Warning: Pull up a comfy chair and grab a coffee!
We decided being school holidays we would take our daughter for a camping trip, up to near KiwiJW's house at my summer sluicing area. The main reason for the trip was it's coming to the end of ski season and the camping location is only a short drive to the two ski fields we had a season pass to access.
I packed my Equinox 800 with both coils, T2 with Mars Tiger and GPX 4500 with NF Evo 14x9 for the trip anticipating a lot of metal detecting opportunities.
The first week was very busy skiing, we had perfect weather with the only rainfall I can remember happened overnight one night which caused a dump of about 12 inches of fresh snow over the ski fields so we can hardly complain about that.
After the snow storm the Avalanche risk went up significantly and due to all the extra snow they extended the ski season another couple of weeks. This was a bit disappointing but good at the same time as I was waiting for the ski fields to close as I've had good luck finding coins under the lifts last season.
Considerable avalanche risk, we did see the leftovers of an avalanche the next morning but I didn't have my phone with me to take a photo. It could be one the ski field caused as they bomb the hillside overnight sometimes if they think there is a big risk.
My wife didn't really like all the extra snow the morning after the overnight dump as they hadn't yet groomed it so the ski field was a bit wild. However by the next day it was all back to it's usual self.
I went metal detecting most nights to the beach front of the lake. I was digging up a lot of coins, mostly modern coins but a few really old NZ coins and a number of foreign coins, mostly American and British coins but some odd looking coins that I suspect are Asian.
A couple of American coins and a British pound, I ended up finding a few pounds as they came up the same VDI numbers as NZ Gold Coins.
Some old NZ coins. I got quite a few of these, most of them come from where the water meets the land on the lake, whereas most other coins were always further up on the beach.
Some more unusual coins and an old 1810 necklace bit of bling. It's some religious thing about Mary. The ring I suspect is just junk and that was my first Australian gold coin of many more to come. The funny shaped coin is an old Queenstown Gondola Coin. I don't know much about it or why they have coins.
One of the many American dimes I found.
I was fortunate enough to find 5 rings on the trip, one of which is a Lord of the Rings gold ring which appears to be worth quite a bit of money, it weighs 15 grams and after doing my research it appears to be the 14k gold ring as it weighs approx 15 grams. They don't put gold hallmarks on the rings unless the purchaser requests it to keep it authentic to the movie. Also it has the engraving on the inside and outside which costs more, it seems it's possibly worth $2,654 NZD
This was the nights take when I found the Gold Ring
I called it early after finding the ring to go back to my Poptop Caravan to tell my wife of my find. This started to get her and my daughter interested in trying detecting so the next day we hit the lakefront in a quiet area where no people were during the daytime
It was only about 30 minutes after my wife took this photo my daughter decided to take her Go-Find 40 onto the rocks in the background, neither of us were paying attention as my wife was on my T2 and I was on the Nox detecting around and she took a tumble and landed in the water, the Go-Find was submerged but she quickly turned it off and ran over and said what happened. I was pleased she turned it off quickly and had no idea how she knew to even do that but I took the batteries out of it and we jumped in the car with it hanging out the car window to dry it out, then we went back to the Caravan and put it in a plastic bag with about a kilo of rice in it and left it overnight. By morning I was game to try turn it on so I put in the batteries and fired it up, worked a treat, no issues at all.
The next day after skiing my wife wanted to try metal detecting again so we went to another quiet section of the lakefront, these were the finds that day
I like the coin with the dude with the glasses, no idea what country it is but I know if I wore glasses and was going to be put on a coin I'd be throwing on some contact lenses 🙂
My wife got a couple of NZ gold coins with the T2 and also the little silver ring that's a bit buckled up, I straightened it up as good as I could as it was worse than that originally. I found the dolphin ring with the Equinox, it came up solid numbers which was a surprise as I'm sure at some point I'd seen a video of someone finding a similar ring which was a bit wild on the numbers due to the two dolphins and the way they join. My daughter never did find anything with the Go-Find but that's no surprise, it's hard to use a detector without VDI numbers in a place that has so many bottle tops and pull tabs as you spend all your time digging them.
This was my next night detect on the lakefront, I got quite a lot of older coins that night as I'd already mostly cleaned up that area other nights of the modern gold coins.
The view from the lakefront where most detecting took place.
I found two cell phones on the night detects, one I didn't get a photo of as my daughter claimed it for a toy but it was an I-Phone 5 with a smashed screen, it works fine but wants a password to get into it. The other phone is a Chinese android phone and also works fine although it also has a broken screen. Both phones were buried in the lakefront gravel.
I ended up finding 4 sets of keys but didn't bother with photos of junk.
One of the two ski fields finally closed as they didn't have enough staff to stay open with a majority of the staff being from overseas and they had already booked flights to the Northern hemisphere for working at the Ski fields there. The snow was getting pretty thin on the lower part of the mountain where the beginners area is also which would have forced the close. We drove on up and all three of us gave detecting on the beginners magic carpet area a go. We picked this area as beginners fall over the most and are most likely to lose coins falling over 🙂 My daughter lost interest pretty quick and ended up reading books on her kindle most of the day.
The Equinox was getting some gold coins at stupid depths, I wasn't able to get photos as my phone was flat and charging isn't easy when you are in an unpowered camping area and your Caravans battery goes flat, mainly because I forgot to charge it before we left so it just had charge leftover from last summer.
I am sure I was digging gold coins in snow at about 45 cm sometimes, way deeper than I can get in air tests, I can't understand why this happened, the Nox just liked the snow and ice.
Here was the take from the day, the $10 note was just sitting there in some melting snow.
We then went up for another ski for our final day at the other ski field which extended another week, no doubt using some staff from the one that closed as they're both owned by the same company.
This is how it looked first thing in the morning, pretty neat with the clouds below. The drive back down later in the day was just as nice, KiwiJW's house is just out of view to the left in this photo. I couldn't get a photo of his spot as a lump in the mountainside got in the way blocking the view of his area from where I parked.
The next day was showing my daughter some gold mining history in the area by taking her to old chinese gold miners huts
They are pretty cool to see, I detected for a bit in the area but the black sand was too much for the Equinox and I had to block out VDI's -9 to 10 to get it running stable so gold was going to be out of the question, I think I only found one coin.
It snowed a bit on us, but nothing too major on the ground, it all mostly landed up higher
The next day was skiing again but JW sent me a message asking if we wanted to come over for a BBQ, my wife had a friend visiting so that seemed a great excuse for me to escape that and go visit JW so off I went, and to my surprise he had his Jet boat ready to go for a spin so off we went, really awesome fun, love the little thing, it goes like a rocket. We went for an hour or more but it was starting to get dark so we had to head back, the water was so clear even in the really deep bits you could see the bottom perfectly. I took too long to decide to get a video so it was starting to get dark when I took it.
Another day came and a rainbow formed over the area where JW's taken me before to find some nuggets so I went off with the Nox and 6" to try find more nuggets high up in the workings above the creek.
This is my favourite sluicing creek where we parked up our Caravan
I ended up never finding the workings and got myself quite lost in the dense bush above the creek, it was starting to get dark and I was hoping to make it out before dark. I eventually found my way down to the creek and got myself out of there. I did find lots of old stacked rocks and detected around them but had no luck on the gold.
Another day came and another message from JW asking if we wanted to pop in for a BBQ, this was the last day of our trip and my Dad's Birthday so the BBQ was once again out which is unfortunate but I did manage to get to visit as the ski field had to close as the road up to it had far too much ice from a big freeze overnight. My daughter was very upset as she misses the last day of skiing for the season so my wife took her 10 pin bowling and to a movie as an alternative source of fun while I visited JW.
The weather cleared up about midday so we went detecting with JW on his Zed and me on my 4500, JW managed to score 7 bits and I continued my skunk getting nothing. I was really struggling with hot rocks in this location digging about 50 of the damn things, they gave me a good signal so I kept digging them, some of them tiny, the size of a small nugget. I was getting annoyed at the things and couldn't work out how to ground balance them out. I guess I have to learn the different sound they make on the GPX over gold as at my ability level I just have to dig everything.
Our total finds from the trip, a majority with the Equinox but my wife managed about $10 of it with the T2.
I promised my daughter earlier in the trip she could keep all the gold coins I found expecting to find about $20, I was wrong, We ended up finding just under $150 in modern coinage so she bought herself a tablet with the money, big smiles!!!
Disclaimer : This post is probably full of errors and the days all mixed up, I'll fix it when I get time, still unpacking and sorted stuff out from the trip