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Found 130 results

  1. We started our journey on Sunday from PHX to SFO. First leg was no problem. At SFO things deteriorated. After arrival the airline departure board showed 1 Sydney departure logically in the international terminal 2 hrs hence. We made our way to the international terminal and settled in for a wait. I checked the departure board several times, only one Sydney departure showing a minor delay. At boarding time our boarding passes were rejected, wrong flight. They really couldn't help us with why there was only one Sydney flight and we weren't on it. We scurried back up to the main terminal, one Sydney flight now boarding, but upon closer examination a different flight number. There was no help desk to be seen so in desperation I Googled our flight number. Google said terminal A, and we were in terminal G. Again checked the departure board, one Sydney flight showing, not ours. We discovered that terminal A was a long way from here, after a mad dash we discovered that not only was terminal A way over there, it required leaving the secured terminal and going through security again. Yep, the security queue was clogged with the unwashed masses and the chances of us making the flight dwindled to nil. Oh no. So we went to look for the Qantas desk to try and fix our problem. No luck, Qantas has windows open from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. So I called Qantas and got an English as a Second Language(ESL) clerk, barely intelligible given airport noise and accent. Basically she told me I was F'd and that our entire ticket would be cancelled, no refund. I knew better than to argue at this point and called our booking agent Orbitz. Again, ESL but a sincere effort to help. After some long hold time we discovered that Qantas was closed for the night, but that they would work on it. I booked a $300.00 hotel room for the night and went out to catch the shuttle. The hotel clerk assured me the shuttle would pick us up at 12:52. At 1:25 I surrendered, the hotel said they would reimburse me for a cab. Next day, Orbitz came through and re-booked our flight for the same time, same terminal A. I asked about our baggage, "can't help you there", take it up with the Qantas counter at 6:00pm. First in line at Qantas 6:00pm they told me that our baggage was downstairs and would be re-tagged and put on the flight. Are you sure? Indeed, when you get to the gate you can check with them. Of course the gate assured us that naturally our baggage was on the flight. NOT. Well we caught the flight and I found that economy seats are, well economical. I had a middle seat for a 15 hr flight. My row mates were tolerable, but the aisle seat went to sleep and I hated to be an ugly American and wake him up just to stretch my legs. At about the 10 hr mark, I couldn't resist and woke him up. He was pleasant enough about the whole thing. Curiously, the young lady next me boarded very last and arrived in sweaty dither. She later told me that the Departure board showed only one Sydney flight, the same one I encountered the day before, and that she discovered the mistake in time to sprint through the terminal and security was very kind to move her to the head of the line, just in time to make final boarding. She was much younger, fitter and prettier than me, so she pulled it off in time. We arrived Sydney and went to claim our baggage to clear customs for our continuation flight to Perth. Surprise, no baggage. We went to the claims desk to make all the necessary notifications and almost missed our connection to Perth sans baggage. To make a long story tolerable, we're in Perth with 3 of 4 bags. 3 arrived at the hotel last night, the 4th won't arrived until after we make our flight to Meekatharra. Qantas assures us the 4th bag will get couriered out to us verily. Naturally, that bag has Dennis's detector in it. I guess he can dig targets for me and Paul in the meantime. So, the journey begins... Stay tuned for our misadventures in the Summer of OZ. I'm typing at 5:00 am local, suffering from jet lag. Hopefully Steve will edit as necessary.
  2. New story thread.... Leaving for OZ around May 4th this year-- Can't reveal the details because it is super secret this year.... But hope to be upload some better video this year--- I have been searching for the simplest way to use a camera while in the field... I haven't found any yet that are that simple, most ways i have tried become so time consuming that they interfere with my fun and relaxation!!! ANd my TAsk mAster dont like it when i am ... "fkn around!" If he sees too many videos or pictures he will scold me... Maybe a selfie, "follow me" cheapie drone----- I could hang a piece of bait meat on it for the flies while it is hovering near me,,,LOLOL This is Jan 20th and I will be traveling to LA on Feb 3rd ..for my last 3 months of "work" Carry on !
  3. I am primarily a gold prospector but I do enjoy all things metal detecting. The thing is I really like finding gold (or platinum, silver, etc.) so my focus is always on precious metals. That being the case relic hunting has not particularly appealed to me, especially given the laws surrounding finding true artifacts in this country. Many relic hunters are at least technically in violation of federal law if they are recovering items 100 years or older and in many places 50 years or older can get you in trouble. I don't need that kind of trouble in my life and so even though the actual risks involved tend to be overblown, it is not something that excites me. I have the law firmly on my side when prospecting for gold on land open to mineral entry. Eight years ago some friends suggested I might enjoy hunting ancient artifacts and gold in England. The UK has laws regarding the recovery of antiquities that are far superior to ours. They actually support metal detecting and have proven so successful that museums are being overwhelmed by the numbers of exciting finds being made. I always wanted to find a gold coin anyway. My friends suggested the operation that centers around Colchester, England. Colchester is the site of the earliest Roman occupation in England and has history extending far earlier. The Celtic tribes in particular were active in the area, with many Celtic gold coins found by detectorists. The gold coins found span the millenia though including hammered gold coins and milled gold coins of more recent vintage. Just browse the website finds page for an idea of the types of finds made every day in this area. All photos in this story may be clicked or double clicked on for larger versions. Just one field of several at this one location. I could have spent the whole trip here. The hunts are limited to a couple times per year when the farm fields have just been harvested or planted, so Feb-March in the spring and Sept-Oct in the fall. The limited timeframe and limited openings means it is hard to get your foot in the door with this club unless you apply a year or more in advance. 2019 is already filling up and people are booking 2020 now. Long story short I made the trip for two weeks back in 2010 as told at Metal Detecting Ancient Coins at Colchester, UK. I refer you there for more details especially photos of all my finds. The hunt was amazing with finds ranging over a 2000 year span. Finds that would be world class in the U.S. are not only common but considered "new" by comparison to the finds I made almost every day I was in England. Yet I did not score that gold coin. There are many found, but when you consider the number of people hunting 12 hours a day the reality is that you have to be very lucky to get your coil over one, even given a full two weeks. I came away better educated on that reality. It was a fabulous trip but I was in no great rush to return knowing what I learned, plus it rained half the trip, and UK farm field mud is as sticky as it gets. It is far easier to find gold nearer to home and I went back to prospecting and jewelry detecting as my main focus for finding precious metals. Nostalgia does creep up however, and as time passed I thought I should give it another go. I booked a slot with two of the hunt managers, Minnesota Mindy and Chicago Ron, figuring that I had a shot at maybe at least one of them. I had never met Mindy but we knew of each other from Ganes Creek days, and Ron I took a photo of making his first Morini Celtic gold coin (see story above). A year went by and then suddenly Mindy had an opening, which I jumped on immediately. Just a few days later Ron had an opening. I was going to decline, then saw by some miracle his week started when Mindy's ten days ended. I really hate making trips of any magnitude for less than two weeks. This is low odds stuff and the costs also do not justify short hunts in my mind. I booked with Ron also and suddenly had seventeen days in England on my calendar for October 2018. By sheer coincidence it turned out that a forum member unearth (hi Gary!) was booked for Mindy's portion. Field with view of the River Stour I got a ticket with United for $1250 round trip to Heathrow from Reno, NV. It is a pretty easy flight really. Afternoon flight out of Reno to Los Angeles, and then 11 hour overnight flight from LA to London. Overseas flights coach class is more like domestic first class, and if you can sleep on planes you can sleep most of the journey away and wake up in England. My return was the reverse but routed through San Francisco with a longer layover in order to deal with customs on re-entering the U.S. No real issues for those used to navigating large airports. It could be exciting for novices however but just relax and ask for help the minute you have any problems. The trips to a certain degree are like an all inclusive vacation with most everything covered, but may include nights out at English pubs for dinner. I did none of that my first trip so looked forward to seeing a little more local flavor this time around. I must be mellowing with age because it is not all about the hunt these days - I am making more effort to smell the flowers along the way and just enjoy. Accommodations on the trip are in barns that have been converted to apartments, which is why these types of hunts are referred to as "barn hunts" but there are other options. Rooms are normally shared - my room for the first ten days. Art was a great roommate. I got far more lucky with weather this time much to my relief. It makes everything more pleasant for all involved. Groups consist of seven or eight people including the host, who busses the group to different fields each day or twice a day. All morning hunting takes place on one farmers fields. The hunt may continue on that farmers land in the afternoon, or switch to another famers land. The farmers are paid by the number of people on their land each day so for logistical purposes it is one or two landowners per day. The amount of land available is mind-boggling vast. There are fields that have been hunted for the 16 years the club has been in existence, and good finds are still being made. This is part due to the sheer size but also the fact that the famers deep plow and turn the land. Targets that were too deep or on edge get brought up or reoriented, and so areas thought dead come back to life on a regular basis. I proved that myself this trip. New fields are also added on a regular basis for those who like that feeling of being on less hunted ground. I took two Equinox 800s on the trip, one outfitted with the new 15" x 12" coil that arrived just before my departure. This is a fantastic coil, very light for its size, and just the ticket for covering huge areas. There is a depth bonus also on most targets but to me that is just a bonus. That extra 4" coverage per swing is far more important in improving the odds for finds than another inch of depth. I will get more into my settings and how they evolved during the trip as a follow up post. United wants $100 for a second bag, and I was able to bring two complete Equinox and everything I needed for three weeks on the road in a single 40 lb bag plus small satchel carry on. Nice! I could drag this out as a blow by blow accounting of each day but let's cut to the chase. Just a couple days into the hunt one of our group found a Celtic gold coin, always a good sign. Five days into the hunt Gary (unearth) scores part of a medieval gold ring with a red stone, possibly a ruby. A great find and Gary was very pleased to find gold - who would not be? Congratulations Gary! I and the others were finding various old coins and artifacts similar to what you would see in my story from 2010 - lead seals, hammered silver coins, watch winders, buttons galore, musket balls, etc. Gary scores gold and a gemstone - jewelry finds are very rare October 16 dawned nice and sunny, and we went to hunt some of the older ground in the club and so few people want to hunt there. Yet I was immediately busy digging "gold range" targets with my focus being on target id numbers from 7 on up. I will explain the reasoning there later. I made a few passes back and forth digging all manner of small lead bits when I got a nice little 7-8 reading no different from hundreds already dug in the last few days. I turned over a spade full of dirt, and out popped an oddly shaped piece of gold! Celtic "Votive Offering" fresh out of the ground! I knew it was gold but I was not sure what it was. It looked like a small torc, normally a band worn around the arm or neck. This was too small, maybe 5-6 inches long, so it would barely loop around a wrist enough to stay put. More like the size of a ring really. Whatever it was I knew it was great and my emotions soared sky high. I reached in my pocket for my iPhone to take a picture.... and had an emotional crash. My phone was gone! I went from elation to panic almost instantly. I left the find and detector where they were, and proceeded to backtrack my trail. I had not gone far and the ground was rolled flat, so I determined I must have left the phone in the van with Mindy. So I got on the radio and announced my find of a "mini-torc" and explained I had lost my phone. New Minelab Equinox 15" x 12" coil helps make once in a lifetime find Mindy was excited and said she would be right there. She did indeed have my phone, so we rushed back and took photos of the find. Everyone gets excited when gold is found and this time was no different. Now that I had my phone I got excited all over again, quite the rollercoaster! Happy guy! Photo courtesy of Mindy Desens Celtic gold, the find of a lifetime for sure. Many of the Celtic gold coins found here date from around 50 BC to 25 BC and so it is reasonable to think this find is of similar age, though that cannot be determined for sure without further testing. Gold dropped around 2100 years ago - simply amazing! Equinox and Celtic gold! The find has since been labeled as a gold "votive offering". The ancients lived for the harvest, and offerings were made to the gods in the form of gold tossed into the field to insure a good harvest. At least that is the theory that tries to explain why nearly all the farming land seems to have at least a few Celtic gold items found in them eventually. The truth is nobody really knows for sure as there are no written records from that time. For all we really know this might be an ancient gold hoop earring! That's half the fun, imagining what this stuff is and why it is where it is. The club has been hunting these fields for around 16 years, and while many Celtic gold coins have been found this is the first item of it's type, making it a particularly rare and satisfying find. It is really hard to get my head around the fact that somebody last held this gold over 2000 years ago. Celtic gold "votive offering" closeup All gold or silver that is not a coin is immediately declared as treasure to the museums. I actually got to handle the find very little before it was whisked away to a safe. The museums will evaluate it, and possibly bid on it. High bidding museum gets the find, and the money would be split between me and the property owner. If the museums decline, I will pay the property owner one half the value and eventually get it back. This normally takes about a year but can take two or more years depending on the backlog. Every item found that the finder wishes to keep must go through this process, and there are only so many experts who can identify and catalog all this stuff. I live for the hunt and the photos. It's not like I haul gold around to show off to people - it all resides in a safe deposit box. So for me the only real value is in making that adrenaline rush happen and then having photos I can easily share with others. I won't mind therefore if it sells at auction and I get half the cash. Clean and easy. If I get the opportunity to get it back however I may very well have my find fashioned into a ring. There are not many people in the world who can claim to be wearing jewelry fashioned before Christ was born. I could sell it myself no doubt for over twice whatever I pay for it, but I don't need the bucks that bad to part with such a find. Celtic gold details - actual age unknown but BC, around 25 to 50 BC if in range of coins found in area The Equinox with 15" x 12" coil did a good job making this discovery. As a classic open ended "broken ring" type signal it was reading 7-8 and was detectable to only about 4-5 inches in air tests. I am guessing it was about 4 inches deep. The Equinox is exceptionally hot on gold and while you can never say for sure it is very possible that this gold item was left in this heavily hunted area because it is such a poor signal on most detectors. Needless to say I am very happy with both my Equinox and the new 15" x 12" coil. It is the perfect coil for this type of large field detecting. Speaking of Equinox I was surprised at how many were already in use with this random cross section of hunters from around the U.S. About three-quarters of the hunters were swinging the Equinox, most having switched from the Deus or CTX 3030. Other than the typical minor quibbles people were unanimous in liking the machine and there was constant talk about how well it was performing. The Equinox really loves round items in particular, and people were reporting noticeable increases both in depth and target id accuracy at depth. Ferrous identification is almost 100% accurate under these conditions. I dug only one ferrous item in nearly three weeks that just clearly fooled me, a very deeply corroded steel spike of some sort. There were a handful of other ferrous targets I dug that I figured were ferrous but were borderline enough I figured "just dig it". Better safe than sorry, but in each case they were the expected ferrous items. Lots of Minelab Equinox plus a Deus and CTX The next day we were back in the same general area. There was one small plot Mindy wanted to hunt and nobody else was interested, so I decided to hunt with her. I was at one end of the field and Mindy the other. I was hunting fast, trying to cover area, when I got one of those showstopper signals and dug a nice 1737 George II milled silver sixpence. I had no idea what it was - kind of looked like a Roman emperor to me and so Mindy had to take a look. I found I was best off not speculating on finds as I was usually wrong though I am learning. The "George" I know now is a dead giveaway that this is a "recent" vintage coin. A real beauty though and I was quite pleased with it. 1737 George II milled silver sixpence It was only 15 minutes later that Mindy calls out on the radio that she found a full Celtic stater, the larger of the Celtic gold coins. It was her twelfth gold coin find on these hunts over the years, and a real beauty at that. I am one of those people who get nearly as excited as the finder when a great find is made - I love seeing people do well detecting - and this was very thrilling to witness. Although I was in no position to complain this was exactly the sort of find I had hoped to make myself, and it is nice to know these targets still remain. I had walked maybe ten feet past the coin as I headed for the far end of the field. Just a stunning coin, and looked almost brand new even though it had been in the ground for around 2100 years. Gold is just amazing in that regard, whether nuggets, jewelry, or coins, they pop out of the ground like they were dropped yesterday. Mindy scores a Celtic gold stater - her 12th gold coin 45 BC to 25 BC Addedomarus - Trinovantian tribe 5.58 g.16.90 mm Can you imagine, twelve gold coin finds, including a hammered gold noble, some sovereigns, and Celtic gold? Mindy is amazing. Here I am looking for my first gold coin and she gets her twelfth - now you know why this hunt attracts people. The next day we were hunting some of the newer, less hunted ground, but after some high speed scanning I wandered off to an area that has been hunted a lot before because two gold sovereigns had been found there recently. There are areas where there are lots of targets, and also vast stretches of fields where targets are few and far between. People tend to like the idea of new fields, but they often have very few targets to dig. I kind of prefer older target rich zones that have prior gold history because even after years of hunting I have no problem digging lots of gold range targets in these locations. This does usually mean lead but I am happy to dig lead targets all day as opposed to being in an area where there are only targets once every 15 minutes or more. This was one of those locations, and I was in gold hunt mode digging lots of tiny signals in the 7-10 range with 9 being particularly prevalent. This almost always is an oblong little bit of lead, but I dug another nice 9 signal and up popped a large gold flake! It was not much different than something I might find gold prospecting, but is either a fragment of a hammered gold coin that has been worn to oblivion or maybe a portion of a blank gold sheet. I don't know but it was my second gold find in three days and so very nice to see. Just making one gold find is exceptional, and two in a week is harder yet. The flake only weighs 1.03 grams and is 15.05 mm long and 0.80 mm thick. Truly just a flake of gold, and another testament to the gold ability of the Equinox even when running the larger coil. I was pleased with the find as much from a technical aspect as anything else, since I have already found countless similar flakes of gold while prospecting. I went all the way to England to find a flake of gold! It finally came time to say goodbye to Mindy and the group and get handed off to the new group incoming with Chicago Ron. Ron is an incredible hunter with a real nose for making finds. I really enjoyed watching him - an artist at work. In fact there are many people on these hunts that are amazing detectorists (Scott and Scott, and Mike, I'm looking at you) and there is always something to learn by observing good detectorists in action. What makes Ron special is he just wanders around in an apparently random fashion, yet consistently wanders into some really great finds. He has one of the best noses for detecting I have ever seen. My luck dropped off in this final week but no complaining here - nobody would sympathize anyway! I had my trip in the bag and was more relaxed and I was admittedly cherry picking a lot more now, focusing on the gold range and round targets. Most people are hunting hard for hammered silver coins, but for me those were more accidental bycatch. I just hunt for gold and let the rest happen. I had the chance to eat out a few times with Ron's group and enjoyed seeing more of the local flavor than I did on my first trip to the U.K. There was a dinner night out with Mindy's group (I bought dinner and drinks for all celebrating my find) that was a good time. I just love the English people and these nights out gave me more chance to interact with them. I even took time out from a hunt to go shopping in town with Mindy just to see the town of Manningtree close up. Again, one of the benefits of making a great find - the pressure was off and I did not get so crazy about just detecting. Manningtree, England One pub in particular out with Ron and company was directly across the street from where the captain of the Mayflower lived. The history everywhere you look is just stunning. Ron like nearly everyone in his group is was swinging an Equinox, and early on one day of the hunt he made a find that is rarer than the gold coins - a huge 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown (30 pence). This is one of the few English coins with no king on the front because England was a Commonwealth without a king for a brief period of years. How this 14.39 gram silver coin was still sitting in the middle of a hunted area is a mystery, but as we all know if you do not get the coil right over the spot finds get missed. The coin is 34.66 mm or 1.36 inches in diameter and 2.0 mm thick. I got a great photo of Ron with his first Morini Celtic gold on my last trip, and here he is again doing his magic. What fun! Chicago Ron and 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown Ron's 1653 Commonwealth hammered silver half crown I added to my collection of hammered silver, 1700 and 1800 copper coins, and milled silver coins with the remaining time I had. I tended to wander off in oddball directions away from the group, doing the "go big or go home" thing by hoping to get into some little corner or hotspot overlooked by others. Given the size of these fields there are limitless opportunities for this sort of wandering, and it often means fewer finds. It is however how spectacular finds like a horde happen so I do enjoy giving it a go. It ultimately is my favorite type of detecting, being alone in some place wandering around doing my own thing. Gridding target rich zones is probably more productive, but it has a mechanical work aspect to it. Wandering is more freestyle and also more conducive to the sort of meditative mental state I achieve while metal detecting. I am one of those types that lives in my head and some of my best thinking is done while wandering around detecting. I get so into "the zone" that hours flash by in apparent minutes. Whether I make finds or not I find metal detecting to be wonderfully refreshing. For me at least there are few things more relaxing than metal detecting. The trip ended with a spectacular bang by another new Equinox owner who recently joined the forum. Tim was kind of frustrated with the Equinox when I met him, but I did what I could to help him gain confidence in his detector, and the finds started coming. The very last day he made a find that exceeded my own in some ways, but that is his tale to tell so I will leave it for now. It was so awesome again to be around when a major find was made, and come to find I had walked about 30 feet away from it the previous week. Miss it by a foot or a mile, and you miss it. Usually you never know what you miss, but in this case I got to find out. It may be hard for people to believe but I am happier that Tim made the find than me. I am getting a bit jaded these days whereas Tim nearly fainted from the excitement. I get a real charge out of seeing that in people and Tim is just a really nice fellow. He really worked hard for that find and it was an awesome way to have the adventure come to a close. I am sure we will hear the details about Tim's amazing find very soon. I could not be happier with my 2018 UK adventure. The weather this time was really great. I actually got a farmers tan while in England! Mindy and Ron and his wife Gretchen are all great, doing everything they can to insure people have a good time. The folks I got to visit with in both groups came from all over the country, and I could not ask to meet a nicer and more upbeat bunch of people. I really am going to have to give this another go because I finally came home without that gold coin. Even that is ok because what I did find is even rarer, and I made two gold finds on the trip. Eight years ago I went home with a pouch full of great stuff, but I think my pride was a bit wounded that I had found no gold. I am supposed to be the "gold guy"! I am constantly competing with myself at some level, and this trip really left a warm glow. Again, my thanks to all involved for making this one of the best experiences in my now very long detecting career. Just awesome!! ~ Steve Herschbach Copyright © 2018 Herschbach Enterprises Posted On Facebook Here is a partial selection of some of the finds I made on this trip. I won't be able to post a complete listing until I get the museum documents back - may be a year or more from now! A few finds made by Steve Herschbach in England, 2018
  4. Well, it's with a certain wistfulness that I am about to spend my last night in Indian Harbour Beach, FL. This little island has been the closest thing to a "home" that I've had for the past 5 years. We towed our "big house" to Georgia a few days ago and got it all tucked in and safe from the Florida hurricanes. The "little house", our 27 ft toy hauler, is parked in our spot and all ready to go exploring for the season. There was a minor glitch with the Polaris as it wouldn't start when we took it in for new tires Thursday. Route 1 Motorsports says it's just the battery and I'm sure they will get it all straightened out for us before we leave Florida in a couple of weeks. I hunted "my" beach for probably the last time yesterday and had an awesome time with some old friends and some new ones. None of us found much except clad and lead sinkers, but Terry Shannon did say he found a 10K ring the day before....which Mrs. Shannon promptly confiscated. We'll be in New Smyrna Beach next winter, if we can get a spot reserved, so it will be fun learning to "read" a whole new set of beautiful Florida beaches. I've heard that they're not as sand-truck happy up there as they are here, so that will be a big plus. I do wish I'd had more time on my new Equinox before we left here, but at least I'll get in a couple more weeks of beach hunting at St. Lucie and Daytona before we leave Florida. Tomorrow I face the "downside" of this RV lifestyle, saying goodbye to some dear friends and knowing it will probably be the last time I'll ever see most of them. Those of you who also live this nomad life know how it is. You always say "we'll meet somewhere halfway in between for lunch next winter" and then you never do. At least with Facebook you can still stay in touch. So we're off to St Lucie in the morning, so ya'll please say a little prayer for safe travels, if you're so inclined. It is always greatly appreciated. On to the next big adventure! Ammie
  5. Golden Grams of Goodness: Part 1 November is not usually a time of year that I get to chase the gold, as by the time November rolls around the ground usually requires some dynamite or some equally powerful force to break through the frost to get to the gold. However, this year has been a year of exceptions. In September, we had early snow and frost with well below seasonal temperatures that carried into October, and that doesn't happen very often as usually the weather is rather mild. However, after the early blast of Arctic bad temper, the weather shook itself out until the first week of November with temperatures soaring above average, so this allowed the chance to engage in some gold sleuthing when normally I'd be reduced to only dreaming of chasing the gold. I have two sons, and the eldest loves to chase the gold, while the other will chase the gold given the opportunity, but he doesn't have the same level of passion. Me eldest was with me on this trip, and he was with me on our epic gold adventure when we truly slew an army of nuggets early in the summer (I have yet to post that story), so he was eager to have a chance to hone his detecting and sniping skills. The area we dropped into to work was full of bedrock pinnacles. These pinnacles were formed of an iron-hard bedrock, so hard that the big equipment had negligible effect. In fact, smoke was pouring off the bucket teeth and blades of the excavators as they tried to outmuscle the mother rock. As a result, there was a section of ground about the size of two school buses parked side-by-side, but slightly longer. Looking down into the excavation, there were three pools of standing water as well as a small stream of clear seepage water running diagonally across the northern, more elevated end of the bedrock. The southern end was where the largest pool of water was, and the eastern side of the excavation had a culvert that was collecting the water from the stream to then divert it through a long series of interconnected culverts to a sump where a six-inch diesel-powered pump was working night and day to keep that sump cleared. Over the entire area of exposed bedrock, there were many buried, small gutters with high, then lower humps, and throughout the area, there were those dark pinnacles of super-hard bedrock, some of them rising up almost four feet, resulting in an area that could not be cleaned out properly by the modern miners with their big equipment. The area was perfect for detector and sniping work, making it a perfect area for us to tackle. To be continued . . . All the best, Lanny
  6. Been asked numerous times over the past several years to hunt for a class ring lost in a local cemetery. Then finally last week I agreed to give it a try, with no promises given. The class ring was lost by a gentleman's mother in 1960 while she was trimming the grass around the cemetery. One good thing about this graveyard, it is privately owned so no trouble should occur because of my digging. By the looks of the lot, it may take a good bit of time to cover the area.
  7. Thursday after work Mrs JW had the caravan all packed & ready to go. So after a shower & change of clothes for me we were off. Didn't get to our destination until after dark. Got all set up & chilled out. Even chilled out in the morning as awoke to frost & a heavy fog. So no rush to get up the hill detecting. The day became a stunner & this pic below was taken when we came down for a late lunch & a chill out. The first spot I headed to was where I got those 12 bits the previous weekend. I had stuck with the 15 X 14 X coil due to the open & deep ground. going over this again & very thoroughly I didn't get another bean. So moved on to other old areas. Mrs JW doing what she does now when she tags along. Sits in her camp chair reading her girly mag & doing the cross word. Tried the clay gravels of an old timers dam Brest. I had got gold off here previously but nothing on the last few attempts with the Zed. Humpdey dumptey sat on the wall.... Got three little pieces in the foreground just below the thyme bushes in the above pic. First shallow scrape. Bingo Easter Fridays effort. 7 small bits for the 15 X 14 X coil Saturday we decided to head off & go check out the New Zealand Jet boat Sprint Champion finals. On getting there it was raining & windy so we turned around & headed back & I got a few hours detecting in. Stuck with the 15 X 14. Didn't take any pics of the digs but managed 4 little pieces. I went to top up my detector battery that night but had the wrong 12 volt plug for the charger. I had grabbed the Gold monster one & it wasn't compatible. Strangely enough it charged the WM12 but not the detector battery. Any way, sunday came around & I said to Mrs JW that I would just go until the battery went flat. First signal Tiny bit of quartz with even tinier gold in it. Just targeting the bald areas as much as possible. Although I did go over the grass areas. A fly spec size bit of gold. Literally And another End result for the weekend. Top row Fridays, middle row saturdays & bottom row sundays. I was pretty chuffed getting those small size bits with that 15 X 14 inch coil. The detector battery died sunday so monday we headed back home after getting a bowl of wild mushrooms. Yum. Didn't try any of the other of the X coils. I just couldnt take the 15 X 14 off. For ever hoping for a bigger deeper one. Didnt come. Maybe next time. Cheers. Best of luck out there JW 🤠
  8. I stumbled out of bed yesterday to our first big frost of the year, it was -3.9 outside, 24°F in the old money It was a nice still clear day and a perfect day to get out there doing something, fortunately there was a message from KiwiJW in my inbox on the forum asking if I'd like to go for a gold hunt, well I don't need to tell you my answer to that. I was quickly ensuring all my gear was charged and ready to go. The drive to JW's house can be a bit hit and miss depending on the time of the day. A majority of the cars on the road are tourists in their hire cars and they're usually all going the same directions to the same places and in the morning's they all usually heading to Milford Sound. Here is a video for those who don't know showing what Milford Sound is https://youtu.be/iiBOi_8yVlQ There is always some tourists heading the opposite direction however, which can make my journey take far longer when I get stuck behind them on a road with many blind corners and few passing opportunities. This one green hire van had me stuck behind it doing almost half the speed limit for about 10 minutes as the Ute refused to pass, so I had to take them both. The tourists tend to drive much slower as they're looking around enjoying the scenery. The snow is forming on the hills too, a sure sign winter is on it's way. Arriving at JW's we were quick to head out on our mission, we decided to go for a bush walk and view some local gold mining history too, it was the perfect day for it and I do enjoy learning about all the history in the area. We walked a hiking track that had a lot of Gold history. We stumbled across these bars out of an old timers sluice And found an old gold miners hut still in very good condition, JW was thinking of moving in by the looks of it 🙂 A nice fireplace to get him through the winter, and all the creature comforts of home 🙂 He forgot to take his equipment inside so it rusted away. The old timers went to extraordinary lengths to move water and gravel around, here is a tunnel they built, with JW entering it That's JW up there exiting the tunnel. All through solid rock, incredible. They did some serious work to the landscape too, It's hard to believe how much soil they washed out, I guess with water monitors. Now we both had the itch to find some gold we left our bush walk location and went to near the creek location I found my last tiny Equinox gold Now it's down to the business end of the story. JW pointed me to a bit of bedrock and said that will suit the Equinox, It looked nice and so did the path down to it, I always think back to JW's path that just keeps on giving at another location, every time we go there he finds gold in the path, I never have, well this path turned into my path that keeps on giving. The little track down to the bedrock. It wasn't even 2 minutes after we started detecting and I had my first hit, bouncing between 3 and 4 on the VDI's. And about 2 inches down in the gravelly soil was this little guy Skunk broken straight away, a nice .1 of a gram. It's sitting next to the EQX06 logo on the coil. A couple of minutes later right near it in the path another hit again between 3 and 4 on the VDI's Things were looking good for my path so I decided to go back to the top of it and try again in case I missed something, and right at the top another 1, 2 on the VDI numbers but this time it was solid rock with lots of quartz through it, I didn't know what to do so asked JW, he said smash it out break it up so I did just that. The bit of rock in the scoop is still giving 1, 2 on the VDI's. JW helped me smash it up further narrowing the bit down with the signal, we got it this small in the end, still a 1, 2 on the VDI's I'll have to smash it up more I guess and find out what surprise is inside! I can't see any gold yet. Now time to head further down the path to the bedrock JW pointed out for me It was on quite a cliff edge, you'll just see the creek far down below in the top of this photo Another 10 or so minutes and I had another hit, this was getting crazy This one was coming up as the standard 1, 2 on the VDI's. I was having a ball at this stage and finally knew what it felt like to be JW, pulling nuggets up all over the place with his GPZ 7000 🙂 Not even 10 steps later another hit! Unbelievable!! This one was in a crevice and a bit harder to get to, coming up in the negative VDI numbers, sitting around -6 to -3 but I knew from my tiny gold experience the other day it's likely to be gold and not junk in this location on those VDI numbers. I scraped all the soil out trying to get to the target and finally found it, it was a lot harder to track down so I knew it was tiny. If you look hard you'll see the spec in the scoop. And next to the EQX06 on the coil. My smallest detected bit so far I believe, 0.010 of a gram, smaller than last weekends 0.011 of a gram. The same settings as last weekend, horseshoe mode all metal, sensitivity 25, iron bias 0, gold 1 and manual ground balance. I would never not use horse shoe all metal mode when tiny gold hunting, you'll miss all the little gold as it often goes in the negative VDI's and you'll just get a blanked out target. Now I was getting to the end of my cliff drop off point, and the end of my little spot It's a very long drop from up here down to the creek below, kinda scary for me being here but I make my way to the edge anyway, wobbly knees and all. Looooonnnggggg way down. Last attempt at my spot was to detect the mosses on the edge of the cliff, hoping some gold had been washed into them and soon after another hit at 1, 2 on the VDI's And that was it for the day, John sacrificed this good spot by pointing me in it's direction while he went off detecting elsewhere. Thanks John. On the way out we walked past a nice waterfall Another enjoyable day with 0.269 of a gram in my bottle 🙂 The small 6" coil for the Equinox is great but surprisingly the 11" is quite capable of finding all of the tiny gold I found on this day. It's just not as maneuverable in among the rocks and crevices as the little 6" but it's still incredibly sensitive to small gold. The 11" is good if you're needing to cover a lot of ground quickly, it does a good job of it without losing much at all in sensitivity. Even the 12x15" coil is still pretty sensitive to tiny gold, it will lose the 0.010 gram piece but will get the slightly bigger ones well. The Equinox is a brilliant detector, just has happy finding this tiny gold as it is coins and jewellery in the parks and beaches, very versatile.
  9. We are still snowed in here in the Northern Sierras so I have no new adventures to share with you all so I guess I'll have to reminisce a bit. My cousin seems to have escaped the family curse of the prospector and is a member of normal society as long as he avoids bad influences -like me. I told him about an interesting spot on an old map that I would like to go find and ask if he would like to go along. He readily agreed but he didn't have much time so we decided to take his rig instead of my old Jeep because it was much faster. We left out of town and very quickly took a steep path that took us up several thousand feet. I was able to direct him to where we could look down on the prospecting spot but but it was obvious that we would need my Jeep to get all the way into it so we turned around and headed back to town. Well, My cousin got to playing around in his fancy (and expensive) rig, going way too fast and tipping it way to one side and then way to the other side then he ask me if it made me nervous. "Not in the least I replied". I was not nervous- I was terrified. He tipped the rig WAY up on it's side again except this time, OOPS , it rolled completely over but fortunately it came back upright. In the interest of keeping the story brief I will just say we made it back to town ok but I now know that my old Jeep is a much better prospecting rig than a North American T28.
  10. Hello to all i managed to find a bit of time to share my experience and trip in the Goldfields.So here we go: I managed to escape Melbourne for 3 days as wife was working there and i was doing the driving.Was hot very hot and i understand now why there is time to prospect and time to stay in an air cooled house. Anyway as a result of a post on the forum i contacted Goldrat (aka Peter) and after some very good chat and instruction we met in Maryborough .The drive from Melbourne for me was epic as : 1)i loved the scenery 2) i get lost very easily (But thanks to Peter instruction and a capricious phone i reached my destination without problem). So we head up to Talbot for bnb and to pick up a SDC2300 complimentary of my landlord Neil.We then headed to our first spot ,and while Peter was narrating the tales of mountain of gold retrieve from the area i was taking as many pics as possible as this was completely new to me Peter found the first bit of gold using his faithfull Equinox with the 6".......for the setting ask him . My bnb road SPOT 1 Wasn't me!!!!!!!! Scoooooore Peter first gold ,he gave it to me lost it in my suitcase.......
  11. After our days detecting up on the bedrock, I with the GM 1000 finding 5 small bits of gold & Simon with his Nox 800 snagging 6 tiny bits. The next day we went back to a place that Simon has been to quite a few times now but I took him to a spot he hadn't been to in the general location. I had done ok here back in my GP 3000 days on numerous occasions with different coils. I went once with the 4500 & only got one small bit. I hadn't been back since & had never had the Zed here. The other times I had been here the grass was non existent but this year with the crazy grass & weed growth I wasn't very confident. I chose to take the Zed with it 14" coil & Simon stuck with the Nox 800 & 6" coil. Without telling Simon I put him on to a spot where I had got a few bits back with the GP 3000 & the one piece with the 4500. I wandered off further down the workings. The grass wasn't too bad but I was just getting rubbish & quite a few shot gun pellets. Unlike the day before where Simon didn't get one pellet & I only got one. You just have to dig all the signals & one I got was no different to any of the other pellets I had dug but after a couple of scrapes the signal was still in the ground. A few more scrapes & it had moved. Was my first bit of sassy gold. Took a while to come, but then things dried up for what seemed ages. In the mean time Simon had wandered off from the spot I left him on. He had gone over some other bedrock, moved on from that & had jumped a fence & was heading further up the gully diggings. I thought to myself then that he is sure covering a lot of ground quickly with that little 6" coil. I on the other hand in comparison had moved bugger all & that was with the Zeds 14" coil. I then just put the coil & my eyes to the ground & got lost in what I was doing. Next thing I hear Simon's nox nutting off not far from me & looked up. He was detecting opposite me higher up on the fringe of the gully. Again I was surprised at how quickly he had finished over the fence & come back down above me & proceeded to jump another fence & head on down the workings until I lost site of him. I eventually worked my way to where I had first put him on to & it wasn't long before I got a faint signal. It wasn't very deep & should have been within the Nox's range. Was a solid little chunky ball of gold. Came out of the ground real clean & almost shiny. I ended up getting numerous bits here. This wasn't a bad size & the Nox should have got this. I then got a very faint signal beside a small briar rose bush. Thinking pellet I scraped away. Signal still there & I had to hack out into the bush to pin point the target. This was a bit deeper but it finally came out of hiding. Again very clean almost shiny gold. I then wandered up out of the workings slightly. Heading up a bit of a bank that was nice looking gravels & where the old timers had stopped sluicing. But I knew I had got numerous bits here with the GP 3000. After a few pellets a signal lived on down a bit until it finally popped out. Again it wasn't deep. Before back filling my dig I re scanned & an other signal. Another bit of gold. I then saw Simon heading on back up. Thinking he was coming to show me something. But no he stopped & detected around where I had first started. I in turn had just moved on to the bed rock area that he had covered. I got a signal & scraped on it & the signal moved pretty quickly. It was my smallest bit of gold for the day. Simon saw me taking a photo & said, Have you found a bit? I said I have found 8. He was gobsmacked as he said he had covered every bit of that area. He came over to have a look at my finds & the depth of that last bit, which wasn't deep. It was then that he told me he couldn't run the Nox in full max 25 sensitivity like he could the day before when he got those insanely small bits. He said he settled on 21 & even that was noisy. 18 was better but he just felt he was losing too much depth & sensitivity. He ended up with a million pellets but no gold. I couldn't believe it. Especially after his day before. I must admit that I was again blown away by the Zed. I wasn't holding much hope here to be honest but the Zed just proved itself to me again. High Yield/Normal sensitivity on 18 & just purred. 8 bits for 1.8 grams. Cheers. Best of luck out there. JW
  12. Just returned home from a crazy road-trip. We had a work event in Las Vegas last week, and we had some equipment to haul in.The company said they'd pay my gas, so I decided to drive it, and take a few extra days off and go to one of my old Spanish trail sites to detect on my way home. What a trip it turned out to be! Snow blizzard on the way to Vegas. Then from Vegas to California, was one of the worst rain storms in like 50 years...I was out on a little two lane, twisty, curvy road that routes you though the mountains and it started out as just small oozes of mud filling areas of the road, or wet slicks as water filled the roads, but as I progressed higher into the mountains, it was progressively worsening, now small streams and creeks and boulders were taking over the road, then massive mud slides onto the roads. The road would worsen. The roads were washed out and flooded with white water rivers now taking over, filling the road with a debris field of rocks, small trees and brush, and tons of sand. One one occasion I was blasting through what amounted to a massive river flowing across the road, and while trying to blast though it a massive sand bar under the water attempted to trap the car, but luckily the FJ is a very capable off road vehicle, and it was able to make it though this and many more obstacles to come. So after all this, I get to my destination and the motel had canceled everyone's reservations because they had no water or power. Great, now I'm out in the middle of BFE with no place to stay and I'm not driving back through raging water flash floods. I ended up spending the night in my FJ Cruiser in the middle of the desert. It was a weird night, to be made even more strange by the fact that the only radio station I could pick up out there was playing Indian chants all night - LOL Between storms, I managed to get in a day of detecting, but with an even larger storm system nipping at my heals, I decided to head back before it hit the fan! I managed a good day testing the 15" Equinox coil at a site that's been stingy lately. Tom and I hunted it the last time we were there, and neither of us dug a single coin, but for whatever reason the Equinox lit it up (tu) Enjoy! Flickr account is buggered up, else I'd post a still pic, but here's the video: GL&HH Cal
  13. Hi guys, I wasn't going to bother posting up my tiddlers after Simons single BIG piece trounced my 5 pieces combined by almost twice the weight on his rewarding day. That's what you get for digging every signal. Sure you get a pocket full of .22 shells but that one gram piece was worth it aye. Now I have a confession to make here. I told Simon I got nothing at his Mr Pocket spot..... But I got two. They were my biggest two of the day. .3 of a gram & .09 Simon did a good job on his first post of our day there so I will just cut to the chase. I had done quite well here back with my GP 3000 & little coiltek 10 x 5 mono coil. I put Simon on to some old timer piles hoping his 4500 & 14 x 9 NF Evo coil might punch deeper into & give something up to him. It didn't. While I detected opposite him & working my way to some schist bedrock where I had done well with the GP 3000 on tiny bits. High Yield/Normal sensitivity on 19 & going very slowly scraping the coil over the bedrock when I got to it. Of course it is a shotgun pellet graveyard so got my share of those. After getting my first few I kept checking all signals. This could have well been another pellet. I didn't take a VLF with me so had to be very careful not losing the target after moving it & breaking the "halo" effect & losing the signal. So after a bit of a scrape I blew the dirt & dust away & had my first piece of gold. I continued to detect very slowly on the edge of the grass & the bedrock as there was a bit of a lip & fracture in the bedrock. In the next pic, which is the same as the above pic but from a different angle, you will see a bit of a depression in the bedrock & the lichen on the bedrock just above & slightly to the right of the scoop. I got what I thought was a very slight cough in the threshold going over that depression. A couple of scrapes & removing the lichen revealed that the depression was the edge of a flat slab of schist sitting on top of the bedrock. It was totally unrecognisable & just appeared to be the bedrock surface. I have over the years realised just how many bedrock nooks & crannies & secret gold hiding cracks & fractures that lichen can hide. So I flipped the slab over to reveal another bit of a lip & drop off in the bedrock, right at the top edge of the coil. That is where the now improved signal was coming from. I scraped the pointy end of the pick along it & revealed a crack going under the now over hanging bedrock. Broke it open & one more scrape had the signal move. A bit more blowing &...piece number two Waved the coil very slowly over the rest of that little plateau & was getting nothing but pellets. Got to the last corner of the bedrock & was getting feed up with the pellets when one of them morphed into a tiny piece of gold smaller than a pellet. Unbelievable. Simon later made a comment that I had never thought of or considered before, & that was that people just wouldn't believe that I was finding gold this small with that 14" coil on the Zed. But Simon is my witness. It was at this stage that Simon had found his Mr Pocket & said he could get no more from it & relinquished it to me to try with the Zed. So I did. It was in among that tall dry grass that he has shown his pics of. My first signal was a very good hit, & I thought, here we go a .22 shell. But no...a .3 of a gram piece of gold. Followed by a fainter signal but a positive one. Very shallow. .09 of a gram. But that was it. Nothing but .22 shells from there on. Even a live one. Thank goodness I got those two bits first off after getting a pocket full of .22 shells after them. Total of .57 of a gram for 5 pieces. The .3 one really helped lift that total. Mr possum looks a bit delirious with holding all that gold. Or is it the "cigarette" he is smoking? His tongue is even hanging out....as well as his dangley bits. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  14. Hi guys, I finally got out for a detect this Saturday just gone. I thought it had been over one month since I had been up in the hills. Sure seemed like it but on checking my little gold finds diary my last entry was on the 13th of January. It has just been too damn hot to get out there so I have been going out in my jet boat instead & playing in the rivers that way. Last Tuesday Mrs JW & I went to Dunedin town to see Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, in concert. It was the end of his 2017-2018 Us And Them world tour. Mrs JW & I are huge fans of his & Pink Floyd & David Gilmour too for that matter. We last saw Roger up in Auckland before moving down to Queenstown. He is now 74 years old & is likely to be his last tour. It was an absolutely brilliant show. All three hours of it. He is such a legend. Any way....The next day on leaving Dunedin to head back to Queenstown it was 36 degrees Celsius in Dunedin. That is unheard of.....but that is what it was & 32 in Queenstown. The next day we had rain for more than a whole day. I cant recall the last time we had continuous rain like that for more than a whole day. There was a southerly wind change Thursday night (off Antartica) & woke on Friday morning to snow half way down the mountains & a temperature high of just 15 Celsius. With those cooler temps I was off for a detect come Saturday. On getting there & speaking to the property owner he told me he had never seen rain like it & water was just pouring off the hills & down the "dry" gullies like he had never seen before. It was of course gone by Saturday but I was rapt as I hold high hopes for wet ground being not only easier to dig but more conductive & better depth on signals. So I hit a few spots that I have been over with the Zed & also in the insanely high settings when I did get deeper bits of gold. I was hoping the wet ground would give me another window of opportunity. It sort of did but not like I was hoping. I got a lot more junk that I hadn't got before, but you have to dig them. My first spot I hit I just manged one little piece of gold. Nothing bigger at greater depths than what I got first time here with the hot settings. But the little bit I got blew me away with the depth it was at. The pics dont really show the depth, I should have stuck the scoop in the hole. But I was down into the rotten basement schist peeling it out. I just knew it was going to be gold. It was such a good signal I was sure it was going to be bigger than what it turned out to be. I even scanned the hole again as I couldn't believe it. But no....that was it. The Zed is very good at making you think a signal target is going to be better than what it turns out to be. I then moved on to another area after getting no more here. Had a coffee before getting back into it & got a nice mellow signal within a few minutes. The ground was just so easy to dig with the moisture still in it compared to the dry rock hard digs prior to the rain. I was rewarded with a .4 gram slug. Could have been bigger .... Again this was the only piece I could find in this area. This surprised me. Oh well.....time to move on. You may recall in one of my last posts where I detected some old timer turned over gully workings beside some power lines. I continued on up the same run of workings where they deviated away from the power lines. I had never found any gold in this part of these workings.....ever. Only an old gin trap. I was surprised to see quite a few of the old timers prospect pits holding water. Had never seen this before. This is from standing beside my wagon looking up these workings. One thing you will notice is how dry & barren the ground is looking. I guess after the rain it may shoot away with a bit of grass growth. So it is a good time to be detecting before that happens. I noticed how at this lower end of the workings the granular schist & quartz gravels were quite small compared to the top end. I got no gold signals here but felt I had a better chance when I got further up & saw how the gravels got a lot more chunky. I got a nice hit on the top of a throw out pile. This next pic is looking back down to my wagon. If you look to the right of my wagon at the top of the pic you can make out one of the power line poles which is where I got a few bits of gold in my last post. Again I was blown away with the depth this small piece was at. But yet again this was my only piece from these workings. So on to some more. Got a good signal tight up beside a thyme bush & dug & dug & dug. Ended up having to grab the GB2 to try & pin point it & to see if it was ferrous or not. I wasn't sure if I may have passed the target in the side wall. WHAT....no signal at all with the GB2. Must be deeper still. I wasn't holding much hope of it being gold now as the signal was booming on the Zed. I went back to my wagon to get a little hand shovel as it was getting difficult to keep on going with the pick without making the hole wider. A few shovels of gravel out & still no signal with the GB2. Maybe it is out. Scanned the piles....nothing. Zed back in the hole & she was screaming. Few more shovels of material out & the Zed went silent. Its out. Scanned the pile & bingo. A signal. GB2 on to it & it was saying non ferrous. Probably a .22 bullet shell of lead bullet head. Now how deep do you reckon that hole is? The pick handle is 700 mm & it is over half way in the hole. Lets say about 350 mm or just over 14" Gold it was at just .34 of a gram....at that depth....unbelievable Again I re scanned every where as I could not believe that was it...but it was...again. Carrying on I got a double blip signal that usually is a shot gun pellet very shallow or sitting on the surface. But it sounded a little bit mellow. So I scraped at it with the pick & it had moved. GB2 in the dry grass. To the left of the GB2 & to the left of that dug out ditch you will see the scrape on the right shoulder of that throw out pile. Notice too in the foreground of that dug out ditch the water (dampness) it is holding. Got it in the scoop & on to the coil of the Zed & bugger me. That was my last bit though for the day despite going until dark. End result was just 5 bits for 1.2 grams I really thought the wet ground would produce better results for me. But I was amazed at the depths I was getting that small gold at. The Zed never fails to amaze me. Just wish there were bigger bits down there as well. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  15. Hi guys, I headed out for an afternoon detect on Saturday to an old haunt that is getting pretty lean now. The grass growth has been insane this summer being very detrimental to my detecting & just where I can swing the coil. I have been forced to target the balder areas of the old timers throw out piles where the gravels must be too sour for grass growth. But of course I have hammered these over the years so not expecting to get much....if anything these days from them. This is how they should be this time of the year. But they aren't. This pic was taken a few years ago when I got 3 bits off here from the top end of the working towards those trees. I didn't take a pic of how they were on Saturday but this next pic is the paddock next to these old workings on my drive in to them. I started at the bottom end & worked my up detecting the small amount of bald spots. I was getting nothing. I worked my way up to the top end where I had got the three bits I previously spoke of. The gravels here were a bit more inviting looking. I thought that at the time to when I got those three bits. Well bugger me...I got a faint but positive signal. Note the grass growth compared to the first pic. Down 4 inches the signal was out .12 of a gram Even found an old gin trap. Note to the left of my thumb. Kiwi stamped into it. That was it though. No more gold. I tried three other locations & zilch. Decided to head off for the two hour drive home at 8.30 pm. On my way I thought I would try that spot where Simon got his .62 gram piece. I had never tried the Zed in there. It was starting to get dark so I grabbed my head lamp & headed in. The spot where Simon got his bit was covered in thyme bushes & going to be a challenge for the Zeds 14" coil. As I walked in I saw a bald spot of gravels & headed for those with detector swinging. High Yield/Normal & sensitivity on 19. Straight off I got a faint but positive signal. Shotgun pellet no doubt. I had been getting my share of those all day.🤬 First couple of scrapes the signal was still in the ground. MMM.... maybe not a pellet now. At about an inch the signal had moved. .08 of a gram That was it for 2.5 hours of detecting. A moon had come up so I only needed the head lamp to ID a target. Nothing more in gold. But got my share of junk. I would have thrown away just as many more pellets. Two tiny bits for the Zed. That was it. Got home at 11.30 pm. Good luck out there JW
  16. I posted this on the coin & relic forum, but suspect a lot of Equinox forum members may not venture over there, so decided to post it here. I tested the 15" coil at an old Spanish trail stage stop and was pretty blown away by the results, here's a link to the story and video: GL&HH, Cal
  17. I woke up Sunday all motivated to find some gold, I’d been looking forward to a prospecting outing with KiwiJW for some time, he’s been a very big mentor to me and has answered every question I’ve had with a very detailed and easy to understand answer, which is fantastic as I’m very much a beginner, but an eager one at that. I sent John a TXT message asking if he wanted to go on a hunt, I was pleased to see he replied with a YES. We arranged to meet at a location to give it a shot, John recommended I put the 5” coil on my GM1000 for the task at hand, I’ve barely used my 5” as I always thought I’d have more chance with the bigger coil. He decided to use his GB2 so we were both on a different detector. Both our Equinox’s stayed in the cars as the big coil was no good for the task at hand, come on Minelab, we want the 6” coil now!!!, and while you’re at it, make it with a solid base cover please. We had some serious terrain to get through before we got to the location where we started to detect, as we headed down to the area the rocks were covered in moss and I took quite a nasty fall, landed flat on my back and winded myself, not a great start to the day but up I get and off we go, after all, we are on a mission. John gave me a rundown on what to do and how to do it and off we went detecting in the creek, I tried to stay on the opposite side of the creek to John so I didn’t get in his way, not long after we arrived we were walking along the creek, detecting in the areas John indicated would give us the best chance, and I could hear John’s GB2 making noises that even sounded good to me and very much like my Gold Bug Pro sounds. He had what appeared to be a target, I ran across with my GM1000 and tried to find the target that he was getting… nothing, not a signal at all on the GM1000 in Auto+, he hit the area a few more times with his pick and said now try it, still nothing, I changed to manual 10 and there it goes, sounding off on the target with a good positive reading on the indicator. I now really understood why John told me I should be using the 5” coil, the smaller the better for this job and why he mostly uses manual 10 if the location allows it. He kept digging for some time, so long I went back to my detecting thinking it can’t be anything as he’s been on it about 10 minutes chunking away the rock and still got nothing. How wrong I was, all the sudden I hear John yell out, got one! So I ran back over and it was massive, the biggest nugget I’ve ever seen in person, it was big, but very thin weighing in at 1.52 grams. We guessed the nugget was up on its side which is why the Monster struggled in Auto+ as I was swinging directly over the top of the area with the coil flat, where as he was able to use his tiny little 6.5” elliptical coil on his GB2 to really get down into the crack so he was hitting on the target sideways, the likely orientation of the nugget, I didn’t know to do this at the time. Being the beginner trying to follow all the rules of detecting I suggested he check the hole again, and bang, straight away, another target, I stayed around to watch the retrieval of this one, and tested it prior to retrieval on the Monster and was giving a good full bars on the indicator. Up comes John’s second nugget shortly after. John's nuggets, look at the size of that thing! Now I was really getting motivated, I kept my Monster on Auto+ as there was a bit of instability around his GB2 with it on manual 10. We walked along a bit and John said, That spot over there looks good and explained why, so off I went and virtually straight away, I had a good signal so I dig for a bit and found nothing, and moved on to an area next to it, John came over with his GB2 and I said I had a good signal but couldn’t find anything, he got his pick out and scraped away some of the gravel and said, try again. I did, and managed to narrow down where the target was, scooped up the gravel into my scoop and waved it over my 5” coil and bang, it’s in the scoop. John talked me through narrowing down where it is in my scoop and after a few minutes my first nugget of the day and the biggest I’d ever found by a long shot. We rechecked the area and nothing so continued on. At this point I had a smile on my face like the Joker that couldn’t be removed. My first nugget of the day After climbing over a few waterfalls while John was giving me further instruction of where to look I found another signal in some schist, there wasn’t even a crack in it, this was a solid bit of schist in the creek but it was giving a good signal, normally I would just walk away thinking some sort of false alarm, he instructed me to hit it with my pick and break it up a bit, and I did, shortly after a nugget was visible in the rock, retrieved it, rechecked the area, still had my perfect full positive signal, smashed some more rock out, another nugget, and again, this process went 6 times! I got 6 nuggets out of this bit of rock! Unfortunately the 6th nugget which was only tiny was washed away during retrieval by the fast flowing creek and I just couldn’t find it after that. My schist glory hole! We walked along a bit further and decided it’s time to try out another nearby area as this was more an educational journey for me so we decided to take the high country goat track back to avoid having to walk the creek again, this possibly turned into a harder walk than the creek itself but it was an adventure! I managed to lose my scoop during this walk back to the cars. My Nuggets from the first creek My nuggets in the Vial, John's directly on the car bonnet, his was bigger so harder to lose We arrived at the next creek and found an apple tree so had a snack and then walked up the creek doing a bit of detecting, then John said, there is plenty of old mining workings up that hill there, want to go up? I of course said yes so we climbed up. I was amazed at what I saw, there was water races, and piles and piles of rocks and various workings, even old rock structures they had made, this looked like it went on for many KM’s along the creek side high up in the hills. John said now there is all that bedrock here, let’s go detect that and pointed out what I needed to look for. He specifically said target the cracks in the bedrock as gold gets stuck in them so that’s exactly what I did. I found a further two nuggets right near each other in cracks in the bedrock. There wasn’t many targets up there in the small amount of time we were searching and it was getting late. John just found some junk unfortunately. I feel a bit bad as John spent so much time helping me he didn’t get that much time detecting to find targets himself but he did get BY FAR the biggest nugget of the day and another decent size one so that’s some consolation, by weight our day was very similar. We headed back down and John knew a shortcut to get back to the cars so we took it and it worked out well, we were back in no time, the walk back was also very educational for me. John pointing out various old timer workings and explaining it all, I learnt a huge amount on this adventure and I am very thankful to John for taking me along and sharing his wealth of knowledge on the area’s gold mining and metal detecting techniques. I feel like now I can actually metal detect for gold, and do it with some success. The Gold Monster 1000 is a perfect beginner’s machine, and as it seems great for the experts too. Regretfully I had to take off home at this point as my 7yr old daughter was waiting up past her bed time for me to get home so she could see if I found anything while I was out with the guy who she sees in all the forum photos finding gold all the time and wonders why daddy can’t do it! She’s quite the keen little prospector too. My wife and daughter were shocked when I showed up rattling my vial with 8 nuggets in it, weighing in at a mighty 2.167 grams. I just had the time of my life! If you look closely in the vial there is actually 9 in there, I'm wondering if the tiny one is the one I thought I lost as I don't know where it came from A huge thank you to John (KiwiJW) for a wonderful educational and successful day out! Freshy washed nuggets, ready for weigh in!
  18. I’ve got my lads home this summer so I’ve been grabbing every chance I can get to drag them out detecting. For me finding some gold is always a good way to get some ready cash for incidental things like beer which both boys now seem to have discovered a taste for.🤣 My attitude is the more I can get them out detecting with them the better because they will soon enough be pursuing their own life directions and if my life at that age is anything to go by no doubt it will be in another town a long way away. So in exchange for beer, a bed, air con, food and the odd bit of cash here and there, oh and don’t forget always running out of data on our internet plan,🤔 I get to occasionally grab one or both lads and go do a bit of father son detecting. Yesterday was a lot of fun, the weather has returned to hot and muggy again (typical February weather in Central QLD) so an early start was necessary. This time we decided to target an area not far from a high voltage power line, not because we love the constant discordant threshold (The GPZ is heaps better than any of gold machine in this regard), but because the gold tends to be chunkier thanks to the area not having been detected as often due to the interference. The keys to detecting here are to find a clear frequency for the location, this is changed pretty regularly as the frequency of the line changes often too, I also find lowering the sensitivity helps a lot and also backing off the B&Z booster a bit to take the edge off the variation. There is also a fair amount of trash so we tend to just focus on signals that sound a bit buried. I was lucky and pinged a deep 1 gram bit only 30 minutes into the session, I held off letting Tim know because its better in a nasty area like this to keep things low key and not too competitive. Being hot and sweaty as well as listening to an annoying unstable threshold is bad enough without feeling pressured from Dad. Anyway this session was kinder to me and I managed to ping quite a few chunky bits poking my coil here and there amongst the old boys diggings on the edges of the drainage. Poor Tim was struggling he had pockets full of lead and trash but no gold, so I suggested he head on over to were I pinged the first bit. Right on knock off time I saw Tim grinning triumphantly and he then refusing to finish off for the day until he had covered the area more thoroughly. Long story short, Tim got the biggest nugget for the session sitting right at 1.6 grams with a grand total of 7.4 grams between us. Seeing how were are partners we spilt the gold with 3.7 grams each or $214 AU for a few hours work, no wonder he likes coming home for a visit.😎😂 JP Some pics of yesterdays session and a few from another one last week. The gold is just a bonus, the true gold is the time spent with my boy.
  19. I had some afternoon time today and decided to see what the wind blew in to the southern California beaches. The tides are bad, the waves are small and it took me over a mile before I had my first target penny! These are the same beaches where I've found lots of targets in the past but these small wind waves are only moving sand. It is all deposit mode, sanded in as you might say. On the way back I decided to do a bit of blanket line near a surf break. I found a little spill for about $1 in change when a surfer came up to me and asked if I had found his Toyota key. I had only been there about 5 minutes and I told him I had not but I'd help him look if he knew EXACTLY where he had sat and picked up his roll on the way to his car. He showed me and I began circling that area and he dragged his foot along the path he took to the parking lot. I followed that line with my Nox 800 and the 15" coil and found a couple more coins but not his key. I did a double width pass on his path and then told him I had no results after about 25 minutes. He was bummed and wanted me to take his number in case I found it but I said I was leaving and there was no chance I was going to find it tonight. He said thanks for helping and we parted. On my way back to my parking spot I saw the lifeguard truck ahead of me watching the sunset. I went up to the guy and he cracked his window and wanted to know what this metal detectorist wanted. I told him a surfer was looking for his key and I had been helping him and he reached down into his lap and says, "I have it, where is the surfer?" I pointed him out about 1/3 of a mile down the beach and he took off. I watched as the surfer went over to the truck and took the key from the lifeguard. It would have been nice if the surfer could have spotted me and waved or even the lifeguard could have come back and said something but that did not happen. I didn't find the surfer's key but I did find a story with a happy ending. Mitchel
  20. Cabin fever setting in, was needing to get out. It warmed up to 38 degrees and that's just warm enough to melt a little snow off beach and the warm air blowing through gravels allowed me to dig targets. Nothing special 5 coins and trash, but I've been hitting this beach since I got the NOX last March, cleaning out trash, thinking there should be a ring sometime, just Not Today. I know there has to be one some time. ( Right ??? ) I have to think not everyone thought to take jewelry off before a summer swim. Sure felt good to get out. Kenai Lake / Quarts Creek Camp Ground Beach. Watch out Nevada / Arizona / Florida Treasure Coast next winter, I'm a coming !!!!! Haha !!!!!!
  21. Hi Guys. We had a public holiday yesterday so I decided to spend it out detecting.Trouble is I don't get paid for public holidays being a contractor. But any excuse to get out for a swing. I made a plea to Simon to tag along but he was committed else where for the day. It was a stunning day with a bit of well needed coolness first thing....but that didn't last long. I decided to keep at it with my Modded 4500 & the little 8 x 6 nugget finder Sadie coil targeting the thyme bushes that I just haven't a hope of getting the Zed into. It was very slow detecting waving in & out & poking & prodding among the thyme bushes. It was a long time between getting signals. A lot of rubbish. I eventually got a signal in among the thyme bushes that was a bit more mellow but a good hit none the less. You may just see the detector hiding in the thyme bushes to the right of that tall spindly plant. Note the quartz gravels. The signal was right in under a thyme bush & I had to hack into it to get a pin point on the target. It wasn't overly deep at about 4 inches when the target had moved. Waving the magnet thru the gravels nothing latched on to it. I ended up with a piece of quartz giving the signal. I had in the past got numerous gold quartz specimens in this location & knew this was going to be another. I went back to my wagon, which wasn't very far away, to get my bottle of water to give it a wash. Before washing I was pretty sure that little nobby bit was going to be gold. It was No record breakers...but I will take it. I then re scanned the dig area & got another hit. No way I thought. Not another speci....I hopefully thought. No it wasnt.🤬 Three bloody nails. But right next the speci I got. That was it for hours. I then worked my way back towards my wagon for a very late lunch & a much needed drink of water. On my way I thought I would detect the clay/gravels of an old timers dam that they had built across a gully to gather water behind it for their ground sluicing of these old workings. I had detected numerous pieces back in my GP 3000 days off this dam. The workings are to the left in among all those thyme bushes & the water was gathered on the right. That cutting in the dam wall above the detector is where the dam was breached...probably by the farmer. First few signals were just rubbish but then where the detector is sitting in the above pic I got a nice mellow signal that came out of a very firm chunk of green schist & hard clay. Had to break it up with my pick when I got the signal isolated. And out popped this. A prickly bit of gold within a bit of quartz. Well...that was it for the day. I got nothing more but my share of rubbish. And yes Simon....I got my share of pellets. I threw a lot of them into the briar rose bushes. I knew I would never be able to detect in among those. A long hot hard day at that. But it was better than nothing I guess. Just. Cheers Good luck out there JW
  22. My prospecting buddy in San Diego and I decided to take a run down to Baja to see if this summer's hurricane event had moved any gold around. This particular Baja placer has been pretty popular over the past 20 years and we've pretty much hunted out all the easy stuff so we had high hopes for a new bonanza. We left on Monday crossing the border at Calexico. I was waved through after a cursory examination by the Mexican border officials. My friend was in a different lane and he was subjected to a much more thorough examination. I think it was end of shift and the border officials needed to make some quick money. Four of them pulling everything out of his truck. They ultimately came to his 7000 detector. He explained its use and then they asked what it was worth. He lied and told them $4000.00. They saw dollar signs because according to them he would need to pay an import duty on the equipment, $420.00 US dollars cash. I guess 100 bucks apiece is a good nights work. He refused and told them that he would just return to the US. After that the price came down to $240.00. He still refused and we used the turnaround lane back to the US side of the border. It's hard to argue their notion of justice. We spent the night at my house in sunny Yuma and decided to cross at Algodones the next morning. That crossing was going well as far as inspection, but then the immigration officer inquired as to our Mexican Visas. We've never needed a Visa in Baja unless crossing the states of Baja Norte to Baja Sur. So, we bought some much needed $35.00 cash only Visas and continued on our way. The summer hurricane wiped out most of the paved highway just outside of San Felipe. They were working on replacing the highway but in the meantime you're restricted to a rough one lane dirt road over about 40 miles. From my house to the Placer is abut 240 miles and we arrived in the early afternoon. The prime ground is another 3 miles by ATV. We spent the rest of the afternoon building some ramps and filling big holes to run the my Rokon and his Yamaha Big Wheel up the canyon. The hurricane had run water about 20 ft high through the canyon so all our improvements from last year were washed away. It was tough sledding all the way but I didn't get unhorsed this year. My friend took a nasty fall after his bike slid down a too smooth rock wall. He was hobbled and we ended up cutting our trip short. Nevertheless, I got one good day of detecting in. I found a stretch of bedrock that last year had a foot of overburden on it. It was now swept clean and I found these small nuggets in bedrock cracks. I intended to check some promising ground about a 2 mile hike away, but I just couldn't justify leaving gold to find gold. Maybe next trip. The weather was great and the gold available, just not enough time after our border mishap and my friend's banged up knee.
  23. This gold prospecting and metal detecting story takes us all the way back to the beginning - my beginning that is. I was fortunate enough to be born in the Territory of Alaska in 1957. Alaska was still very much on the frontier back in those days. My father was a farm boy from the midwest who headed for Alaska in the early 50's with not much more than an old pickup truck. He worked as a longshoreman offloading ships in Seward, Alaska for a time. He decided to get some education and earned his way through college in Fairbanks, Alaska by driving steampipe for the fleet of gold dredges that were still working there. He spent some time in Seldovia, Alaska working the "slime line" in a fish cannery. He met my mom in Seldovia, the two got married, and finally settled in Anchorage, Alaska. I came along in 1957. My father had taken a job as a surveyor but money was tight in the early years. I was raised on wild game and garden grown vegetables, and as soon as I was old enough to handle it, I was walking a trapline every winter with my father. Dad was a hard worker however, and Alaska was having one of its many booms at the time - the construction of the oil and gas fields in Lower Cook Inlet. This was the Swanson River oilfield, discovered the year I was born. The state was prospering and my father along with it as a surveyor on the new Swanson Field. He got the bug for flying early on, and by the time I became a teenager he finally got his dream plane at the time - a Piper Super Cub, the classic Alaska Bush airplane. Super Cubs equipped with oversize "tundra tires" can land just about anywhere you can find about 300 - 400 feet of open ground. A great little airplane and the one I ended up flying to get my own pilot's license. Super Cub N1769P parked on knoll in Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska It was in this same timeframe that dad got me hooked on gold prospecting. In 1972 I saw an ad in a magazine "Find Lost Treasure" and had acquired my first metal detector, a White's Coinmaster 4. This must have got discussions going about gold, and my father did have some knowledge on the subject having worked around the gold mines in Fairbanks. He took me to a little creek south of Anchorage, Bertha Creek, and I found my very first flakes of gold! By the ripe old age of 14 gold fever was in the air, I had my first metal detector, and already wanted a gold dredge. My first dredge, a 3" Keene with no floatation, was on the way to me in 1973. Keep in mind that the price of gold had only recently been deregulated from the old fixed price of $35 per ounce. In 1972 it was around $60 per ounce, and in 1973 made it to just over $100 per ounce. The money was not my motivation at all. I already just loved finding gold, and the connection to the prospectors of old and the historical quest for gold were more compelling than any dream of striking it rich. I just wanted to find gold! My first metal detector and first gold dredge (my 3502 had the older aluminum header box & a power jet) A young man with a new detector, new gold dredge, gold fever, and a father willing to fly him anywhere in Alaska on adventure. How great is that? Now there was only one problem - where to go? There was no internet then, so it boiled down to libraries and research. In short order I discovered the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) bulletin series and the number one Alaska title of the series, Placer Deposits of Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 1374 by Edward H. Cobb. This one book and the references contained in it became my prospecting guide to Alaska. My desired target? Remote locations with large gold nuggets! I read the book and certain places just jumped out at me. One was the Iditarod area and places like Ganes Creek and Moore Creek - tales told elsewhere. This paragraph of page 114 caught my eye: "Placer mining in the Chisana district, first of creek gravels and later of bench and old channel deposits of Bonanza and Little Eldorado Creeks, has always been on a small scale with simple equipment. The remoteness of the area, shortages of water on some streams, and the small extent of the deposits all prevented the development of large operations. There has been little activity since World War II; the last reported mining was a two-man nonfloat operation in 1965." Wow, that alone sounds pretty good. Nothing really about the gold however. The secret to the Placer Deposits series is not so much the books themselves, though they are great for getting ideas, like I did. The key is to use the references listed and in this case the main one is The Chisana-White River District, Alaska, U.S.G.S. Bulletin 630 (1916) by Stephen Reid Capps. It turns out I had stumbled over the location of the last actual gold rush in Alaska in 1913. It was a small rush and did not last long, but it did mark the end of an era. The world was on the brink of war and the age of gold rushes was soon to be history. The history of the area is covered in the report starting on page 89. It is fascinating reading, but it was this note on page 105 that really sealed the deal: "The gold is bright, coarse, and smoothly worn. The largest nugget found has a value of over $130, and pieces weighing a quarter of an ounce or over make up about 5 per cent of the total gold recovered. The gold is said to assay $16.67 an ounce." Gold nuggets a quarter ounce or larger make up five percent of the gold? And that $130 nugget at $16.67 an ounce? Somewhere over seven ounces. That's all I needed to know. Very remote, worked by simple means, and large gold - I wanted to go to Chisana in general and Bonanza Creek in particular. Even the creek names scream gold - Bonanza Creek, Big Eldorado Creek, Little Eldorado Creek, Coarse Money Creek, and Gold Run. Now all we had to do was get there. But when I said remote, I meant remote. Chisana is practically in Canada 250 air miles from Anchorage. To be continued..... Chisana, Alaska location map
  24. Monday Simon & I went off on an E-Bike detecting mission. Simon used Mrs JW's bike. I took my modded 4500 & 14 x 9 Nugget Finder Advantage coil for a spin. I also threw in the sadie coil. While Simon took his 4500 with 14 x 9 Evo coil & the GM 1000. The bikes made for quicker access, even going up despite having to walk & push the bikes at a few dodgy bits. Especially with the back packs of gear we were carrying on our backs. They have a little thumb throttle so you just push that & walk beside the bike. So the bike is wheeling itself. No weight involved, just got to avoid kicking the pedals into your shins. I didn't get carried away with photos so nothing much to show in the biking department or the terrain we had to negotiate. On getting up & over the saddle & dropping down to the bottom of the turned over gully workings, we stached the bikes & rigged up for detecting. We still had a bit of a walk to get to an area that I wanted to target. The grass growth was just insane. Just shouldn't be like that this time of the year. It was hard walking thru it as you just didn't know what your footing was going to be. Weather you were going to step into a hole or in between rocks from the stackings from the old timers. It was going to be a hot day, thanks to that hot air blowing off from that large island to the west. Aussie I think it is. They can keep their hot air. There is not much bedrock in the gully but it is full of turned over ground & rock piles from the old boys. There are workings & piles everywhere, even up high on the sides of the hills but still very little bedrock. We came upon some bedrock on the side of a hill & I pointed out to Simon that it looked like the old timers had worked a bit of the hill side as there were water channels running down that had scoured out the hillside exposing some bedrock. The channels were dry now of course as it would have been from water they got there by races. I left Simon on what looked like some promising ground that also had stacked rocks higher up the hill & obviously some working just over the brow that we couldn't see from down below. I carried on to another little wash channel in a shallow gully. It was damn hard detecting with nothing showing up. At least there were no shotgun pellets. But no gold coming either. Simon got a signal on what he said was a rock. He mucked around with it for a while but I am not sure what the result was on that. I had forgotten about it until just now. Simon will have to fill us in on that one. A few hours must have passed & next thing I hear Simons detector nutting off a lot & saw that he had dropped down to the gully floor & was detecting in among the stacked rock piles. I didn't think that was a good move as it was just tones of turned over rocks & piles & would have its share of old timer rubbish. I think he was more keen on the cool water in the stream. 👍 I had finished my bottle of water & was keen for a refill. But I carried on where I was on the edge of an old dry water wash & some bedrock the old boys had exposed. I had got a couple of faint sweet sounding hits. Thinking they were gold but turned out to be tiny remains of rusted boot tacks right down on this bedrock. Damn. I then got a good loud hit. Thinking this is going to be rubbish for sure. MMMmm...itdidn'tt stick to the magnet. Wasnt that deep before it moved. Got be rubbish. But no. First piece of sassy gold. Ye Ha .58 of a gram Looking down over the detector & down to the turned over gully floor with its stacks of rock piles. Creek winding it way around. Simon was off to the left out of the picture. I moved a couple of feet & got another hit. Dug down on it & it turned out to be an old nail. Bugger. Slowly poking the coil into the grass & fern growth I got another nice hit. Scraped out some grass & ferns. This went a bit deeper than the first bit of gold & I was surprised at the small size for the signal. But gold it was. .15 of a gram. Then things dried up & I was dried out. So I headed on down to Simon who had soaked himself in the creek. Despite how hot it was the water was still freezing. We did have a bit of a snow fall high up in the hills last week. Not bad for the middle of summer. I got down to Simon & we headed off to another spot. Crossed the creek where I filled up my bottle & drank a couple of liters of water. We walked up an old wash out from a large spill of rocks from the old timers washing out a huge cut in the hill side. Got to the top of that & kept going up to some high sluiced ground sluicing s where the old boys had washed out a sizeable paddock & left neatly stacked rows of rocks. I didn't get a photo & I am not sure if Simon did. Wish I had of now. There were a couple of exit point where the water had flowed out of these workings from the water they had brought on by a long water race. Now dry of course. One of these exits the water was re used lower down & the other just spilled out & down a steep slope that just got steeper until it dropped off vertical into a side creek gully below. It was dry & I said to Simon, this could be worth detecting as it is cutting thru what looked like virgin ground & gravels. I sat down & let Simon get into it. Thinking he would head down the wash detecting up & down the banks. But he headed up into the workings end. He got a few signals that just seemed to spread out as he dug. Turned out to be piles of little bits of iron sand/stones. Round like shot gun pellets. Simon at first thought they were but they were all over his magnet. When he got to the top end by the workings I headed on down & cranked up my 4500 away from him so we wouldn't clash with each other. I got down to a bit of bedrock in the bottom of this wash. Got a signal next to what was an old detector hole. I had seen a few old digs so we were not the first to be in here. turned out to be a bit of rubbish. I then dragged the edge of the 14 x 9 coil backwards thru the crevice cracks in this bedrock. Again...no photos. Got a nice mellow hit & Simon came on down to investigate just as I saw the glint of gold. I popped it in my scoop to show him & then I looked down to the ground & it feel out back onto the ground. I couldn't see it & Simon gave it a go with his detector to see if he could get it. So I turned mine off & WHAM...he got it alright. So there is nothing wrong with his set up. He just doesn't seem to be able to walk over gold. We carried on for a few hours more but got nothing else. Despite covering a bit of ground. We were getting pretty hot & worn out so we started back towards the bikes. We came across on more bit of bedrock. The old timers had brought a small water race along the top of the ridge & had worked some ground at the end of this high little spur. I said to Simon, you go for it. I will have a sit down. You need to get a bit of gold. While he was detecting away I took a snap across the gully to the saddle we had ridden up to in the back ground & ridden down this side of it. The bikes were stashed directly below me out of site below the bottom of the picture. You will see more piles of stacked rocks & tell tale signs of ground sluicing with the higher lumps & bumps they didn't wash away. Unfortunately Simon came up gold less & I really thought we would have done a lot better in here. There was not much bedrock & what there was had seen detectors before. So now it was back to the bike & break down our gear & re pack the back packs for the bike ride up & out. We were poked. Simon has one of those apple watches that tells you your heart rate, how many steps you have taken & how far you have walked. He got his heart rate up to 150 at one stage when an alarm came on his watch warning him to take it easy. He said he had taken 12,000 steps & I think it was 10.5 kilometers of walking. A lot of that was up hill & around the hill sides. The ride back down was uneventful with no mishaps. Thank goodness. Simon making out in one piece. Look how crazy the grass is. And the smile happy to have done so. We still had a way to go to the wagon but that was the quick fun part. So all up just the three little bits for me for not even 1 gram. Better than poke in the eye with a blunt stick & avoided the skunk. Not bad considering I hadn't used a 4500 for nearly three years. Cheers. Good luck out there JW
  25. My first pulse unit was a ML 3000, I had carried the unit to Az from Ak without opening the box. I was camped at Decision corners not to far from the old cemetery. Remembering events sometimes taxes you lol, but this was the year that Jonathan Porter came to the US and he was camped not too far away with his group. That evening I charged the big battery and laid everything out for assembly in the morning...After some food and detector assembly my friend and I drove over past the GPAA campground looking for a spot to try out our units. We parked near a metal building and I walked up the hillside towards a flat bench area I had spotted from the road...I made exactly two swings with my detector and I heard this signal sound I will never forget.. Weeee. Oooop lol that's gold for sure, and how could I be so lucky..
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