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  1. I got lucky and found 2 1909 quarter eagle gold coins in 1 hole.The expert hunter Mike Moutray while driving around the country and hunting with people who guided him to good spots in their area. He got a hold of my buddy and we met him at a restaurant and went south to a place that had a old sulfur spring and use to have a gambling horse track.He hunted around a 200 year old plus oak tree and only went 3/4 of the way around it. He then went to the rest room and to a different spot.I went to the tree and hunted in areas he did not hunt and got a iffy hit.I used my Sun Ray probe and got a pull tab hit and pulled out a gold coin and then got my second.I put in my probe and got the same hit but pulled out a fired bullet.I am sure that he would have probably got it of he hunted the whole tree.I had the coins in the gold pan I had with the dirt and when he saw them he rolled his eyes probably because he knows he did not hunt the whole tree.He did get his first 3 cent silver though.This happened in October 2003.
  2. Fun little outing from a year or two ago. No gold found but the day was cut short by an east coast land mine aka ground bees. I use lidar to discuss my methodology and reasoning for detecting this area. I also discuss what I look for when detecting for gold on the east coast out side of stream channels. you can get a good idea of the challenges faced when detecting for gold on the east coast, (thick leaf mat, organic topsoil increases the depth that a detector has to see through to even reach possible good ground. Vegetation covers everything etc. Hope y’all enjoy. Feed back is always appreciated.
  3. Half the fun is meeting people. I’ve been fortunate in my metal detecting career to find some Gems, both in gold and in Gents. This industry has been in my family for 40+ years and 25 of it, me being a dealer of detectors. Yes in that many years of digging lead, I screw up on occasion and find a nugget or two. But on a really rare 2 moons shining, I cross paths with a Gem of a detectorist or two. (Pic below is Darrell on the left, Pieter in the middle and I holding his book) A few weeks ago I was fortunate to meet two outstanding detectorists, Gems of friends (Darrell & his detecting buddy Pieter). Heck we hunted meteorites and gold, shared a couple beers & told a story or two around a camp fire. It’s not often I find someone, let alone 2 guys who’ve been swing a detector longer than I. But….the fun and highlight of the trip was yet to come and even more precious than the gold/meteorites I dug. The last night and after Darrell had left (I wish he would have stayed). I was able sit down and listen/hear/dream of Pieter Heydelaar and his memories shared of the early gold hunts in Australia with his wife and the pounds of patches they recovered with early day VLF detectors. Pic below is Lunk and Darrell. Check out that fine 2 room camp tent. Having Darrell and Pieter in the same camp as I, around the fire, and in the field swinging side by side was just amazing. Boy I sure found a couple true treasures and well worth more than all the gold & space rocks I found. I have to give credit where credit due, so Thank you Mr. Lunk for putting this special hunt together and a few days in the field with some fine Gems & Gents. For those who are interested in prospecting Southern California and Arizona, I was able to purchase a dozen of Pieter’s book “Successful Nugget Hunting”, Volume #1. What I like about this book is the pretty detailed map and directions to some of his gold producing sites, which he describes and shares. The book is $17, but I only have 10 left. A special thanks goes out to Chef Rusty as well. His outstand chauffeur service, accommodating lodging and fine dining were top notch again. After all, what are friends for. (Pic below is Lunk on left, Pieter in the middle and Rusty on right who's mad as I ate the last slice of pie.) One thing is for sure. Even though Darrell & Pieter are 20 yrs (wiser) than I, they are hard hunters...so this young lad got schooled. That's perfectly fine with me...they earned it. (pic below is Pieter & Lunk at a meteorite site & the limo. How many of you out there know Pieter and some of his accomplishments in meteorite and gold nugget hunting? How about some of you Aussies who have been chasing gold down under for many years, I bet some of your stories are just as Golden.
  4. My winter season has officially ended. A total of 39 detecting days, 88 grams (argh, just short of 3 oz I was trying for) minus a couple grams traded for supplies along the way. Definitely no great bonanza this year, but by the looks of it I have almost paid for a new 6000 if I decide to get one. Anyone looking to buy nuggets let me know. 10% under spot if bought in 1/2 oz+ lots and I have another half lb or so at home slated for the refiner soon too if anyone wants bulk. I know it's not the prettiest gold, but it's cheap. 😄 About half this came from reworking older patches. The other half come from exploring but I wasn't able to find anything except scattered small patches this season so never quite hit the jackpot as in previous seasons. Thank you to X Coils for giving me a new 8" coil to play with, it was responsible for many of the smaller nuggets in the photo, as well as a couple of the bigger ones including the speci. It was nice to swing the GPZ with no bungee when using it and to feel truly mobile for the first time with any "big gun" detector. My field report on that coil is elsewhere on this site, no need to go into it here. For anyone who visited me at my land - I am packed up and leaving and this place is officially sold to a new owner as of tomorrow. So, don't come a knockin' cause he might have a shotgun 😄 Best of luck to the new owner. I have some plans in store for the spring/summer and next winter, thanks in large part to people who have generously offered knowledge and assistance. So, one chapter ends and I will be moving along to the next now. For now it's time to go home and finish the construction work I left behind this fall, get some money for an RV again to pursue this prospecting thing again when the ground thaws up North. Good luck to everyone I met and spoke with for the rest of this winter season, and to everyone else! Jason
  5. Condor and I went out exploring for old placer sites yesterday did not find what we were looking for but came came across this old mine way back in the mountains, deep shafts and a lot of the vein was removed from the ridgeline the ore itself was very mineralized.
  6. I took off this afternoon after the storm and went to a couple of beaches. The first beach has been a good beach in the past but it was not going good for me today. I got one little name plate that reads 1 but I don't think it is gold. It was time to move about 5 miles away and try something different. Conditions were better but getting started was slow. I used my intuition to move on from my first spot to a good direction where I started to pick up a couple of coins and then I got the first ring. It looks like part of a set but when I looked at it more closely it is not marked. I worked and worked finding more change with a lot of dimes and I was fighting myself to just move on at a faster pace. I was working a cut but not perpendicular to it. On my 3rd pass away from it I got the tiny little ring. It weighs just .5 g but it is 14k! (I didn't know it at the time.) Now I'm a considerable distance down from the cut and I'm thinking I'm down where the heavies would stay if the energy didn't kick them up. I was at the edge of the shinny wet sand and I got a hit. I dug down about 7-8 inches and it was a flat lead fishing weight. (I gave it to a fisherman and that is why it is not in the pictures.) This was a clue. I circled the weight find and got another hit at 18. At this point I'm digging anything that is not a -2 and out pops this ring (5g/.925/.750) that is silver but you can see the gold. This was the heavy I was expecting and it was near sunset and dinner and ... Now that I have cleaned it up I see D.Y. I know that brand and sure enough the picture is on the website. https://www.davidyurman.com/products/womens/womens-rings/x-crossover-ring-with-18k-gold--r07437-s8.pdp.html?swatchCode=R07437 S8ZZZ This is what it looked like before cleaning. These were the finds for today which included about $10 in change. These were finds from two days ago and one silver ring. If I would have had more time or gone to this beach first then I would have more to show! Thanks for looking.
  7. JOIN ME WITH YOUR OFF ROAD VEHICLE ??? Making convoy of 2-3 vehicles will be much better & saver than solo Let's shake this Yukon & Northwest Territories FOR A BIGGER NUGGETS : CREEKS , HILL , ANY SUSPICION PLACE WITH TOUGH ACCESS ? Not looking for panning gold in my case I can’t get my expenses anyway with panning gold ? So Im playing Bingo here It is going to be a lot of nuggets or I will have unforgettable memories for life which is ok Im getting ready from now. It is going to be risky & dangerous expedition , rethink twice before YES I’m coming There is the plan for gold nuggets & meteorites in undiscovered areas far a way from City’s 1-2 Off road reliable vehicle ( installed winch will be nice) Firearms – Mandatory !!! good caliber will 45-70 many grizzles are there too ? You’ll need to carry at least 10 jerry cans of gas or Diesel (200 Liters) + full tank of gas So we do not have to waste time in looking for gas stations Satellite phone- it is up to you & gps if you have one would be better Metal detector – gpx will be best or whatever you have Leaving my place in Ontario on May 10th 2020 to Yukon. It will be around 10 days driving to Yukon so We can meet somewhere in Yukon My trip will be 4 months long , if you guys want to get success then you have to stay long time And get the risk too ! I know it is expensive expedition but you never know what you can find There is priority – No ones have it done before , why ? money, time, risk , work and so on That’s why the chance is big Otherwise you are spending money and wasting time for nothing (2-3 weeks not enough ) If you have $$ to burn & if you are crazy enough then Welcome ?
  8. We went looking for British Rev War artifacts...The pic on the tail gate is all of our finds together...My buddy dug the 1694 British Farthing. I got the Colonial bling and tudor button. I also scored the seal...
  9. I think at some point I've already inquired about this question but it never hurts to ask again. May years ago, on the original Tesoro forum, the one linked on the Tesoro site there was two guy that traveled around and hunted old home sites. These two guy would travel to the upper eastern states and some of there finds were just amazing. Its always funny they would post their stories on a Tesoro site while they used the Minelab Explorer on all their trips. I hate to say I've looked through many archive sites and have yet to find even one of the stories. These two guys could write some of the most captivating detecting stories I've ever read. Just wondering if any of the ole timers here might remember these two guys and their hunting adventures.
  10. Hello all! First of all, I just wanted to publicly say thank you to Steve and the rest of the members on this site. Although this is my first post, I have been using the wealth of information gathered from everyone here for a while now. It's that time of year up here in Alaska where the days are dark and the memory of summer seems like a distant past. To cure my deep seated winter time blues and my sense for adventure, I decided to check out a spot I have been wanting to try for a while now, but let the myriad of summertime activities get in the way. But perhaps the real underlying driving force for this trip was my new highbanker waiting patiently in the garage to process dirt. Whatever the REAL reason, I looked at the forecast and saw a balmy 26 degrees forecasted and knew it was time to shine. So I drove North of Anchorage with my back country cross country skis (say that ten times fast) in tow, looking forward to a day out in the back country. I have found that if my main objective is to get out and enjoy the outdoors with a side chance of pay dirt, I am rarely if ever disappointed. And this day was no different. I arrived and strapped on the skis and my touring sled and set off into the snow. I quickly found out that hauling equipment by skis should be an Olympic event. The powder was easily three feet deep and probably pushing on four, making me earn every "stride". In reality, the snow was so deep and the sled so heavy that my skis weren't gliding at all, but being used more like elongated snowshoes, trudging through the snow. But the temperature was warm and snacks aplenty, so I trotted along the creek ahead encountering open water in places and crossing precarious snow bridges at times in order to make my way along. Just around the moment where I realized that I may be in for more of a workout than I intended, I had arrived. Located a few miles downstream was a section of the creek forced into a ninety degree bend by an outcrop of ancient gold bearing glacial till. During the summer months this "creek" (creek only in name) produces too swift of a current to properly explore this bend. But thanks to mother nature, winter freeze up reduces this section to a little more than a shin deep trickle. (The section of glacial till forcing the creek into a perfect ninety degree bend. The creek erodes alongside this till and prevents any debris from accumulating at the base.) (The creek encountering the glacial till and being turned at a sharp ninety degree angle, causing a major drop in water velocity.) As I considered this to be more of an exploratory trip on skis I had left my waders at home, preventing me from properly getting out in the channel. What I settled for instead was balancing myself on the edge of the ice as close as possible (not recommended) and shoveling a few scoops of dirt from the pool formed at the base of the till and into my bucket from the area that I could reach. Realizing that I had all that skiing back left to do, with darkness quickly advancing, I hurriedly filled half a bucket from mostly surface gravels and raced the darkness back to my car. Now for the fun! With dirt in hand and back home in the comforts of a heated garage, I was ready to test out my new 6 inch highbanker. Now let me preface this with some information. This highbanker is not meant to be loaded into a vehicle and dropped off at your spot of choosing. This highbanker is made to tear down and fit inside your pack and hiked into your spot of choosing. Weighing in at only six pounds, this highbanker fits a niche group for those wanting to pack out their operation on foot. And let me tell you what, I am extremely excited to do just that this summer with this bad boy. Made by Gold Rat Engineering out of Australia, this highbanker tears down to nuts and bolts and runs off of a 2,000 GPH electric bilge pump. Coupled with a lithium ion battery (less weight), you can have this set up packed out in the backcountry at 10lbs. While I realize that using an ultra lightweight 6 inch backpack highbanker out of your garage is like using a Ferarri to drive to the corner store, that's exactly what occurred. Running the half bucket that I brought back, the highbanker took it in stride and I soon found myself wishing that I had brought more back (the soreness in my quads reminded me otherwise). I panned out the concentrates from the lower mat (which can be detached and not brought into the field, making it even smaller and lighter) and found it LOADED with black sand. But not a single speck of gold. (The highbanker uses a matting called the Dream Mat) Feeling a little disheartened I ran the top mat, not expecting much after the lower mat didn't produce. Again, LOADED with black sand. And as I panned it back, gold! Now I realize it's not much (it was only half a bucket and ten minutes of digging in all fairness) but what I was really impressed with was the capture rate of the highbanker and the fines of the gold it was able to capture. Some of this stuff was the definition of fly poop. And for it to capture all of that in the top mat without any getting to the lower, I'll take it. So overall, I am extremely happy with this new highbanker and look forward to using it this summer out in the backcountry of Alaska. I am happy with the quick results of the spot I tested out. With a little more effort I believe it will produce some decent results. Once it hits 33 degrees I am taking the highbanker out there to really run some dirt. (Although a suction dredge would be the best tool for this location). But the biggest takeaway was being able to shake the wintertime blues, enjoy the outdoors, and remind myself that springtime prospecting isn't as far off as it sometime feels. Once again I want to thank this community for the knowledge and expertise you all have shared and hope that my short trip report reminds everyone that better panning days are ahead (looking at you 2021). Happy New Years, -Brandon
  11. Hello We head out most weekends for a little adventure whether it be prospecting, detecting, offroading or ??? Video attached sharing some of our experiences. Thanks and looking forward to seeing some of you in the field!!!! Will also post some cool photos later, from our last trip, found some cool old sluice boxes etc and equipment on the rivers edge.
  12. Decided to go more for silver today at a possible older site that now is a grass parking lot for a school. I had really high hopes of the Equinox pulling silver from the ground as there wasn't much trash so I lowered recovery to 4 and increased sensitivity to 24. There was plenty of depth, so I even busted out my t-handle shovel. I got a very strong 32-36, and decided to dig it even though the coil was still able to pick it up about 10 inches off the ground. I was expecting a can given the footprint of the sound as the coil waved over the object. Down about 6 inches was what I thought might be a money holder or a makeup compact. I waited to open it until I got home. Sadly, there were no gold or silver coins inside. It is still kind of cool. From the looks of the design, it appears to be from the 40s-50s. The makeup still smells similar to how it should smell. There are no words that I can find on the outside or inside. It is not magnetic, so I assume it is brass. Anyone with an idea of a brand name would be appreciated. The silver dime was unexpected. Given that I don't find a ton of silver coins, each shiny coin coming from deep in the ground is also thrilling! Although I have detected the area a time or two in the past, I have not found anything good there. Plans are being made to go back.😁 The weather in FL was warm today. I know other parts of the U.S. have frozen ground, so I thought lots of pics of fairly mundane items might be appreciated.
  13. I have been out of the loop for a number of years and just joined back up. Here is my latest adventure. Aug 2020 Kind of a long read, Names and place shall remain anonymous. Got a call last week from a guy that wanted to know how to run a detector that he got from his dad. He was going to use it to help a friend find something that had been buried. I explained the machine to him and asked about size and depth of object and he didn't know for sure but said he would call back if he had more questions. About 4 hours later i get a call from same guy and he says his friends wife wants to talk to me. Wanted to know if I would drive over (about 65 miles) as they needed someone that knew what they were doing with a detector. I asked a few more questions about size and depth and was told about 30 inches deep & the size of a Carnation can, cardboard she thought. Having nothing else to do we decided to make the drive and see if I could help. Come to find out the guy had buried the can of coins about 10+ years ago and he and a couple of friends were trying to find it. He had suffered a couple of strokes and couldn't quite remember exactly where it was buried.. I asked of one thing and that was to take some pictures if we find it and no name's or location would be reveled. Pretty much about half of the space under the building had been dug to a depth of about 3 ft. We dug and I detected for about 1/2 hr and kept hitting some old rusty nails and from what he told me I asked them to remove a section of dirt and in the meantime I was going to check the big hole they dug earlier so the owner and I slipped thru the wall studs and began searching the other side, In the far back right corner I got a very very weak signal in the far corner and told him to move some gravel/dirt so I could check it again to see if it gets louder. It did so move some more gravel and it is louder and then it screams at me, I said we have a large target here and he starts moving dirt and gravel with his hands and a little piece of gray tape pokes thru and he yells we found it. More gravel come out revealing the whole lid and then the can. The can was heavy as it was full and I'm thinking he buried a bunch of silver and I said it would be nice to see some gold in that can. He said so you would like to see some gold would you. He and his wife were over whelmed to say the least that I had found it for them. He asked me how much he owed me and I said what ever you think, a little gas money. He handed me $2000.00. I said no way and he said you want more and I said that's way to much but he wouldn't take any back because you see I just dug up there retirement savings. Stuffed in that little can were 224 1oz gold coins ( All Buffalo and American Gold Eagle rounds). 10 tubes of 20 rounds each and 24 in clear cellophane wrap. At todays price well I guess you can figure that out.
  14. Today was short and good. While reading about the geology of rattlesnake mountain and getting sidetracked on the census report for the population of Virginia City and 1860 versus 1870, I came across the fact that there was like 11 Chinese people in 1860 recorded, and 711 or something in 1870. How long ago that was, and how bustling those streets must have been as it was as great as paris? Well today, not too far from Virginia City three new kids, half Chinese, could be added to that number. We were really only supposed to go out to deliver some Uber eats. However, sometimes it's really hard to focus when you have the GPC 7000 and Fisher 75 in the car for easy access. Telling adventures of the mountain climb yesterday with their brave mother, we tried to go through the glorious spectacular Christmas lights decorated neighborhood, combing for that place we just visited. We found the park, which was much closer to the mountains then we parked yesterday, however the official park for some strange reason closed at 5:00. Anybody that knows the real power of the GPZ knows that it's very hard to turn off before 5:00. Rather than be trapped on the inside, we elected to park near the street within hiking distance. The full hearty at simple plan, was to run as fast as we could to the closest Mount ravine and just grab nuggets by the fistful. The children were good grabbing things they practiced on their great American Halloween for 2 years now. They had shovels and by other kids might be grabbing a pickaxe on minecraft, they had the real deal. They might have a lollipop in their mouth but their eye said they were hungry for gold. We quickly gathered the gear from the car grab the dog and sprinted across the meadow much like that famous guy Chevy Chase from National Lampoon's doing his wallet world Sprint. Unfortunately we had to slow down, my wife was sore from yesterday it was somewhat lagging behind, and my youngest son Apollo forgot to put his belt on and his pants were falling down almost, while he was wearing his brother's hiking shoes which were two and a half sizes too big. I had intended to take him out to buy some new shoes, however he will for Lee volunteered the shoe money to help us get that shiny GPz.... So, with the sun going down, the wife and dog crawling, and the pants that could barely stay up, I had no choice. We quickly raised the detector in the air right there on the spot and did the noise cancellation and Ferris Middle ground balancing magical gold dance. After reading last night post after post after post in this forum, I finally came across the post that Steve wrote about the firmware upgrade containing the couple new functions which I completely did not operate correctly the first day. The one function in particular, allows you to cover more ground quickly... I guess that's the something your other something your other option. Thank God they use little graphical icons cuz I can't think of the exact name off the top of my head. So slowly walking through this field, remembering that the Basque people who live there once before and I guess in 1950 or something or sometime after there was a great flood that flooded the whole valley which is somewhat perplexing to me because it seems to be a desert so I have a hard time imagining a flood there Well I let my kids know that even though we couldn't make it to the ravine,there was a probability we collect nuggets, all the way back to the car before the sun went down. So in that rushed hour and a half, we hit and Dug three targets. And I didn't even I have to explain to the kids that each Target could be the largest nugget in Nevada history. I can tell they already knew. Well of course, it was rather fine display of used ammunition... The kids had a great time learning the siren calls of the GPZ 7000, how to do the silencing and ground balancing dance.. and that there's way more suspense digging in the ground than waiting at home to watch a new Netflix series. I can't wait to get out again, there's so many places that we're learning about. The recent episode of Jeff Williams taught us about the Oriental and thule canyon and gold point.... And after their first day out... They won't think of reading this form and the other gold prospecting forms as tough homework assignments, but rather a road to get their own goals. Because they all know they get to keep whatever gold they find. 2020 was pretty bad, 2021 is probably going to be a little bit worse, but I think the GPz s going to make it a lot better.. The fisher f75 will play its part, and hopefully we'll be able to pick up a used gold monster 1000... Eating the elephant bite by bite https://photos.app.goo.gl/SMvFJM5PDib7Vc7o6
  15. I'll start off by letting everyone know I am a total noob at metal detecting. Started back in August looking for nails after a roof replacement. The entire story is in my Meet and Greet entry. I retired in October, and have been outside every day I can with my Garrett ACE 400. Honestly I didn't have high expectations of what I would find. I read lots of pro advice and decided to start in my yard with the ACE, the AT Pro pinpointer that came with it, and a Lesche Samson shovel. I bought the Samson as it seemed to have the most favorable reviews. I read up a lot on the best ways to use the ACE. I also watched a lot of Hoover Boys videos, and marveled at what they dug up. I had no real expectation of finding the sort of things they do, much less coins. In the first few passes I found some old colonial buttons, and a WW1 Army jacket button. Just about every day I dug up something that was relevant to the area, mostly colonial artifacts some possibly related to the War of 1812. My county is very old, and still mostly rural farming. I have about 150 acres of farm in front of my house. There was a lot of trash from the construction of my house. Most annoying were little triangles of gutter and flashing aluminum that I found everywhere. For just a yard my results were astonishing! On the coin side of things, not so much, I only found 27 cents, all from about the time my house was built. My yard was entirely "Harley Raked" before we moved in. Just as I finished my yard, the next day the farmer came to pick up his crop. I was excited as it is much easier to search farmland after a soybean crop than a corn crop. I asked him if I could search the farm, and offered him any finds that he liked. He told me he was in no way sentimentally connected, and I could "have at it" and keep everything I found. He also directed me to 200 other acres they own near me That I could search. I set up a grid search scheme using 6 6-foot driveway markers from Lowe's that I began using about a quarter of the way through my yard when I decided that trying to figure out where I last was wasn't enough. What I did was place 3 on each side of the field, and moved two on each pass. I always have something to line up on. The later addition of the Tect o Trak app shows me how effective this is. This farm overlooks a river where a Steamboat landing was in the 1800s. Right away colonial buttons, some copper, some pewter, and some lead started turning up, and about the 10th pass I dug a sun pendant with stones for eyes. Soon I dug a 1/4 cut 2 Real coin, and then another. I also dug a 1890 half cent, and an 1879 Indian head penny. The Indian Head was in excellent shape. I also think I found a very old British copper coin that gives no details, but rings when dropped on a table. Every day it has been something, a silver plated button, a gilt one, and even one that was oval and I think solid silver. After covering about an acre and a half the finds cut off, being more iron bits (there were plenty of them everywhere along with shotgun shells and shot), and beer cans and pull tabs. I pressed on regardless and today found another decorated button which I can only assume is very old. I really like my ACE. I'm impressed by how many relics I have found. I don't see many articles here about the ACE 400, and am kinda surprised. It is not an AT Pro or Max but it sure does find things, even 10" + deep. Check out my photos, everything was found with this detector. I found the Indian head penny when checking the hole after I found the buckshot I was originally seeing, it was 10" down. Always check the hole again! One of the quirks the machine has I appreciate is the high tone you get if you pass over a low tone item too fast. I t keeps me in check. I always dig items with mixed signals. I confess that next week I will be going back over my yard with a Minelab Equinox 600. I'm hooked for sure. I will continue to post finds with the Garrett, as I plan to use it in the farm, the Equinox in the river, or whenever I think I should search an area in the farm again. I have no special settings; Zero discrimination, one bar short of full sensitivity on the farm, two in the yard. I want to hear it all. I think I am doing rather well! Any comments and suggestions are welcome. I have updated my finds cases, shown below. Merry Christmas and Happy new Year!
  16. Hello everybody. Nice to meet you. Long long long time lurker first time poster. A long time ago I think I might have posted about going to Australia to look for gold with my bike, trailer and f-75... Although everybody says it was crazy, I would have gone, but it wasn't an option unfortunately. After being out of the country for 24 years or something, my family and I moved to Reno from China. And Nevada is such an awesome place, why we might not have the large four or five oz nuggets laying on the ground everywhere, baking in the sun like in Australia... I think we got tons of gold here and awesome history too 🙂 at least my family and I can't get enough of studying with the old timers did, and the beautiful desert, and other places near Reno. If I've ever heard something about Rena it's that one of the greatest things about it is the proximity to other cool places. Anyhow, I don't want to say anything bad about our f-75, but it's always been a dream in fact beyond a dream, to own the legendary gpz7000... Thanks to a knowledgeable modern-day old timer member of the site, we had the Good Fortune to finally make some of our dreams come true. I cannot thank the member enough of this forum, for providing us with the most awesome kit we could have ever dreamed about. Of course there's a couple little things we need to get more, mainly gold nuggets 🙂, and more hours of my day 🙂 Yesterday, was the first day that we could finally use our GPz after putting it together on our coffee table, and continuing to watch every single YouTube video... I told myself I would go out just a little bit with it to see how it works... For those of you parents in Reno you might have noticed yesterday was the first snow day of the year with the ultimate irony. Despite the rain and sleet, I saw some blue sky and that's Good enough for me. Aside from watching YouTube videos, decided to download a bunch of apps from the play store on my phone. Pretty much every app imaginable related to BLM land and USGS mineral maps. I hate to see it, but I kind of ignore the BLM apps, and focus more on the digger app that I paid for unlocking all the resources... Which really didn't provide any other functions so far other than two add more to my excitement.. We happen to live near rattlesnake mountain. Studting it carefully on Google Earth, it's reading about the history of huffaker Hill's, The plan was to check out rattlesnake mountain in even if there isn't gold I was going to find gold their. You see after years of gpz salivation, when you finally get that gpz, theres going to be gold everywhere you look and everywhere you think of looking every second of every hour of every day. Even when there's not, it's still there you just didn't look hard enough yet 🙂 So without incense carpe diem moment, and two of our children in school for a 2-hour school day, and our oldest kid at home waiting for them to return... My wife and I took off to go prospecting rattlesnake mountain. But we didn't know, if you follow the road pass rattlesnake mountain, you go underneath veterans highway. The first thing you notice, is there's a stream that flows through the entire valley along veterans highway. After years and years of watching Jeff Williams, two toes, and every imaginable YouTube video, we know that every single stream and creek is full of gold nuggets by the multiple ounces. We were going to stop on that stream at the end of the road of rattlesnake mountain, where the road disappears and you have to close the gate behind you or you will get a misdemeanor. However, there was wild land and a gate that you could enter without trespassing, and would look like old mine tailings on the distant mountain. skipping over that stream that must truly be filled with gold nuggets which we might go back to this morning as soon as I get finished with this never ending the passage... We entered into the Rocky road headed towards those distance mountains. Luckily I just raised our Volkswagen Jetta sport wagon turbo Diesel and inch and a half or so with tequon front springs and rear towing springs, and put a nice cnc skid plate on the bottom.. preparation for Alaska.. and returning to those sweet desert Roades which we spent so much time bottoming out on in the past.... Well we don't have 4x4 low or anything like that, but we do have a nice little diesel with great torque powered by that magical jet rocket GPZ in the rear. We plowed through the boulders past all the beautiful ponies with their winter coats, to a neighborhood that we never been to before which was at the end of the dirt Boulder Street even closer to those mountains with the trailing's on the horizon. We found the exited in this upscale type neighborhood, as we slowly prowled the streets looking for access to the fields at the base with the mountains full of gold. We finally found an opening between two houses.. proceeded to drive over the curb as close to the fence as possible, and then piece by piece assembled the glorious gpz7000 for its first action. Apparently this location is called hidden valley I believe. Racing the sun, for those of you that don't know, it gets dark about 4:30 in Reno right now.. and the supposed oncoming winter storm, we started to treak across the meadow towards the glorious goldfield mountains. Actually, I always wondered why those mountain ranges never got much love. Every single person in Reno and from the Bay area is all excited about the Sierra mountain range.. so much so, that I don't even know the name of the mountain range. The mountain range opposite to the Sierras seems to be the forgotten Black sheep mountain range... So... As the wind and the sleet picked up, we headed towards red dirt. Which every single person that watches videos from Australia knows that red dirt is full of gold nuggets lying everywhere. Firing up the GPZ for the first time on gold bearing ground, I was able with great skill and the power of the GPZ to find a glorious 22 shell casing. And then like magic, I was even able to find what I guess to be the 22 lead bullet that was once in that casing. What a fabulous trick that was. I was sure than ever that we were going to find lots of gold now. So with my dedicated wife, armed only with a couple beers, and a shovel, not really dressed for the elements, we face the oncoming snowstorm and climb to the top of the ridge. At least the first tiny ridge. Just enough to see there was a little Park we could have parked closer to this ridge, that we could have had more time to find more gold.., I had to explain to my wife we were only on this part of the mountain not looking for natural gold in ravines, because even she knows that every single ravine , valley, and dry Creek bed is full of gold nuggets... But we were here for what looked to be tailings mining tailings. My app said nothing about the mines on this mountain. But they surely must be full of gold. After reaching the top of the first ridge, at the very point overlooking the vast Meadows behind rattlesnake mountain, fired up the GPZ. I forgot to mention, not only gold, but the GPZ will also be finding lots of buried treasures.. pirates, aztecs, Indians, etc etc etc. The GPZ could find it all. And with a beautiful view like this I imagined that this is where the native Indians buried their golden treasures in sacrifice to the gods. Firing up the GPZ, performing the ritual of holding it up to the air, that was when the first tragedy stock. The vital awesome wireless speaker that plugs into your headphones, had somehow mysteriously fell off my rocket pack like GPZ harness. With great sorrow and worry, we went back down the hill to find it. Thank God my wife is 10 years younger than me with eagle eyes sndt hops around like a mountain goat... She found it first. Back up the hill we went to uncover the hidden Indian treasure To our great surprise, after digging a signal, we found miraculously a long lost 22 casing. Perhaps from this peak this is where the JFK assassin was practicing shooting.... Who knows. Well, we could not spare anymore time to get that Indian treasure as the sun was going down quickly, we only had three or four more hours. So we continued towards the pile of gold. So we climbed up the little Hill, which wasn't so little actually to the first ridge.. on the way to the big pile of tailings. I'm pretty perplexed, it seemed to be a huge amount of tailings, however there is no sign of them old timers. No train tracks no old equipment, I couldn't even find the entrance to a mine. Strange to find tailings with no mine.. The whole trip I was questioning my sanity to whether or not those were actually tailings or some natural formation where the Earth threw up its internal self magically and mysteriously. It doesn't matter, miners or aliens, everybody knows from watching the Australian videos and Jeff Williams that every pile of mine tailings, is full of gold nuggets.. Realizing that we forgot our lighter, because we don't smoke, and we didn't know we were going to be on a side of the mountain somewhat freezing asses off trying to start a bonfire far away from all those that hate people that start bonfires.. With the lack of a lighter, I told my wife to go hide behind some trees and pretend she's a cavewoman. And she could even try making the fire with sticks. She made a great effort. At the very tip top tower of tailings, mysteriously jettisoned, I received a signal. realizing this might be the largest gold nugget in Nevada's history, the huge excavation began. I found during this time I was wondering why they don't have much bigger plastic scoops because scoop after scoop after scoop, it was taking a lot of scoops to dig down into the strange pile of gold. Somewhat hollow holes, we're leading me to question whether or not there's some kind of secret passage and was the GPZ actually discovering a closed metal door or something? Well, when you're on the tip of a peak, full of tailings, being careful as you dig as you don't back up off the side of the tiny mountain to your death on the first day of having your GPz, and your wife is in the shelter of the trees, and your dog running around full of bliss, then that's the proper time to open your beer. Which I did, as I digged deeper and deeper, knowing from all the videos on YouTube that when you go deep it means huge nuggets. To my great surprise, the target was actually a bleached aluminum can, mysteriously trapped under two feet of alien mining trailings.... So ... That means I wasn't looking good enough. Yet... I was wondering, was there a hole that was filled in? Is this a natural mountain? What the heck? When in doubt, grab your shivering wife, and climb higher. Not forgetting to sing The Bear went over the mountain song as your head towards what looks to be the real big pile of tailings. The motherload perhaps... As we passed lots of rocks which probably had gold but we didn't have time to get, I stripped away my excessive clothing to help my wife. Happy wife happy life. With my baklavia, she was ready to climb Everest... Unfortunately, we face that enemy no man can conquer... Time.. Realizing, we had no time to make it to all the other pals of what appeared to be tailings on the mountain, and all the mountains from there to Virginia City... So, what can we do,? Well, you know what I'm going to say, come on let's go 🙂 Remembering the great Jeff Williams, we slowly edged away down the ravine realizing that every ravine had gold we would collect the gold as we moved on the ravine like breadcrumbs and the German forest... Underneath the first root and rocks in the dry ravine Creek bed.. everybody knows there's gold nuggets. Unable to pan, because you know all the dirt of all the roots and rocks and dry beds there's tons of flour gold... Well we didn't have time for flower gold we were looking for record size nuggets.... Surely there was no humans there, so we were surprised to find a shotgun shell..... And that's when I started to understand. The GPZ was trying to teach me a lesson, it was trying to teach me it's secret language. The language of gold. What were these mysterious werebels. Intense deep low sound to high... There must be a pattern to this madness and I think I'm starting to recognize it. Which is a very important step. Learning that secret language is what will allow me to truly enter the famed eldorado..... Also, numerous questions arised. I know it might be wrong to turn my sensitivity all the way up to 30. Even less than that, 20 might be wrong. Was I too over eager? I disabled this sound smoothing. I want to hear all the sounds. I turned off the ground locate, that seemed like another filter. Perhaps I'll leave it on later. Is this normal or difficulty land? It's definitely not salty. And I've had harder things in life so it seems to me this was normal ground. Auto ground balance semi-auto ground balance I'm not really sure about yet so much to learn... So we moved down the river of gold. It's suddenly dawned on us, sunlight is running out. My wife was very eager because she's all about pointing out every Creek and every ravine in every mountain and every field is we drive by screaming gold gold gold.. so I knew she was excited.. when we hit what I said would be the last Target. In all actuality, with the never-ending go big or go home gold motivation, we probably should have already left. Beings we didn't have any lighters, or torches... Electric or fire.. But when you're on the gold... Time suddenly stops. Well it almost stopped... I reached into my magic bag to see if I could find the next Target faster and I pulled out my awesome Fisher pinpointer which I think is more complicated than any pinpointer ever created. But it's pretty cool.. The problem is, I think when I turn it on, it must send out some kind of wave that disrupts all gpzs within a 3,000 mi radius.. So reluctantly, I turned off the GPZ. With great sadness. Wow I forgot how much easier it is to use a pin pointer then scoop after scoop after scoop after scoop after scoop after scoop like cleaning the world's largest cat box ... I'm going to have to go home, and do hours and hours of research as if I'm getting a special degree in figure out how to make my Fisher pinpointer work on a different channel than the GPZ . If anybody's still reading this long saga and knows how to make a Fisher pen pointer not cause interference with the GPZ that's great. I'm guessing I'll have to redo the silence detection dance with the GPS with the pinpointer on in the future to make them work together. I don't know if the pinpointer changes its channel every time it's activated... Anyways back to the adventure. The pinpointer allowed me to quickly find underneath the root behind The Rock in the perfect position for the largest nugget of Nevada, a fantastically weathered rusted shotgun shell.... Realizing, everything must be changed, switching from gold to survival mode, if we do not reach the bottom of the ravine before darkness settled, it was going to be a pain in the ass kind of night. Gold, treasure.... So many different kinds of valuables. Endless cat scoops of joy, wind, sleet, and if fort Knox full of golden nuggets.. And even the luck that we made it to the bottom of the ravine before darkness settled. Loading the equipment into the car, we ran into a local and inquired about the history of those Hills. We were told that once they were open to four wheelers and there's some cars that are lost in The ravines... Most of the area there were old Basque people who made their living selling vegetables and stuff to the settlers and 49ers. We heard that those mines were golden copper, although we could not find the entrance to any. even after looking on Google Earth when I returned home I couldn't find the entrance to any of the mines. Strange. Well you might be thinking if you speak German" alles fur nicht" or all for nothing. If I said I just enjoyed the hike in the nature that would be selfish and sidetracked. The reality is the GPZ is going to be the future of our family and the security for my children. There were nuggets found on this trip. Learning the sound of the GPZ, getting some time behind the handle.... I will spend every day like all the others in here and behind that YouTube screen watching and preparing for the next trip. I know I have to go do some work... Some other work... But in the back of my mind, I've got another fully charged battery and it sure would be nice to go back to that Creek that we passed. It's right next to my house... The hardest thing is going to be to not go out for a couple days. Pay some bills. Get that rooftop tent, and Kevlar AT tires.... Then get back out there. You know I'm an Uber driver by profession after 18 years or so of teaching, which is pretty awesome. That means every single place I go I can stop outside my office with the detector.... Until the detector becomes the office. We have some great plans with our rooftop tent if we could get it, to drive up and down in Mexico Arizona Nevada Montana, Alaska... Delivering Uber eats a little bit, and detecting a lot. We need to pick up a gold monster 1000, drywash, sluice and Jeff Williams secret decoder ring. with all the old timer documentary videos on Amazon prime, youtube, in collection of old books found discarded in the Goodwill, I can tell you one thing. Gold fever is a hell of a drug. if anybody ever has any information of good places around Reno post them if you got them 🙂 I look forward to joining the prospector club and learning from all those around. I don't understand how people care about things like NFL football when there's other things like gold and underneath your feet everywhere you walk... It's way too hard to add pictures one by one to this forum so here's a link to our album. https://photos.app.goo.gl/s5AwNp4pHAwF16iv5
  17. In the summer of 1968, I was on summer break - the fall would be my last semester before graduation from University and I was all set up to go into USAF Officer training school in February after I had my degree and turned 21 - and then on to Pilot Training - all that happened, but this is not about that. My mother’s family were French Canadian, emigrated to New England in the early years of the 1900’s - my grandfather - not yet a US citizen - was drafted and served in the US Army in France in WWI. But this is not about that. That summer, to make some money to afford to get married in the fall, I went to Rhode Island and lived with my godparents in Pawtucket. I got a job at Englehardt Industries in South Attleboro MA at a plant making the three layer metal rolls which went to the mint in Denver to be turned into Kennedy Half Dollars. There were several of us “College Boys” working there that summer. One of them was a Chemistry Major who worked in the lab. All incoming silver (from the US Repository at West Point) had to be assayed at the plant to ensure that the “mix” would be right for the silver content. One day at lunch break, my pal told me that there were problems with the last shipment of silver bars we had received - some stray element which was holding up approval for usage. We talked more and I recalled that shipment. The stuff came in in ingots - strapped one layer deep on wooden pallets in a trailer. They had us “kids” help with the unloading (we were cheap labor) and I recalled looking at these bars - they were a bit different. The bars always had mint marks on each bar. Usually just US Silver Repository West Point. These were different, Swastika marks - Rostchilds bank London, Rostchilds Bank Paris and the usual US. I though not much about it. The next day my pal from the lab told me what the stray element from the lab analysis turned out to be....mercury. The only likely source being amalgam for dental fillings. I will leave it to you to draw the same conclusion that I did. Precious metals are more enduring than us morals. Sometimes we possess them for a time - then we pass - as it were - through the “furnace” of time - and they endure. In this case - sadly - the furnace was all too literally a furnace.
  18. Yes this happened to me a few times in the early 70's. Mama found my porn stash under the bed and it was what set up my career. After all, I tell many I'm in the Adult Entertainment business selling high end toys. These early magazines had me squeamish in bed a many sleepless nights. A boy my age was quite naive, so seeing such raw and natural images sent my brain into overload. I had no clue what the future would hold, but I feel it came out quite right. View these 2 early magazines and you'll notice some of the articles and headlines. 1st is GOLD by True West, 1969 Vol. 1, #1 and looking at the inside page of the articles are authors mostly long gone. But I give credit to them for allowing me to dream. If anyone knows of these names, it would be neat to get updates. 2nd magazine porn I used to drool over, Old West 1971 and just as incredible is an article about "Elk City Idaho" and just below that....perfect timing. "One Thanksgiving Day". Folks, I can't make this up any better. I go to my old stash and grab a couple and these are absolute on. The inside cover (I forgot to check the centerfold) is a full page ad from Jetco and their top detectors 50 yrs ago. The models of the detectors are catchy like many muscle cars of the day, GTO, Mustang, GTX, Treasure Hawk...didn't Minelab have a Treasure Hawk? So I ask you folks, show the rest of us your Treasure Porn that kept you dreamin, drooling and -master swinging.
  19. First off, hello all! Great reads here, and a big thanks to Steve for all of the generous work put in for the lay-detectorists. I have gold fever. I’ve had it since I first dug up my own gold in 2013 and I’ve learned that it never goes away. It just gets worse as it sinks it’s claws deeper into its poor host. My summer job this year really hasn’t left me much free time for prospecting. Mostly a very brief opportunity to pan some gravel in the Feather River for flood gold. Much of the time for prospecting it has actually allowed me has been in the form of Google Earth prospecting the reminiscent values found in old patches and pure fantasy of what’s left to be found elsewhere. All of this imagination mixed with the ungodly lack of personal time has really flared my case of gold fever to a boiling point... no, something more closely resembling a nuclear reactor nearing criticality... yes. But, ah! Finally! After 3 months of work with only 10 days at home to take care of personal matters, another 2 days off without the chance of being bothered. An opportunity to go prospecting! In all the time I’ve had locked inside of my own head with my thoughts and stupendous ideas. There was one idea I had been diligently working to manifest into reality; I was going to use a mountain bike to subtract the amount of physical exertion it normally takes me to hike in and out of an old, arduously located patch! Well, my imagination is quite the steadfast optimist! And it kept being so, no matter how hard each and every contour line of this rugged desert terrain attempted to beat it into accepting the reality of the situation. Until finally, I submitted. My idea did not work. It was not smart, to try riding a mountain bike for my first time on the equivalent of an advanced, single track, rocky bike trail, with a backpack full of sustenance, plus a detector on my back. I had travelled 2 miles from where I parked and ridden the bike for maybe 500 feet... That translates to pushing the bike along in front of me with its front tire in the air for over 10,000 feet, not to mention the elevation gain involved! It was 8 o’clock in the morning, and I looked like I just got out of the shower fully clothed in Georgia during an August heat wave at 3 in the afternoon! Without shame, I laid the bike on its side next to the trail and proceeded on foot without looking back. I dried off quickly and was pleasantly relieved at how much easier it was to just hike after the whole bike ordeal. Eventually I made it to the old patch, where I had another plan thought up to explore the ground conditions for some future drywashing. This plan however was much safer, much less chance of failure. And I pulled it off without a hitch! It simply involved digging up a 5x5 foot area to see how deep the residual deposit laying over the area was. Of course more future exploration is planned, the purpose of today was just to have little teaspoon of medication for my fever. But I didn’t bring that detector for nothing!!! After dreaming of nuggets all summer, you bet I was gonna listen to what the dirt had to say today! I threw my old SD together with my trusty stock 11” DD and in two minutes I had a beautifully screaming target that stayed faithful after scraping away the surface. I couldn’t believe it happened so quickly! Soon I was looking at my first nugget after a 2 year skunk streak. A beautiful little half grammer! In another 20 minutes I found its little sister about 20 feet side slope to the left at a quarter gram. After exploring another one of my ideas without anything to show for it, I decided my day had been good enough and I’d head home and continue enjoying my short amount of time off. Plus I still had to push that dang failed plan from earlier back as far as I had pushed it in... but now with a Whopping .75 grams of extra weight of gold in my pocket
  20. Call them what you will- Mountain Lion, Big Cat, Cougar, Deese' Ven, Puma..... Until you encounter one real close you cannot comprehend the size and awesome power of these man-eating beasts. Sourdough Scott had such an encounter. I gave him fair warning. As we drove down a steep, narrow trail to our destination I ask him if mountain lions made him nervous while detecting. He said "Not at all. My dog will let me know if anything is amiss." His dog "Rooster" is one of the best detecting dogs Ive ever been with so I didn't worry. When we arrived at our destination the first thing we noticed were it's tracks. They were huge! The pads were bigger than any cougar tracks I have ever seen. Sourdough grabbed his detecting gear and head off while I was looking for my pick (and headphones and battery). When I caught up with Sourdough, there he was, within the clutches of a Big Cat! When it comes to heroic bravery I am one of the the bravest among mortals and I also posses uncommon wisdom. Which told me to run like hell, so I did. When I got back to the mining rig I got to thinking "this isn't right to just abandon my prospecting partner to a painful death. So I scrounged around in my backpack until I found my Kodak Instamatic camera. I know that gruesome and disgusting photos of human misfortune are all the rage these days so I figured a few photos could be worth thousands. When I returned to what I thought would be the scene of a tragedy, there was Sourdough Scott grinning like a conquering Gingus Kan and the Big Cat lay torn to pieces. Boy was I disappointed. There went my thousands. We continued on our detecting trip with beautiful scenery and perfect fall weather and found enough gold to justify a return trip before winter sets in. A good time was had by all.
  21. This past weekend I participated in my first outing with the Southwestern Prospectors & Miners Association (SPMA) club. We met at a gas station off I-8 and headed to one of their large claims in the Cargo Muchacho Mountains west of Yuma on the California side of the Colorado River. It took just under an hour on desert dirt roads to get there but the drive was not bad. There were six other guys and we all bonded well. After discussing the area we split up with half trying their hand at dry washing and the other half metal detecting. I suited up with my GPZ and tool belt and headed out. The rugged terrain with 104 degree temperatures was challenging but felt great. I have not been able to get out much this year. I got lucky. On a moderate slope about four inches down in a crevice of schist I found a 2.1 gram nugget. Yahoo! My best and one of my few nuggets for the year. The history of the area is interesting (from westernmininghistory.com): “Mining was first done in this region by Spaniards as early as 1780-81, when placers in Jackson Gulch and oxidized ores in Madre Valley were worked. This is believed to have been the first gold mined in California. Later, mining was resumed under Mexican rule. The district received its name of Cargo Muchacho, or Loaded Boy, when two young Mexican boys came into camp one evening with their shirts loaded with gold. American miners became interested in this district soon after the end of the Mexican War in 1848. Mining became firmly established in 1877 with the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad to Yuma. Large-scale mining continued from around 1890 until 1916 and again from 1932 until 1941, with intermittent activity since World War II.” Happy Hunting!
  22. Hello everyone I'd like to document my expeditions this year. This will be my first season of being an "Electronic Prospector". I've studied most of the summer and am ready to go. I still need to learn more about Geology but I'm hoping this will come with time in the field. I look forward to posting my adventures/expeditions with you all 🙂 --Garik
  23. I don't know how it happened but it looks as though my post "Sourdough Scott Survives Encounter With Big Cat" seems to have been mistakenly read as having something to do with wild animals. Perhaps this photo will provide needed clarification. This beast was a Deese' Ven.
  24. Expanding my gold horizons During the last few months, I’ve been looking for gold beyond the horizons of Magnetic Island. It’s not that the island’s gold diggings have failed to live up to expectation (far from it, the pleasure of exploring them is worth its weight in gold), but rather my son has now really caught the prospecting bug and he’s got his heart set on finding a gold nugget (no matter what size). He laughs at me mucking about on beaches looking for coins or rings, he’s after the real thing. So much so that we’ve invested in a couple of sluices, pans, sieves and an Equinox 800 (backed up by a Nox 600 and a Chinese Gold Bug Pro). First, we spend a few weeks exploring old gold mine sites in rainforest country along the Barron River, Closhey River, Musgrave River and Davies Creek. I would usually go ahead with the Nox 800 and try to get some good readings (mainly on the side of hills and along the bedrock of little creeks flowing into these rivers) and then we’d run the soil from any likely patch through a sluice. Following local knowledge, we didn’t expect any nuggets but it’s always a bit sad when you need a strong magnifying glass to see the yellow stuff. Still, our efforts yielded 2 tiny little flakes in the upper Barron River which my son got in the pan, unfortunately we lost them on the way home (my fault). Over the last few weeks, we’ve been going much further west. Dry country full of flies and wild cattle, following unmarked dirt tracks to get to old gold mines. In these places the evidence of gold fever is everywhere; huge scars in the ground, enormous tailings piles and mining machinery. It’s hard to describe just how good it feels to be in these places, not just because of their history but mainly their geology and seeing the landscapes that produce gold. It’s pretty bloody mind-blowing at times. So far, we’ve concentrated on the hills and gullies surrounding the mine sites. This strategy hasn’t been successful and we’ve come to realize that because of the huge amount of rubbish in the ground (especially bullet castings and pellets), that we’re much better off in country further afield but where the geology is the same. Unfortunately, this only dawned on us when we got back home from our last trip but we’re planning to hit these areas next. I know that in this sort of country we’re a bit out of our depth without a PI detector. The ground is very hot (I thought it was hot on the island but more fool me) and even the mighty Equinox 800 with a 6’’ coil (yet alone the Chinese knock-off) doesn’t make much of a dent. As much as I would like a GPX of any description, I’ll settle for a QED. I keep hearing very good gossip about these detectors (including a favourable comparison to the GPX 5000) and I like the fact that they work with many other coils. If anyone knows of one for sale please let me know, I’d be mighty keen. I’ve included a few pictures below of some of the places I’ve mentioned. Is the last one of a smelter?
  25. As many of you are aware, I have been 'accused' of driving a lot and not staying in one place long enough to find gold. I'm here to tell you that is TRUE. Here is an example. Tuesday afternoon my wife reminded me that Pat Keene (that Pat Keene) might be up on his claim in Downieville. I said "The Forests are CLOSED!" I called anyway and sure enough he was in his second week of his annual pilgrimage to the Downieville area and said come on up. That is a 500 mile trip for me but I said I'll leave tonight and be there in the morning. My wife and I have fond memories of this trip as we went to this about 5 years ago and had some success. She found a 5 gram button on a trail near some old workings using a Gold Bug Pro and I found a 1/3 ounce nugget using a 3030 sniping the Yuba River. Now I have an 800 and the 6 inch coil and thought I could find what was left. After a bit of packing in the late afternoon it was time to go out to the 4Runner and wipe off the cobwebs and see how it looked. It needed a bath so I could see but it also had a low tire. What? It was too late to go to a tire store so I stuck some of the tire seal in and when to a gas station and filled and checked the tires all around. I gave it a bath and my plan became to find a tire store on the way and get it fixed. My original plan was just to take the 800 and the 3030 as backup but as I got closer to 11 PM and a nap I decided I'd take the 7000 and the Xcoil in case I had time to make it to the old WSPA claims in Sierra City. I laid out all my stuff and tried to take a bit of a nap. About 12:30 I got up and packed the car and knew if I got to Auburn at 8 AM the America's Tire Store would be open and I could get my tire fixed and all of the rotated. It would be over an hour and a half to Downieville from there. Staying on schedule and making pretty good time I followed my familiar route up I-5 and I-80 to Auburn and arrived there about 8:15 with a still inflated tire! When I was asked why I was there I pointed at the tire and right on top was a screw head. I said I think this is my problem! I bought these Cooper Tires from America's Tire because Fred Mason told me his good experiences with them. They told me I should be out of there by 9:30. Well, because of some 'training' and scheduled appointments I didn't get out of there until 10:30. They showed me the screw and it was about 3 inches long. They plugged it. Now I was on my way. Going up Hwy 49 to the northern Sierras. This particular 70 miles of road is 'lovely' but I learned to hate it with my 4Runner because it doesn't like turns. The anti-swerve gets activated because it is old and needs a new R&P and it grabs. Most of my friends will not pull a trailer on this road. So with all of this 'behind me' I arrived at Downieville about noon. My plan was to stay in the hotel with the other participants that night. When I got there Pat was making a video about some of his innovations to a sluice they produce in Canoga Park. I took off with the 800 and 6 inch coil. My first stop was going to be where I found my nugget. When I got down to the back of the river it had changed. This is to be expected of rivers that flood and are subject to snow runoff but the conditions now didn't leave me much bank. In addition there were panners and sluicers set up all along the area I wanted to detect. Hummmmm ... I chatted with a few of them but I wasn't there to pan. I walked around them and found some areas to get to work. It was more difficult for the 800 than I thought it was going to be. I've used it for thousands of hours now on the beaches but these hot rocks were making me take the sensitivity way down from my normal 23. I was down to 17-18 before I could make it ignore some of the rocks. I was trying Gold 1 and Park 1. This bank area is not that big and it is steep with green moss on it but I worked it for 3 hours. I couldn't get into the water because it was too deep. This was one of the changes. It was now time to check where my wife had found her gold button on the path up above. While looking for anything up there I did come across a 'mini-spill' which was 3 pennies and a dime but nothing more. At the end of this it was about 4 PM and it was time to check on a room at the Inn. More later ... Later has become 2:40 PM on Sunday the 27th. When I went to check on my room ... there was none available. My original plan was that I would sleep in the 4Runner but I saw the setup and I said I'd go on up to Sierra City and get a room there. That is about 12 miles. I passed by Sierra Pines on to an old club claim and saw they had been working on the forest to thin it and had disturbed the soil. This now became the area I wanted to detect. A new 'plan' had replaced the old plan because I could stay near this location. The problem then became gas. Sierra City and Downieville don't have gas stations any more. I had to drive to Graeagle and get gas and that would also be a place where I could use the phone. When I got there I called a forum member, Norm but there was no answer. I spoke with my wife and she was ok at the end of the first day and said everything was fine. I drove the 20 miles back to Sierra City, got a room and got on the computer before I slept. I messaged Norm and Klunker. I told them where I was and that I could be around for a couple of days but there would be no way to call me. When I got up in the morning I had messages but Norm was not available and Klunker was working but could consider Friday but he wouldn't know until late Thursday. So, we didn't have any way to set a schedule. Off I went to the claims where I had found gold before. When I got there I could see that they were still harvesting some trees. This is one area where forest management has continued over the years. When I first prospected around this area over 5 years ago you could see old tree stumps left from maybe the first cuts in the area 60-70 years before. Now they were thinning the trees again. Some was cut for lumber and other was cut to make road access. I gouged the dirt deeply and that was what I thought would be different. Above was the first area where I pulled into and started detecting. It was about 9:30 and pleasant after the low of about 42 in the morning. I was rested and ready to tackle the area where I know gold had been found before. At this point I knew Norm was not going to show up but he wished me well. I began detecting the ruts as were my plan but that plan soon had problems. My Xcoil was working fine and I was getting these 'targets' but they turned out to be pieces of the dozer blade! Oh, no. Why can't they make these blades and teeth harder so they don't shed. That continued all day. I altered my pattern and detected some unrutted areas. At one point I was walking along (looking out for snakes in the process) and I almost tripped. I went to pull my foot up and it was like it was in mud. It was actually dirt that was so dry and fine that it acted like water and mud. That is one of my lasting impressions of this trip. It was DRY. There was another problem that I discovered after the first 30 minutes or so. YELLOW JACKETS were everywhere. I could walk along and try to recover one of the little pieces of blade and they would gather around me and then land on my arms and then try to get behind my sun glasses. They were not overly aggressive in the sense of a big swarm but they did sting me a couple of times when I had to get them out of the way. After 4 hours at the first location which included the area where I found my last nugget I had to move about half a mile to another spot. At this spot I had found the remnants of a pair of Levi's. There was really no material left but the buttons I was able to date back to the 1890s. That meant there was old workings and others in our group had found some nice gold here. They had even cleared the brush when Fred was out with them to get access to the gold. It was not long before I got a couple of targets that included normal trash but then I got a deeper target. I went back to the 4Runner to get my phone to take pictures because I was into the roots. A new roadway had been scraped here to allow for taking out the logs. I thought this was the nugget of the trip. The Yellow Jackets were around and I was digging down and down and got the target out of the hole and ... a big piece of lead. Sooooo disappointing, just like Australia I thought. Well, there was nothing I could do other than fill in the hole and keep after it. I went a few feet more and got another good target. This time I walked back to the car and got the 800 to pinpoint. It was an odd number of 10-13 and it wasn't coming out of the hole easily. I used a pin-pointer and found it. A WIRE. Now I'm getting late into the afternoon. Home and obligations started to weigh in on me. I had gone to the areas I knew best and didn't get any gold yet. I went to another area where the undergrowth had been cleared and tried to get a stray nugget to keep my head in the game but it was not to be. I started thinking about telling the story of forest management with pictures. All of these trees that had been cut down would make some people mad. What I realized was that there can be too many trees. All of the little trees on the ground didn't have enough sunlight to grow in many areas. This was being corrected with management here. I was done with detecting and I knew it was time for me to go back but I wanted to take some pictures on the way. Here is what I saw on the way from Sierra City to the end of the forest and the valley overlook. The road above is covered in snow during the winter. A few years ago we couldn't get to the claims where I was detecting until April there was so much snow. The road below is 49 again. It is maintained through the winter. I wanted to show Simon the elevation and also the ski area but this is not a ski resort as much as it is cross country. I don't know much about it because I don't do it. As you guys know, I'm a beach sort of guy. If I don't get early, quick results then I'm bored with limited time. I want to thank Klunker and Norm for taking my call/message on very short notice and trying to help me find some color. I didn't plan the trip very good and once I decided that missing the traffic on Friday was more important than gold I was done. I did see on accident near Sacramento on the way back. I don't see many and this one was a car had just run into the center. I was back in Santa Monica about 1 AM on Friday morning. I had been gone 48 hours and driven about 1200 miles. That is a long, short trip. One day I hope my sons will be able to still read about it here on Steve's forums. Thanks Steve. Mitchel
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