I began this Rye Patch trip on Thursday morning about 2 AM. It was time to go meet Dig It and see how he was doing there. This time it was a normal trip without the burning satellite re-entry I saw on one trip before. I was treated with a full moon on my way up 395, 6, 95 and I80.
We met up without a problem and I headed out to places where I wanted to look and some places where I had found nuggets in the past. I'd say at least half of my trips to Rye Patch get me on a nugget and the other half don't. This is my first trip up here since Australia so I'm wondering what I gained from all that swinging. Anyway, it was good to meet up with Ken, have a chat about his escapades and try to help him understand what little I know about Rye Patch.
We parted and I expected to see him again the next day. I have a bit of an open schedule and he warned me that it was going to be warmer than we planned. I went on to near the burn barrel and spent one of those glorious nights of sleep I get after doing an all nighter. I had no sleep the previous night and I can stretch out in the 4Runner and enjoy a night of no city or neighbor noise! Planes are constantly landing at LAX and if they are from Asia they fly over Santa Monica. No planes at Rye Patch. haha
I went to bed at dark, watching the sunset out the front and watching the moon rise in the back! I captured the sunrise the next morning.
Rye Patch is full. I've been here many times when all of that area was dry. It was a nice, clear, cool morning. Time to get going.
I headed in a direction to take advantage of the morning.
Before I got to my spot I had my first target of the day.
I dug around and in the early light with my sunglasses on and dirt on the target I thought it was lead. There's lots of trash in the area as I found out later. I looked and looked and finally gave it a mouth wash and I saw the color! Yeeee haaaa ... a nice nugget.
I've cleaned it up by soaking it in vinegar. I don't know the weight yet. I'll edit this post when I find out. I think it is my best Rye Patch nugget.
Lucky Friday the 13th full moon nugget. I gridded that area for half the day and only found trash. I don't think I would have that nugget now if it had been in the reverse order. I found the clue early and gridded. If I would have found trash, trash, trash without a clue I probably would have moved on. I discovered a couple of things while looking for more in that area but they will be put into another post.
It is my only nugget of the 3 days so far but I'm seeing some new to me patches. More travel tomorrow while the temperature is up.
By Dig It
Hi Folks, I've been on the road detecting Fairbanks/Richards district then on to Jack Wade & 40 mile area AK. and like I have said Watch out Nevada here I come.... Doctors said I shouldn't sit & watch football & drink adult beverages all winter so here I am on my way to Northern Nevada & I would like to hook up with anyone that's detecting. Have toy hauler & 6x6 and all the right tools. I am in Oregon right now trying to slow my roll, 112 @ my friends in Nevada so gonna BLM Campground for a couple weeks in Oregon unless someone says lets go. Otherwise will be working my way south as temps come down a bit, AC works in camper but not outside... Haha !!!! So will be bck. on site reading the news & stories again & posting some good summer finds, lets detect, Gold / Relics / Coins just want to swing a detector...….
All of us travel to and fro to find gold. Sometimes we find it and sometimes we don't. If we are 'lucky' and look around us on the way to the goldfields we are surrounded by beautiful nature and geology. One of my most surprising trips was taking Hwy 93 north out of Las Vegas, Nevada towards Ely, Nevada. I was headed to the total eclipse in Wyoming. There was quite a lot of water and wetlands around the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge which was a great surprise.
I'm wondering what are the great drives that other prospectors feel are their favorites. This could become a long thread or possibly a separate forum because it could include the drive, campsites, side trips and the like.
I'm always reminded of JW's posting of his gold sites in New Zealand (makes me want to go) which are so scenic and I saw many vistas in Australia that still pop into my mind. We all have 'hidden' off road trips and areas all over the world. Let's see how the editor lets this one go.
Week 3 started off a little slow. It rained for 2 days, then a day of sun, then a 3rd day of rain. You just can't drive the Aussie tracks when they're wet. The camp held up well in the rain, no significant leaks. Fortunately, I brought audio books and a Kindle so we kept entertained.
All the clouds put our power grid to the test. We had to use Paul's generator a couple times to top off the battery. I'm including a photo of our power grid, looks like a soup sandwich. We're running about 200 watts of flexible solar panels into a 100amp hr Li-Ion battery. With full sun running only the outback refrigerator, our battery stays fully charged. At night with charging our equipment we drop about 1/4 of battery capacity. We should have thought more about charging compatibility, as it stands we need 110AC for the laptop and 2way radios, cigarette lighter plugs for lights and USB for phones and GPS. What a mess trying to keep it all functioning. I had to rewire our cigarette lighter outlet bank, the wires fried somewhere along the line. I'm ordering a backup tonight.
We took the time to go into town and do laundry and take hot showers at the Caravan Park. I ran my clothes through twice, I think the Aussie red dirt may be permanent on some of my stuff.
We've been out doing real prospecting looking for new patches along the "line of strike". We've been off the beaten path and as a precaution punch in the GPS coordinates of the truck. Like Daniel Boone, I've never been lost, though a might bewildered a few times. Just when I think I'm in unexplored territory, I find and old timer's campsite or dry-blower tailngs where he sampled the same zone. Our only luck has been a few crumbs off old dry-blower zones. Modern mechanized prospectors have often run a dozer over the old timer's tailings and scraped things to bedrock. If there is some of original caprock left, we have a better chance of finding something.
Paul has been off on a frolic of his own. We don't expect to see him for another week, in the meantime Trent sold the caravan Paul was using. Paul is homeless, I hope he doesn't repo his pop-up trailer that we're using. Trent is thinking about moving our half of Camp Yank about 60k to the south to detect a new area said to have good gold. It will be a challenge dividing up the campsite necessities and we'll miss nightly entertainment of Paul's crazy stories.
Sunset from Downunder. That's all for now.
Between the bad experience with the X-Coil and our general inability to learn the geology of WA gold finding, we've run up the white flag. Frankly, without the help of Paul and Trent we really wouldn't have made it this far. Most people have no real appreciation for how vast and roadless it is out here in WA. When you pop into a market in a tiny town of 600 and they have on offer Kangaroo tail by the kilo, you've really reached the limits of habitation. On the day we met Dave, we drove over 300k and saw 4 other vehicles and a bunch of dead roo's on the side of the road. There are dry water courses that are marked for the depth during severe rain. All Ute's have snorkel intakes and some raised exhaust tailpipes. Otherwise there's no water except in towns and the flies are inescapable. I can't imagine how we would have survived without the gazebo and insect net panels, especially for cooking or relaxing.
It is an adventure and I can't say I would be satisfied if I hadn't given it an honest try. I'd always wonder what might have been. We'll be packing up camp Yank tomorrow then a flight out of Perth on Wed. I'll be happy to get home, but that 110 degrees in sunny Yuma is going to be a drag. While I've been away we got a new family member, a bouncing baby "GoldenDoodle" coincidently named "Aussie" in my absence. I'll have my work cut out for me with dog training for awhile.
Talking with Trent he suggests I fall on my sword with Minelab and send them the whole unadulterated mess and ask for help. Perhaps they'll view it as an intellectual challenge or chalk it off as a Yank not smart enough to leave well enough alone. Either way, all I've got right now is a poorly designed boat anchor or an odd conversation piece We'll see.
We'll catch you on the other side of the world next week.