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.
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.
By Gerry in Idaho
Condor and his trip/notes was the inspiration of my post. He too realized the easy gold is gone, but we go for the Adventure too. Thanks Condor for sparking my old memories. At least you can say.."I did it".
Spring 2006 three buddies/I decided it was time to quit talking about it and just do "Australia" with a detector for gold. With many details left out, but a quick overview.
Yes I made it home (America) and am alive. The venomous snakes, iguanas (4 foot poisonous lizard), attacking kangaroos, wild goats and monster sized spiders/centipedes could not stand up against the rancid ripe odor of an un-bathed light skinned Yankee running across the dehydrated desert flats with detector in hand. I just returned from an enjoyable 1st time trip to Western Australia and the richly red iron soils of the Outback areas of known golden fields Kalgoorlie/Leanora.
Even though I caught some serious plane crud on the 16 hour flight from LAX to Sydney, AU. and it lasted hard the 1st week and a half before I got a little better...I still managed to have fun. The Outback is one of a beautiful and secluded primitive place this mother earth allows us to play with many sites, sounds and wonders to gather and ponder in the mind. I would love to return some day, but would do things a little more different and be set up for gold hunting more for the serious BUSH and not be seen for a week at a time.
Most areas we detected had been hunted really hard (just like here in the US such as Rye Patch, NV.) and we would find the crumbs that others missed do to their lack of detector knowledge and skill. We did manage to find an occasional small site that was off the beaten path and get a few nuggets. The Minelab GP-3500 with a Commander 15” MONO elliptical coil ran flawlessly and found most of my nuggets. In fact all 4 of us were using GP-3500’s and were amazed at how well they ran in the much heard of highly mineralized Australian soil. I did manage to find 4 small patches that produced the majority of my gold..
In no way do I base the success of this trip on recovered gold, but as usual, I hoped for and expected more. Of the 4 detectorists (including myself), we found approx 110 nuggets and one 5 oz specimen. I managed 62 of those nuggets and the specimen. To give you a weight total, we had a combined wt of approx. 4 ounces and then the 5 ounce specimen. Of the 4 ounces of gold nuggets we all found, my total wt was just over 64 grams (2 ounces) for the 62 nuggets, so you get an idea of the size with an average of my nuggets being around 1 gram each. The largest nugget (not including the specimen) was 3.9 gram and there were 2 of those found.
Yes I was hoping for a few larger nuggets and even expected that we each could find a 1/4 oz'er but that never happened. Does that mean the trip was a bust? Most certainly not and I assure you, it was an amazing trip that I'll fondly remember for the rest of my life.
Moral of the story to add to Condors trip. Over 10+ years ago, 4 good American nugget hunters with the newest detector technologies did not find what we had expected and hoped for in the gold category. 4 of us Americans did something most dream about but never do and we'll remember the Australian Outback...and those girls wearing pasties, for the rest of our lives. I always wondered if there was a nugget under one of those pasties? Maybe go back some day to check.
Thanks for caring.
Gerry in Idaho
JOIN ME WITH YOUR OFF ROAD VEHICLE ???
Making convoy of 2-3 vehicles will be much better & saver
Let's shake this Yukon & Northwest Territories FOR A BIGGER NUGGETS : CREEKS , HILL , ANY SUSPICION PLACE WITH TOUGH ACCESS ?
Not looking for panning gold in my case
I can’t get my expenses anyway with panning gold ?
So Im playing Bingo here
It is going to be a lot of nuggets or I will have unforgettable memories for life which is ok
Im getting ready from now.
It is going to be risky & dangerous expedition , rethink twice before YES I’m coming
There is the plan for gold nuggets & meteorites in undiscovered areas far a way from City’s
1-2 Off road reliable vehicle ( installed winch will be nice)
Firearms – Mandatory !!! good caliber will 45-70 many grizzles are there too ?
You’ll need to carry at least 10 jerry cans of gas or Diesel (200 Liters) + full tank of gas
So we do not have to waste time in looking for gas stations
Satellite phone- it is up to you & gps if you have one would be better
Metal detector – gpx will be best or whatever you have
Leaving my place in Ontario on May 10th 2020 to Yukon.
It will be around 10 days driving to Yukon so We can meet somewhere in Yukon
My trip will be 4 months long , if you guys want to get success then you have to stay long time
And get the risk too !
I know it is expensive expedition but you never know what you can find
There is priority – No ones have it done before , why ? money, time, risk , work and so on
That’s why the chance is big
Otherwise you are spending money and wasting time for nothing (2-3 weeks not enough )
If you have $$ to burn & if you are crazy enough then Welcome ?
I'm late getting out week 4, but unfortunately there wasn't much to report. We've had wind, then some wind & rain, then some really fine days. We lost a day here and there between weather, then the meeting with Dave on the X-Coil. We had 2 long days at the very southern end of the lease and did a great deal of exploring. We found a few crumbs. Dennis actually found 12 nuggets that weighed a total of 1.2 grams. It was enough to keep us busy and always thinking we were one coil swing away from a really good strike. We just couldn't get that coil over the big stuff.
I'm using our backup GPX5000 with the 14X9 Coiltek Elite coil while I'm waiting for my Patch Lead to be completed. I was amazed at how quiet that machine can be. I cranked up the RX and cranked down the Stabilizer just so I could hear some noise. I found 3 tiny crumbs, 1 of them in one of my own boot scrapes from last week. Clearly, the 5000 can find tiny gold. My Patch Lead is delayed for another week, apparently one of the 5-pin connecter screws twisted off during reassembly. I'm satisfied I'm not missing much if anything with the 5000, but I really want to get that 17" X-Coil in motion.
We're making our move to a new lease tomorrow so we've got a full day of packing and hauling Camp Yank. The flies remain a constant distraction during midday. I bring out the bug hood the minute one dive bombs my eyes or nose. They are persistent little buggers, Dennis is a lot more tolerant.
Paul made it back safe and sound. He's chomping at the bit to get some of this $1400 an oz gold out of the ground. Their backhoe is up and running again, so good things should start happening soon for their team.
Sorry for the short and relatively uneventful report. Maybe next week, it's all about the possibilities not the probabilities that keeps us swinging those detectors.