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.
Retiree 'overcome with emotion' after 2kg gold nugget find in Australia
A prospector has dug up a massive gold nugget near Ballarat in central Victoria. A pensioner was overcome with emotion after unearthing a two-kilogram golden nugget in Australia.
The massive nugget was dug up on the outskirts of Ballarat, a former gold rush town in Victoria.
A local prospector store which sells gold mining equipment said the finder was "overcome with emotion" when he present the nugget to store workers.
The explorer who found the big bounty was a retiree who wished to remain anonymous.
Gold Ballarat/ Screenshot from Facebook What a find. A pensioner was overcome with emotion after uncovering this large lump of gold. Gold Ballarat posted on Facebook saying that for the explorer, "his lifetime dream had come true".
"The retired Pensioner was overcome wth emotion! when he presented the "Nugget" to us in store," the Facebook post read.
The nugget weighed in at just under 2kg, and had an estimated value of $140,000.
Mark Day of Gold Ballarat told Nine News that the finder had already received offers of $160,000 for the nugget.
"I've been in this business for 25 years and this is the biggest find we have seen by one of our customers – that they've told me about anyway," he said.
Gold Ballarat/ Screenshot from Facebook One Australian pensioner has hit the jackpot after finding a gold nugget worth more than $140,000. Day said the man's detector went off when he had been searching in old pastureland.
At first he unearthed a lead bullet, but his detector kept "insisting" there was something further down.
About a metre deep, he found his golden treasure.
Collectors were reportedly lining up to buy the nugget, which was set to fetch a premium because of its size and shape, Day told Nine News.
ps... you missed that one Mitchel
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.
Well we finally got thru obligatory rehab work, and we dryblowing work.
Drove the backhoe to the next area and decided to scrape a little while we were there...
10grams right off.
Most were in the dirt above the cap.
Did a repeat the second day with 16grams?
Got most of the gear ready to go... piddling today...enjoyed Sunday with a couple of mates.
Getting my camper all ready to go bush...
I repaired some tears and old loose seams yesterday with a Speedy Stitcher... handy tool to have if you ever have to sew canvas....works like a charm
Built a new battery/propane housing frame on the tongue so I can boondock with 2 propane and 2 deep cycle batteries on hand.
Also got a Yagi antenna from Trent that should give me Internet... that will be crazy out where I’m going...
I already took the water trailer with 250 gallons down day before yesterday.
Hopefully this area will keep producing well for us.
Picture of me below shows how I love dryblowing.