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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 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:
      https://stoutstandards.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/a-qa-with-detectorist-prospector-steve-herschbach/
       
    • By mn90403
      It was time for another Rye Patch trip.  It was a group outing this time and I had invited Chet.  He was already there when I showed up out in the field about 3 on Wednesday afternoon.  It was an 8.5 hour drive and I had added a couple of hours onto it getting checked in to my cabin but I was there!  Chet had not found anything so he said I'll follow you.
      We got set up and he said he would catch up on some things and it was near the end of the day so I headed up.  Before I got up too far my first target gave me that nice, warm sound.  Even with the little sleep I had I thought it was a good target.  I scraped and it didn't move and down a bit farther it didn't come out of the hole and then down about 7" I had it in the scoop.  I sometimes overestimate so I put on my 7000 navigation that it was 1 gram but later not to be.  It is just .72g.  It is the nugget on the top left on the scale.
      I looked around the area and saw old dig holes so I knew I had to stay.  I circled and gridded in the late afternoon sun and I got another signal.  This one was a little deeper at 8".  The size slightly larger at .75g.  That was it for awhile until another repeatable signal.  I don't remember the exact depth but I think 5" and I didn't really know if it was gold.  It is and it is .11g!  I didn't have my phone with me but that was it.  I was beat and so was Chet so we took the 35 minute ride back to camp.
      Overnight it was pretty cold at 17-19 so I left the lid on my coolers open in my car and outside.  When I got up the drinks had frozen in both of them but we were off for the same location. 

      This time Chet hit the area where I found those three nuggets.  I walked up the hill as I had intended.  We didn't move the cars all day.  Chet was working the little bowl and I was up on the sides of the big gully and anything else that looked promising.  I heard a promising signal in a little dry, side run and it had shale type rock around but the signal would go away when I scraped and scratched.  I was into some harder rock and it stayed and stayed and then I blasted it with my pick and it was out.  It is the nugget in the middle.  A solid 1.5 g nugget!  I didn't have my phone with me as it was affecting my detector.
      Down in the distance I could see Chet working his 17" X Coil very slowly over and over the area from the day before.  He had been digging some deep holes.  When I made it down to him he said he had found one down about 10" that I didn't get.  He also found another smaller one.  In addition he had dug some really deep holes where some type of metal pieces had sounded off for him.  It was a good day.  I had a nice nugget and he had a couple.
      Friday we started at a different location but soon I wanted to get back to 'the area' but a bit higher.  We both walked a long ways checking piles, pushes and holes.  I was heading back up the hill and hear that nice sound again.  This was only 4 inches or so and out came a nice flatter nugget (.84g).  When I looked around I saw someone's recent filled in dig hole but they didn't get this nugget.  The trash was hiding it!



       
      Things die out in the desert but not like they do in Australia!  Australia is one big kangaroo graveyard!

      Here is the total for this trip.  (I didn't find anything with a half day Saturday.)

       
      If I add in the two nuggets from my last trip then I have about 1/4 oz of Rye Patch gold.

       
      Thanks Chet for the companionship and the stories.  You have some really great ones about gold, jobs, life and I wish others could hear them.
      Mitchel
    • By Steve Herschbach
      This in many ways is a repeat of my 2018 UK Adventure except two weeks this time instead of three. The 2018 thread is loaded with details and very many local photos that I will not repeat here. Go to the link for the "full tour" with location and travel details.
      I booked the trip last year as is pretty much mandatory for the Colchester trips. There are only a limited number of trips available in the spring and fall and with so many people returning every year you really have to plan ahead. Mindy had a 10 day opening so I jumped on that as a week is just not enough in my opinion.
      With the benefit of last years trip experience I was able to weed my suitcase down to 40 lbs including two complete Equinox with 15" coils. Had it about perfect except for a couple shirts I never did wear. I was packed well in advance, and had great connections, so was looking forward to a relaxed trip. I had an afternoon flight out of Reno connecting in Chicago with an overnight to London. Perfect for me to sleep away a lot of the 10 hour overseas portion, and arriving in London in the morning.
      The plane was half boarded when they announced boarding would halt while they evaluated a flight advisory just in from Chicago. Massive thunderstorms, all flights in delayed for three hours - just enough to miss my connection! I have to give American Airlines credit, they automatically booked me into another flight just two hours later than the original connection, still arriving in London plenty early.
      We land at Chicago and the plane taxis forever. Finally the pilot announces the gate is blocked and he has driven past it twice. I'm looking at my watch thinking "this is going to be close!" Luckily the gates were close together, but I literally got off the one flight and walked onto the other. I was pretty sure my bag was not going to make it.
      Well, the flight was fine but less seat space than any overseas flight I have had yet. Price was great though so oh well. I can't say I was shocked to find my bag had been left behind in Chicago as did prove to be the case. Still, all we were doing was booking into a hotel next to the airport before heading out next day, so I hoped my bag would follow on the next flight.
      No such luck, so next day on the first hunt in the afternoon I was in my travel clothes and on a field with a borrowed Equinox. Thanks Tim! Luckily in a group of seven people somebody always has spares; just as I always travel with a spare, so do others. My very first target that I dug was a full British Crown, I believe a 1937 George VI. Not that old but a large coin and 50% silver. I made some other finds but was hampered a bit wandering around in corn stalk stubble in street shoes. Can't complain though... I was happy to be in England and out detecting!

      12th-14th century St Mary the Virgin's Church, Little Bromley
      Again, American Airlines came through in the end. They actually delivered my bag that afternoon the 99 miles to Colchester (their limit is 100 miles) at no charge. So it really was just a minor snafu of no consequence, mainly due to good weather and a spare machine being available.
      We had a really great group, four guys and three gals including Mindy. Mindy cooks in each evening except for one pub night out. There was also an optional museum tour for one day later in the trip. I wanted to wait and see how my finds were doing before deciding about that. Weather for the first part of the trip was the best I'd ever seen in England, about 70F each day. It made for really pleasant field hunting.
      I was as always hoping for a gold coin, with anything else accidental by catch. I was making nice coin and relic finds, including a couple hammered silver coins. A few days into the trip, good buddy Tim, he of the gold ingot from last year, was nearby when he scored his second Celtic 1/4 stater ever, a real beauty. Not minutes later Mindy found here first ever Saxon sceat, a small rare coin that was one of her last "bucket list" items. Lots of smiles and high emotion in the group that day! This may not seem real but the fact is I come very close to liking somebody else making a great find as making one myself. I was right there, got to see the finds right out of the ground, and shared in that "great find high". It's one of the best things about hunting with a group in my opinion. I may never find a Celtic gold coin, but I have been right there when it happened several times now, and that really is about as good for me.

      Tim and Mindy's finds - Celtic quarter stater and Saxon silver sceat
      A few days later we were hunting a field right across the road from a small town. I was getting some nice buttons and 1800's coins but nothing spectacular. Late in the day I got another typical button signal of about 17 on the Equinox. I proceeded to dig but the hole was getting deeper and wider with no button found. One of the things I like about the 15” coil is I can pinpoint fairly well with the tip or heel of the coil, and nosing around in the hole revealed the target was deeper and larger. At over a foot the target was squealing, and I was sure it was a large iron target or possibly even an aluminum can. There have been times and places where I have kicked the dirt back in the hole and moved on from such targets, but not in England where you never know what might turn up. I was however getting near the plow line now, the point below which the ground turns rock hard and where due to the rules we have to stop digging. I worked round the center of the target and gave a last scoop, and there sitting in the bottom of the hole was a large green item that tumbled out of the shovel full of dirt.
      I’m no expert at this kind of stuff, but it looked like a Bronze Age ax head to me. This was not something that I had ever expected to find and so my brain was not really processing it. I wandered over to my buddy Tim who was nearby and asked “is this what I think it is?” I swear he almost fell over, realizing the import of the find more than I had, and assured me I had found an excellent condition Bronze Age ax. Better yet, it appeared to be intact, as many of these that are found have been broken. The final verdict was that my find is a Bronze Age palstave, a predecessor to the modern ax. A palstave is a development of the flat ax, where the shaped sides are cast rather than hammered.
      My particular find has been identified as a Bronze Age (circa 1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase. In other words about 3500 years old, and about as old as anything that can possibly be found with a metal detector! I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would ever find anything so ancient while metal detecting, and the fact this ax is intact and in good condition makes it the find of a lifetime, and that is no exaggeration. I have always been looking for that gold coin, but after all the gold I have found in my life and now with this I am officially saying "good enough". Anything I ever find from here on out in my detecting career is just gravy, my detecting bucket list is complete. 

      Bronze Age (c.1500-1400 BC) cast copper alloy primary shield pattern palstave, dating to the Acton Park Phase
      (photo of Steve by Tim Blank with permission)
      This trip was extra good because everyone in the group was making some really great finds, many in excess of what they were hoping for. After many years detecting these huge fields are far from hunted out, with many of the best finds coming from fields that have been hunted well over a decade. Still new ground does come online regularly, and those fields add a little extra fun in the form of the unknown, especially as regards possible horde finds.
      There was one set of new fields that another group had found a lot of Roman stuff, including a really nice Roman silver coin and some good condition bronze coins. The trip was over half over and our weather had turned rainy. Not too bad really, just passing storms, with two hours of solid rain the worst I saw. Still, this limits some of the hunting as some fields with a lot of clay content get really nasty. After my ax find I had four days of mostly newer 1700s and 1800s coins and various widgets, but sort of a four day dry spell. So Tim and I passed on the museum tour and braved the rains instead since time was now running short.
      That plan paid off for me in a couple more hammered silver coins, bring my total for the trip to four. The hammered silver are kind of the standard prized find on these trips, rare but not so rare that most everyone has a good shot at some. Most date from 1200 to the 1600's after which milled silver coins replaced them. I found them off in one corner of the field and as the day wore on decided to head back to the area where all the Roman stuff had been found. There were many footprints but lots of gaps and so I hunted in the gaps. The day was almost over when I got a strong signal and dug up an odd looking lump. At first I had no idea what it was, but suddenly as I cleaned it a head and shoulders resolved into view. I had what appears to be a small bronze Roman bust!
      There is no real way to date the find, but it definitely looks like a Roman noble of some sort, and was found in the middle of a lot of other Roman finds so it is 90% certain to be around a couple thousand years old, maybe 100 AD going by the coin finds. I am in some ways more pleased by this find than the ax head for some reason. It’s almost like I am talking to that old Roman. I wonder who lost it and what it was. Decorative? A child’s toy? There was a Roman barracks in the area so military related somehow? It is just a great find and I am not aware of anything like it being found by the club before.

      Small bronze Roman bust found by Steve
      As noted I was running the Minelab Equinox with 15" coil the whole trip. In retrospect I wish I had brought steveg's new rod with counterbalance as my upper back would have thanked me for it the first three days, but it was a bit too long for my suitcase. Since everyone always wants to know, I basically used the same settings this year as last year with one minor tweak. Last year I ran Recovery Speed 5 and this year lowered that to 4. I normally run with nothing rejected, full tones, but have the Horseshoe button set up to reject 6 and under. This eliminates small stuff, maybe even small silver cut coins, but anything round will still ring up. Target ID 1-6 gets all manner of really tiny stuff almost always small lead or brass fragments. Stuff that’s also slow to recover. So as I say I normally hunt wide open and dig it all, but if time is limited or I am just tired of tiny stuff I hit the Horseshoe Button to go to “Cherry Pick Mode”.
      Park 1
      Frequency Multi
      Noise Cancel 0 (adjust as needed)
      Ground Balance Manual, 0
      Volume Adjust 20 (adjust as needed)
      Tone Volume 12, 25, 25, 25, 25 (Steve 4, 25, 25, 25, 25)
      Threshold Level 0
      Threshold Pitch 4
      Target Tone 5 (Steve 50)
      Tone Pitch 1, 6, 12, 18, 25
      Reject –9 to 1 and Accept 2 to 40 (Steve Reject -9 to 6 and Accept 7 to 40)
      Tone Break 0, 10, 20, 30
      Recovery Speed 5 (Steve 4)
      Iron Bias 6
      Sensitivity 20 (Steve 22 to 25)
      Backlight Off
      Just a really great time with great people and some fabulous finds. I will post a complete set of pictures at some later date when I get the export listing, but for now here are a couple of my favorite hammered silvers from the trip to wrap up this report. Submitted to Minelab for the Find of the Month contest so we will see if I get lucky there also. 

       
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