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    • By 1515Art
      Been going back and forth to the new place in Las Vegas setting up all the little things that need to be done to move in and flying back and forth on frontier’s Special rates sometimes for as little as $15 one way the only catch is you can only take a little personal bag with you on the airplane. Got tired of renting a car and not having any prospecting gear so I loaded up the Jeep and drove it down for a longer stay and a planned first hunt. Friday had everything ready and my Jeep fully loaded for an early start in the morning, that evening I headed out the front door no shoes or shirt to check the mail box and in the dark missed the edge of the front step rolled my foot and did a summersault down the front steps praying I was going to be able to walk when this was over as I watched the world spin around me out of control. When I came to a stop laying there foot throbbing I summoned up the courage to raise up and put weight on the injured limb, painful but I could hobble,

      I downed a few Alive and met friends for dinner at an all you can eat seafood buffet my foot still hurting but slowly improving. Next morning after warming up and more Pills I’m limping but feeling like things are worth a try and head out the door for the little over 2 hour drive to gold basin, Arizona from my house. By the time I got there after a few stops and marking my claim borders on the gps my hunt started around 7:30AM navigating the wash with my hurt foot a challenge and my detector kept signaling on my metal free Keene boots?  Turns out the pair I’d grabbed and threw in the Jeep I’d used pulling up carpet puttin in a new wood floor and both shoes had a dozen or more staples stuck in the bottom, without pliers I got all but one tiny piece out of the bottom of my shoes the little staple end stuck in the bottom of the shoe on my hurt foot interfering every time I forgot it was there. Learning a new place I learned where not to hunt but I felt good about my detector small targets were  slamming and I’m sure I’d have heard the gold if I’d been over any

      by around 2 in the afternoon my left knee was hurting as much as my right foot from taking up the slack walking uneven terrain and standing up from digging that I decided to call it a day and I’d accomplished my goal of some exercise and finding the place to hunt. As I was directing the 7000 around the area I kept 3 rocks that hit hard on the gpz, the two smaller very magnetic the larger magnetic but less than the little ones. The smallest roughly 130g on a little analog food scale the larger around 230g and the large stone (?) somewhere between 5 and 10#’s I’d guess for both pieces found several feet apart from each other.

      looking at other examples on the web they seem to hit the correct marks, any thoughts? Just earth rock or did I get lucky?
    • By And
      I made a few videos about our trip to Chicken Alaska this year. Here is episode 1: Journey to Chicken: Two swiss hobby gold prospectors travel to Chicken, Alaska to find some gold on Myers Fork. This first episode contains some impressions of the journey and our sweet arrival in Chicken, Alaska. Episode 2 (coming soon) is about us, trying to find some gold on Myers Fork and having a good time in Chicken Gold Camp.
    • By IdahoPeg
      Time flew by up at the cabin and on my little claim this season. I continued to clear, detect, and drywash the decomposed granite bench areas. Here’s a nice clean out from one drywash session:

      I also reworked the sides of some oldtimer Diggings, filling in their ditch as I go....lots of work here for little return lol!

      Found some nice nuggies when I uncovered some crevices in a different bedrock...biggest piece was almost .6gram, decent size for up here:

      A highlight of the summer was having my nephew’s boys visit. They learned drywashing, running the concentrates through the recirculating sluice, then how to pan. Each ended up with a couple grams(hmmm....maybe a little “salt” in those concentrates lol):

      AND the season ended on a positive note! Found a nice handful in this small scraping from a new spot....definitely will setup the drywasher here next year! 

      Ended up with just shy of 12 grams total up here for the season....not much gold, but tons of fun and memories! 🙂
    • By mn90403
      I'm on another trip to Northern Nevada.  This time I had a change in plans and came a day early for a meeting and to hear Chris Ralph speak at the Comstock Gold Prospectors Club.  I had a chance to detect a local park.  I found a few coins and a half ounce, 10K gold ring that fits me.  Those are the facts.  How I got here is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey use to say.


      The rest of the story begins yesterday about 2:30 AM I left Santa Monica for northern California and some claims I've been on several times.  I really haven't found a lot of gold there but I know others tha have so I was on my way.  This was not one of my focused trips as it turns out.  I knew I was going to a meeting in Reno on Tuesday night but I had already delayed my departure by a day.  My hotel room was booked and I was going to stay a night in the 4Runner.
      When I was going through Sacramento my GPS was going haywire and I couldn't tell the route that saved the most time so I went up to Auburn and got on the 49.  Anyone will tell you that is a long and winding route to Sierra City.  Many will not go that way if pulling a trailer or have a high camper.  My 4Runner has a peculiar problem with the front stability sensors.  I've not been able to determine what makes one or the other of the wheels 'grab' in the turns sometimes but it does.  This trip was very bad for that problem.  It made me constantly aware on the turns and made driving difficult.
      That I can take.  I've done it before but this time they were working on the road.  I got to a point where there was a stoppage for about half an hour.  When I finally got to the claim I wanted to detect it was after noon.  I was beat but I wanted to follow the plan.  I detected for a couple of hours in one spot and then a couple of hours in another spot and my mind said I'm done.  Only trash to find.  
      While I was detecting in the perfect weather I noticed a Cal Fire truck had gone past me a couple of times.  On my way out of the forest I noticed a logging crew had left with plenty of daylight left.  Off in the distance I could see something like a cloud over the mountains.  After looking at it a bit I determined it was probably a fire and over 20 miles downwind from me but it got me thinking.  Did I really want to spend the night in the forest?  No.
      I drove to Graeagle and added a night to my hotel stay and headed off the 60 miles to Reno/Sparks.  On the way there was another 25 minute delay for road work on Hwy 70.  I had never been this was to Reno before but it could be a good way if you are pulling a trailer.  I think Fred goes this way off of the 395.  
      The day is getting long and tiring after 500 plus miles and I finally make it to the Motel 6.  I choose this so I can walk my stuff into the room and charge it and other things.  They assured me I was on the ground floor and then they said it is down the walkway!  What?  I want to park in front of my door.  Well, I couldn't.  I almost went back to the desk to cancel but I found a parking place in one of those 'questionable Motel 6's' but I was here.
      The room was ok but the heater doesn't have a working fan.  I went to find a Safeway and it is 9 miles away.  I'm fairly irritated ...  I get in the room, eat, watch until I fall asleep.  I sleep and sleep until 9AM.  I sleep a bit more and hang around the room.  Where to go and what to do?  Nothing grabbed me.  It was just time to recharge my batteries.
      So now I determine I'll visit a park.  Which one?  I had looked at some parks last night and had ideas so I put one in the phone and headed out about 1PM feeling a bit like I had wasted a day.  The park was close but the streets are confusing.  I passed by a sign ... Fisherman's Park ... that wasn't where I was going.  I had given thought to detecting the river and remembered some stories of a big flood in Reno many years ago that threw everything into the Truckee River.  I tried to turn around but everything is near the freeways and no turns.  I could have just gone on to my park on my phone but I was 'pulled back' to the river park.  After several turnarounds I made it back.
      As soon as I got there I could see all the tents.  This park and part of the river is loaded with what we would call the 'homeless' but in fact this is their home.  There were many fires burning and shopping carts are everywhere.  Their camps follow the river bottom.  I guess this time of year the chance for a flood is small.  Above some of these tents was a bike path and on one side of the bike path was a grassy area and then a slope with some trees and a fence.  I went back to my car and got the detector and headed for that slope.  It had little grass and I thought I'd get a feel for the ground.  If I had to go on to the next park I would.

      My first target was the little lock.  It was a scratchy sound but in the 18-20 range.  (I just realized as I'm writing this I used Beach 1 with the 11 inch coil for the full hour!)  I moved up to the tree line and saw a sunbaker quarter.  Around it was a bit of a spill and I kept working this area for several minutes using the pointer for very shallow coins.  Nothing was coming up wheat or silver.  It was all too new.  After a bit of time I moved down closer to the river but was unwilling to work the area because a tent guy and his little black dog were near.  I'd been there about an hour and it was time to go.
      On my way out I thought I would hit the grassy area.  I got a couple of tops and caps that were just under the grass but not deep.  Then I got another penny sound (19-20) but it didn't look too deep.  I had been skipping some of these like I do at the beach in favor of finding and digging higher numbers but this one was a digger.  I used the pointer to find it and the knife to lift it a bit and then I saw it was round like a penny but had a hole.   No way ... a RING!  It had some weight but I had my gloves on and couldn't tell.  I rubbed the front and it took some of the dark dirt off of it and looked golden.  I couldn't believe it.

      I looked at the sides and it was tarnished.  No way could it be gold and then I saw some bluegreen color.  It must be copper I said to myself.  That is why it has the penny sound.  I didn't have my glasses with me they were a few hundred yards away in the car.  I headed back to get them and I said let me take the pictures.  I did that and then went back to the car.
      When I got there I did some rubbing and couldn't see any marks in the usual places.  The tarnish was also not coming off so I said ... no gold.  But then I spotted a mark.  It says 10K!  What a reward for a long trip.
      It reminds me of a 10K Masonic ring I found in Tonopah but that is another story ...
    • By Glenn in CO
      Enjoyed the question and answer about Steve Herschbach with Dick Stout and a lot of great stories past and present. I liked the one about Goose Lake and Elderberry Park in 1972.
      Check it out at:
    • By Steve Herschbach
      Alaska raised the annual state mining claim rental rates substantially in August, as people who got the billing know. The state website fact sheet still shows the old rates however and people who did not get the billing may be in for a unpleasant surprise.
      On August 1st, the Office of the Lt. Governor approved a change to 11 AAC 86, setting forth new rental rates for mining claims, prospecting sites, and mining leases for the 2020 mining year that begins on September 1, 2019. These increases to mining rental rates were conducted in accordance with State of Alaska Law AS 38.05.211, which requires an adjustment to the rental rates based on the change on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Alaska every 10 years to account for the change in the cost of living over the 10 year period between adjustments. The last adjustment was completed in 2009. Table 1 list the new rental rates for different types, sizes, and ages of mining claims and leasehold locations.

      The rental requirement for prospecting sites is a one-time payment of $305.00 to be paid at the time the prospecting site is recorded. Prospecting sites are good for 2 years and may not be renewed.
      Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
      Question? - How are the new rental rates calculated?
      Answer. - In 1989, the State of Alaska Legislature set the rental rates for mining claims, leasehold locations, and mining leases. In addition, the legislature directed the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to adjust the rental rates every 10 years based on a change in the CPI for Alaska using the following simple formula in which the denominator is the CPI for the first half of 1989 as determined by the Federal Government Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the nominator is the CPI for the first half of the year in which the adjustment was made. The formula resulted a correction factor. The correction factor is multiplied by the rental rates set in 1989 to produce the new rental rates.
      Question? - Why is the rental rate for Quarter Section mining claims not exactly 4 times the rate for the Quarter-Quarter Section mining claim?
      Answer. – The Legislature required DNR to round off the rental rate to the nearest $5.00. For example; the calculated rental rate for a 40 acre claim of less than 5 years is $41.27 and when rounded to the nearest $5.00 is $40.00. Multiplying $41.27 by 4 results in the actual rental rate for a 160 acre claim to be $165.08 and rounding off to the nearest $5.00 is $165.00.
      Question? – I have already paid my claim rental for the coming year at the previous year rate. Will I automatically lose my claim because I didn’t pay the total amount due for this year?
      Answer – No. By regulation, if it is determined that a miner fails to make a full payment for rent on a mining claim, DNR is required to notify the miner of the deficient payment by certified mail. The miner is then required to make full payment on or before December 2nd or 30 days after the receipt of the letter, whichever is later.
      Any additional questions not addressed above will be answered by contacting DNR representative Lora Eddy at (907) 269-8628 or Kristen Shake at (907) 269-8652, or by email at kristen.shake@alaska.gov. 
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