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Lanny last won the day on March 5 2019

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About Lanny

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  1. Sweet looking find. I've found them like that as well, cemented in a matrix. As to your question about detecting nuggets, I've found far more on bedrock (or the pay-layer riding on the bedrock); however, there have been exceptions, and in the areas I hunt the most, that's been due to glacial action where there have been multiple deposition events, with some deposits carrying gold while others were not. The nuggets not on bedrock were in distinct pay-layers above the bedrock. Other exceptions have been where there were massive out-washes from a blown channel where large boulders tumbled out with the breakout, and the nuggets tucked in behind the boulders, and these deposits were nowhere near the bedrock. As others have done, I've found nuggets loafing on hillsides, as well as salted in among avalanche debris that tore gold loose as it rocketed down the mountainside, and I've got some nice ones that were left on hardpan or a false bedrock far above the true underlying bedrock. (Glaciers do crazy things when they're packing gold around.) However, the largest take has always been from bedrock, and that includes while dredging or metal detecting. All the best, and congratulations on your finds, Lanny
  2. Lake Placers #2To get back on track with my lake placers stories, we fired up our detectors and asked the miners where we could start hunting. They laughed, and they laughed--loudly! They told us to have at it, but we’d get nothing but grief. They'd seen too many people get skunked in that goldfield over the years while trying to even get their detectors to operate at all, or to have it “squeak” on some gold (as they put it). Anyone who’d ever tried to detect had always been shut down by their severe ground.The reason for the failure of nugget shooters was the insanely hot bedrock. It ate detectors for lunch. (As they told us this, their comments were heavily dosed with colourful language. In fact there’s most likely a tapestry of profanity still floating over that lake!)Knowing I had a premium PI with me, and that they’d likely never seen one in action, I thought of trying to explain the good points of the Minelab, but I stopped myself and went hunting gold instead.In an earlier story in these placer tales, I mentioned the decomposed bedrock pockets peppering the big sheets. When I went to look at one closer, I found it was very wet. I wasn't sure how that would affect the detector, but I scanned a patch of it anyway, and right quick I got a nice mellow tone. One quick scoop and I had the target.I quartered the sharp little chunks of bedrock out of the scoop and soon had a sassy, 1.5-gram nugget. That find got the claim owner's attention! They said, “Come over here with that machine.” They then walked me over to another similar area and told me to try that spot. So, I tried it and got a signal right away. However, this time I never found a nugget but only one maddening false signal after another. They soon tired of watching, and shaking their heads in a “we told you so way”, they started mining again. Their body language said that the first find was nothing but a fluke. To them, the rest of my time would be wasted digging, as their black graphite schist bedrock was, once again, too hot for detectors.So, the miners left us to our detecting on the bedrock. Nonetheless, my mining buddy was frustrated with how useless his broken wrist was. It depressed him to be on virgin detecting ground while equipped with a machine that could handle the ground, but he could do almost nothing about it! Yes, he could swing the detector, but no digging, running the pick or sorting material in the scoop by himself.So, we worked together, he worked the coil, and I did the rest. By working together, we could help each other have some fun.We headed back to that loose bedrock where I’d found the gold. I’ve found through the years that if a trap worked well enough to grab and hold one piece of gold, some extra dedication on the same spot could produce another chunk as well.To describe the spot a bit more, the excavator had left a crumbled rise of about two feet. I started detecting up and down that little hump. Pretty soon, right near the top, I got a nice signal! It was that telltale Minelab, low-high-low tone. Although not as strong as the first signal, it was nice and sweet. With the signal close to the surface, it made it easy to get the target in the scoop. A nice, bumpy one-gram nugget was in the scoop.As I continue my lake placers series, I’ll reveal the beautiful things hidden in those solid sheets of red-hot bedrock, and later I’ll let you in on what we found in the miners’ test piles as well.All the best,Lanny
  3. Another great series of posts, truly enjoying the ride, helps beat the winter blues, and I'm learning helpful new information as well while I wait for the ground to thaw and the snow to leave from my gold fields. Thanks for your time and dedication. All the best, Lanny
  4. Lake Placers #1(This story continues on after we heard the story of the giant nugget found on the rock pile just below the dam of the lake.)So, after we’d jawed with the rock-pile owner some more, we decided we’d better head up the trail to check out the lake placers. The gold runs up both sides of the lake, so we picked a side and headed on up.We weren’t in much of a hurry that day. My partner had a badly broken wrist, complete with a new cast plastered on just before we’d left home. So, we were taking it easy.While we hiked along, we enjoyed one of those gorgeously long, northern summer days: the warm, calm ones perfect for bottling, only to be opened much later on a frosty, winter’s day. Moreover, as it was summer, the sunlight that far north would last well after eleven or so, and then a lengthy twilight would continue after that.Enjoying that extended summer sun, we walked along the lake and saw the cutthroat, true ambush experts, rising in a feeding frenzy, hammering the various insects floating the surface of Nature’s fast food outlet. That healthy population of fish was likely why the locals had never un-dammed the creek at that place.As we continued up the lakeshore, a breeze periodically stirred the surface of the water, yet calmed quickly, allowing the trout to continue their feeding.Along the borders of the lake, the willows waited patiently for a new breeze to whisper up the shore the news of our coming.At last we reached the claims we had permission to hunt. There was evidence everywhere of shallow surface mining that had exposed the bedrock in great sheets. That bedrock was mostly iron-hard, as the D-8 Cat that had just finished scraping was only able to cut into small sections of rotten bedrock. The rest of the bedrock was a hardened nightmare. Even the excavator had skipped and skidded across most of it as well. This had frustrated the placer miners as the area was known for its coarse gold.To backtrack a bit, about a month earlier, I’d been on a gold-scouting expedition. I’d made the trip with an in-law of one of the miners. The bedrock spot I’ve just described was the first place he and I visited.The placer miners, a couple of brothers, were then working on one of the lake claims, but when they saw us, they shut down to chew the fat. That’s the way of the remote north, any visitors or news from the outside is a welcome break. So, we yakked and caught them up on events.As we talked, one of the brothers started to clean the header on the wash-plant's sluice. He lifted the screen off the box and scraped material into a pan.All at once he stopped his scraping, reached into the header-box and tossed something straight at me. I was caught completely off guard by the toss, and the only thing that saved me was reflex.Luckily, I caught what he chucked, and it was heavy! In my hand was an ugly black rock. And as I looked, I thought whatever that ugly was, it wasn’t gold, because who in their right mind would chuck a nugget to me while I was standing on a huge pile of cobbles, especially a stranger?I told the brother that whatever he’d tossed me, it sure didn't look like gold. Pulling me up short, he told me it was a gold nugget. I was stunned.He then took out a pocket-knife and very gently scratched away at one blackened corner. A gnarly black scale flaked off, and I was a believer! The glint of gold was unmistakeable. Furthermore, the nugget weighed in at over an ounce and a quarter, and it was solid gold, no quartz.As to how they cleaned the black gold from that claim, they’d put it in a vinegar bath overnight. The next day, some slimy sludge was all that was left of the black coating. The resulting gold was a beautiful, buttery yellow.In Lake Placers # 2, I’ll tell how we learned to hunt the nuggets on that claim.All the best,Lanny
  5. Prospectors One and TwoHello to all, just a quick little story from a past prospecting adventure.Two budding prospectors visited the claim one sunny day. (Both show quite a bit of promise as they both have a knack for finding gold.) They were working a patch of fractured bedrock that had produced consistent flake-gold and pickers the previous summer. Moreover, they had spent time with me on previous trips at that spot, and they'd learned a few tricks about how to find the gold.Well (I’ll refer to them as number one and number two), number one really went to town cleaning off the overburden on that bedrock: the cobbles, the clay, the boulders, the gravel; he went hard at it, working a couple of feet right down to the bedrock. It was a lot of sweaty work with chunky boulders jammed tight into bedrock pockets. After he'd removed all the bigger stuff, and had scraped the bedrock down, he ran his dirt through a little sluice. He had a nice catch of bright-yellow flake gold, with a few chunky pickers.Not long after that, prospector number two came along with his detector, and he asked number one if he could detect the bedrock he'd just cleaned off. Number one said he had no problem with that, as he'd carefully cleared the cracks and scraped everything clean. He told number two to go ahead. So, number two ran his detector along the bedrock and got a nice signal that really screamed! It was a sassy nugget, right on the bedrock’s surface, covered in some muddy clay.Well, number one really worked the bedrock hard after that. He cleared off another four feet of bedrock, really making the dirt and rocks fly! He took his time to make sure the bedrock was super clean, as well as removing any clinging clay. As he’d done before, he had a nice take of gold in his sluice-box. Prospector number two came along yet again with his detector and asked permission to check out the new workings. Number one, confident he hadn’t missed any gold, let him detect.Prospector number two ran his detector over the bedrock and got a nice soft signal in a crevice. Number one was getting nervous. Prospector two got out his pick and broke off some perpendicular sheets of bedrock and scanned again: the signal was much louder. He cleaned the crevice out, popped the signal on the coil, along with a little water to remove the clay, and there was a buttery-yellow, pumpkin-seed-sized nugget! To say that number one was not a happy camper is gross understatement (things went flying, dark words exploded with vibrant colors, the wild animals fled, etc.). Nevertheless, prospector one was a good sport about it, and they both had some great stories to tell back in camp that night. (Prospector one invested in a metal detector soon after that.)All the best,Lanny
  6. Thanks for all the pictures. All the best, Lanny
  7. Beautiful find, and congratulations on going back with a different focus, which in this case, made all the difference. Plus, I hope your return trips (with an increased focus) to the same area produce some more nice gold for you as well. All the best, Lanny
  8. JP, thanks for the tips and explanations on Keeping the coil level Maintaining a good “Range of Motion” Always great to have the reminders plus the extra instruction to enhance my understanding of what's going on/what I need to pay attention to. Nicely done, thanks for doing this, and all the best, Lanny
  9. Congratulations Steve on your forum's increasing popularity. I believe it's a direct correlation to the man in charge due to his knowledge, attitude, and sincere approach in being friendly and helpful in all ways possible. Moreover Steve, you do it while keeping an open mind to deliver honest evaluations of equipment brands based on your sincere, personal evaluations, not brand-name hype or band-wagon promotions. All the best, Lanny
  10. Thanks for the story and the pictures Mitchel, enjoyed reading your gold-hunting/meteorite tale enhanced by your photographs. All the best, Lanny
  11. Really enjoyed reading your story, and enjoyed the included information on using the signal enhancer as well. Nice pictures too, ones that get me itching to get detecting when winter lets go in my neck of the woods. Travelling around a bit right now, and I might get a chance to swing a coil with a nephew of mine in Arizona this month, which might help ease the winter blues somewhat. All the best, and thanks again for your post, Lanny
  12. It's sad there's places with good gold that due to government red tape, the gold stays in the ground. All the best to those of you that can still chase the gold in your neck of the woods, Lanny
  13. Thanks for posting the pictures and the explanations, nice to know you're just out having a good time at a spot that holds a lot of memories for you. All the best, Lanny
  14. The Stretch NuggetNow, this is a nugget story that’s a bit different from the average hunt. It took place in a steep canyon with a black slate bedrock rim. The top of the rim was about eighty feet above the cold, glacial river.As for nugget hunting in that location, the pitch of the canyon walls is about sixty-five to seventy degrees. In contrast, trying to climb rock walls of forty-five degrees is risky, but when an even steeper slope is littered with loose, jagged bedrock slabs and cobbles, it’s worse. So, if I had to climb that 65-70-degree slope, it would be mighty sketchy.A bit earlier in the day, I’d been detecting a bench above the rim and had found a pile of square nails, along with some rarer targets: big bore black powder rifle slugs with grease grooves; and round, rifled, black-powder pistol balls. But, no gold.However, even without any gold, the day had been exciting. I’d been spooked twice by the loud snapping of twigs close behind me: the first time, two mule deer, and the second, a cow moose.The day was hot and sunny. It was a glorious summer day with a gentle mountain breeze that let the pines and firs gossip lightly back and forth in the deep greens of the forest. Breaking the spell of calm, an angry squirrel scolded me for being too close to his tree.Refocusing on my detecting, I took another look at the ground I was working. Stretching before me was a massive area of hand-stacks left by the Old-timer’s from the 1800’s. Piles of cobbles and boulders littered the bedrock in every direction. The bedrock itself was heavily fractured in places, but in others, it was smooth and iron hard.Having already worked some of that fractured bedrock next to the lip of the canyon, I knew those traps held things very well, like the trash I’d found earlier. So, hoping to find some gold, I poked along the rim detecting some more. As I worked, I noticed areas where the old-timers had pushed overburden off the canyon edge, probably while setting up sluice runs. Suddenly, it struck me that stray gold might have either been pushed or washed over the edge as well.However, I couldn’t detect my way down that steep slope to look for targets. That slope was a minefield of loose material and razor-edged slabs of black slate. So, I walked along the rim to where I knew an abandoned road would take me down to the river.Hitting the river bottom, I strolled along inspecting the cliff face. I noticed high up a patch of river-run clinging to an out-thrust of bedrock, not far below the rim, directly below where I’d worked earlier.Detecting my way upslope, I came up with the usual trash as I tried to get to the out-thrust. I constantly slipped and slid in that loose, steep material. At one point, after losing my footing, I reached out with my free hand as I rocketed downslope, only to get a quick gash in the meaty part of my palm.However, I kept at it and cut some steps into the slump below the bedrock out-thrust, and at last I had a toehold. Taking advantage of it, I arced the detector around as far as I could from side to side. I hit a couple of targets, but they were junk: the head of a large square nail, and the tip of a smaller one.Hacking more steps, I moved ever higher. Then, to help me reach the rest of the way to my chosen spot, I extended the detector shaft to the max to get my little mono coil as high above me as possible.At the top of that stretched out swing, I got a scream that sounded a lot like iron close to the surface. But, to see what it really was, I hacked some new footholds and moved up a bit more.Stretching carefully, I soon had the signal in my scoop (only several tablespoons of material were in it), the dirt taken from some crumbled bedrock hanging onto that out-thrust.After a bit of shaking, quartering, and sifting, I had a sassy 2.25gram nugget in my hand. It was quite flat, yet curved and crinkled all along one edge (likely why it made such a racket). That piece of gold, my stretch nugget, was just the right shape to get itself flipped up and over the riffles of a sluice.All the best,Lanny
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