in Australia. I had met Chris previously when I had invited him up to visit my Moore Creek pay-to-mine operation several years earlier. A few messages were passed back and forth offline, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join in on the adventure. Trying to pick the best time as regards weather was a big priority, and it was decided that the fall of 2011 would be the best bet for putting a trip together. Australia is in the southern hemisphere, and so the seasons are the reverse of what we experience in the United States. Our fall is their spring and we timed it to hit cooler temperatures that would be warming while we were there. Jonathan's advice was critical here. We wanted several weeks to give it a good go and decided the entire month of September 2011 would work well. That gave us plenty of time to plan and make arrangements so we put it on our calendars.

To be continued....

steve-herschbach-with-australia-gold-nugget.jpg
Photo courtesy of Aurum Australis

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OK, travel to Australia and back. First step - get your passport if you do not have one. Other than that it is just jet travel, though halfway around the world. I found my old email from Chris with the flight we both ended up booking. Since we were headed for Western Australia around Meekatharra the flight destination is Perth, which requires flying across the entire continent of Australia from the initial touchdown in Melbourne. We would then drive out of Perth to the Meekatharra area.

Depart Wed 24 Aug. 2011 23:30 from Los Angeles Arrive 08:20 (Fri) Melbourne Qantas flight QF94  
Depart 10:45 (Fri) from Melbourne Arrive 13:00 (Fri) Perth Qantas flight QF475

Depart Wed 28 Sept. 2011 23:10 from Perth 05:20 Arrive (Thu) Brisbane Qantas flight QF652  
Depart 10:55 (Thu) from Brisbane Arrive 07:00 (Thu) Los Angeles Qantas flight QF15

Flights on  Sale Economy for  $1,432.38

The same flight booked just now five years later is $1340.33

quantas-to-australia-la-to-perth.jpg

Notice the nearly 24 hours spent in the air so longer than that with time in airports, etc. The nice part is on overseas flights even the cheapest seats are more like first class. Fifteen hours crammed in typical coach seating would probably lead to rioting in the aisles.

Travel was helped a great deal by JP providing nearly all the detecting gear including loaner GPX 5000 detectors. Except for a couple nights in Perth all our time in Australia was planned to be camping. I basically just took desert clothing and boots along with misc personal effects and picked up a small tent and sleeping bag in Australia, which came home with me. Chris packed a tent and bag, which I would do now if I had it to do over. Getting anything in Australia proved to be very expensive. It was not so much the exchange rate as the fact that an Australian dollar simply bought half in Australian stores what a U.S. dollar would get in U.S. stores. I tended to think of terms of a dollar being a dollar and that an even trade would be good. Nope, $100 Australian does not get you far at all in Australia. Look not just at the exchange rate but the actual cost of goods at your destination.

Chris was in Reno at that time while I was still living in Alaska. I had the extra flights from Alaska and met Chris in Los Angeles for the flight to Australia. Kudos to Quantas on everything - flights were nice, no issues.

steve-arrives-australia-on-quantas.jpg
Our flight arriving in Perth, Australia. Photo courtesy Jonathan Porter of Aurum Australis

australia-road-map.jpg

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Great timing on this thread Steve, as I've been toying with a "bucket list" trip to the land down under next summer! I know I could probably find more gold plugging away here in the west and southwest, but the adventure appeals to me! Looking forward to your continued posts! :-)

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Well worth the trip Peg! It surely is not all about the gold. The first time going anywhere is great just from the seeing new country perspective, and the Aussie people are simply tops in my book. And gold luck can strike anywhere - there are still huge nuggets lurking in Australia, you just need to put your coil over one.

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dang 5 years already...my last trip was in 2010...time really is flying by!

I never made any money hunting gold in Oz...

I would do it all again, the gold isn't everything. Just a good reason to go hunting.

fred

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Very cool following along with your thoughts outside the confines of magazine space constraints as Chris needed to deal with..

Swamp
 

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This thread fits in well with Freds post for anyone thinking to go to Australia as it would be good to have a good contact there or be on a tour such as the one Fred posted.  I can't imagine it being anything less than awesome than to travel to Australia and have a chance to find some gold at the same time.  

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Good to see you had a good trip downunder.

Next time you will have to do a stint with the Goldhounds crew Steve!

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Ok, in the first post I mentioned how I kept a journal on the trip with daily notes. I had intended for it to provide lots of tiny details about gold finds, etc for this thread. After starting the thread I realized I had no idea where the journal was and so started two weeks of looking through boxes shipped from Alaska to Reno and never opened. I found lots of stuff and have done some much needed cleanup work leftover from our move to Reno, but the notebook never did come to light. I am afraid that because it just looked like a nondescript notepad (picked up at last second in store in Oz) that it may have got thrown out when we were packing up to move from Alaska. Or I still have not found it. Whatever, the show must go on! I will do the best I can from memory.

There were a couple things everyone that goes to Australia looking to bring home gold needs to know. First, depending on where you go detecting you may need a permit or license. In Western Australia you need to obtain a Miner's Right. From the information page at http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/Minerals/Miners-Rights-2427.aspx

"A Miner’s Right must be obtained prior to commencing prospecting activities. This allows the holder of the Miner’s Right to pass and re-pass over land, in order to gain access to Crown land for prospecting purposes. A Miner’s Right can be obtained for a fee of $25 at the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth, or at any Mining Registrar’s office, upon presentation of proof of identity. An application form is available within the attached Miner’s Right pamphlet."

western-australia-miners-right-herschbach-front.jpg

These were obtained in advance for Chris and I. From http://www.australiasgoldenoutback.com/things-to-do-australian-outback/Outback_experiences/Gold_prospecting_and_fossicking

"This gives you authorisation to prospect on:

  • Unoccupied crown land that is not covered by a granted mining tenement.
  • A pastoral lease that is not covered by a granted mining tenement – provided prior notice is given to the pastoralist.
  • A mining tenement - providing you have permission from the tenement holder. 
  • A granted exploration licence, after having been granted a three-month section 20A permit.

It is important to note that gold prospecting and fossicking cannot be carried out in national parks, nature reserves, on Aboriginal land and heritage sites, within townsites or other classified areas such as cemeteries. You must seek permission from the landowner to enter private property, such as farmland."

seven-golden-rules-for-prospecting-australia.jpg

OK, you find some gold, now what about taking it home? I have never heard of anyone having trouble taking gold nuggets from Australia to the U.S. unless they are extremely valuable or historic in nature. Unless you are talking pounds of gold you just put it in your carry on and take home. Still, I tried to find some legal guidance and there is not much out there. This is from https://www.border.gov.au/Exportinggoods/Documents/111026volume12version5.2.pdf (pages 143 -145)

Class B Objects – Export Permit Required
Class B objects, include:

• Natural Science Objects of Australian origin as prescribed in Part 3 of the control
list:
- any palaeontological object;
- any mineral object (not otherwise referred to in this item) with a current
Australian market value of not less than AUD$10,000;
- any gold nugget with a current Australian market value of not less than
AUD$250,000;

- any diamond or sapphire with a current Australian market value of not less
than AUD$250,000;
- any opal with a current Australian market value of not less than AUD$100,000;
- any other gemstone with a current Australian market value of not less than
AUD$25,000;
- any meteorite; and
- any type specimen of present-day flora or fauna, a palaeontological object or a
mineral if:
- it is not lodged in an Australian collecting institution; or
- a permit or an authority issued under the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is not in force.

Unless you have an extremely valuable find there appears to be nothing to worry about, but if anyone can add any clarification or details I would appreciate it. In any case, rules do change and anyone traveling to Australia will want to seek out the latest information.

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Bummer about your journal.....hope you find it. But I'm sure you'll still be able to share lots of useful info etc! Thanks.

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    • By DDancer
      This year, 2018, I'm working thru the year to pay up on last years not so great stab at a golden prospects in Australia last year, 2017.  It was a great trip, always is, but a lot of little factors kept me gold poor *which I use to pay for food, fuel and amenities* so I leaned on the credit card a little to hard.  Hahh!  No one ever said I'd get rich but ehh~ One can dream by the camp fire.~~  Another driving factor for this post is that my email does not like to send pictures so this is for you all who have asked "Where are the pictures?" when I tried to send them.
      Well that aside Its Always A Good Go down under.  I stayed mostly in the region of Kalgoorie last year, hard hunted land that, so I could be of help and hang around with my mates in Coolgardie while they fixed up a new caravan and ute.  The gold was small and hard to come by but I still got a few ounces in littles from the EL's I applied for, and yes sent the reports in for, but in all here are a few good days on the scales :


      And here are what most days went like.  I only had a few days streaches during the weeks out bush where I caught the skunk... but I entertained myself otherwise 😉

      I did find one small meteorite but it chose to find the hole in my pocket instead of coming home with me.  Bugger.  But while I was out and about I decided to look for another mineral I knew occured in the region were I was and took a few days driving the fence lines to find it.  Chrysoprase.  Never did find the mine that my mate pointed me towards but I did find an area that had the right indicators, what is called white and blue chrysoprase and chalcedony, and on stopping there I took a couple of days to speck around.

      I was finding mostly low grade stuff, the above picture, but found one good bit with just the tip sticking out like an iceberg:

      Among other interesting rocks like this one, semi-crystalline quartz with some nice shiny bubbly limonite and from another area of flats a fulgerite, solidified lightning strike:

      So my rock hounding itch was scratched 🙂
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      So all in all a great time, good eats and nice finds.  If you want to go my suggestion is : Make a Plan and stick to it.   You wont be dissapointed.  There were a great many other things that occured but like I said, a short story.
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    • By Edsped
      I’ve taken the equinox underwater with the Hungarian headphones twice now and I think I’ve experienced the best and worst scenario for the equinox.
       
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    • By kiwijw
      Hi guys, Well as you probably know now, Phrunt (Simon) is the proud owner of a GPX 4500, & proud he is. Can't wipe the smile off his face.  He has been gagging to get out in the hills for a spin with it. He ordered & got a little Coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono coil before the weekend as the two coils that came with his 4500 were both DD's. So Saturday morning my door bell was ringing at 7.10 am. Was supposed to be 7.30.  He must have left home at about 6 am & didnt speed as the last weekend he got a speed camera fine. I was just having my breakfast & a coffee, so I made him a coffee as well. I had sorted out an external speaker for him since he is allergic to headphones. Coffee done & we were off. I took him back to the spot where he got his two bits with his Gold Monster as there are heaps of workings up there. It was a hell walk in & not one I look forward to. Only the one old pack track access in & out.

      The proud 4500 owner standing on the pack track. To the right of his left shoulder the track winds its way up & through that gorge & somewhere up in the clouds beyond the gorge is our destination.

      Around the corner & into the gorge.
      We stopped for a breather & a short detect on some very shallow bed rock & some small workings. I thought it might be good for Simon to have a play here with the joey mono & to get our breaths back. I went a wee bit further targeting a bit deeper ground. I had not used the Zed on this spot at all. But had done well with the Gold Monster on tiny gold. I got rigged up & started detecting & I saw Simon somewhat alarmed. He had charged his battery over night & it read 8 volts when he fired it up. He plugged the external speaker into it & all of a sudden the detector died. Down to flat battery & 1.9 volts. WTF.... I had given him another battery of mine incase his one didn't last the day. Tried that one & the exact same thing happened. We were both baffled. More so Simon as he had been playing with the detector over the last few days & all seemed fine. Got all the way up here & no go... He tried factory presets. Turned it off...back on....& just straight to flat battery...on both of them. Pulled the cable out tried plugging it in again. Still no joy. I said to turn the cable around & try. Still nothing. Nothing happening at all. I said we may as well have a coffee, I had brought a thermos, & then head back down to my place & re group & re think our plans. So we had a coffee & were just dumb struck as to what the problem may be. Hopefully not the detector. So after our coffee Simon tried once more & bingo 8 volts & up & running. Whew....game on. Thank goodness for that. Never missed a beat all day & all on the one battery.
      So we were both off detecting. Simon was getting signals but none were gold. But he was happy at the small stuff the joey was hitting on. Just had to walk over some gold. He was poking & proding in all the right places but the gold wasn't coming his way. Somehow we swapped around & I ended up trying the Zed over the shallow bedrock where I had done well with the GM 1000. Not thinking for A second that the Zed would get anything here. got a very faint signal.

      That little bit of a scrape between the coil & the scope & out popped this.

      I couldn't believe it nor could Simon as he combed over this bedrock with his GM 1000 last time up here & I would have gone over it with mine as well. It was down maybe a little bit out of reach of the GM. We did have a lot of rain the night before & I fared the weather would be crap for the whole weekend. But as I have said before & I will say it again, I believe the wet ground helps out  in getting better depth & more sensitivity. Note the wetness on the coil.
      It didn't end there either. I got another signal that had me getting down into this hole in the schist.
       

      You will notice that crack dropping down the face of the schist to the bottom of the picture still packed with material.
      I got a small piece of gold out of that hole & there was another very faint signal coming from that vertical crack. I ended up scrapping that crack as much as I could with the pick but I couldn't get to the signal.

      I went up to my smoko bag & got out my pocket knife. Where was my screwdriver that I normally have in my backpack?  Raked the crack out with the knife.

      A small piece of gold popped out .

      But it still wasn't over.

       

      It was just crazy. They kept coming

      Two bits from the one dig.

      There was a third but once I moved it I lost it & no high frequency VLF to sniff it out.
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      Well bugger me

      Before backfilling I got another very faint hit. And another tiny bit of gold.

      Simon in the meantime was still goldless but getting tiny bits of rubbish. Just has to swing it over some gold. We moved on. I had some more major workings to take him to & let him unleash himself on. Got him up there & left him to it. There was lots of very promising ground for the little coiltek joey mono. I headed back to a spot where I had got quite a few little bits in deeper ground & where Simon had got his two bits with his GM 1000 on our last trip in here. I had not finished detecting the area to my liking so wanted to finish it off. Long story short. I got nothing where I really thought I would. No matter how hard I tried. I headed to a most unlikely looking spot. On the top of a spur with deep loamy soil & no bedrock in sight.
      Found an old broken spade.

      An old timers riveted shovelhead.

      Got a signal that had junk written all over it. Signal out & no bedrock in sight.

      But gold it was.

      This pic is taken from the spur I was standing on & similar to that next spur over. Up high from the gully floor. Glacially pushed & deposited gold...has to be. No water worn rocks on this spur. There was higher up where Simon was detecting.

      I then got a good hit that was right on the edge of a bit of a drop off. Dug down onto it & again it was just this loamy soil. But it was getting deep. So I got the pointy end of my pick & drove into it. Crunch...the pick hit schist. I thought that if the signal carries down to that then I am in with a good chance of a better piece of gold....or not. 

      The schist was to the right of the scoop but then the schist dropped away & I was back into the loamy soil & the signal in that. Again I drove the pick into the soil hoping to here the crunch of schist again. But no joy. Bugger...going to be rubbish. Then the signal was out.
      The best bit of the day.69 of a gram. 

      I got three more small bits after that one . It was starting to get dark. I got a txt from Simon to say he had got none. I was surprised we had coverage in here. I replied but he wasn't getting all my txts. I was in a bit of a blind gully but I was telling him we needed to make a move. Luckily we had head lamps & we needed them. I got into a better spot & phoned him. Along he came & we were out of there. Pitch black by the time we got back to the wagon. We were both leg sore from that. I couldn't believe Simon got no gold. Later he told me he had not been digging the real faint ones. I said they are the most likely ones. He was just so used to the VLF's screaming out on shot gun pellets.
      Mrs JW had gone up north for a week so Simon stayed at my place that night & we had an attack on another spot the next day. We went in Simon's car & I left my phone in it so have no photos of that days mission. Simon did & he is going to take over a post on his day. So I will leave it over to him. My result that day was 5 small bits.
      So on the left of the coil is Saturdays finds & sundays on the right. total of just over 2 grams. Have I ever said how the Zed continues to blow me away on its small gold finding abilities??  

      Cheers & best of luck out there
      JW 
       
    • By kiwijw
      Last Saturday Phrunt (Simon) turned up at my place at 9am. I had the Zed all packed up & ready to go. Simons "new" GPX 4500 hadn't turned up in time so he was taking along his GM 1000 & Gold Bug Pro to compare the two. On our arrival at the car park area we were the only vehicle parked there. We had a bit of a hike to get to where I wanted to take him. We broke the hike up with a detect at some old workings that I hadn't been to for ages. I had never had a VLF over them & as there was a fair amount of shallow ground & sheet bedrock I thought it was as good a spot as any for Simon to swing his VLF's. I think he started off with the GM & was making a hell of a racket with signals every other step. Using no headphones & just the internal speaker,  gezzzz your a noisy bugger I said to him... He was just getting shotgun pellet after shotgun pellet & no gold. I had been over this area quite  few years ago with my GP 3000 & little Coiltek 10 x 5 joey mono & done pretty good. The wild thyme bushes had taken off & trying to swing the Zed's coil among them was impossible to get down to the ground. So I headed off to the side of the workings & targeted the sheet bed rock. I was walking up a small gutter covered in grass growth when I got a good hit. Turned out to be a fragment of tin from an old tin matchbox. Moved on a few feet & got another good solid hit. Thinking it was just going to be the same I was surprised when the signal lived on down through the gravels to the schist bedrock.

      scrapping the bed rock the signal finally moved.

      A sassy little bit of gold. Ye Ha

      .69 of a gram

      That was a loner though as no more came to light. Nothing for Simon either. So after maybe a couple of hours I made the call to carry on with our hike.
      After probably another hour of walking we came to the workings that I wanted to get stuck into. Well bugger me. On getting there there were two other chaps  in there detecting. One with a Zed & the other with what Simon said was a GB2. They weren't overly talkative & were probably pissed off that we had come along. Bugger I said to Simon. We moved up the workings a bit & dropped our packs & detectors. I said to Simon, lets just go for a walk over to the next gully & have a look. Did this, came back to our gear & these other two had packed up & were heading off further up. They had ridden up here on Electric mountain bikes & they were gone in a flash. I had contemplated an Electric mountain bike a few years earlier but the price of them put me off. Seeing how easy they just rode off up the hill did impress me. So I am looking at them now  6.5  & up to 12 grand is pretty daunting though.  Few ounces of gold there. Any way....they were gone so we jumped "their" spot. I then noticed another chap walking up the hill with a detector. Bloody hell I said to Simon....check that out. 5 of us up here detecting. Never have I come across so many. I don't normally see another soul. He walked right up this gully & I moved off detecting to avoid him but he bailed Simon up & must have gassed to Simon for an hour. Wasting valuable detecting time. Simon said he kept trying to get away from him but he just kept on going. He had a 4500 so I think Simon may have picked his brains a bit. So it wasnt all a waste of time.
      Mean while I was getting a few rubbish signals & no gold. When Simon finally got into some detecting he just picked up right where he left off...with shot gun pellets ever step.  I finally got a faint mellow signal.

      It lived on down a bit, more so than pellets , I did get my share but nowhere near as many as Simon. It was a small bit of gold.
      .09 of a gram

      I walked up past Simon, who had been targeting old turned over throw out piles. In this pic he was swinging the Gold Bug Pro & still getting more than his share of pellets. You will see his GM to the right lying in the thyme bushes & my Zed hard center left. After taking the pic I headed to that  pile of stones back this way from Simon. Left click once to enlarge the pic. Let it refocus & left click again & it will go full screen for better detail. 

       

      I got a faint but definite signal. I called Simon over & marked the spot with a light boot scrape. Said to Simon to try there. He got a faint hit. I scraped at it until it had moved. Simon pinpointed it for me & it was a tiny shotgun pellet size piece of gold.
      .06 of a gram

      Unbelievable. But that was it. I went off elsewhere leaving Simon to explore around there. But I got nothing more. Dark wasn't far off & l wondered back down using Simons noisy racket from his continued shotgun pellet signals screaming  out from his GM as my homing in pigeon to locate him . Told him we had better make a move as we had a bit of a walk to get back to the car. Got back just on pitch black. Wouldn't have wanted to have been any later. There was a bit of stumbling & lurching as it was towards the end. Unfortunately Simon got skunked on the gold but made a fortune in lead. Three for the Zed for not even 1 gram.
      Simon now has his 4500 & a new Coiltek 10 x 5 Joey mono coil is on its way to him. Look out this Saturday. Cheers.
      Good luck out there
      JW 
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Edit: I chronicled this trip to Alaska first, and then told the story of my earlier 2013 Alaska Trip after the fact. I did well enough in 2013 I did not want to tip anyone off to what I was up to until I had a chance to return in 2014. Therefore this story got told first, as if the other had not happened. And then the years story was told at the link above.
      My history with the Fortymile Mining District of Alaska began in the 1970's and has continued off and on ever since. Last summer I spent considerable time in the area and have decided to return again this summer.
      Here is the basic plan. I leave Monday to drive from Reno to Alaska. I am stopping a day to visit family in Olympia then will continue to Anchorage, where I will pick up my brother Tom who is flying up from the Lower 48. Then we will backtrack to Chicken, Alaska and pitch a tent site at the Buzby's Chicken Gold Camp http://www.chickengold.com

      Main building at Chicken Creek Gold Camp
      Last year I mostly camped around but did spend a period of time at the Buzby's operation. When I was out and about I had to activate my satellite phone to stay in touch because there is no cell phone service in the Chicken area. The nearest cell phone access is a couple hours back along the road at Tok. There is WiFi access at several locations in Chicken however, one of them being at Chicken Gold Camp. The WiFi access is included in the price of staying there. I am getting a dry camp site for $14 a day (6 days get seventh day free) but it saves me $300 activating my satellite phone, and WiFi allows me to keep on the forum and stay in better touch with my wife than the sat phone. Bottom line not activating the sat phone ends up paying for nearly a month of staying at Chicken Gold Camp. Right now I am booked from June 15 until July 20 but may extend.
      Since I will have pretty much daily Internet access for the entire trip I am inviting you along via this thread to see how we are doing plus to perhaps answer questions for anyone planning to visit Alaska. The Internet access in Chicken is not the greatest even at its best, as the satellite dishes point straight at the horizon just trying to get a signal. That being the case plus I will be busy I will not be posting on other forums for the duration. If you know anyone who might be interested in following this point them this way. I will report in at least a couple times a week and probably more often as time allows or something interesting happens.
      My brother and I will be commuting to various locations from our base camp in Chicken, with a lot of attention paid to Jack Wade Creek about 20 minutes drive up the road. I have access to mining claims on this and other creeks in the area, but we will also spend considerable time on the public access area on the lower 2.5 miles of Jack Wade Creek. Visit this link for more information. This area is open to non-motorized mining and we will of course be metal detecting.
      I have detected on Jack Wade a lot, and I can tell you it is an exercise in hard work and patience. It is all tailing piles full of nails and bullets. The nuggets are very few and far between, with even a single nugget in a day a good days work. However, the nuggets are solid and can be large so can add up if you put in a lot of time. Or not as luck does have a bit to do with it. You could easily spend a week detecting Wade Creek and find nothing. So do not be surprised when I make lots of reports indicating nothing found on a given day. We fully expect that to be the case but hope we hope a month of detecting here and at other locations will pay off.
      I plan on relying mostly on my GPX 5000 but will also be using a Gold Bug Pro for trashy locations or for when I am tired from running the big gun and want to take it easy. I usually run my 18" mono coil on the GPX unless in steep terrain or brushy locations and dig everything. And that means a lot of digging! The Gold Bug Pro eliminates digging a lot of trash and is easy to handle in thick brush. My brother will mostly use my old GP 3000 he bought from me years ago. I am also bringing along the Garrett ATX kind of for backup and also to experiment around with. It also will be easier to use in brushy locations than the GPX. Finally, I hope to possibly have a new Minelab SDC 2300 get shipped to me somewhere along the way to use on some bedrock locations I know of that have been pretty well pounded to death.
      Chris Ralph will be arriving in Fairbanks on July 8th so I will drive in and pick him up. He will be staying with Tom and I until I return him to Fairbanks on July 21.
      High on the list is to visit with Dick Hammond (chickenminer) and other friends in the area.
      The road to Alaska is just another highway these days, with the only real issue being the lack of gas in northern Canada in the middle of the night. The pumps there still do not take credit cards so when the gas station closes you are stuck there until it opens in the morning. Do not try to get gas at Dot Lake at 2AM! I will drive to Olympia to spend a night and day with my mom (12 hours) then on to Dawson Creek/Fort St. John (16 hours), then to Whitehorse (15 hours), and then to Anchorage (12 hours). Four days driving, about $500 in gas for my Toyota 4-Runner. Pick up Tom and some supplies and then back to Chicken (about 8 hours).
      Anyway, you are all invited along at least via the internet to share in the adventure. You have any questions about Alaska in the process then fire away.

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    • By Steve Herschbach
      I like some of the creative photography experiments here with gold nuggets and more....
      https://www.instagram.com/goldsweeper/
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