Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I met up with forum member Condor on Thursday and as promised he took me for a heck of a hike in steep terrain. We got in and pitched camp and that was it for the day. Friday through Monday we shinnied up bedrock chutes and bushwacked through the hills trying to get to old mine workings. This high Sierra 1800's stuff is well grown over and I am learning just how impenetrable the vegetation can get here. Alaska it can get slow going but there is nothing that will actually stop you dead in your tracks. Looks like I need to get a mini chainsaw.

We basically detected in the morning and evening with a little siesta in the main heat of the day. Those old pits can be like big dry, dusty ovens. Only real issue was that Condor had a new SDC 2300 and a new charger system and batteries and there seemed to be issues with the batteries. I had my three pre-charged sets of rechargeables and a couple sets of alkalines. Between what I had in extras plus what he could get charged off his solar panel we did just fine and had power to spare but he needs to sort out what is going on with his batteries. I found a set of my batteries easily got me through a day and maybe a little more so I see no need for me to deal with solar charging unless I am out for more than five days, which honestly I doubt I will be doing.

The gold was sparse and scattered but I did finally hit a mini patch of a few chunky nuggets on the edge of a small pit where material looks to have sluiced over a small bedrock outcrop. My largest was a couple pennyweight and I ended up with 11.2 grams or 7.1 dwt for four days of detecting. I'm happy with a couple grams a day average so I am pleased with the result. Condor got a bit less due to my hitting that little patch. Main thing was hooking back up with old friends, seeing new terrain, and getting my gear sorted out. My boots, sufficient for normal terrain, let me down in hours of near vertical. My toes kept cramming into the ends and I will not be surprised if I loose both big toenails. I have good Alaska mountain boots but they are probably too hot for most of this stuff so a new pair of boots may be in order. Other than that I was fairly happy with my setup.

The SDCs once again proved their worth. Man, this ground was hot!! Serpentine bedrock, with patches of red soil on it that must have been at least 50% magnetite by content. The SDC would want to groan if moved too fast but that was easily remedied by simply doing what we are supposed to and going slow. Worse was when getting what appeared to be a faint signal, and then after scratching off the surface the ground would light up with many faint signals in the disturbed magnetite. It was like it was magnetically aligned resting undisturbed in place but once disturbed the ground responses became mixed. A VLF would be totally dead in this stuff. It actually was a bit like what Chris Ralph and I ran into in a couple very small places and in this case it was more widespread. That all said, I generally was able to easily hunt in sensitivity level "3" very effectively and smoothly, with only small foot or two square areas making me slow way down and see what was up.

Tons of bullets, piles of nails, and basically no sign of prior detecting to speak of. I can see why between the terrain and the ground conditions. It really was a kind of textbook case for having the SDC 2300.

Thanks Condor!! Great little trip, great hanging out with you and catching up on our lives. See you again soon!

My Minelab SDC 2300 takes a break
minelab-sdc-2300-with-gear.jpg

A look at the ground
old-hydraulic-pit.jpg

My mini gold patch
where-gold-was-found.jpg

11.2 grams or 7.1 pennyweight
gold-found-with-minelab-sdc-2300.jpg


This post has been promoted to an article
Link to post
Share on other sites

It was indeed some tough conditions for man and machine.  My pack was upwards of 55 lbs but decently balanced.  Those rock hillsides collect the heat and the brush blocks the breeze.  There were a few times I just couldn't bear to dig one more square nail.  What's even worse we had to live on food and water, no cold beer.  We were lucky enough to camp by a spring, so we had cool water without hiking down to the river.

The SDC is really a great little machine and can definitely find the small stuff rivaling my Gold Bug while still handling some very hot ground.  My biggest nugget was just shy of 3 grams, the smallest too small to weigh.  As has been pointed out else where, the headphone jack is way too fragile and the headphone cord way too short.  I took the extra measure of wrapping the headphone connection with parachute cord and typing it off to the armrest so as not to bugger it so far from home.  

My 12 volt charger and foldable solar panel seemed like a good idea, but left me lacking.  I charged two sets of batteries and got about 2 hours use out of them.  Fortunately, Steve brought spares and saved the day. 

All in all a good trip and a good test of the SDC and my 60 yr old body.  The SDC was a joy, though my 60 yr old frame left me lacking at times.   I hike an hour every day, so the legs were willing, but that good life has left me too round in the middle.  Sleeping on the ground gets old quick.  After a soak in the hot tub and a good nights sleep in a bed, I'm ready to go again. 

I want to reiterate some of things Steve and others have said about the SDC.  Frankly, it is awfully expensive.  It is not the do all and end all of gold detecting machines.  It isn't going to rival the 5000 for power and depth on large nuggets, but no one is trying to claim that it will.  It's got a few flaws that are irksome, but not beyond reason.  Unfortunately, I've hammered my known gold producing areas, and I've about run out of big nuggets until I find some new ground.  An 8" coil would not be my choice for trying to cover as much new ground while trying to find new patches, but that's what we got, I'll work with it.    I like to go detecting, and I especially like to find something worthwhile.  Some people will pay for their machine in the first year.  Me, probably not, but that's not my priority.  I just want to be out there banging away and digging new targets.  I'm chomping at the bit for some cool weather in the desert so I can get back out there.  If you're on the fence and money is tight, don't buy it.  If you're like me and just want to enjoy your detecting experiences, give one a try. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am quite content with a couple grams a day average. That is enough to keep me at it waiting for those oh so rare exceptional finds to come along. Most people will go their entire detecting careers never finding an ounce a gold in a single day let alone a one ounce or larger nugget. And the odds are getting worse, not better. Sadly, the glory days of electronic prospecting are already behind us. Success is still possible and great finds remain to be made, but going forward it is going to be all about patience and persistence. Those that are in it for quick, easy finds will not last long.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/3/2014 at 7:52 PM, Steve Herschbach said:

Sadly, the glory days of electronic prospecting are already behind us.

I totally disagree Steve. There are literally 100's of thousands of acres of prime gold bearing ground here in the SW, and many other places around the world that has never seen a pick, shovel, or a detector. That I know for a fact! Think about it… why do you think some of these companies are all of a sudden coming out with compact type (backpack friendly) detectors?

Having said that… have all the places been hammered to death where a guy can drive the family car to, hop out and hike a few feet and swing his detector? Yes… in those cases I agree with you that the pickens are getting pretty darn slim, and patience and persistence would definitely pay off if you plan on hunting those types of areas.

Personally… I'm not into the tourist traps and hunting anybody's former diggings. Sure a guy can get a little gold here and there, and might get lucky and pull a few whopper nuggets that were missed by the previous miners. However… I much prefer prospecting in areas that not many people (if anybody) have ever prospected before. It's more the thrill of the hunt for me. I like studying the geology, topography, planning my routes, researching any old articles (mostly about the Indians or the cattle ranchers) on the areas, and anything else that might give me an edge once I'm actually out in the field. If I never find any gold, it's no big deal. It's the thrill of hunting and riding in new and unexplored country that's the fun part for me. Finding gold is just be an added bonus.  B)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey congratulations on the finds, on the subject of desert boots I would recommend the converse non metal desert tan 8" after 12years of prospecting in the Arizona desert I can truly say I have tried every brand and style I can think of but the converse is the only one I wear, I have found that it does not matter how good of shape you are in, when the feet give out you are done, I can put a pair of boots through the torture test, so when I found a pair of boots that can keep up with me I keep going back to them. Just my opinion, but they have never disappointed me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hard to believe you guys are actually confessing to lifes aches and pains??  Never thought Steve would confess to such things. I am hurtin every day just in normal life and recently strained both forearms pulling my little 2 inch dredge over rocks in the Wabash river in Indiana. Feels like a bad case of carpal tunnel in both arms at once now....had to go in for Physical Therapy last 2 weeks and more to come. So,much for using the Brute force method !! will be using my bazooka sluices and shovels next week instead. Might even just sit in a lawnchair and relax a day or at the creek instead of digging.

  Nice looking gold. You guys deserve a rich reward.

-

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By Condor
      Another forum member and I decided to explore some new ground about 80 miles from home in Sunny Yuma.  We were working off some of the old USGS pubs for ideas on new areas or at least new areas to us.  We set off yesterday exploring offroad in the RZR for these extinct placer works.  The first 2 locations really did not look like gold producing areas and we couldn't find any evidence of old workings.  Abandoning that area we just started driving some of the old tracks looking for evidence of placer works.  By early afternoon we had about decided to give up when I spotted a new, bright yellow claim sign down the end of a wash.  We drove down there to see what was the ground looked like.  A quick hike revealed the claim owners were drywashing a small gully to bedrock fairly recently.  We decided to take an adjacent wash and see if we could find similar looking ground.  We drove to the end of the wash and although it was getting late in the day we set off to explore the zone about 1/2 mile from the other claim.  There was no sign of placer works in a series of desert washes with shallow bedrock.  About 30 minutes in, I get a decent target sound and started digging.  My friend ended up in the same gully and came up as I was digging.  We got to bedrock and using a pinpointer found a small nugget.  He went on while I finished up.  I swept the hole one last time and got another tone.  To make a long story tolerable, I found 4 nuggets in the same hole.  I got another couple tiny nuggets on the way back to the RZR, he got 1.  
      We hit it again today trying to expand on our search.  I found a decent nugget right off, then nothing for the next hour.  We met up to compare notes, he had found 1 as well.  We split up again and not 50 yds away I got a good tone right next to a bedrock dropoff.  I dug for close to 45 minutes pulling 8 small nuggets out of the same hole.  I found nothing else the rest of the day.  He found a spot that produced 3 nuggets in the same hole and a spot that produced 2 nuggets in the same hole.  It's not unheard of that certain conditions concentrate the nuggets in a favorable spot.  But, the rest of the wash was apparently barren.  I supposed if we dug through the overburden there might be more small nuggets on bedrock, but that's like working.  
      We were in essence "blue sky" detecting, not having any specific knowledge about the area.  Here in Yuma you can't find a desert wash that hasn't been drywashed, so you have a clue that gold has been found before.  Out there, there were no clues to previous gold finds or what might be gold producing areas.  So we were lucky, or as Louis Pasteur said "Luck favors the prepared mind".  Hard work and persistence paid off this time.  
      It's the possibilities that keep us going, not the probabilities.  
      I'm not computer literate enough to fix these angles, Steve H will step in at some point and make them more viewable.  2.38grams is yesterdays single hole.  2.78 is yesterdays total.  2.52 is todays from a single hole.  1.10 is the lonesome nugget I found this morning.   The scoop in the hole shows the glory hole of 8 nuggets.  The other photos are both our nuggets from today on the tailgate of my truck.  I don't have a weight on his nuggets.  







    • By vanursepaul
      Dam Aussies wont let me in yet......... bugger all...
      Starting from Big Spring TX (dust storm central today) and heading west on I-20 to I-10 then thru New Mexico and im pretty sure I will be slowing down as I go thru AZ----- 
      then either on to LA via Rand quad or sweep up thru Vegas and on to, tri-tip Luckys Cold Springs Hideout---- then take a left over the pass and on in to Porta-toilet where Sourdough Scott hangs out so i can pick up a jar of relish!!!!!---- next would be a refreshment stop in Quincy area to see a few old mates---- then on the Redding area,  and over the hill to Eureka- then North to Alaska.....
      YOU HAVE ALL BEEN FORE-WARNED..... use your due diligence to decide if you want to be in those areas.....hahahahahaha.🤣😂🤠
       
    • By Dances With Doves
      Back when  Palladium was around $400 a man   lost his almost 20 gram ring with stones in a shallow  bay on a  Finger Lake.He called the club and my buddy called me and we made the half hour drive to the spot.He did not know  where he lost it in this about 20 acre  cove.Armed with my 5by8 coil on My At gold I got a most unusual sound and  scooped up his huge ring.I walked over to him since he met us there and I drooped the ring in  his hand and asked if this is what you are looking for.This man was so happy  because he  did not believe he would ever see the ring again.He gave the  club a gift of about $150 and  since then the price of palladium has hit about $2400.One other time a man on the  beach lost his ring just by posing for  pictures on the beach. I found it in 20 seconds since I was walking by  when they lost it. I said  I don't  want anything and just kept on hunting down the beach.In this instance a man lost something without even being overly active.The only time I got paid was when i found a young man's key to his  sport       car which was  expensive to replace .I found it in 30 seconds and this guy was  very happy.He offered me money but I refused.He kept on   insisting so   i said I will use it to take my buddy to  Wendy' s to celebrate you getting your  key back.Me and my buddy used the         $20 for a nice meal at Wendy's.One other time someone left a keg on the beach and me and my buddy split the $20  deposit.You  never  know what adventure the beach will bring you.
    • By rob baum
      I bought a house in meadview about 4 years ago.  Every couple months when I go there I try to get over to gold basin to do some detecting or drywashing.  It took me a couple years to find my first nugget out there and its been a couple of years since then and I havent found another.  I swing an SDC and I've read people have done pretty good out there with that model.  I find plenty of lead and boot tacks a inch or two down but not much deeper than that.   What settings are people using out there?  How deep down are people finding the gold?  Would I be better off with a  different model that can go deeper?  I'm not very confident in my abilities since I learned this machine on my own and have only found 2 pieces in the 4 years and dozens of times I've used it.  Any advice would be appreciated. 
    • By Tiftaaft
      My Quest - 2021.
      In years past I have set goals on what I want to accomplish with my detector each year.  The past few years, I have been sidetracked by a re-location to a new job in a new city, and really spent the time getting settled with my family… but as I look out my window in West Houston, and see the snow falling to the ground (yes I said West Houston..!!), I felt it was time to engage my competitive nature in detecting again.
      I happen to live about 6 blocks away from an elementary school, and through historical topo research I discovered that this was a school grounds back to at least 1915.  Of course, as with many school grounds these days… a new school was built, and then another, each one covering a bit, and a bit more of the historical playground area with either the new building(s) or parking lots.  And in the case of this old school – a portion turned into a fenced off water run-off area.  However some of the original grounds exist in an open field adjacent to the new school and parking area, along with some old growth trees, that appeared to be small but in existence judging from the earliest aerials I could find. 
      I have hunted this site since moving here (I mean… it is old ground and walking distance from my house) many times…  I believe a large portion of the ground is overlay/fill dirt to set up a good platform for the new school grounds… so any old finds in this area have been non-existent… However, as I have hunted nearer to a tree line on the outside edge of the old grounds, I have popped up a few older finds, one merc, and a handful of wheaties, along with some clad.  I can tell this site has been cherry picked with the best of them… the one silver coin, and the higher conductive clad finds have been co-located with iron, or other trash…  And this site has plenty of iron and trash.  Which brings me to my long-winded Quest for this year.
      This hammered site (hunted many times by me in the past year, but also obviously hammered prior to my time here) is my target for 2021.  I have hunted it enough times to know these will not be easy “just get the coil over the target” goals… My Quest is as follows:
      One Silver Coin One Indian Head Cent One Buffalo Nickel One "V" Nickel The challenge will be un-masking a silver coin - given the cherry picked nature and masked potential targets of this site.  Challenging in a different way will be finding the lower conductors in the heavy trash area (for example, the few nickels I have recovered, were at a ratio of at least 1 in 25 tabs - all coming in at either solid 12 or 13 on my Equinox).  I will start by trying to use the technology of my machines, and develop my ability to decipher what they are telling me especially in the areas where I have uncovered the wheat cents near the trees, and hopefully making me a better detectorist in the process.  However, I am not shy from endeavoring to start “cleaning out” small sections of the site at a time, which will be lots of trash digging, but if I have learned nothing from my experience and all the posts from more experienced detectorists than me… a site is NEVER hunted out. 
      If nothing else – posting it here will keep me motivated to strive toward the goal.  I will follow up with my progress in much shorter forum posts, I promise 😊. 
      HH in 2021 everyone.  ~Tim.
    • By Dances With Doves
      I got lucky and found 2 1909  quarter eagle  gold coins in 1 hole.The expert hunter Mike Moutray while driving around the country and hunting with people who  guided him to good spots in  their area. He got a hold of my buddy and we  met him at a restaurant and went south to a place that had a old    sulfur spring  and use to  have a  gambling horse track.He hunted around a 200 year old plus oak tree and only went 3/4 of the way around it. He then went to the rest  room and to a different  spot.I went to the tree and hunted in  areas he did not hunt and got a iffy hit.I used my  Sun Ray  probe and got a pull tab hit and pulled out a gold coin and then got my second.I put in my probe and got the same hit but pulled out a fired  bullet.I am sure that he would have  probably got it of  he hunted the whole  tree.I had the coins in the gold pan I had with  the dirt and when he saw them he rolled his  eyes probably because he knows he did not hunt the whole tree.He did get his first 3 cent silver though.This happened in October 2003.
×
×
  • Create New...