Jump to content
Lanny

Golden Grams Of Goodness: Nugget Shooting Stories

Recommended Posts

On 3/12/2019 at 11:22 AM, kiwijw said:

Oh Lanny.....what else can I say. You are the master when it comes to the written word. Love it & love your gold finds. Thank you for the journey. I was with you every step of the way.:wub: I needed a rest & a lay down to after that chocolate pudding. :laugh:

Very best of luck to you my friend.

JW :smile:

Thanks for the kind compliments, and thanks for the friendship as well. I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and I appreciate you taking the time to drop in.

I'll try to get around to posting another story when I get a chance.

All the best,

Lanny

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, for something different, Flashback Friday Entry:

(This is a true story, although I have taken some liberties in enhancing some details, but I have not exaggerated any of the facts about the gold.)

Before I start this story, I’ll need to provide a bit of background. I was chasing the gold in the mid 1990-s one summer, in a wilderness area far to the north of where I currently live. While there, I worked with some large-scale placer miners, helping out whenever and wherever I could. In return, as the miners were a wealth of knowledge about the new-to-me area, they gave me valuable tips on where to look for gold in that heavily glaciated region. They also let me tag along as they excavated to bedrock so I could see firsthand the local variables of gold deposition. However, as any of you that chase the gold well know, even with tips from the locals, it’s still possible to find trouble while looking for gold, and that trip was no exception.


Story Title: Gettin’ High On Placer Diggin’s

Sorry in advance to those of you into illegal or licensed substances, or those of you hardy enough to have actually smoked gold, or had it ground finely enough to inject or snort, because this tale does not deal with banned chemicals, licensed stimulants, or hallucinogenic substances. (Except I do think I have hallucinated while dreaming about gold in the past, especially during our long winters.) This story deals with the mind-altering effects of a metal. However, this prospecting tale itself is nonetheless mind-altering and reading it is not without risk.

One summer, when the snows had melted and the swollen rivers had dropped enough to allow travel, I headed up North to the gold-fields. Up north means a sixteen-hour drive from my home. But, why drive sixteen hours when there are other gold fields much closer? 

Well, there’s far less people that’s why, and there’s coarser gold. As for population, there are less than thirty souls. As for the gold, it’s chunky and knobby. On a related note, some of the local boys dig test-pits right in their front yards, then shovel the dirt into a small high-banker onsite, and they get good gold.

But, I digress again, and as you'll see, I'm pretty good at digressing. 

So, to summarize, less people, that’s good, right? But bugs? Bad! There are tens of millions of nasty, blood-sucking, winged vampires! There’s no way to hide from, or to outrun them. The bears, by comparison, are less of a concern, mainly because they can’t fly. But, because the bears are huge, smelly, and can be cranky (kind of like me after too long in the bush) they do deserve some respect.

In retrospect, I was in an area of low mountains with fresh, crystalline streams, surrounded by thick stands of deep-green boreal forest. In the low places, mysterious swamps nestled into the hollows and were bordered by countless mounds of glacial till, leavings from the miles-thick ancient glaciers that once bound the land in perpetual winter. 

The moving glaciers generated havoc, and the ancient, glacial meltwater produced numerous, titanic rivers, and some placer excavations have exposed seven or eight overlapping and intersecting stream deposits. In contrast, the frozen glaciers were dozers on insane steroids, cutting deep down or deep into the original bedrock, then pushing sections of channels helter-skelter, or orphaning sections of channel high above the present streambeds. It was one of these orphaned sections that this story is written about. 

One day, I was sitting near the wash-plant fixing a broken six-inch pump. Having been at it a while, I took a break. Looking across the river, I noticed something high up on the opposite slope. A line of boulders and river rock ran in a well-defined line along its side. The line indicated an ancient riverbed resting atop the underlying black slate bedrock. It was roughly sixty feet above the modern-day river, and sections of that high channel had sloughed off, exposing a bit of face. 

Because of this, I scanned the area with my binoculars to gather more information. Clearly, the channel rested on a bedrock rim, while the river-run itself was covered by eighty or so feet of boulder clay, which was then topped by thick forest. 

All at once, my pea-sized brain was hammered by a giant, golden brainwave . . . I had to cross the river to sample that channel!

No argument or thought of personal safety holds me back if there's a shot at getting gold! As hot fever had fired my resolve, I had to act.

I grabbed a five-gallon (20-liter) plastic pail, shovel, pry/digging bar, and a small sledge; these items all fit neatly inside the bucket. Next, I shouldered into my prospecting backpack. (I keep all of my essentials in the backpack for easy transport. Nonetheless, when fully loaded, it weighs just a tad under a fully loaded B-52 bomber.) However, rather than worry about the gear in my backpack, I should have chucked it out and made room for a back-up brain instead. As will be seen, a spare brain would have saved me a lot of trouble that day . . .

Regardless, all packed up, I made my way down to the river. Now, in Canada, even in mid-summer (which it was), the rivers that far north in B.C. NEVER get warm. In fact, if you dunk your head, you get instant brain-freeze! Ignoring rational thinking, I had the clever idea to delicately pick my way across the stream in my rubber boots, and ballet-like, I flitted from rock to rock. Yet somehow, I lost control. Disaster struck! Prospector, pail, and pack plunged below the surface. (Any comments uttered after surfacing will not be printed here in order to protect the innocent.)

In spite of being wet and cold, I fully enjoyed the rest of the crossing (that’s a huge lie!). I felt somewhat refreshed (another whopper) after dragging my cold, soggy carcass out of the water. On a brighter note, after dumping eighty or so pounds of ice-water from each boot, it was easier to walk.

So, threading through the poplars and aspens beside the river, I then headed up the slope until I hit a new obstacle: boulder clay. This is the stuff I mentioned earlier, a nasty mixture of tan to yellowish clay liberally dosed with boulders that was abandoned whenever and wherever the lazy glaciers wished. 

Boulder clay sloughs or oozes down hillsides when it's wet, and later it dries into bomb-proof concrete, though not quite as soft as concrete. As well, getting a toehold on it is the devil. Regardless, I somehow cut some steps with my shovel, and through stubborn dedication, I progressed a third of the distance upslope finding a v-shaped wash filled with cobbles and larger rocks, ones birthed from the channel and boulder clay above. The v-shaped wash held a nest of ill-tempered branches, dead limbs, and exposed roots that blocked my way. However, even with my squishy, soggy socks and boots, I navigated Mother Nature’s hazards. 

I continued upslope and worked my way into some sheltering pines. At that elevation, the smell of the pines is a wondrous thing; it's a smell I'll always associate with the true sense of freedom only to be enjoyed in the mountain environment while out chasing the gold. 

At last, I reached the high placer diggin's, the coveted bedrock rim with its ancient channel. Eagerly, I went to work. (I need to provide a little description of the worksite here: Imagine how tricky it is to rest one rubber boot on a three-inch ledge of bedrock, as the other boot powers the shovel, all while trying to maintain enough balance to avoid a tumble down the mountain. Imagine as well using the pick and bar in such tight quarters, while trying to carve out an excavation, one running three feet into the face of the boulder clay in an attempt to expose the bedrock.

Success arrived when I exposed the underlying black slate of the high channel. Then, pulling my sniping tools from my backpack, I cleaned every little crevice, cranny, and dip or gutter in the slate and dropped the collections into my bucket. In addition, I added some oxidized reddish-orange dirt to my bucket as well.

Not relishing the long haul down to the river with a small load, and wanting a good test sample, I loaded that bucket as heavy as I could in case I only made one trip. So, with the bucket filled, I tossed my tools over the edge to a landing of sorts, lifted the bucket, and turned around. Instantly, I realized something shocking; that return slope looked a lot steeper than it had on the way up! What mind-altering substance had possessed me to get where I was anyway?

Clearly, some moron had deluded himself into scrambling to a place no sane person ever would. Moreover, I get myself into such fixes by denying the existence of the laws of physics, and probability, etc. I override and defeat all laws, and any stored wisdom when I'm gold crazy. Yet, I carry on in happy oblivion until I realize far too late what I've done. Regardless of my denial of scientific laws, etc., one law never surrenders to my delusions, and that law, as we shall see, is the irrefutable law of gravity!

So, there I was, faced with a problem. I had to go down, no option, because I couldn't go up a vertical wall of boulder clay regardless of how high I was on gold-fever delirium. Deciding on a better course of action, I took the first step down. (This in spite of my brain trying too late to warn me of some impending doom. Come to think of it, I often override my brain's warnings to court danger while chasing gold.)

However, the first step really wasn't that bad. I just leaned into the hill and put all of my weight back on my boot heel. Miraculously, it held me in place, and the eight-thousand-pound bucket of gravel and I took another step forward. (Could it be that the bucket was so heavy because of its high gold content? Or, was I just an idiot that had severely overloaded it?)

I kept at it, leaning and stepping, and soon found myself in the branches and cobbles that littered the earlier mentioned wash. I took several more steps but then a malicious root or scheming branch snagged my boot. Well, that bucket just kicked out in front of me like it was rocket-boosted. (At about twice the speed of light, Sir Isaac Newton’s law had instant and complete control.)

Immediately my brain switched to its salvation-panic mode as I yanked myself back as hard as I could, the bucket jerking back toward me. 

However, the problem was, my feet no longer cared what I was doing, as in trying to right myself, they chose instead to betray me by heading down the mountain. The effects of gravity increased in intensity as I picked up speed.

Now, when viewed from the other side of the canyon, it must have looked as if someone had shot and wounded a strange forest creature, some ugly beast, a raging bull-moose perhaps, or some other smelly, cantankerous critter (a classification I could easily qualify for after weeks in the bush!). It also must have looked as if that crazed creature was hurtling down the slope to a certain and speedy demise.

The real truth, however, is that instead of being out of control, I was magnificently in control, in fact, most supremely so. Even with my rubber boots throwing off more smoke than an Alaskan smudge fire, the accompanying smoke was a planned effect to keep the bugs at bay. However, keeping the smoke pouring from those hot boots while simultaneously attempting to apply my brakes among the boulders proved too tricky. In addition, the fact that the three gold pans in my backpack were absorbing more shock than a crash-test-dummy at impact was only a minor annoyance. As well, bashing off the face of the boulder clay was merely a slight test of my prospecting mettle, so to speak.

At last, still breathing (though hot and ragged breaths those breaths were), I came to a sudden stop. Some friendly tree branches gracefully halted my ballet-like plunge. (It's rumoured a visiting Russian judge, observing from across the river, gave me a 9 out of 10!)

Now, for those with a sense of the divine in nature, this was the perfect moment. The moment that finds the human at one with the mountain (and miraculously still alive). However, more remarkable than my survival was that the dirt had not spilled from my bucket! Yes, that is the wonder in this high placer tale—not a stone was lost from the bucket, not a single grain of sand! 

So, with pay-dirt still intact, I somehow made my joints regain function, more or less (more pain and less function!). However, with renewed confidence, I set off once again. The only obstacle remaining was the sullen boulder clay.

At some point, you'd think the brain would revolt, refusing to power the muscles required for descent, especially after a such a brush with imminent extinction, all perpetrated by some ambitious idiot bent on chasing dirt! But no, the brain can always be overridden! I've located the master switch to disarm it. I've used it many times to stop logical thought, yet I have somehow survived to tell this tale. (This is proof that life is full of mysteries, ones not easily solved by rational thought.)

At any rate, about a dozen steps down, the clay, somewhat wet from a seep, remembered one of its admirable qualities, the slicker than greased Teflon quality, and off I went again. This time it was only a playful, sort of jarring bashing, with the odd bone-numbing wallop thrown in for variety. It lasted for a mere twenty or so feet, then I came to a feather-like stop on the gravel below, the contents of the bucket still intact.

Although amazed at the miraculous luck required to save such a valuable cargo, I took a break and picked a pan full of golf ball-sized gravel out of my mouth. Next I pushed several teeth back into their sockets, then replaced my left eyeball. After that, I checked to see what the crooked protrusion was that seemed to be attached to my head. Finding that it was my neck, and finding that it was still attached to my shoulders, I set off to the river to pan the dirt!

Three flakes, in five gallons. . . . You can't make this stuff up.

I guess there's a lesson to be learned here, but far be it from me to get preachy, or to force my hard-earned wisdom on any of you. I'll let you figure out the drug-induced dangers of gettin’ high while chasing placer diggin’s.

All the best,

Lanny

  • Like 5
  • Haha 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lanny said:

I'll let you figure out the drug-induced dangers of gettin’ high while chasing placer diggin’s.

So....what were you on?? :laugh: Another classic Lanny. Thank you.

JW

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love it...…...more so because of the digressing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the post Lanny, cheered me up on a day I was needing so. I really enjoy your posts.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/15/2019 at 6:04 PM, Jim_Alaska said:

Another winner Lanny. Laughed all the way through it.  

Jim, you've always been a good friend, and a great supporter.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and thanks for leaving a note.

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/15/2019 at 11:43 PM, kiwijw said:

So....what were you on?? :laugh: Another classic Lanny. Thank you.

JW

I can't quite recall as when I'm back in the comfort of my own home, I wonder the same thing . . .

Many thanks for dropping in, and all the best, especially during this difficult time for your country,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2019 at 2:07 AM, Norvic said:

Love it...…...more so because of the digressing.

Glad you enjoyed the digressing, as I often find myself unable to avoid it, too many connections to other connections . . .

Does that mean I've been chasing the gold for too long?

All the best, and thanks for leaving a note,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2019 at 2:26 AM, phrunt said:

Thanks for the post Lanny, cheered me up on a day I was needing so. I really enjoy your posts.

Many thanks Simon, and I can't begin to imagine the sadness and horror that you are all dealing with at this time.

Take care,

Lanny

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By kiwijw
      Hi guys, I wasn't going to bother posting up my tiddlers after Simons single BIG piece trounced my 5 pieces combined by almost twice the weight on his rewarding day. That's what you get for digging every signal. Sure you get a pocket full of .22 shells but that one gram piece was worth it aye. Now I have a confession to make here.  I told Simon I got nothing at his Mr Pocket spot..... But I got two. They were my biggest two of the day. .3 of a gram & .09  
      Simon did a good job on his first post of our day there so I will just cut to the chase. I had done quite well here back with my GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 mono coil. I put Simon on to some old timer piles hoping his 4500 & 14 x 9 NF Evo coil might punch deeper into & give something up to him. It didn't. While I detected opposite him & working my way to some schist bedrock where I had done well with the GP 3000 on tiny bits. High Yield/Normal sensitivity on 19 & going very slowly scraping the coil over the bedrock when I got to it. Of course it is a shotgun pellet graveyard so got my share of those.  After getting my first few I kept checking all signals.
      This could have well been another pellet. I didn't take a VLF with me so had to be very careful not losing the target after moving it & breaking the "halo" effect & losing the signal. So after a bit of a scrape I blew the dirt & dust away & had my first piece of gold.
       I continued to detect very slowly on the edge of the grass & the bedrock as there was a bit of a lip & fracture in the bedrock.
      In the next pic, which is the same as the above pic but from a different angle, you will see a bit of a depression in the bedrock & the lichen on the bedrock just above & slightly to the right of the scoop.
      I got what I thought was a very slight cough in the threshold going over that depression. A couple of scrapes & removing the lichen revealed that the depression was the edge of a flat slab of schist sitting on top of the bedrock. It was totally unrecognisable & just appeared to be the bedrock surface.
      I have over the years realised just how many bedrock nooks & crannies & secret gold hiding cracks & fractures that lichen can hide. So I flipped the slab over to reveal another bit of a lip & drop off in the bedrock, right at the top edge of the coil. That is where the now improved signal was coming from.
      I scraped the pointy end of the pick along it & revealed a crack going under the now over hanging bedrock. Broke it open & one more scrape had the signal move. A bit more blowing &...piece number two
      Waved the coil very slowly over the rest of that little plateau & was getting nothing but pellets. Got to the last corner of the bedrock & was getting feed up with the pellets when one of them morphed into a tiny piece of gold smaller than a pellet.
      Unbelievable. Simon later made a comment that I had never thought of or considered before, & that was that people just wouldn't believe that I was finding gold this small with that 14" coil on the Zed. But Simon is my witness.
      It was at this stage that Simon had found his Mr Pocket & said he could get no more from it & relinquished it to me to try with the Zed. So I did. It was in among that tall dry grass that he has shown his pics of. My first signal was a very good hit, & I thought, here we go a .22 shell. But  no...a .3 of a gram piece of gold. Followed by a fainter signal but a positive one. Very shallow. .09 of a gram. But that was it. Nothing but .22 shells from there on. Even a live one. Thank goodness I got those two bits first off after getting a pocket full of .22 shells after them.
       
      Total of .57 of a gram for 5 pieces. The .3 one really helped lift that total. 
      Mr possum looks a bit delirious with holding all that gold. Or is it the "cigarette" he is smoking?     His tongue is even hanging out....as well as his dangley bits.
      Cheers
      Good luck out there
      JW
    • By Cal_Cobra
      I posted this on the coin & relic forum, but suspect a lot of Equinox forum members may not venture over there, so decided to post it here. 
      I tested the 15" coil at an old Spanish trail stage stop and was pretty blown away by the results, here's a link to the story and video:
      GL&HH,
      Cal
    • By Cal_Cobra
      Just returned home from a crazy road-trip.  We had a work event in Las Vegas last week, and we had some equipment to haul in.The company said they'd pay my gas, so I decided to drive it, and take a few extra days off and go to one of my old Spanish trail sites to detect on my way home.  What a trip it turned out to be!
      Snow blizzard on the way to Vegas.  Then from Vegas to California, was one of the worst rain storms in like 50 years...I was out on a little two lane, twisty, curvy road that routes you though the mountains and it started out as just small oozes of mud filling areas of the road, or wet slicks as water filled the roads, but as I progressed higher into the mountains, it was progressively worsening, now small streams and creeks and boulders were taking over the road, then massive mud slides onto the roads.  
      The road would worsen.   The roads were washed out and flooded with white water rivers now taking over, filling the road with a debris field of rocks, small trees and brush, and tons of sand.   One one occasion I was blasting through what amounted to a massive river flowing across the road, and while trying to blast though it a massive sand bar under the water attempted to trap the car, but luckily the FJ is a very capable off road vehicle, and it was able to make it though this and many more obstacles to come.  So after all this, I get to my destination and the motel had canceled everyone's reservations because they had no water or power.  Great, now I'm out in the middle of BFE with no place to stay and I'm not driving back through raging water flash floods.  I ended up spending the night in my FJ Cruiser in the middle of the desert.  It was a weird night, to be made even more strange by the fact that the only radio station I could pick up out there was playing Indian chants all night - LOL  
      Between storms, I managed to get in a day of detecting, but with an even larger storm system nipping at my heals, I decided to head back before it hit the fan!
      I managed a good day testing the 15" Equinox coil at a site that's been stingy lately.  Tom and I hunted it the last time we were there, and neither of us dug a single coin, but for whatever reason the Equinox lit it up (tu)
      Enjoy!
      Flickr account is buggered up, else I'd post a still pic, but here's the video:
      GL&HH
      Cal
       
       
    • By kiwijw
      Hi guys, I headed out for an afternoon detect on Saturday to an old haunt that is getting pretty lean now. The grass growth has been insane this summer being very detrimental to my detecting & just where I can swing the coil. I have been forced to target the balder areas of the old timers throw out piles where the gravels must be too sour for grass growth. But of course I have hammered these over the years so not expecting to get much....if anything these days from them.
      This is how they should be this time of the year. But they aren't. This pic was taken a few years ago when I got 3 bits off here from the top end of the working towards those trees. 
      I didn't take a pic of how they were on Saturday but this next pic is the paddock next to these old workings on my drive in to them.
      I started at the bottom end & worked my up detecting the small amount of bald spots. I was getting nothing. I worked my way up to the top end where I had got the three bits I previously spoke of. The gravels here were a bit more inviting looking. I thought that at the time to when I got those three bits. Well bugger me...I got a faint but positive signal.
      Note the grass growth compared to the first pic.
      Down 4 inches the signal was out
      .12 of a gram
      Even found an old gin trap.
      Note to the left of my thumb. Kiwi stamped into it.
      That was it though. No more gold. I tried three other locations & zilch. Decided to head off for the two hour drive home at 8.30 pm. On my way I thought I would try that spot where Simon got his .62 gram piece. I had never tried the Zed in there. It was starting to get dark so I grabbed my head lamp & headed in. The spot where Simon got his bit was covered in thyme bushes & going to be a challenge for the Zeds 14" coil. As I walked in I saw a bald spot of gravels & headed for those with detector swinging.
      High Yield/Normal & sensitivity on 19. Straight off I got a faint but positive signal. Shotgun pellet no doubt. I had been getting my share of those all day.🤬
      First couple of scrapes the signal was still in the ground. MMM.... maybe not a pellet now. At about an inch the signal had moved.
      .08 of a gram
      That was it for 2.5 hours of detecting. A moon had come up so I only needed the head lamp to ID a target. Nothing more in gold. But got my share of junk. I would have thrown away just as many more pellets.
      Two tiny bits for the Zed. That was it.
      Got home at 11.30 pm.
      Good luck out there
      JW
    • By mn90403
      I had some afternoon time today and decided to see what the wind blew in to the southern California beaches.  The tides are bad, the waves are small and it took me over a mile before I had my first target penny!  These are the same beaches where I've found lots of targets in the past but these small wind waves are only moving sand.  It is all deposit mode, sanded in as you might say.
      On the way back I decided to do a bit of blanket line near a surf break.  I found a little spill for about $1 in change when a surfer came up to me and asked if I had found his Toyota key.  I had only been there about 5 minutes and I told him I had not but I'd help him look if he knew EXACTLY where he had sat and picked up his roll on the way to his car.  He showed me and I began circling that area and he dragged his foot along the path he took to the parking lot.  I followed that line with my Nox 800 and the 15" coil and found a couple more coins but not his key.  I did a double width pass on his path and then told him I had no results after about 25 minutes.  He was bummed and wanted me to take his number in case I found it but I said I was leaving and there was no chance I was going to find it tonight.
      He said thanks for helping and we parted.  On my way back to my parking spot I saw the lifeguard truck ahead of me watching the sunset.  I went up to the guy and he cracked his window and wanted to know what this metal detectorist wanted.  I told him a surfer was looking for his key and I had been helping him and he reached down into his lap and says, "I have it, where is the surfer?"  I pointed him out about 1/3 of a mile down the beach and he took off.  I watched as the surfer went over to the truck and took the key from the lifeguard.
      It would have been nice if the surfer could have spotted me and waved or even the lifeguard could have come back and said something but that did not happen.  I didn't find the surfer's key but I did find a story with a happy ending.
      Mitchel
    • By Dig It
      Cabin fever setting in, was needing to get out. It warmed up to 38 degrees and that's just warm enough to melt a little snow off beach and the warm air blowing through gravels allowed me to dig targets. Nothing special 5 coins and trash, but I've been hitting this beach since I got the NOX last March, cleaning out trash, thinking there should be a ring sometime, just Not Today. I know there has to be one some time. ( Right ??? ) I have to think not everyone thought to take jewelry off before a summer swim.  Sure felt good to get out. Kenai Lake / Quarts Creek Camp Ground Beach. Watch out Nevada / Arizona / Florida Treasure Coast next winter, I'm a coming !!!!! Haha !!!!!!  




×
×
  • Create New...