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  1. I found this in April of May of this year. I cleaned it, my brother put it on the grinder, and showed it to my dad. It looked shiny then, but since it darked and starting to chip. My dad looked at it and said it was probably my grandfather who had lost it in the 1980s doing yard work. He used to wear old jeans and maybe fell out of his pocket. My dad told me used to clean his pipe with this knife. My grandfather had passed in September of 2018, so I never got to show or ask him. It is a Trim pocket knife by Bassett. It was made a producer of beauty products I believe and my grandfather ran his own barber shop. I believe he got it through that business. It will never be like new, but it holds sentimental value. I only wish I could have showed him.
  2. Well, I made it out to the tailings piles yesterday for a couple of hours. I didn't find any gold, but I am convinced there is some out there. There is a LOT of trash, and it was extremely challenging for a beginning detectorist. I found a ball peen hammer head, and some iron hanger/bracket thingy. I also found my first bona fide "hot rock". I really thought I had a nugget, as the Nox was singing with a solid 1 on the VDI. However, the little pointy rock below was the culprit. I also found the larger rock just laying on the surface. It doesn't register any kind of signal, but it is really, REALLY heavy, and looks like it has, to my untrained eye, a lot of iron in it. Any ideas? I'm starting to understand the coin and relic aspect of detecting, but I am completely clueless on the gold front. Should I dig all the signals that don't obviously show as ferrous when in all metal mode? Think I'm gonna need to take some lessons! Gerry, I think I'll be calling you when I finally get back to Idaho.
  3. Last weekend concluded Monte's 12th Welcome To Hunt Outing (WTHO), a gathering of new and old detectorists looking to get together and spend some time out testing their detecting skills against some Western Ghost Towns. This gathering centered around Wells, NV. I was really looking forward to getting away after being cooped up at the house for the last couple months and working from home due to the pandemic. The outing came at the right time. We ended up having 18 detectorists from the Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Texas. More were scheduled, but some had to cancel due to the impact from the Virus going around I hope they can make it next go round. I arrived Saturday, May 30th, to help Monte and OregonGregg scout out places most everybody would likely want to hunt. Metropolis, Tobar, Shafter, Tecoma, Cobre and Toano are the most popular.I hunted with my Deus, EQ800 and Nokta FORS CoRe. All three made some good finds. For me, there were lots of bits and bobs found. I'm amazed at the number of little ornate buckles that turn up. And the bullets, the never ending run of bullets and empty cartridge cases. And it is always interesting to watch other detectorists at work and observe detectors, coil choices, search rods, gear, hats, finds pouches, swing rates and methods and all the rest of it. Two of my detecting goals this year are to turn up a Seated Quarter and a Half-Dime. Neither surfaced for me at the outing.. An 1876 Seated Quarter did make an appearance for DanO. A big congrats. I was fortunate to turn up some early date Wheat Cents, the most notable a 1910-S, an 1880 IHC and a very nice 1864 2¢. An unexpected but appreciated surprise. It is my second deuce. Tokens and coins seemed to be coming from under every piece of sage for a while there on Thursday, the 4th. We kept hearing reports of something else turning up. OregonGregg and I were commenting that the detecting door to Toano and Cobre was open there for a short time. Lots of smiles going around. Then it seemed to close. Friday, I was flat out skunked; hard. After I finished in the Toano / Cobre area I even went back out to Metropolis and hunted till dusk trying to find something, even another corroded wheat cent. No go. I guess the universe needed to balance itself after Thursday. In summary, I have a couple old coins to add to my finds. And a very cool WTHO shirt that abenson printed up at his business. First Class, thank you Andrew. And I met some new people, and got to catch up with old friends and acquaintances with some good meals and time chatting around the table. And whenever you get detectorists together there are always discussions over brands and models and coils and such. It is fun to listen to the detector banter. I have some very old detectors, a couple discontinued detectors and a couple new detectors. I have to admit that I am impressed that OregonGregg hunted the entire time he was there with 1 detector and 1 coil; his Nokta FORS CoRe and the small OOR coil. Cudos to Gregg. Gregg pulled off a dime trifecta with an 1845 seated, 1916 Barber and 1917 Mercury, as well as a toasty Shield nickel, an IHC and some wheaties. Oh, and he might have found a Nevada trade token. LOL. And I owe him a steak dinner for losing our bet for oldest coin with a date. His 1845 Seated Dime beat out my 1864 2¢. This is a good thing. Now I have a good excuse for another road trip. And another opportunity to find that Seated Quarter and elusive Half-Dime. And finally, a big thanks to Monte for bringing everyone together. There were several Seated coins, IHC's, Shield Nickels, trade tokens, and some stellar military buttons found. Most everybody posts their results on Monte's forum (AHRPS.ORG) for those interested in having a look-see. I hope Steve doesn't mind the off site reference. I beg your pardon if I'm out of line Steve. These WTHO's move around some and are a great venue for bringing a friend to introduce to the hobby, have a first experience at a Western Ghost Town where you can gather some pointers and see how others do or to test your skills with your detector against some very difficult sites. And if you're interested, you might even be able to chat up Monte a bit. Hope to see all of you out there exploring the Western Frontiers. UtahRich -
  4. This will be the only option to post an update, as I can't show anything but the sea bottom for today😒... It happen too many times to prepare yourself, to check at least three times by day the wind radar, to follow the moon progress, to timing the tide for hunt in the right area.... When all the factors are aligned and you also find the expected conditions in the place you was avidly following... This can happen.... Nothing...Absolutely nothing......💀 A coin, a fishing weight and silence...so much silence to destroy the patience.... Now, being a so called "pro" (this only mean for me "no gold no bread") this really usual condition creates sorrow.... To be in the only good place to hunt around and find nothing else than a miserable coin can hurt to the soul.. In a way or another after years, all we are used to fill the calendar with more winning days than defeat days... Funny thing is my curse of camera on my shoulders, as everytime I have with me the way to film the session, absolutely nothing relevant appears!💩 Black cross for today....💀 Cheers all of You!
  5. Finished up my road trip today on a good note. Started the trip up in the Texas panhandle where I did quite well at an old park. Dug lots of silver, wheats, couple of rings and a couple of tokens. I've been doing a little relic hunting in southern New Mexico the last couple of days at a 1850s fort site. Manage to put the coil over three good buttons, some percussion caps, fired mini balls and some buck n ball lead. My detectors of choice were the Minelab CTX 3030 and the Minelab Equinox 800. I used the CTX primarily for coin shooting and the Equinox for relic hunting. Second picture is from hunting in Texas. I'll be headed back first thing in the morning to Central Texas to unwind and get ready for another work week, thanks for looking.
  6. I got up early this morning and tried to sneak out to a local beach but I was stopped. My 2.4 year old son came out and I just couldn't leave. Most mornings lately we've just headed to the park to feed the squirrels. He has gotten good at feeding them by hand either a walnut or a peanut. Today the tides were right and we were 'marine layered in' with a light mist so it was time to drive to Huntington Beach. That is about a 40 minute drive in light traffic so off we went. This was my second trip with him to this beach since the lockdown was over. The first time I found just a few coins but less than $1 in change. This time we went past the little playground and on to the beach. I let my son determine the direction. He headed north. It was a great day for him because it was a large, flat beach at low tide and he could run. That he did and I was swinging behind him. We went up into the dry sand and those were my first targets, just a couple of pieces of foil. After 45 minutes I had nothing! We went out on the wet sand and did a little bit of learning of the alphabet. I got a few letters in and we sang 'ABC' before he was off to the south. We were going to go in that direction when he saw a little kid in the distance and off he went back toward 'ABC'. I lagged behind and saw the other little guy was with his parents but about that moment I heard a little signal near the 'ABC' and I dug it. It was my first wet sand signal. Meanwhile my son had found a play buddy. It turned out this little guy was younger but his dad was an older guy like me out with his first and only son. 😀 They both had a good time for 20 minutes or so before the parents had to go. This picture looks back towards the south and the Huntington Beach Pier and back to 'ABC' where I found the target. As I got back near the location I found it I put it down on the sand and took these two pictures. It is just a little cross/crucifix that is 3g and .417/10k. I didn't find any other wet sand targets. Sometimes you have to forget all the knowledge and all the clues and just let someone else lead. It doesn't have to get any better than this. Mitchel
  7. So the other day my neighbor told me she lost part of her rosary when she was walking her dog. It was a multitude of events where her phone rang, kids ran out and the dog kind of pulled off enough that when she took her hand out of her pocket fast, it broke and flew across the grass near the sidewalk. She was able to find most of it but could not find the a piece that had a little cross on it with part of the chain and beads. This rosary really meant a lot to her. My neighbors know that I metal detect for gold but they did not ask me at first and tried themselves to find it, even going to point of borrowing a metal detector from their relatives. When they came back empty handed and I saw them in the driveway they told me the story. I said you should have just asked me, I would love to help! Plus for me I thought that this would be like leveling up in metal detecting skill set. I only hunt for jewelry when I go to FL to visit my folks, so I only get in maybe a few weeks of that. Plus I rarely detect in the parks, I just don't like all the people. So I wanted to know if I could really do this. So I asked her to show me some of the other parts of her rosary so I could get hear what the signal sounded like, what kind of ID number would show up, and how much sensitivity to use since it should be a surface find (it was only lost for a couple of days). Well I knew this was going to be a challenge cause the little cross came up around 15 and the chain was ferrous, I think it was a -4 all on the Equinox. I was not sure if the cross and the chain were still connected. Well when I got to the area she lost it, there was so much trash and EMI plus I could not discriminate because I was not sure if they were still connected or not, but i persevered. Knowing that I would not have to dig, helped eliminate a lot of targets too. Anyways it only took me about 20 mins and I found it! The cross was still connected to the chain, and when the signal came up it was a double blip of those exact numbers! I looked down and there it was. She was so excited and thankful and I was just as excited for her and knowing that I could do it! It was an absolute great feeling to help her out, I felt on top of the world at that moment. I would even say I felt a bigger high finding that for her vs when I find a nugget! Anyways here the pic.
  8. Got a good deal on vacation package to Mexico this week so brought my new Nox 800 to use on beach and ocean. This would be my 1st time using the Nox on either beach or in water. Day 1 - initially tried to use the Nox fully submerged in 5ft of water in fairly calm to slightly wavy water. I only lasted 30 minutes before giving up. Lesson learned: * Definitely need to invest in water proof headphones. I thought with mask/snorkel and my head under water I would be able to hear (had volume set to max at 25). I could hear no sounds. * poor visibility also made it challenging - changed to hunting the beach (beach mode 1) and spent maybe 2 hours max on dry fine coral sand. I’ve only used the Nox before a few times on a lake beach with lots of black sand. * great detector! Stable. Was a pleasure to use. * Was able to find the tiniest pieces of foil or random metal size of match head several inches down with sensitive dumbed down to 18-19 * I played around with settings and for me on this beach (1-4” fine white sugar sand on top then hard compact almost concrete like sand/dirt underneath) I liked the lower sensitivity because I wanted to limit picking up targets that were deeper down in the hard layer that I wasn’t going to dig. Sensitive I kept between 18-22 , recovery speed at 5. found a potential gold earring ( have to get home and test it) and some other kind of jewelry think that looks like silver with diamonds (probably aluminum with zirconium). Pics attached of finds (minus the abundance of foil type things I found). Beach is eerily empty for some reason 👀🤔 Will go out again and post any worthy pictures of Day 2 finds tomorrow
  9. So... I'm out at the park this morning, detecting around one of the older trees. Using the Vanquish 440, 'cause I'm being casual, and I like the "turn on and go" aspect of it, when I get a strong, but bouncy signal in the 28 - 34 range. So I pinpoint and start digging, and very close to the surface, I find a big rectangular piece of foil inside of an athletic sock. First I think, Oooooo! Someone stashed some cash! I start peeling the foil and discover it is a cell phone. I think to myself, well this isn't something someone lost, this was purposefully put here. Then I think, why would someone do this?! To hide SOMETHING! I think the foil was an attempt to block any cell signal. So I stopped peeling the foil, and put it in a plastic baggie. I'll take it to the police tomorrow. I wish it had been cash...
  10. I got out for a couple hrs yesterday with forum member Beatup's brother. It's summer in Sunny Yuma, approaching 100 degrees around 9:00am so we started right at sunup. We were 30 minutes into a desert wash that had produced good gold for him this past winter. We split up at the first junction of washes I went left, he went right. I had taken about 10 steps and froze mid-stride as an 18" DiamondBack rattler slithered through my legs from behind me. He paid me no mind, and gathered himself up under a jumble of rocks 10 ft away. He never rattled, hissed or made any aggressive motion, early morning temps around 70 degrees. All I can figure is he was under a small boulder and as I passed he decided we were heading in the same direction, the gravel wash being his own territory. The fact that he was decidedly moving on his way and didn't stop and rattle probably saved me a pair of underwear. As dear old Fred Mason would say, "don't kill them, you're the trespasser" and I rarely do. I have snake chaps, but generally have excuses not to wear them, oh well. The good news, I found a 1.5 gram piece and brother of Beatup found a whopping 5 grammer. As old Sgt Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues used to say "remember, let's be careful out there".
  11. I was sitting out the "Rona" virus and hunkered down near Quartzsite in my toy hauler trailer earlier in the month. I wasn't really hitting the detecting very hard, mostly exploring an area unfamiliar to me. I found a couple small bits, ran into a "tiger" rattlesnake (very unique coloration) and a Gila Monster during my travels. I've hunted the desert southwest most of my life and only seen 3 Gila Monsters, ever. Nasty acting creature, hissing and making half hearted charges. Black mouth and flicking tongue are pretty convincing to keep your social distance. Then disaster with the Rokon and a reminder of the laws of gravity and old age. The culprit, a steep rutted road with a big rock on a banked turn. I considered changing to a lower gear for engine braking, but nah, I can do this in high gear. About halfway down I was reminded of that physics thing, something about "objects in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an opposing motion". The steep downhill put me in motion, unable to make the banked turn, the rock, it turns out is an opposing motion. I landed hard on my left side, my left leg under the 250 lb Rokon with a perfect sized rut to bang center of my thigh. Man that hurt, I'm going on 3 weeks now still hobbling around on a sore leg. As most of you know from my other Misadventures, this isn't my first crash so the die was cast. My girlfriend had been interested in getting a RZR so she could accompany me on my explorations and we had looked a couple used ones. When she saw my injuries this time, that clinched it. Even my 27 yr old son was making that clucking sound and head shaking. 'You're going to really get hurt one of these days, Dad'! So, we got serious and searched Craiglist in both AZ and S.CA. We found a nice, lightly used RZR 900 2 seater, with all the stuff, doors, roof rack, bead lock wheels and tires etc. More than I wanted to spend, but considering I might get a few more good years out of this 65 yr old body, probably well worth it. So, if any of you young bucks are interested in my Rokon, it's for sale. I'll post it over on the For Sale section for a full description.
  12. In South Australia we are really limited to public accessible fossicking areas. We have two areas open to the public at Echunga: Chapel Hill & Jupiter Creek Diggings, and another area which is the old Gumeracha Goldfields. The area available to the public is now a pine plantation, so access is via a permit available from ForestrySA. So when 90% of the old diggings has had pines planted on top of it, unfortunately a lot of the old gold workings such as shallow diggings, test pits, shafts, wash piles etc are simply no longer visible, so it does present a challenge of knowing where to look, but there are also some positives: 1. Old pines give you nice shade during summer, and 2. When they harvest, the ground gets churned up from all the machinery. With all this extra time I've had on my hands, I've had time to sort through a lot of footage and found many videos from my visits to the forest, with hopefully some valuable info to others. Part 2 will be up later today.
  13. According to the Mayo Clinic you should shoot for 30 minutes of moderate detecting everyday to loose weight and maintain fitness. Sounds simple enough right? So I decided to get some detecting exercise a couple of days ago. My first spot was a new farm field that was plowed up about a year ago. I instantly got into a lot of coal, and thought this is not going to be fun. After about an hour I hit on a beat up mason jar lid. next came a 32 cal. cartridge case. Another hour and more coal I found a nice mangled spoon. Ten more feet and I got 1/2 of a spoon or fork. I was thinking my god there has to be something good in this field. That's when I found a harness buckle with leather just laying on the surface ( OK maybe I'm in a better place in the field) NOPE, Two minutes later I found a what I thought was an early 80"s binaca breath spray container which brought back fond memories of my youth. (drive in movies, awkward moments with the opposite sex, ect.) But it turns out it was Bovine mastitis spray made by Schering Co. As a rule of thumb PLEASE do not use mastitis spray as breath a freshener!!!!!! Next trip out was a place close to home. I decide to swap coils and hunt with the 9 inch to focus on gold jewlery. After digging 2 dozen pull tabs, and I knew they were. I decided I was smart enough to discern the signals, so I stopped the insanity. During my 4 hour hunt I found $1.97 in clad ranging from the 1970's to the 2000's. My first good target was a brass buckle (not gold) Next was a Ford car key (not gold) Next was a very creepy face/head thing that kinda frightened me. (not gold) And last but not least was a small motorcycle in pretty good shape, For being a plastic /metal import. Looks like it's in fair running condition And I would be willing to trade it for a CTX-3030. Any interested parties please do not PM me. (I forgot, it wasn't gold). Tomorrow I'm just going to Have a beer and a bourbon and give my wife a smooch!!! (And I will not be using the mastitis spray.) Maybe next time I'll find the GOLD!!! Seriously, I hope all members and family of this forum are doing well and Staying safe.
  14. After sheltering in place for over a week, my son and I escaped to the desert to refine our social distancing. Instead of playing with settings on the 7000, I decided to work on my personal hunting technique concentrating on swing speed, 'range of motion' as JP calls it, coil control and listening for faint, vague changes in a steady threshold. My son took off to hike while I clambered down a boulder strewn and treacherous hillside with all my gear. I tuned up at the bottom and began to slowly cover ground I had already gone over in a previous post. Almost immediately I got what sounded like a small EMI tone-change in the threshold. But as I made my first boot scrape I saw my son waving from the top of the hillside and motioning for me to come up. I took off my headphones and heard him calling to me to come and help him. Now I am advancing in years and that hill is not for sissy's but he was insistent. A few minutes later I stood beside him out of breath and slightly put out, but when he pointed at a near-by prospect hole and said "can you help me get him out?" I was honored that he had asked me to come and help. Somehow a desert tortoise had fallen into the excavation. My son clambered down, lifted him out and handed him to me. We put him in the shade for awhile to let him calm down after being lifted and carried around. After awhile, refreshed and emboldened, he took off, snacking on Spring flowers and grass shoots as he went. My son continued his hike as I made my way back down through the rocks and resumed my hunting. My first faint change in the threshold produced a flake so small that, if it didn't go off on the detector, I would not have believed it was gold, it looked more like a slice of silica, but it was gold. (0.01g). The next flake was beside a basalt rock and I made out the signal in the midst of the sound the basalt was making. That's where swing speed (slow), and coil control makes the difference between finding a bit of gold or passing it up and moving on. Anyway, all in all, 5 stupidly small flakes - but all of them were found because I had decided to focus on what I was doing rather than what the detector was doing. Best to everyone in this strangest of times.
  15. On Thursday I went out on my 3rd trip with my 15x10 X-Coil to well pounded patches in Southern California. All of these places have been completely trashed. I've only found gold in one of the areas but others have. I did some thinking and testing at my first stop of the morning about dawn and decided to settle down the sensitivity. Thursday I switched to difficult and something close to Lunk and Coiltek's settings but the sensitivity at 15. This helped me maintain a smooth threshold even with our hotrocks and mineralizations. I've been poking it under bushes I could never get under before and going very slow and finding tiny bits of wire and bullets missed by Monsters, 2300s and 14s but I can't show any gold for my efforts yet. It was more fun on Thursday than the previous two trips where I felt anxious and frustrated. About the middle of the day I noticed a tire on my 4Runner was low. I couldn't trust going up higher into the mountains so I switched to a spot where a friend had Monstered and found some tiny surface nuggets so I thought I'd give it a try. I was finding trash so that was a good sign. Most of the bbs were long gone. I just kept poking around. I heard a deep signal (iffy) under a bush and was scrapping and digging and the signal brightened up a bit. I was near a little road but I was going down into compressed rock and the signal is getting better. After I'm down past the normal trash I decided to video this hole. As you could tell I was hopeful. I don't know how that cartridge got down that deep but it is only the 3 time I remember something like that happening. One time was in Australia and the other time was in Gold Basin. Better luck next time.
  16. Most of you do not know the history of metal detecting and my family. We go back to the early 1970's, my dad, uncle, 1 cousin and I all were pretty avid TH'ers back then. In the 80's and 90's we took it to a new level and started concentrating more on older sites and doing research. Our old coin finds were better with a few Barbers and Seated Liberty silvers. The gold coin had still eluded us for all those yrs. We knew it was just a matter of time. Anyway about 20 yrs ago, my little brother started getting serious with detectors and making some nice finds. It was about 20 years ago when the McMullen clan broke the gold coin barrier (it was me) with an 1852 $2.50 piece found in OR. Then about 10 years ago on 4th of July I was greedy and hit another (my 2nd) GC of the clan. My relatives and family started getting a little jealous and well deserving. Especially my little brother who happened to be on that trip with me when I hit #2, It was a 1902 $5 found here in Idaho. Well last week I was with my brother in OR and his Equinox put a smile on his face in more ways than 1. Not only did he find a gold coin, but also a Barber and Seated Liberty Half. Me, I managed to find a clad dime, which is the 1st modern coin that I know of to come from this site. He does not do much with forums, but did say I could mention them and share the pics. I wanted to let him have his glory and then after a few days I'd share. Here is his 1839 $5, 1907 Barber Half and 1877 Seated Half. And you know what? I honestly was a little jealous for about a minute and then I realize his tears were real. I then became the proud big brother of another gold coin find for the McMullen clan. I'm so proud of this guy for continuing to go and just keeps on swinging. Now that I think back, it was meant to be and I was able to be there and share the precious moment with him.
  17. Some of you may be wondering if I made it back from Arizona. I did and I'll tell you a bit about it. I left here last Tuesday night at 11 PM (midnight in Arizona) for the 300 mile 5 plus hour trip. As it turned out I was heading to a place where Chet had been the week before. I have a friend who is staying there for the season. It is also near the area where I've found my two largest nuggets so why not go exploring with the 15x10 X-Coil. So that's what I did. I got there after a couple of stops for a total trip time of about 7 hours because the last 10 miles is on a road I can only go 15 miles an hour. We didn't head to the club claims but a couple of other washes away. The bullets, wire and trash were similar to what Chet found but Chet documented his finds much better than I did. I was using Chet's settings part of the time, Lunk's settings part of the time and some others. Many of them seem to work. I was very keen this trip to get that smooth threshold on some occasions and listen to the noises jump around it. I'm a bit out of super prospecting shape but I didn't want to hit the tops only or the bottoms of the washes so I went for benches and sides. The 15x10 let me do this more easily than the other two coils I have. While I use a bungee and hipstick many times I was holding the detector freely as I did for a month or so with my 3030. I have no complaints with its ergodynamics of letting me nose point and get under bushes. The two of us hunted hard for 2/3rds the day trying to take advantage of some pointy fingers and research but came up short. I suggested that we go find something in the meteorite patch before it got dark and that is what we did. We went on the north side of the railroad tracks and hunted for irons. This is the first place I went to hunt for meteorites with the Zed 14 when it was new. I spent a day there on my way back to LA but I only had about 1.5 hours now so we had to get out there quickly. My friend is new to the Zed and hadn't ever found a meteorite so we walked to some well pounded patinas a little less than a mile from the parking area. The strewn field for the irons is 4-5 square miles but we were at the nearest edge. It wasn't long before I had my first. I think it is the .13 gram meteorite. These are never very deep and some are really sunbakers but you just can't see them. But, they really sing when you swing over them. My friend could hear it with his 14 when I laid it down for him so he knew what to listen for now. It was not long before he bent down and using his scoops and magnet he had his first Franconia Iron. This was also his first meteorite. That's a good memory. He went on his way and I went my way for the next hour. I didn't find any big ones as they can get over 1-2 g but I know I had gone over the same areas with the 14 because I could see my previous scrapes from years before. I was now getting good results with the coil but I had limited time. We ended about dark. I had 8 irons and my friend had 3. After this experience we decided to go to Gold Basin where there is gold and meteorites! I spent the night near the noisy 40 Freeway and we were off the next morning to Gold Basin. This was the first time for my friend so we did a bit of a 'sightseeing' tour around to the club claims and then went to a patch where I've found about 30 nuggets in the past. As a matter of fact it was the place where I found my only 19" gold. This place has been gone over with everything out there and we were not successful with this trip. (I had sworn I'd never go back there the last time ... haha) We went by a club claim and talked to a couple of dry washers and they were doing ok. They were also detecting as they went and said they had found some pretty nice nuggets totaling several grams so we decided to go swing down away from them. Once again the X-Coil was a pleasure to walk around at cruising speed. I got down in the bottom of one wash and got a really good sound that I knew wasn't surface trash and down about 4 inches was this little 7g meteorite. This was not ideal meteorite territory but I thought I might find others but that was not the case either. When I walked up out of the wash I looked over a mile or so and saw Jason's place and there was a truck there. I had shared some PMs with him about his theft and I had just missed him on a previous trip with Chet so I wanted to go introduce myself. I'll have to tell you he doesn't know me or know what I drive so when we went up to his trailer we were on video! haha When I told him who I was he was relieved and we had a good chat about the basin, X-Coils and the scavengers that live out there. The next day we tried to follow up on some of Jason's geological suggestions and it ended up being a lot of interesting driving but no gold. Once again at the end of the day I targeted an area where I've found a lot of meteorites in the past but it was not to be. I left for Santa Monica about dark. My way home is through Las Vegas. Once on the other side I go opposite the normal Friday rush to Vegas but I'll tell you it was much less this past Friday. I think it is the virus. My trip ended about 1 AM. I've been back recovering and reflecting. There is a lot of gold still left in Gold Basin but you need friends and geologic knowledge to find it now. It is very difficult to get lucky but that can happen if you have enough time and you just set out to go areas where you have not been before. It really is an area where good gold is found with the first detector as much as the best detector.
  18. Hi all, been pretty busy lately, and what started out as a really slow year ended up being pretty good prospecting wise. The first half of the year was very slow, only able to scratch a few nuggets out of some old patches. Not much luck looking for new areas. A few buddies and I decided to meet up in the middle of the summer in Gold Basin. Dave, Steve, and a couple of other Chris' . They were out there since Friday evening, but because of work I couldn't get out till Saturday afternoon. Dave was meeting us on Sunday. I made the drive out from Vegas, and when I got there I tried reach the guys, but no luck. Cell service can be spotty out there, and the must have been out detecting. I figured I might as well get started on my own till I was able to reach them. I ended up in an area where I had found a nice gold quartz specimen years ago, and figured I might grid the area to see if I could come up with a few scraps. It was found 3/4 the way up a tiny drainage where nothing else was found (by me anyway) I detectected the drainage top to bottom with no luck, so I decided to hit the hillside. About 7 or 8 feet from where I found that specie I jammed the coil under a creosote bush and got a strong signal over a large area. It wasn't a distinct signal like a nugget, so I kind of thought I was some mineralization but decided to dig anyway. There was only about 5 or 6 inches of overburden, so I scraped that off, and now the signal was sounding much more like a target, but still over a 2 sq ft area. I carry a rock hammer in my pack so I used that to tear up the bedrock. I got down about a foot total and now the signal was screaming. One more attempt with the hammer, and now I have signals in the tailings. I pick up a piece of quartz and put it over the coil...bingo!! I found my first pocket. I actually found the source. I kept working on my hole, still pulling gold out, and still getting strong signals in the bedrock. I was finally able to reach the other guys and dropped them a pin so they could meet up with me. Everyone got some specimens out of my tailings. Over the next several weeks I brought home several buckets of ore. I kept at it till there was no more signal in the ground with my GPZ. The next step was to crush and pan...geeze that is tedious work when you dont have a proper rock crusher. It took several more weeks to process the ore. thanks the pocket ended up being around 4oz!!! And a big to 1515Art and his contest I got to use my kiln to make my first gold bar. Took me a while to figure out how to use the electric kiln, it does take a few hours to reach proper temps, but works great!! added to the nuggets I found, it was a 5z year! I still have some ore to crush and a nice speci I may just keep. But definitely learned a lot. I'm going to be looking for more pockets. 2020 has been a pretty good year so far as well. Cheers, Chris
  19. Back from our Mexico gold hunt and wanted to share a few photos and my story. Every day I swung my 7000 I found gold nuggets. 60+ pieces weighing over 41 grams. (picture of gold and shovel is to show size comparison as some pics make the gold look bigger) So there is good gold to be found, but you don’t fill your pockets as we all dream. The locals who hunt there all use 7000’s and they are really good. They only miss the faintest of signals or the occasional boomer off the beaten path. Me being a 6’ 2” 230 lb guy is hard to get into the cactus bushes to find virgin ground. In fact I only found 1 small patch of undetected ground that held gold and over 9 grams came from that patch. The local Mexican folks have no issues getting into the thickets and I could see their dig holes in them. I give them credit for their desire and determination. Cactus, the guardian angels of the MX gold is everywhere. With over 600+ species alone in Mexico, I was amazed to see and able to get pricked by (it seemed all 600+ kinds) many. Some of them are masters at growing in the funniest of shapes and statues. I was amazed and giggled many times while trying to find a landmark for return. Best to use your GPS on the 7000 (thanks Luck for showing me) as it is really pretty easy. I learned quickly, most of my clothing including the Merrell Hikers were no match for the variety of pokers. I took 3 different pairs of boots and the all leather, heavy duty uncomfortable ones were the least effected from the pricks. I took a pair of shorts and T-shirts for hotter days but could not wear them. Long sleeve shirt and thick pants were a must. Found out on my 1st day there getting on my knees or anywhere on the ground was dangerous and I ended up buying a thick pair of knee pads. I managed 3 small pickers in one spot at the bottom of this wash. This looks like a cactus nugget right? I think I'll polish it and give it to my wife. Lunk was all eagle eyes and found some rare pottery shards probably from a water transport jug. There are desert tortoise to be found (more rare than gold) We were even rewarded seeing the ancient grinding pads, two of them, called an arrastra and were used to grind ore. Their desert is more beautiful than I expected and also has a much greater degree of mountains to climb that what I imagined. Another interesting part of the trip seeing the antique ways of prospects (100 to 200+ yr old dry wash piles) and their claim corner markers. Lunk always looks so serious. Notice he wore snake guards. I asked him about them and he said the snakes were not bad this time of year. He did not tell me to bring some for the attacking cacti and all their brothers. My coolest find of the trip was actually not gold at all but a copper type coin that looks to be hammered, made (very thin and off center struck) and has some words and symbols. I’ve been updated with identification as an early MX ¼ reale coin from 1830’s. The 2 nuggets and coin were all in one small area together. I also spotted (on the run) a small buck deer. A few days before, I found a big daddy antler. The last day in MX was me on the beach enjoying the Gulf of California (on the MX side). The very next day was me in snow as I was heading back to Idaho. So the total driven miles on my truck for the trip was over 2800. I lived in the back of the truck with the camper shell and the 40 degree nights was no issues for cold. Used my small compact Jetboil burner to heat water for cooking/bathing. The warm upper 70’s and lower 80 degree temps in days allowed for my canned and or packaged meals to be heated by placing them on my dash in the truck. Plenty of gold is still in MX., but the reality of it is, the gravy is gone. You’ll work you butt off finding it and most pieces you find are sub ½ grammers. It reminds me somewhat of Rye Patch, NV in a way as most folks won’t find any and those who do usually only find a few each day. The really big ones for the most part have already been found, but popping an occasional 1/4 oz’er+ is still possible. My own biggest piece of gold for the trip was only 4.9 grams, but I did see one find that was a multi ouncer 3 to 4 oz. Was the trip worth it and did my gold finds pay expenses? I’m all about adventure and as long as my body holds up I’ll go most anywhere with a metal detector at least once. Checking spot gold today shows $1580 oz. so that equates to just over $50 a gram. Take $50 a gram X 41 grams of nuggets = $2000. My cost for the trip with insurance, fees, all food and drinks was $1800. But with me, just like my travels to Australia, it is more about the “just go do it” adventure, than it is the finds or value of. Hopefully everyone enjoys the pics and story.
  20. I wrote this up awhile back for Kellyco's website but never posted it here for some reason. After posting the story of the Flung Ring return, I thought, why not post this story on the forum since it was one of the most personally meaningful returns of my metal detecting life. Although the returned item was not all that valuable in monetary terms, it was priceless to the lady who lost it and became even more priceless to Mary and me as we put it back in her hands. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My wife Mary and I were spending a nice day at Daytona Beach Pier this past summer..she for painting and me for detecting. While I was hunting the beach, Mary struck up a conversation with a lady she met there. The lady was very pleasant and told her that she and her boyfriend were homeless and lived in a makeshift tent right on the beach. She said the local police leave them alone as they routinely clean up the beach of litter and don’t bother anyone. As the conversation continued, she told Mary that she had lost a sterling silver charm the day before and although she and her boyfriend searched for hours, they failed to find it. The small charm was the head of a kitty with red “ruby” stones on its head and black eyes. The little charm was extremely meaningful to her and likely one of the most valuable items she owned. Mary told her of my metal detecting and asked if she would like me to try and find it. The lady was overjoyed at the prospect but said she didn’t hold out much hope of ever getting her little kitty back. Mary brought me over to the area where the lady said she thought it was lost and I began the grid search. About 10 minutes later I got that familiar exciting high tone of silver. In my scoop was a little kitty’s head with red “ruby” stones and black eyes! When I brought it to her, she began to tear up, thanked me profusely and asked if she could hug me. She called over to her boyfriend who was busy making little items out of palm fronds he sold to tourists. The smile on her face and the tear in her eye was absolutely the best reward Mary and I could have ever hoped for that day. ~The Challenge: Big Beach; Little Coil; Tiny Targets~ ~"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"~ Leonardo da Vinci ~Pre-determined settings serve only to get you in the ballpark. It’s up to you to pick the best seat~
  21. It was time for another Rye Patch trip. It was a group outing this time and I had invited Chet. He was already there when I showed up out in the field about 3 on Wednesday afternoon. It was an 8.5 hour drive and I had added a couple of hours onto it getting checked in to my cabin but I was there! Chet had not found anything so he said I'll follow you. We got set up and he said he would catch up on some things and it was near the end of the day so I headed up. Before I got up too far my first target gave me that nice, warm sound. Even with the little sleep I had I thought it was a good target. I scraped and it didn't move and down a bit farther it didn't come out of the hole and then down about 7" I had it in the scoop. I sometimes overestimate so I put on my 7000 navigation that it was 1 gram but later not to be. It is just .72g. It is the nugget on the top left on the scale. I looked around the area and saw old dig holes so I knew I had to stay. I circled and gridded in the late afternoon sun and I got another signal. This one was a little deeper at 8". The size slightly larger at .75g. That was it for awhile until another repeatable signal. I don't remember the exact depth but I think 5" and I didn't really know if it was gold. It is and it is .11g! I didn't have my phone with me but that was it. I was beat and so was Chet so we took the 35 minute ride back to camp. Overnight it was pretty cold at 17-19 so I left the lid on my coolers open in my car and outside. When I got up the drinks had frozen in both of them but we were off for the same location. This time Chet hit the area where I found those three nuggets. I walked up the hill as I had intended. We didn't move the cars all day. Chet was working the little bowl and I was up on the sides of the big gully and anything else that looked promising. I heard a promising signal in a little dry, side run and it had shale type rock around but the signal would go away when I scraped and scratched. I was into some harder rock and it stayed and stayed and then I blasted it with my pick and it was out. It is the nugget in the middle. A solid 1.5 g nugget! I didn't have my phone with me as it was affecting my detector. Down in the distance I could see Chet working his 17" X Coil very slowly over and over the area from the day before. He had been digging some deep holes. When I made it down to him he said he had found one down about 10" that I didn't get. He also found another smaller one. In addition he had dug some really deep holes where some type of metal pieces had sounded off for him. It was a good day. I had a nice nugget and he had a couple. Friday we started at a different location but soon I wanted to get back to 'the area' but a bit higher. We both walked a long ways checking piles, pushes and holes. I was heading back up the hill and hear that nice sound again. This was only 4 inches or so and out came a nice flatter nugget (.84g). When I looked around I saw someone's recent filled in dig hole but they didn't get this nugget. The trash was hiding it! Things die out in the desert but not like they do in Australia! Australia is one big kangaroo graveyard! Here is the total for this trip. (I didn't find anything with a half day Saturday.) If I add in the two nuggets from my last trip then I have about 1/4 oz of Rye Patch gold. Thanks Chet for the companionship and the stories. You have some really great ones about gold, jobs, life and I wish others could hear them. Mitchel
  22. Dennis and I took a quick trip down to Baja MX for some detecting. No problems crossing the border at Algodones and no hassles at the military checkpoints. Day 1 is really just a travel day. A lot of Baja Highway 5 is still under construction from San Felipe south. The road got washed out from a storm 2 years ago and the repairs are slow going. Day 2 we got a good start taking my Rokon and Dennis's Yamaha Fat Tire bike about 3 miles up some tricky technical ground of gravel and calcrete bedrock. From there it's another 1.5 mile hike to some of the old placer workings. These placers have been worked off and on for over 100 years so all the easy stuff has been drywashed and detected. I concentrated on 100 yards of old black schist bedrock. The nuggets originally worked down into small cracks and got filled up and over by years of weathering. All of these nuggets had to be chipped out of the bedrock no more than 3 inches deep. The bedrock is tricky because it has varying levels of mineralization and hot zones that hide the target signals. I found that by running max Sensitivity and low threshold with the Patch Locate feature I could pick out faint whispers from the background of hot ground. I picked up probably 10 or 12 nuggets the first day. Day 3 was a lost day. I got halfway up the wash when my back tire went flat. Normally, we carry everything to fix flats, but this one had "chingered" the valve stem. I had to disconnect the rear chain drive and limp it back to camp on the front drive. I did a fair amount of walking and pushing through the steep rocky areas. Back at camp I pulled the wheel and drove 70 miles back to San Felipe for repairs. 20 minutes work and $10.00 got it going again. My day was lost so I drank beer and had an early dinner. Day 4 I intended to explore a zone about 5 miles from the end of the trail for the Rokon. I had gotten close last year and although I didn't find any gold, there was a fair amount of old iron trash. I thought that I just hadn't walked quite far enough to find some virgin ground. My ideas were dampened a bit on the way up. I discovered that my newly repaired rear tire couldn't handle the low tire pressure and kept breaking the bead. We used the Mexican method of setting the bead by pouring some gas inside the tire and hitting it with a match. Whooomph, bead set, but I still had to run 20lbs of air pressure to keep the bead from breaking down again. I normally run about 4lbs of air in the Rokon tires since there are no shock absorbers as we know them. That much tire pressure was making the ride hard as a rock and I hit a rough patch that bounced me high and hard enough that I came unhorsed, landing my ribs on the handlebar. Ouch is an understatement. I've got a bruise the size of a softball over 3 of my left ribs. I gutted it out and still explored the new zone for no joy. I found 4 small ones on my way back in the bedrock I had worked the day before. Swinging that pick to break open the bedrock was a new experience with those banged up ribs. Day 5 was the travel day home. You just never know how long the wait line at the border crossing will be. Sometimes as much as 2 hrs, this time about 45 minutes. It's always a good trip when you can walk away from it. Minor injuries and break downs are all part of the journey. I'll be ready to do it all again in a week or 2, when these ribs quit hurting.
  23. I'm on another trip to Northern Nevada. This time I had a change in plans and came a day early for a meeting and to hear Chris Ralph speak at the Comstock Gold Prospectors Club. I had a chance to detect a local park. I found a few coins and a half ounce, 10K gold ring that fits me. Those are the facts. How I got here is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey use to say. The rest of the story begins yesterday about 2:30 AM I left Santa Monica for northern California and some claims I've been on several times. I really haven't found a lot of gold there but I know others tha have so I was on my way. This was not one of my focused trips as it turns out. I knew I was going to a meeting in Reno on Tuesday night but I had already delayed my departure by a day. My hotel room was booked and I was going to stay a night in the 4Runner. When I was going through Sacramento my GPS was going haywire and I couldn't tell the route that saved the most time so I went up to Auburn and got on the 49. Anyone will tell you that is a long and winding route to Sierra City. Many will not go that way if pulling a trailer or have a high camper. My 4Runner has a peculiar problem with the front stability sensors. I've not been able to determine what makes one or the other of the wheels 'grab' in the turns sometimes but it does. This trip was very bad for that problem. It made me constantly aware on the turns and made driving difficult. That I can take. I've done it before but this time they were working on the road. I got to a point where there was a stoppage for about half an hour. When I finally got to the claim I wanted to detect it was after noon. I was beat but I wanted to follow the plan. I detected for a couple of hours in one spot and then a couple of hours in another spot and my mind said I'm done. Only trash to find. While I was detecting in the perfect weather I noticed a Cal Fire truck had gone past me a couple of times. On my way out of the forest I noticed a logging crew had left with plenty of daylight left. Off in the distance I could see something like a cloud over the mountains. After looking at it a bit I determined it was probably a fire and over 20 miles downwind from me but it got me thinking. Did I really want to spend the night in the forest? No. I drove to Graeagle and added a night to my hotel stay and headed off the 60 miles to Reno/Sparks. On the way there was another 25 minute delay for road work on Hwy 70. I had never been this was to Reno before but it could be a good way if you are pulling a trailer. I think Fred goes this way off of the 395. The day is getting long and tiring after 500 plus miles and I finally make it to the Motel 6. I choose this so I can walk my stuff into the room and charge it and other things. They assured me I was on the ground floor and then they said it is down the walkway! What? I want to park in front of my door. Well, I couldn't. I almost went back to the desk to cancel but I found a parking place in one of those 'questionable Motel 6's' but I was here. The room was ok but the heater doesn't have a working fan. I went to find a Safeway and it is 9 miles away. I'm fairly irritated ... I get in the room, eat, watch until I fall asleep. I sleep and sleep until 9AM. I sleep a bit more and hang around the room. Where to go and what to do? Nothing grabbed me. It was just time to recharge my batteries. So now I determine I'll visit a park. Which one? I had looked at some parks last night and had ideas so I put one in the phone and headed out about 1PM feeling a bit like I had wasted a day. The park was close but the streets are confusing. I passed by a sign ... Fisherman's Park ... that wasn't where I was going. I had given thought to detecting the river and remembered some stories of a big flood in Reno many years ago that threw everything into the Truckee River. I tried to turn around but everything is near the freeways and no turns. I could have just gone on to my park on my phone but I was 'pulled back' to the river park. After several turnarounds I made it back. As soon as I got there I could see all the tents. This park and part of the river is loaded with what we would call the 'homeless' but in fact this is their home. There were many fires burning and shopping carts are everywhere. Their camps follow the river bottom. I guess this time of year the chance for a flood is small. Above some of these tents was a bike path and on one side of the bike path was a grassy area and then a slope with some trees and a fence. I went back to my car and got the detector and headed for that slope. It had little grass and I thought I'd get a feel for the ground. If I had to go on to the next park I would. My first target was the little lock. It was a scratchy sound but in the 18-20 range. (I just realized as I'm writing this I used Beach 1 with the 11 inch coil for the full hour!) I moved up to the tree line and saw a sunbaker quarter. Around it was a bit of a spill and I kept working this area for several minutes using the pointer for very shallow coins. Nothing was coming up wheat or silver. It was all too new. After a bit of time I moved down closer to the river but was unwilling to work the area because a tent guy and his little black dog were near. I'd been there about an hour and it was time to go. On my way out I thought I would hit the grassy area. I got a couple of tops and caps that were just under the grass but not deep. Then I got another penny sound (19-20) but it didn't look too deep. I had been skipping some of these like I do at the beach in favor of finding and digging higher numbers but this one was a digger. I used the pointer to find it and the knife to lift it a bit and then I saw it was round like a penny but had a hole. No way ... a RING! It had some weight but I had my gloves on and couldn't tell. I rubbed the front and it took some of the dark dirt off of it and looked golden. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the sides and it was tarnished. No way could it be gold and then I saw some bluegreen color. It must be copper I said to myself. That is why it has the penny sound. I didn't have my glasses with me they were a few hundred yards away in the car. I headed back to get them and I said let me take the pictures. I did that and then went back to the car. When I got there I did some rubbing and couldn't see any marks in the usual places. The tarnish was also not coming off so I said ... no gold. But then I spotted a mark. It says 10K! What a reward for a long trip. It reminds me of a 10K Masonic ring I found in Tonopah but that is another story ...
  24. Let me start of by saying I heard about and saw some pictures of hugh silver and gold found in Arizona. If I find a link or the discoverer wants to post up his pictures I'll let you know. This find is not about that. This find is about a couple of good weather days in Arizona near Wickenburg if you follow on the map. I went there because of Bill Southern's outing that was very well attended. He'll have some pictures on his forum which I'll try to link here. https://nuggetshooter.ipbhost.com/topic/34683-outing-pictures/ Minelab America was there giving away something to everyone who attended and they also had a raffle which benefited AMRA to the tune of $2700! This was near the second day and where the nuggets were found. This first picture is a panorama of the area where I went the first morning. It is near a GPAA claim was a nice specimen was found last month. As you can see the desert is not really dead. It has many living plants and animals. The fallen cactus is a saguaro. You normally only see it standing with its green skin but inside it is an engineering masterpiece. It is made of many rods that give it strength. The next set of pictures is of the cactus that makes cowboys strong and forget about pain. These are the jumping cactus that get you over and over again. I finally dug a hole but it was hot ground. If you enlarge these pictures you will see in the picture some wild burros. There were about 10 with a couple of black ones. The next day we stopped by an old mine on the way to a different claim. Chet got us near and then we went off a less travelled road and we had to turn around. This is him coming out. I didn't take my phone detecting this time because it lost power trying to find a signal. This was the claim where Chet found a nice 2 g nugget and I found the .25 g nugget. These were my pictures on the way out at the end of the day and before my 6 hour drive back to Santa Monica. I took a couple of bad picture of the nugget this morning with the phone. It makes me want to get a better one ... nugget and phone that is!
  25. Time flew by up at the cabin and on my little claim this season. I continued to clear, detect, and drywash the decomposed granite bench areas. Here’s a nice clean out from one drywash session: I also reworked the sides of some oldtimer Diggings, filling in their ditch as I go....lots of work here for little return lol! Found some nice nuggies when I uncovered some crevices in a different bedrock...biggest piece was almost .6gram, decent size for up here: A highlight of the summer was having my nephew’s boys visit. They learned drywashing, running the concentrates through the recirculating sluice, then how to pan. Each ended up with a couple grams(hmmm....maybe a little “salt” in those concentrates lol): AND the season ended on a positive note! Found a nice handful in this small scraping from a new spot....definitely will setup the drywasher here next year! Ended up with just shy of 12 grams total up here for the season....not much gold, but tons of fun and memories! 🙂
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