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Lanny

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Lanny last won the day on March 5

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About Lanny

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  1. I agree, and there's always something I haven't seen, which is amazing all by itself. In addition, the ingenuity of how they made things work out there in the middle of nowhere as necessity required it, truly remarkable. All the best, Lanny
  2. Thanks for leaving a note, and many thanks for being such a good buddy all of these years. Always good to hear from you, and I wish you all the best as you chase that sassy NZ gold. Lanny
  3. (NOTICE: No gold found on this outing. Read on only if you enjoy hearing about the adventure.) Deep Canyon Ghost CampWe’d heard rumours, but we’d never followed up on the information . . .We were told to head down the logging road until we saw a large area off to the left side that had a designated winter pull-out for vehicle parking. After we’d found the spot, we were supposed to check the forest behind the pull-out for an old trail, and by following the trail, it would lead us down the mountain into a steep canyon where the Old Timers had taken out lots of chunky gold, and all of their work was done by hand as the gold was shallow to bedrock; shallow diggings, the Old Timer’s bread, butter, and cream. Furthermore, there was supposed to be an old cabin where a highly successful miner had been found dead. His body was discovered during the deep winter snows, and only located weeks after he’d died, but his cache had never been found. So, it seemed like a good spot to investigate.We grabbed a couple of detectors, some bear spray, a flare gun with bear bangers, some sniping tools, a couple of pans, and off we went.Not far into the trees we found an old cabin, but it wasn’t quite old enough for the stories we’d been told, but it did have some cool items in it; however, there were no other structures, and we’d been told there were “cabins”.We carried on, picking up the thread of the trail, but we got crossed by some deadfall. Working our way through, we were soon on our way downslope. In short order, the steep trail dropped in pitch even more, and the surrounding forest was extremely quiet, which was unexpected.We were in an area of dense growth, but no buildings were visible anywhere. As we rounded a bend in the trail, we saw a collapsed roof, and under the roof, the drooping remains of a log structure. Off to the right at about a 45-degree angle, there was a building that had obviously been a workshop at one time, as lots of cast off materials and machinery parts surrounded it.In front of us, right off the trail to our left, was an old root cellar, and someone had been digging behind it, throwing out all of the old cans and bottles. To our immediate right was a building and part of the roof was beginning to collapse. What was interesting is that under an intact portion, there were still many cords of cut firewood.As the steepness of the descent increased, we came upon a large, long log building, one that had been re-roofed in more modern times. To elaborate a bit, the cuts of the logs where they were fitted at the ends had been beautifully done by some master builder in the past. Those logs were securely locked; it was built to weather any kind of severe force. To the left of the long building, there was a house, the roof over the porch collapsing, and when we went inside for a peek, someone had done a lot of work to cover the rooms in every ceiling with tin, and that was curious.After poking around the surrounding buildings for a while, and after snapping some pictures, we worked our way along the edge of the cliffs to get down to the creek.One of the first things we noticed was a hand-stacked rock wall on the opposite side, one expertly crafted on the bedrock of the creek to rise up to then intersect the cliff face. Someone went to a lot of work to stabilize that spot.Visible above the rock wall and the cliff were countless hand-stacks of cobbles, evidence of the gold rush where the miners were working the shallow diggings to get to the easy placer. (Later on, we met a modern-day miner, and he told us there were lots of nuggets recovered in the two to three-ounce range!) As the canyon was so steep, and due to the shallow deposits, it had never been worked by mechanized mining.My son fired up his detector and set off to see what he could find.While he was hunting for targets, I set up to provide over-watch: we were after all in the land of the grizzly and the black, as well as the territory of the cougar.As luck would have it, there were no encounters with apex predators, and it was a beautiful afternoon with the forest lit by golden shafts of soft sunlight that filtered down from high overhead. However, the normal symphony of mountain songbirds was absent, as were any signs of hummingbirds or butterflies, all my normal companions while chasing placer. In addition, no mountain flowers were present, reflecting the scanty soil conditions of the canyon.As I kept watch, I moved around and noticed that every place there was any kind of a gut or a draw the miners had tossed out the cobbles to reach the bedrock bottom. In fact, I couldn’t find one place where they hadn’t excavated any likely-looking spot. Furthermore, as I looped above the area where my son was working, I came across numerous trash pits with all kinds of interesting old cans and containers, rusted evidence of either former food or fuel needs.My son called me down to the creek where he’d isolated a target underwater, but it turned out to be a small part of an old square nail, which for whatever reason always sounds off like a good find on the pulse machine. He kept digging the rest of the afternoon and recovered countless trash targets: square nail tips and sections; intact square nails of various sizes; bits of can-slaw; a chunk of punch-plate; various pieces of wire of differing compositions; as well as chunks of lead, etc.What he didn’t find was any gold, but that’s the way it goes in the nugget hunting game; buckets of trash get dug before the gold gets found. In retrospect, I don’t even know how many buckets of trash I dug before I found my first nugget, and I think that’s what kills most beginning nugget shooters. They give up after the first palm-full of trash or sooner. Nugget hunting requires serious dedication and patience, but when that first sassy nugget is finally in the palm, there’s nothing like it, nothing.We gathered up our gear, took a few more pictures of the cabins and buildings on our way out, and then hit the switchbacks as we slogged our way up out of that silent canyon.We will go back, but with a different focus this time. We’ll move some hand-stacks from some likely looking spots to give the underlying, undetected bedrock a sniff. I mean, two to three-ounce nuggets? Something had to have been missed in a crack somewhere . . .All the best,Lanny
  4. Booyahh! Incredible, beautiful find. Nicely done, and all the best, Lanny
  5. Nice write-up for your update, thanks. All the best, Lanny
  6. Success is something you always spar with . . . Trying to find nuggets is no different, no matter where you chase them, but memories, they last, and what an adventure you've had! Thanks for the tag-along, and all the best, Lanny
  7. I kept waiting, and hoping, and rooting that at the bottom of that hole it would be a nugget, tough break for sure. Furthermore, no wonder it sounded so good; lead is the great imposter . . . All the best, Lanny
  8. Hydraulic Pit Gold (I wrote this story a long time ago, but for the rookies, there might be a tip or two . . . ) I was detecting in a hydraulic pit one day, way back when I was using the Minelab 2100 full-time (still a solid gold-finding machine!). I was finding little brass boot nails, copper wire, blasting caps, old square nails (of all sizes), mine tunnel rail spikes, dozer-blade shavings, cigarette package foil, bits of old tin can (AKA, can-slaw) . . . I was hitting everything but gold! I wandered over to a rise on the side of the pit where there were some white-barked quaking aspens. It was a sizzling summer day with the patented cobalt blue sky of the Rockies, and that shade in the aspens looked mighty inviting. From upslope, a cool breeze brought the fragrant scent of fresh, mountain pine. Having been given the perfect recipe for some relaxation, I sat down and pondered what I'd been up to. The pit was huge, and I'd been hammering the exposed bedrock, and any places where there was any clay deposited tight on the bedrock. (I guess it was good that I'd been finding the junk, as it proved the area wasn't totally hunted out, but I wanted some gold, and I was tired of hitting only junk.) As I sat in the shade and took a break, I suddenly noticed lots of river rock around the base of the trees, a thing I'd failed to notice before. I looked at the rise above the aspens, and I saw where river rocks were poking from the slope as well. Freshly inspired, I took my shovel and peeled off the surface material to expose even more water-rounded rock. I fired up the detector and passed it over the rocks and worked my way along the edge of the rise. To my amazement, I got a signal! Of course, I automatically assumed it was another nail, as most of that hydraulic pit could have been refiled on a claim map as a nail mine! (To elaborate a bit about old nails, I've been fooled by the small tips of square nails before, sometimes they sound just like a nugget. ) Anyway, I dug down and cleared away some of that river rock. The dirt looked like original deposit, undisturbed virgin ground. Furthermore, as I looked at the rise, it made sense. Where I was digging was obviously a small hump of intact old channel, a piece left by the hydraulic miners. The only clue as to why it had been left was that perhaps due to all of the nails at the base of the hump, there must have been some sort of building there that they didn't want to take out with the water cannons. At any rate, I kept digging, and the signal got stronger. Pretty soon, about eight inches down, I saw bedrock. I passed the coil over the spot and the sound was nice and sweet. This was shale bedrock, with lots of fractures packed with clay, and lots of small river stones tight on as well as jammed down into it. I pinpointed the signal and carefully scraped down through the clay and small stones. There on the bedrock was a sassy nugget! It was very flat, but shaped just like the sole of a shoe, about the size of a Barbie Doll boot, only thicker, and somewhat larger. Naturally, I decided to detect the area more, but I got blanked. But then came the thing that can stop a nugget hunter cold, the battle over whether to strip more overburden to expose the bedrock. (Was this a lone nugget, or could there be some pals somewhere?) I've faced this decision many times while throwing off hundreds of pounds of annoying rock, only to find nothing. But, the place had a good feel to it, plus the shade was a nice bonus, so I decided to tear into it. (As a side note, my buddy invented a slick rock fork that I had with me that day. He took a manure-fork and heated the tines and bent them about halfway down their length at a right angle. Then he cut the sharp tips off, leaving safe, blunt ends. This is a dream tool for raking off river rock from hillsides and bedrock, the long handle making the work easier. Plus, any heavies like gold will fall through the tines and stay put.) Using the repurposed fork, I found that the overburden varied from about six inches to a foot, and the rocks varied from cobbles to watermelon-sized boulders. At last I'd cleared an area about the size of two half-ton truck beds. It took a lot of work, but I'd produced a nice patch of exposed bedrock that had the same covering of clay and small river stone as the previous spot that had given up a nugget. I ran the coil over the area and got no signal at all! I slowed down and ran it perpendicular to the way I'd detected it the first time. This time I got a whisper. I hauled out some sniping tools, went to work, and the signal was slightly louder. I used a stiff-bristled brush and scrubbed the bedrock. I detected the spot again, and the signal was nice and repeatable. I got out a bent, slot screwdriver (end bent at 90 degrees), and I worked that bedrock hard. It started to break off in flakes, and small sheets, and my efforts exposed a crevice! I dug down deeper and the crevice got a bit wider, then little stones packed in a wet, dark-stained sandy clay started popping out; this can be a very good sign, even with a crevice being narrow. I ran the edge of the coil along the crevice and the sound was definitely crisper. I took out a small sledge from my pack and a wide, thin rock chisel. I cut down on either side of the signal in that bedrock crevice, then I slanted back toward the heart of the crevice itself, breaking out the rock and exposing the contents of the little pocket. I scraped all of the material out of the crevice and put it in a plastic scoop. I ran it under the coil and was rewarded with a nice smooth, crisp sound. I sorted the scoop's material under the coil to reveal a flat nugget, its body still wedged in between two pieces of bedrock. Moreover, because that little rascal had been standing on its edge, that was why it had been so stealthy in the crevice! I cleaned along the rest of the crevice and found two more nuggets, smaller than the first and second nuggets, but nice to have nonetheless. I went back to the same spot a couple of weeks later and really cleared off a large section of that hump. You'd have been proud to see the rocks fly that day; nonetheless, I found no more gold. Isn't that the way it goes? All the best, Lanny
  9. It's been my experience that any detector with the appropriate gold circuitry will find gold in the bedrock and the cracks if the conditions aren't too hot for it to handle the mineralization, and from what I've been told, the Nox is wired and programmed to get the job done. Seeing the gold in the bedrock or seeing it in the dirt is what great nugget machines do. The higher-end ones will punch deeper into severe mineralization (rock or soil), and that's why they demand the big bucks, but for shallower gold, where the conditions aren't crazy insane, you should be OK. All the best, Lanny
  10. To find the gold, gotta keep the powder dry . . . All the best, Lanny
  11. Interesting read, and thanks for taking the time to post your reflections. All the best, Lanny
  12. Lots of golden nuggets in this little post from JW, that is, for those of you that want to pan out the heavies to see what he's salted in his post . . . Thanks for posting some of your methods, and for sharing some of the secrets to your success. All the best, Lanny
  13. Nice to see you adding more coils to your stable Simon. All the best, Lanny
  14. Cool article, thanks for the link! All the best, Lanny
  15. Wow!! Great finds and great pictures! Loved the golden pyramid; that's a truly unique find. Really enjoyed the pictures of your enchanted countryside, looks like a wonderful place to live, and nice to know your Mrs. likes to head out into the country with you as well. I've got mine swinging the Gold Monster now, so she's getting quite serious about learning some tricks of the trade. All the best, and thanks again for posting, Lanny
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