New story thread....
Leaving for OZ around May 4th this year--
Can't reveal the details because it is super secret this year....
But hope to be upload some better video this year---
I have been searching for the simplest way to use a camera while in the field...
I haven't found any yet that are that simple, most ways i have tried become so time consuming that they interfere with my fun and relaxation!!!
ANd my TAsk mAster dont like it when i am ... "fkn around!" If he sees too many videos or pictures he will scold me...
Maybe a selfie, "follow me" cheapie drone----- I could hang a piece of bait meat on it for the flies while it is hovering near me,,,LOLOL
This is Jan 20th and I will be traveling to LA on Feb 3rd ..for my last 3 months of "work"
Carry on !
My first pulse unit was a ML 3000, I had carried the unit to Az from Ak without opening the box. I was camped at Decision corners not to far from the old cemetery. Remembering events sometimes taxes you lol, but this was the year that Jonathan Porter came to the US and he was camped not too far away with his group. That evening I charged the big battery and laid everything out for assembly in the morning...After some food and detector assembly my friend and I drove over past the GPAA campground looking for a spot to try out our units. We parked near a metal building and I walked up the hillside towards a flat bench area I had spotted from the road...I made exactly two swings with my detector and I heard this signal sound I will never forget.. Weeee. Oooop lol that's gold for sure, and how could I be so lucky..
The old coinshooter has been gone now for many years (1993) but I remember him very well..he used a CM 3 then, which he just wore out, it was replaced with a brand new Coinmaster 4...I got to hunt with him a few times and it was a pleasure to watch him slowly shuffle along he would stop scan back and forth and either dig or move on, I knew he was listening carefully.. We were hunting together in an old park, lots of targets old steel BCS mostly and other junk.. He called over to me and said what do you think about that? He used one of those old diggers that looked like it was made from conduit with a long narrow point, perfectly stuck on the end was a nice little gold ring..... This person had a ring collection that would choke you, in fact one ring he told me about that he had found was a gents gold piece with a large precious stone, he had taken it to a jeweler that cleaned it for him and I think later he sold it to the jeweler for enough to buy himself a new Ranchero...I tried to hunt with him as much as I could but we lived quite a distance apart and I was just starting to work on preliminary Trans Alaska pipe projects... By the time I could spend time with him he could no longer swing that heavy Whites unit but he liked tagging along with me.. The gold rings he had found were sold but the other pieces he had tied together on a string and there were many.. I haven't looked in the big canvas bank bag he gave me years ago that was almost full of dimes, quarters, halves and a few silver dollars he had found at the old Fairgrounds, parks and old closed country school yards.I .learned a lot by watching how carefully this person hunted, slowly, listening and moving around..He did his homework, a little research and talking to the old timers that stopped by watching him...Who was this person? This Old Coinshooter, I knew him very well, He was my Dad....
Day two started with the same for breakfast as day one finished with dinner, but washed down with two cups of coffee.
Shot of camp set up in among the long grass.
Looking up the gully from standing right in it.
And down the gully
It is very unusual for the grass to be this lush at this time of the year. This is what it is usually like.
These pics are actually at the exact same spot as my post. That rock Mrs JW is sitting on is the rock in front of my wagon in the above pic of my wagon.
Any way.....after I had finished my breakfast I headed off with the Zed. Long story short....not a thing. Well no gold any way. So I went back & got the EQ 800 with its little 6" coil. Walking down & detecting the bald ground of a sheep track I got a faint hit. That big rock, which is cemented silcrete (sarson stone) that the Zed is sitting on center left. Had quite a bit of small tiny gold that the GB2 scored a couple of years ago. I went over it with the EQ 800 but nothing.
On digging this signal from the EQ 800 I was expecting a shot gun pellet. But no....it was a sassy bit of gold.
Not far down the gully & on the opposite side I hit a spot where I had got two bits with the Zed on my last time in here. To my surprise I got a faint hit. Could of course be a pellet
That dirt pile bottom center was one of the bits that I got with the Zed the last time & the rabbits have dug out my back filled dirt. Little shits. You will see a rabbit hole left center, that was where my 2nd bit was that I got with the Zed last time. The Nox's signal is right where the coil is. Another small sassy bit of gold
Back in the days of my GP 3000 I got quite a few bits of gold from around that rock & up on the top edges as well.
Moving on down the gully bit further & on to another "old" hot spot of mine that I did well on with my 4500. I came to a high pile from the old timers. It is very bald & just crushed shattered schist bedrock that they dug down into from the gully floor & must have had a good amount of gold in it. Right up on top I got a faint signal.
This looking back at it from a bit of distance. Gully floor to the left with the grass growth in it.
Another little bit of gold for the Nox.
Then things dried up for me. So I went & got the GB2 & went over the same areas that I had just been over with the Nox. It wasn't until I was back down to the above pile that I got a good hit with the GB2 at the base of the pile. It was weird as just next to the signal was a signal that I had got with the Nox that just turned out to be a bit of rubbish. I know for sure that I had the Nox right over this spot where the GB2 was giving me this very positive zip zip. The point of the pick is where the scrape was from the Nox & the bit of rubbish. The small hole by the GB2 coil is the positive zip zip from the GB2. You may be able to make out the little shard of gold in the scoop.
The deadly little GB2. 👍
Well that was the end of it for 2018. So all up, 3 for the Zed, 4 for the Nox & 1 for the GB2 for just over 2 grams.
Unfortunately Mrs JW's mum passed away . It was unexpected but happened when Mrs JW was up there & holding her hand. Maybe that was meant to be. Mrs JW's brother had come over from Sydney on the very day she passed, so all three of Mrs JW's mums "kids" were present. So that was pretty cool...although sad of course. So I had a mercy dash to get up there for the funeral. The service was held in the same little church, which was built in 1874, where Mrs JW's parents got married in 1952. The coffin rested on the very spot where they exchanged their wedding vowels all those years ago. Sad but that was a nice touch too. The spot where they started their lives together & where Mrs JW's mum had her final farewell.
Sorry to be morbid, but with that & then xmas right upon us is the reason I didn't get to do that last post adventure of 2018. Xmas I went over to the West Coast jet boating & bush camping.
We had two days of perfect weather & then two days of light rain. The river rose 3 feet & was still rising so the next day we decided to bail. The extra water made for saver boating back down river but our launching area was under water for pulling our boats back out. We had to boat up a side river to another spot to get our boats out. The fun of it all. Of course Mrs JW didnt come over for that. So I headed back home, picked her up & we headed back to the West coast but this time went north up the coast further to see a friend & took our E bikes to do a new West coast Wilderness trail. The trail follows old gold mining water races & old timber milling tramway tracks. It was pretty cool riding through these old historic areas in the native bush.
The start of a water race section
The water race now takes water to feed a small hydro power station
That would get a pelton wheel spinning.
Went past a plaque showing the Kanieri Bucket line gold dredge. There were heaps of these operating in NZ. This one continued on until 1982.
Mrs JW on a section of the bush milling tramway track.
Despite taking the three amigos, GB2, Gold Monster & EQ 800 I didnt do any detecting on the West Coast . Too much other stuff to do. It wasn't until the Saturday just gone that I went out for my first detect of 2019. It was a stinkin hot day & not very enjoyable. I even forgot to take my phone with me, so no pics. I managed just three small bits. All signals got with the Zed & two of those where pinpointed & recovered with the GB2. Once I had moved them & broken the halo effect the Zed lost them.
After getting those three I headed off elsewhere for a bit of night detecting to get away from the flies & the heat. It was a spot where I wanted to try the Gold Monster & tiny gold on bedrock, but all I got was Simon's favorite. A pocket full of shot gun pellets. The Zed got its fair share of rubbish & damn pellets too.
At least my first days detecting of 2019 wasn't a skunk.
Oh....how can I not tell you that on the 22nd of December I went & saw Shania Twain live in concert in Dunedin. It was her final show of her "Shania Now" world tour of 88 shows. Mrs JW wasnt into it so I had to go all by myself. Center stage 9 rows back from the front.
On that note I will leave you in peace.
Best of luck out there for 2019
Hi guys, I never got around to posting what ended up being my last gold detecting adventure of 2018. Mrs JW had gone up north to spend time some with her aging mum & was gone for over the course of a weekend. So being home alone I made the decision to do a saturday overnight camping adventure to "Doug's Gully". You may recall in a post not long ago of a day trip Mrs JW & I made to this same gully & I made the comment that in all the years I have frequented this gully I have never seen any water in the gully floor, let alone any running water. Well that time with Mrs JW there had been two days of very heavy rain resulting in lots of flooding throughout Central Otago. On getting to this gully there was 4" of water flowing down this usually bone dry gully floor. You will notice snow on the hills in the background.
Of course the grass growth had gone mental & I had been struggling to find gold here now. I have trashed it over the years but always manage to wrangle a few bits out of it. On this occasion I was betting on the wet & damp conditions to aid me on this quest. I wasn't disappointed & managed 7 little pieces before Mrs JW made noises about heading home.
So I had unfinished business to do in there as I had not detected as much of the gully as I had wanted to when Mrs JW was with me. I know the hot spots & again we had had a bit of wet weather & I knew the ground would be damp & so hopefully carry on giving me the edge on the gold from where I left off last time.
So with tent & gear on board & Mrs JW up north I headed off. I took with me the Zed of course & the three amigos, the high frequency VLF's. The Gold Monster, GB2 & the EQ 800 with 6" coil. I can drive right to this gully but it is a bit of a mission & has its moments. But I got there unscathed. The grass had gone even more crazy but the bonus of the damp conditions was that there were mushrooms everywhere. Ye Ha. I love those so after I had set up camp,
I went for a wander & gathered a few up. I knew what was going to be on the menu for dinner that night & breakfast in the morning.
After a cup of coffee I fired up the Zed & targeted that bald spot straight out from the tent. Which is an eroded old timers throwout pile from turning over the gully floor. I was going to have to target these bald spots due to the crazy grass growth.
Not even two minutes into it I got a real faint signal. Digging down onto it, it lived on to a bit of depth. I tried each of the VLF's at about 6 inches. Not a peep out of any of them. Hmmmmm. You will notice an old back filled dig hole to the upper right of the scoop & also to the left of the GB2. They were small bits of gold from my last time in here when the water was flowing down the "creek"
So I kept on digging & at about 8 inches there was still nothing from the VLF's. Bloody hell. The Zed was going nuts but I still didn't know if it was ferrous or not or where a bouts exactly it was in the hole. Finally I got a hit on the VLFs, well the GM & the EQ 800....just. Not the GB2 at this stage. I had to dig a bit more to get the VLF's to give me the nod of a non ferrous target. My hopes increased that it may be gold now. Finally at about 14 inches the signal was out.
The scoop is 12 inches long.
Was it a bloody .22 shell??
No..... Just over 1 gram. Ye Ha. I am picking that it was on edge to give the VLF's such a hard time in picking up on it.
Here is a pic standing back a bit from the scene looking down the gully. You will see the long grass growing in the pit that the old timers had dug out & the resultant doughnut like circle of the dug out dirt tossed out around the perimeter of the pit. Hence they were called pot hole diggings. Along with other humps & bumps & holes up & down the gully from there activity. I would love to get a digger into that gully.
Well....not two yards away I got an identical sounding signal & on getting down 12 inches & it was still in the ground my hopes were high. I didnt get the VLF's involved on this one as the digging was a bit easier & then the signal was out.
The tip of an old timers pick. Even if the VLF's told me it was ferrous I still would have got it out of the ground just to get rid of it. BUGGER. Not far away on the edge of this bald spot up against a clump of grass growth I got another faint signal.
It was getting down to about 6 inches before it was out. Pretty small for the Zed & that 14" coil. Still blows me away at the depth it gets this small gold.
I got another small one with the Zed.
I then thought I would give the EQ 800 a spin over that bald spot after finishing it with the Zed.
I got a faint little hit with the EQ 800 in full max everything in the settings department & Multi IQ, Gold Mode 2
Down about 2 inches.
Looks better a bit bigger.
I called it quits for the Saturday on that one. So three for the Zed & one for the EQ 800.
Had me some mushrooms to sort out for dinner.
On top of a couple of bangers,
baked beans & eggs. Washed down with a coffee.
Doing it tough on the goldfields. I then wondered if I was the first to have camped here since the old timers. I doubt if anybody else had.
to be continued: I need my beauty sleep.
Good luck out there
By Reno Chris
Last year was not a banner prospecting year for me. I got out a number of times and did detect some gold and did some dry washing, but it was a year of other problems and obligations. I had two trips to the hospital, one emergency by ambulance, and one for surgery on my heart (not open heart, but the doctor put a probe up through a vein into the inside of my heart). My wife had two stays at the hospital as well. We also spent time moving my elderly mother in law from southern California where she has few remaining relatives, up to Reno.
I did get out and find some nice gold in my prospecting, but I made fewer trips and got less gold than I have in many years. I did however, do some serious hard rock prospecting in 2018 and made two deals with mining exploration companies to lease out properties that I own. One deal was made on a set of claims that I had staked years ago, while the other was on a large set of claims I staked in 2018 (along with two partners which I have in that claim group). We staked over 200 claims in that group and it took some time in getting all of those claims out and posted. The company that leased those claims from us flew a helicopter survey over them and made several exciting finds. The ore bodies likely found there are electrically conductive, and the coil and electronics used to “see” the ore bodies are of a pulse type design – just like the pulse detectors we use, but with a gigantic coil and a bit different electronics.
So I can look at 2018 in a couple of different ways – for the direct gold I dug, it was a very poor year. Yet for the total money I made on my prospecting it was a different story. Counting the money I made on leasing out claims in 2018, if you calculated out the equivalent ounces of gold, that would make it my best year ever, by far. The money was the bullion weight equivalent of several pounds.
So in 2019 I hope to stay out of the hospital, and to take no rides in ambulances. I pray my wife stays out of the hospital too. I hope to spend more time in the hills prospecting, and do more detecting and more drywashing as well. I will stake some more claims and see if I can get those leased out as well, but I really want to do my own prospecting as I enjoy that so much.
For those interested in more details on the story of the claims I staked and how I got them leased off to two different exploration companies, I have a story this month in the ICMJ – called Making a Big Discovery. In the February and March issues I will have a two part article on how these lease contracts are structured and what a small miner might expect in such a deal.
Photos – A few of my detected nuggets; the helicopter surveying my claims, and some of the ground where the claims are located.