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Condor last won the day on October 6 2022

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  1. Story of my life, I left a day too soon and should have detected over 1 more ridge. An amazing patch for Lucky Larry and his sidekick Lucky Lundy.
  2. Looking forward to the challenges of that west country. Hopefully, you've left some square nails for me to practice on. Those Hondas are some sweet machines. Probably cost more than my first house.
  3. I was thinking the same thing since your rig had the same symptoms, but my son bought the online manuals to decipher the engine codes. According to the codes, it's idle air controller or some such thing. Apparently, these rigs are prone to wiring harness problems and they ground out the controller. Tight spaces to work in, I'm sure I'll come out with a split knuckle or two.
  4. The weather cooled after the last batch of thunderstorms, so I thought I might make a quick trip to RP to see how much erosion took place. I got out there late Tue and set off to explore in my Polaris RZR. I spotted some freshly exposed bedrock and gave it a go with the GPX 6000 and the 14x9 Coiltek coil. Nothing in the bedrock, but pulled a tiny .2 piece from fluff gravels at the end of a small gully. Further up the gully I hit a 1+ gram piece, again in the fluff gravels, not on bedrock. I worked my way back to the RZR and found she wouldn't start. Cranking just fine, no fire. I was already dreading a 3 mile walk back to the truck when she kicked over and came to life. Not wanting to take chances for a long walk in the dark I drove back to my truck. She wouldn't start again, so I loaded it on the trailer using the winch. Next morning I aired down the tires on my big ole diesel GMC 4x4 and stuck to the trails. I hit some more bedrock and pulled another 1+ gram piece out of the bedrock. Clear sky to the west, but one lonely storm cloud found me and dumped rain for about half hour. I detected for another couple hours for nothing but ferrous trash. I really did not want to beat my truck up on those washed out roads so I gave up and came home. For those planning a trip out there this fall, the roads are passable. The main Rye Patch road will need some work on a culvert that washed over the road, passable but just barely. The lake is full and muddy. Cows with yearlings everywhere on both sides of the road. Take it slow, those yearlings will dart right out in front of you. I didn't make it to the Burn Barrel, so I'm not sure how that road looks. I took the 2nd left turn and it was OK all the way to Dan's claims. 1 big washout you have to straddle 1/4 mile from the turnoff. Still another couple weeks before the weather gets cool enough for my liking.
  5. Hey Beatup, If Yuma got a gully washer like that, it would surely open up some new possibilities.
  6. I took a trip out to Rye Patch last Wed. Packed the whole family, CEO and herd of Doodle Dogs, towing the 5th wheel toyhauler with RZR aboard. Weather was awesome on day 2, almost needed a hoody at sunup, but that changed quickly. Day 2 I did some quick recon with the 2 big Doodles riding shotgun. Clearly, Rye Patch had seen some significant rain in early June. The roads were rutted and the gullies showed a lot of erosion, with bedrock showing here and there. I detected some places that had produced gold in the past for no joy. The next morning my big Doodle dog was really feeling out of sorts from a recent vet procedure. We made an appointment for Fri morning, so that shut down my detecting. Fri, we hauled her to Fallon and got some medication, then opted to take the Boss and Doodle Dogs home to Fernley. I drove back out to Rye Patch Fri evening, leaving the Doodles and Boss at home. Turns out to be a good decision since the weather turned hot quickly. Sat morning I got out early and detected a long line of exposed bedrock. Since mine were the only boot tracks, I decided to cover a lot of ground looking for the sitting ducks from the recent erosion. Surprisingly, the freshly exposed bedrock was barren, but I managed to get the bigger nugget in a newly exposed cut in the gully side wall. It got hot by noon so I surrendered and sat out the heat in the trailer with generator going and air con on max. Afternoon cooled down some and I went back out to another gully with exposed bedrock. Again, nothing in the exposed bedrock, but I pulled 2 out of the freshly cut sidewall. Sun morning I was out early. No breeze and a promise early hot weather. I put in nearly 3 hrs of detecting exposed bedrock and fresh sidewalls with not much but trash. I did a complete loop, ending up back where I had found the nuggets yesterday. 10 ft from one of my dig holes I got a faint whisper of target tone. I should mention the atmospherics were jumpy and the 6k with 14x9 Coiltek was sparky, I lowered the Sens down to 5 and that seemed to help. The nugget was flat and way down in the bedrock. I'm glad I kept my Dave' Gold Australian pick which makes quick work of the soft bedrock. I was sweating buckets by the time I got the nugget out and decided to call it a trip. Rye Patch is a tough place to score nuggets these days. All the washes I was working have been detected 1000's of times. The freshly exposed bedrock was never all that deep so my only advantage was I was first to detect the newly exposed sidewalls. If you are planning a trip mind the weather, and as always it's a tire killer out there. I saw 2 trucks on the road fixing flats.
  7. The most recognized area of Rye Patch is well claimed and well worked. I saw several new claim markers on my last trip in some areas that were otherwise considered open. Beware of offers to buy a claim out there. A very unscrupulous seller has been preying on the unwitting. VLF's may find some gold, but PI's are the only real solution. The ground is very salty, lots of alkaline in the ground. In the spring it gets cold and windy. Last year I was wearing shorts one day and beset with freezing rain and hail the next. There are decent camping facilities at Rye Patch Reservoir. Send me a PM when you plan on going, I'm out there off and on through the year.
  8. Chapter 5 I hate to disappoint but the story comes to an unproductive end. The next morning I was feeling pretty good, no major aches and pains and I still had one more area I wanted to explore. It was unfortunately a pretty long walk. I discovered the area several years ago after taking a very long hike to make a loop around the known placer areas. By the end of the day I found a somewhat hidden wash and never detected it properly. I was tired and just kept pushing the coil along in front of me. At about the mid point I hit a solid target and pulled up a decent 2 gram piece. I slowed down a bit, but I was running out of water and still had a couple miles to go. I didn't hit anymore targets and no trash at all. I have always meant to get back up there, but we were still finding nuggets in the easy walking spots. Now I'm 4 years older and closer to 70 than 60, with less enthusiasm for long hikes. Dennis was ready to go home although the "hiker" probably would have stuck it out with me. I debated all morning and surrendered. The deciding factor was my lack of my favorite trekking poles. Those poles have saved me from some nasty falls on difficult ground. With the trekking poles, I probably would have stayed 1 more day, but time distance prevailed. We made it to the border at Calexico at just past noon on Monday Presidents Day. There was on 1 lane of cars to get up to the Port of Entry and it was endless. We crawled along at a snails pace having to face all the hawkers of Mexican trinkets and limbless beggars. Three solid hours, but at least we got through US Customs without incident. I'll post a couple pictures from last year that shows the bedrock zones we had to build ramps through and my vast nugget finds.
  9. Chapter 4 The next day of detecting was a compromise. My friend Dennis had a sore knee so we opted to forgo the long hike and take a side canyon that had produced some decent gold in the past. We still had to motor up some of the nasty rock ramps, but we did not have to hit the sand trap. The entrance to the canyon is still a hiking challenge up a dry waterfall, but once inside it's all pretty level tame stuff. We found that while the main "home" wash had run a lot of water, the side canyons really didn't get enough force to flush things out. We could still see old dig holes. We each found 1 little scrap up on the banks. We walked up to the top and looked down into the "home" wash 200 ft below. Too much challenge to get down so we backtracked to another side canyon and worked our way out. No joy and by now it was too late and we were too tired to tackle any other spots. On the way out we spent a little time filling in a narrow chute that was giving me heartburn. The chute was about 6 ft deep, and 18 ft long with a dip that would leave one front wheel hanging while the other wheel gripped sheer slick rock. The chute was narrow enough that you couldn't really roll, maybe just scrape the sides of the roll bar. I had run this same chute over the years on my ATV, my Rokon and now the RZR, but I always puckered at the prospect. We dropped a few flat rocks in and laid a couple lengths of 2x8 that we brought along for these situations. That smoothed things out considerably. Back at camp the "hiker" had found a nice 3 gram waterworn nugget in the main wash. The weather was improving but we were starting to run out of options other than some long hikes. The next day Dennis opted to stay behind with a sore knee. The "hiker" rode with me to the end of the trail. It was his first time in the RZR going up canyon. He told me a few times, "you can't go up that!" He's well over 6 ft tall and had to fold himself in and out of the RZR. We made it to the end of the trail without incident. He chose to work the bedrock in the main wash, while I hiked up to the side canyon that Dennis and I had looked at the first day. I found many recent dig holes and a section 10'x10' where someone had tried to dig down to bedrock. They left behind water jugs and bottles and apparently surrendered before reaching bedrock. I found only trash, no gold. I hiked up to the top of the ridge looking down into the main wash. There was a small steep gully with some exposed bedrock so I decided to follow is on down. No joy there either. I worked the bedrock back to the RZR and found some old lead and a few nails. Bummer all around. The "hiker" met me back at the RZR, he got the skunk as well. We made back to the log ramp obstacle without incident. The log ramp was another story. The logs kicked out again banging my front skid plate hard. I restacked everything and added a few more flat rocks for support. Up and down the narrow spine no problem. The wind had finally stopped blowing so we drug up some driftwood and built a nice fire. I opened up a bottle of Cabernet nerve tonic to ease my aches and pains while Dennis told us what it was like detecting here in the old days.
  10. Chapter 3 The next morning, day 2 of the trip was still cold and blustery. Nothing like home in N NV, but high 40's with a stiff breeze. After the sun warmed things up a bit, we worked on a plan. My friend Dennis was still feeling the effects of rock hauling and cold weather so he opted to detect close to camp. Years ago he had named the bedrock near our camp The Golden Mile. In times past he could take the Gold Bug 2 and pick up small nuggets all day. It looked like the high water had cleared some new bedrock, so he was satisfied chasing down the small stuff. The "Hiker" decided to stay close to camp and learn his new GPZ7000. I was anxious to get upstream and try the Z 17"CC combo on potentially deeper gold. So I drove the RZR up canyon. Getting up canyon was no easy feat despite our best efforts at trail building. In some areas there was a scarcity of good rocks for ramp building, so we used some driftwood logs. The first ramp on the downside of a tricky rock spine gave way and I came down hard. No damage, but some ramp repair was certainly in order. The next white knuckle spot was a climb up about 7 ft bank with 3 small ledges. My instinct was as soon as I felt a wheel break traction, gun it and hope for the best. For the most part it worked although I was airborne a couple times. The RZR 900 2 seater has plenty of horsepower, and I was a bit out of practice for throttle control. The last obstacle was a rock pile with a sand dune on the back side. There was very little room to maneuver without sliding down a soft sand pit. I got things lined up and gave it the gas to power up the sand dune. Wrong tactic by a wide margin. I buried all four wheels and was high centered on the slope. I got out the shovel and dug myself out enough to back down the slope. Several more tries, same outcome. More rock hauling to build a solid spot under the tires and a new tactic. Slow and easy, back and forth, don't break traction and try to pack the soft sand. Overall, I spent and hour and a half getting out of that sand trap. I was plenty warm now with all that exercise. I continued up to the end of the line without further mishap. The hike to the placer zone was a good 3/4 mile uphill with broken terrain. I discovered that I forgot my trekking poles so I was dreading the hike, but I had come this far, so up I went. My destination was a big wash that I had taken dozens of nuggets in shallow bedrock. I had the big Concentric coil thinking there must be bigger gold in the deeper sections of the wash. I detected up about a mile on the right side finding only deep trash. At my turnaround spot I found the first nugget, maybe 3/4 gram about 6 inches down in bedrock. I found 1 more tiny crumb and worked my way back down the other side of the wash. I got 1 more 1/2 grammer right on the surface of bedrock. More trash, but no deep gold. I hiked back out thinking about those driving obstacles I faced getting back to camp. I still think my theory of deeper gold is sound, but that's for another day. The sand trap obstacle was no problem going out since it was down hill. The 7 ft ledge was pretty easy going downhill as well. I ran into trouble on the ramp with the driftwood. The logs kicked out and I hit hard on the front skid plate. When I backed up my right rear tire climbed up a steep ledge leaving me looking out my door straight down at the ground. I got and tried to push the RZR down off the ledge, no go. The whole rig was balanced on 2 wheels, left front and right rear. I carefully climbed back in fearing my weight would roll it over on the side. I put it in low gear and gently pulled it forward and to my surprise she didn't roll. I re-stacked the ramp and got her up and over the rock spine without falling into the crevice on either side. I think there is still some seat vinyl stuck in the crack of my old festarus. Wheew, glad to get back to camp and drink some nerve tonic.
  11. Chapter 2 We arrived safe and sound late that same afternoon. Part of our original premise of high water last summer was proving correct. We could see flood debris up about 3 ft on the canyon walls so we had high hopes. There was a stiff breeze blowing off the Sea of Cortez and once the sun went behind the canyon walls it got pretty cold. We ate early dinner and called it a night. The next morning there was still a pretty stiff wind but we bundled up and fired up the RZR for exploration up the canyon. If you remember from last years adventure, this canyon is dominated by old conglomerate bedrock. There are steep ledges, narrow chutes, and tricky rock spines to traverse with the RZR. All our rock ramps had been washed away, so we spent most of the day rebuilding a trail to get up the canyon. Hauling rocks is no way to spend a day at 68 yrs old, but we got a trail that was just passable built up canyon. Our path ended when we hit a patch that was just not passable. With a winch we might have been able to crawl up and over some of the big broken blocks, alas no winch. We got out the detectors and walked 1/4 mile to one of our old favorite spots. One of the richest side canyons had relatively recent dig holes all around the entrance. Recent as in since the flood, but probably several months old. We didn't have the energy to explore the canyon after trail building so we detected another small canyon and the bedrock back to the RZR. I quickly hit a 1.5 gram piece 3 or 4 inches down on bedrock. My partner hit another 1/2 gram piece 6 inches down on bedrock. I dug several small nails wedged down in bedrock crevices but we called it a day. Back at camp our friend "the Hiker" from last year arrived with his new used truck. As you may recall he was the unfortunate winner of Misadventure in Baja award last year when his truck was stolen a couple miles from our camp. The wind was still pretty brisk so we couldn't build a fire. We sat in the lee of my truck and drank a few cold ones to discuss strategy for tomorrow. Went to bed with high hopes.
  12. Fortunately, there is no Mexican inspection leaving Mexico. There are the Mexican Army checkpoints who are mainly interested in guns and drugs but they're out on desolated sections of the highway. We zipped through those with no hassles at all. San Felipe is the closest city to our destination and they rely on the tourist trade. They don't want to discourage Americans from visiting and buying property.
  13. Another year and another trip to Baja. Our premise this year was simple. We'd re-visit an area that had been worked pretty hard over the past 20 years, but possibly had some big rains last summer and moved some gravel around, plus I thought the 17" CC XCoil might hit some deeper nuggets in one of the main washes. A trip to Baja always has its hazards. I drove 12 hrs from N Nevada towing my RZR, arriving in Yuma at 1:30am. The next morning we crossed the border just outside of Yuma at Algodones. First complication at Mexican immigration. I left home with the wrong registration for the RZR. Mexican authorities are somehow sticklers about registrations. They turned us back to the US. In Yuma, we scrambled to get a current registration and went back to the border. All went well with registrations and Tourist Visas. Algodones is an old town with very narrow streets plus it is packed with visitors seeking dental care, eyeglasses and prescription drugs. Algodones is a Mecca for Americans wanting to save money. Dental clinics abound and the pharmacies are always packed this time of year. I was driving careful pulling the RZR with my big ole GMC 3/4 ton crewcab. My friend was behind me driving a Toyota truck and camper shell. 4 way stops are merely a suggestion for Mexican drivers, so I was really watching the traffic and pedestrians. Somehow the Toyota was now 4 cars back after a couple 4 way stops. I got to the edge of town and could no longer see the Toyota behind me. I found a wide spot to pull off thinking he might have taken a wrong turn. After a couple minutes he called me on my cell phone and said he'd been in an accident and for me to come back. My mind raced at the extreme possibilities, but found that it was a simple fender bender. The Mexican driver had pulled into the Toyota blind spot as he was turning left. The Toyota rear tire caught the front bumper of the Mexican car. The bumper and grill were all plastic and the whole mess was laying on the ground. Coincidently, a Mexican policeman was parked right there. As a retired federal investigator, I'm not much of a believer in coincidences, but it's Mexico. No one spoke English and my Spanish is very rusty. We discern that the Victim wanted $250.00 for the damage to his vehicle. It seemed reasonable under the circumstances, so he was paid in cash and goes on his way. The policeman tells us we must accompany him to the police station where a judge will determine the fine for an accident on a Mexican highway. He suggests that the Toyota may be impounded as a result. We're sweating this out and follow him with his lights flashing through dirt road city streets. After a few random turns, he turns off his lights and calls us over. He can make this go away for $600.00. Naturally, the old Mexican "mordida" game but we're not anxious to see how far this ploy can go. We pool our folding money and come up with $260.00. We explain that's all we got and he graciously accepts and sends us on our way. It's Mexico so we chalk it up to the cost of doing business and get back on the road. To be continued...
  14. Completely underwhelming. Without starting a whole new coil war, I sure would like to see the XCoil over those same targets.
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