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Lanny

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Lanny last won the day on March 5 2019

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About Lanny

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  1. Sounds like a winning philosophy to me. All the best, Lanny
  2. Great thread with great tag-along photos and story line. Loved it. All the best, Lanny
  3. Very informative post Simon, and the story of the hunt was well done, the pictures were great as well. Glad to see you enjoying those X-coils and also glad to see your perseverance pay off with some gold at the end of the day. All the best and thanks again for posting your stories and adventures, Lanny
  4. Most of the stories I write right after I get back from an outing, and I have lots of stories tucked away. These last few are stories that I'm revisiting, ones that I wrote a while back and am now revising. As well, I still have other stories yet to write, stories of my gold hunting, plus stories passed on to me by others gold hunters, some of whom (the prospectors that is) are no longer with us, but great stories nonetheless. All the best Fred, and thanks for being a friend, Lanny
  5. Invisible Gold in Plain SightIn the past, I’ve talked about finding difficult gold: gold that is wedged deep in crevices; gold that is cemented in a matrix the exact color of the bedrock, hiding any cracks or crevices that were once there; also, I’ve commented on gold that is held fast in naturally occurring cement, looking like innocent concrete.Therefore, the focus of today’s story is on some hidden gold I chased while nugget shooting in the far northern gold fields, a place where thick forests blanket the mountain slopes, where wildlife is plentiful, where apex predators like grizzlies and cougars still rule the kingdom. As well, eagles and ospreys haul thrashing trout and grayling from crystalline lakes, and moose, elk or black bear can be seen lazily crossing open, green spaces.One cool morning, I crawled out of my outfitters tent to a clear, blue sky; the rain from the previous day had left a crisp freshness in the air, the scent of pine and fir sharp. Grabbing my things, I headed off up the canyon to a place I had permission to hunt.I was off to detect the exit ramp of a deep placer pit/cut where the miners had removed a lot of overburden to get down to the ancient channel beneath. However, I wouldn’t be detecting in the pit itself as the face was a wet, unstable wall that kept sluffing sections of itself into the pit below. Clearly, water seepage was a serious problem at this location and likely had been for the 1870’s old-timers that had worked the area back then.The placer cut itself sliced through the remains of at least seven ancient stream-beds, all crisscrossed one on top of the other at an ancient junction. The deposits were the result of long-dead glacial streams, left where two mountain canyons met. To clarify, these canyons were special. The high, black slate rims had protected the gold in those channels from being scoured out and carried away by what the locals called “robber glaciers”.There was evidence everywhere of the workings from the 1800's where the overlapping channels were probed by vertical shafts, then horizontal tunnels probed onward until the gold ran out. Then, deeper shafts were dug, more channels explored, and so on, with the work heading all the way to bedrock.The modern diggings were where they were because the miners had discovered a roomed-out section of bedrock on their claim, one worked by hand in the 1800’s. This is why they opened a cut and extended the area of that room. (After all, who tunnels and clears a large section of bedrock with pick and shovel unless the gold is good?) Moreover, the original room was excavated on what turned out to be a large, continuing shelf of bedrock. But, as the modern miners worked off to one side of the original room, the shelf ended (perhaps a fault), with the channel material dropping into a deep sump filled with large boulders. Furthermore, the exposed wall of that sump is what I’ve already described above.So, there I was detecting the top of the exit ramp to avoid being crushed by a collapsing wall. As for the detecting conditions, the bedrock was red-hot electronically. So, I used a PI detector, with a double-D coil, but back then it was only sensitive to nuggets of one gram or larger. While swinging the coil, I was getting lots of chatter from the ground. But, between the pops and snaps, I heard the faint cresting sounds of possible goodness in the threshold.Hitting a broad, repeatable signal, I scraped off the overburden of gumbo that covered the black and purplish bedrock, the bedrock itself laced with quartz stringers. Yet, however hard I looked, I couldn’t see a crack or fissure in any of it. I went back to scrubbing that severe bedrock with the DD and was rewarded with a strong series of sharper tones that rose above the background chatter.Tracking the electronic path indicated by the coil, the targets trended diagonally across the ramp, and then continued downward with the dip of the bedrock. It dawned on me I was likely following invisible crevices, ones once connected with the long-gone bedrock of the drowned placer cut. Therefore, knowing that the detector wouldn't lie, I got out my crevicing tools and carefully chipped the signals from the bedrock, exposing the hidden crevices. However, unlike an earlier find at another location, this material was not solidly concreted. It was more of a crumbly composition; nevertheless, its colour imitated the bedrock material perfectly by hiding those long-lost crevices.Next, I drug the material upslope from one of the diagonal cracks into a plastic scoop. I passed the scoop under the coil and got a cracking tone. I shook the scoop, settled the heavies, and sorted the material in the scoop.There were five nuggets in the scoop. None were over a gram and a half. But later on, I found two more hidden crevices using the detector, catching more of those small, sassy nuggets of gold.Personal confession, after catching nuggets, nothing lights me up like the rumble of chunks of gold as I roll them around in my gold bottle. I really don't know why, but I really get a kick out of that sound.But, at this point in my story, you can brand me just plain dumb, as the mistake I’m about to reveal is one I've made before. It seems I always get preoccupied with the nuggets and then forget to check the surrounding material from the crevices. (A bit slow sometimes, I guess.) Anyway, my partner, bless his soul, did not forget the importance of that surrounding material. He gathered it all in a pan and took the works to the creek (under some murky premise that other, smaller gold will often travel with nuggets).Man did my eyes pop when I saw how many smaller bits of good grams of gold there were in that pan!I learned that day the value of having a detector that could find gold hidden in plain sight as well as the value of listening to my detecting buddy.All the best,Lanny
  6. Yes, agreed. It's always been more about the adventure for me as well, but it was nice to have the low-down on Mexico too. I've travelled widely chasing the gold, and I still do simply for the adventure, and many times, I haven't paid for my trips with the gold I found, nor is it a concern to me as the memories are the true value of the gold that lasts, as well as getting to meet the wonderful people I do along the way. All the best, Lanny
  7. I've been approached by reality TV as well for them to follow me around while detecting. You and I came to the same sound conclusion. . . . All the best, Lanny
  8. Lunk, truly enjoyed your story and photo-essay. Great finds! All the best, Lanny
  9. Gerry, indeed a great adventure, and it's a great update on the legends of "easy" gold in Mexico. Nice to know the true story of how it is today, always seems to be a gold mine in someone else's backyard, but often our own backyards are just as good or better. . . . Loved the story and the pictures. All the best, Lanny
  10. Nice bits Andyy. Enjoyed your write-up as well. All the best, Lanny
  11. Detecting For Nuggets The Hard WayArmed with my detector one balmy, late-summer weekend, I set off to find a nugget or two.As a nugget shooter, I sometimes stupidly fail to appreciate the difficulties associated with hunting nuggets or the low level of compensation that might be the reward.So, I set off to work a spot where a tiny creek intersected a famous, gold-producing river.The Oldtimers had worked the area heavily; their hand-stacks of cobbles and boulders lay piled on a bench of highly fractured, black slate bedrock. However, I realized that moving all of those boulders would require far too much work. Therefore, I chose to hike instead along the river banks to detect the low-water levels of exposed bedrock.Square nails, blasting caps, a coin, lead fishing weights, .17 cal. lead pellets, pieces of disfigured iron junk were my only rewards. However, during my excursion I noticed two rookies panning across the river. Staggering and stumbling among the cobbles and boulders beside the stream, they entered the stream and flailed the water to a white foam in their steel pans. (Carefully concentrating heavy material, specific gravity? What’s that?) Regardless, it appeared they found no gold, as nothing was put in a bottle. (At the time, I wondered if they had even put dirt and rocks in their pans, giving them a better chance at finding the gold—just kidding. Regardless, their technique was awful, almost exactly like mine when I first started out.)Forgetting about the rookies, I looked up the bank and stared with no eagerness at the washtub-sized boulders and melon-sized cobbles stacked on the bedrock above. I knew the hard work ahead to detect any gold missed by those Oldtimers, ones who often worked swiftly, and sometimes sloppily, before sprinting off to the next gold rush farther north.Using a massive steel pry bar, buckets of elbow grease, and convoluted body positions any contortionist would avoid, I finally uncovered the bedrock after sending the rocks into the river.This was accomplished while simultaneously terrifying the aforementioned rookies across the stream. (Maybe chucking all of those cobbles in every direction, while generating colourful, explosive expressions had an impact?) Those rookies were somewhat shaken as well by the thunder produced by those rolling boulders, and the fountains of water generated as everything plunged into the twenty feet of fast flowing water that separated us.To calm the rookies’ fears, I stopped tossing and rolling rocks, and detected the bedrock instead. Nine targets were quickly identified. All turned out to be tiny bits of rusted tin can . . ..Quite demoralized, I sat down to think up a new strategy. Meanwhile, across the river, the rookies abandoned their pans, and they now attacked the bedrock on their side of the river. Cobbles filled the air, and boulders were rolled into the river—colourful expressions filled the air. Afterward, they scooped newly uncovered material into their pans, then foamed the water yet again, but still, they captured no gold. (At least, I don’t think they found any gold, because they kept throwing everything from their pans back into the river! However, perhaps they were members of that new, environmentally conscious breed of "catch and release" panners.)Knowing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I abandoned my diggings, waved a quick goodbye to the rookies across the river and fled the scene.As nuggets prefer clever hiding spots, I had a giant brainwave to drive a short distance to a veritable abyss. At its bottom were a series of exposed bedrock outcroppings. Being not so foolish as to hunt such easy pickings of bare bedrock at the bottom (although the next day, a wiser nugget shooter took an eight gram nugget out of said bedrock outcrops, #@$!*!), I chose instead bedrock covered with cobbles and boulders.After a leisurely two hours of hot sweat and ragged pain, the area was cleared to hunt. After numerous passes with the detector, a tiny whisper emerged as the coil gently scrubbed the sharp, steeply angled slate bedrock. After chipping and chiseling, the signal was slightly louder. Next, I turned the mono coil on its side and pinpointed the signal. Working with hammer and chisel around the signal, I popped out a quarter-gram nugget. (Well, back then pride [whose slave I sometimes am] demanded I call it a nugget! I mean, after all of that work, what else could I call it?)With a calm, yet horrifying recognition, my dim brain was forced to admit that never, with the exception of a near-death trip down some slick boulder clay, had I ever worked so hard for far, far less than minimum wage!Nevertheless, to lift my spirits and put me in a playful mood, I now had to plan how to pack sixty pounds of equipment up a mostly vertical, scree covered slope . . ..All the best,Lanny
  12. Randy, thanks for the compliment. I really appreciate it. All the best, Lanny
  13. Thanks a lot for leaving your kind words. I wish you the best of luck as well. All the best, Lanny
  14. Great to hear from you again, and I hope you're still out there chasing the gold when you get a chance. Always great to read of your adventures as well. All the best my friend, Lanny
  15. Thanks for the compliment Fred, truly appreciated. All the best, Lanny
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