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  1. Leaving this Monday for the Florida Gulf on a 3 month Campaign. Main gun the Tarsacci backed up with the Pirate Hunter Pro. When I left late last March, the Beaches were just finished being Heavily Sanded. The Low Tides last year were all during night time. This year I see their mostly during day light. So there's that and hopefully the sand has found some bottom. On a different topic, a friend told me he seen on the news that a $40,000 ring had been found by a Metal Detector hunter somewhere in Florida. Anyone hear about this?
  2. I was down in Rye Patch 10/22-10/26 and am slow to post. First day I got there early afternoon and swung the 6k for a couple of hours. Pulled up a very tiny piece a couple of inches deep. Second day I hit the ground at first day light and pounded a spot where I have had luck in the past hard to no avail. Around 11 am a couple of other trucks came close to me and started detecting and I figured I would move on, as I was getting frustrated with my lack of success over the last 3.5 hours anyway. After meandering down some roads for a while, I ran into @NorCal . We had a nice conversation for a while and he was kind enough to give me some history of the area we were in and some past success he had there. Once we were done chatting and he packed up and left, I had the pleasure of detecting in a hail storm and wind. Skunked for the day, cold, wet and not in the best of spirits, I called it a day. Day 3, after sleeping in my truck with a 20 something degree night, I hit the ground running again. Once again hitting areas where I had success before, I was yet again skunked for the morning and frustrated with 30 mph gusts. I decided to go back to the random area I found the small piece at the first day, and warm up on the drive. First good choice I made all trip! I was able to pull 4 sub gram pieces out of the ground, all were 6-10 inches deep except one at 2”. Final full day, wind still howling. I fought my way through the day and pulled up 7 more pieces. I did hit the ground for about two hours the morning I left, but to no avail. All in all 12 pieces for a whopping weight of 1.6 grams! Pretty sure I spent more just heating my truck at night to stay warm, or more in beer, not to mention the 7.5 hour drive each way. But that wasn’t really the point. For me it was just getting out and swinging my machine, this is the first time in a year because of everything I have had going on in my life. I was ready to sell the damn thing after getting skunked for a day and a half, but it really is some tough hunting. Met @Arkyon my way out of the area and headed home happy and ready to get back out again soon!
  3. See also Steve’s Australia Adventure, Part 1 for my travel to Western Australia, to visit Jonathan Porter and hunt for gold. I'll be traveling with the Garrett team to Australia soon, to attend the Metal Detecting World Championship event at Windeyer NSW. I will not be participating in the hunt events, as I'm not into that sort of thing. I will be hanging out at the Garrett booth, to chat detecting, and to show off the new Garrett Axiom, to anyone that is interested. This is the first official showing of the detector to the public, and Garrett was kind enough to invite me along to attend. And I'd also just welcome the chance to say hello, and meet any forum members who might be in the area. As far as I know, I'll be there all day October 22nd, and until the event ends at 2:30pm on October 23rd. I tried to set up another possibility of a meet when we are in the Bendigo area a bit later, but was informed there was "no time" by the powers that be. There is no getting around the fact Australia is a big place, and I can't be everywhere, but this is a start. I hope a few of you can make it.
  4. This is a callback to my 2011 Australia Gold Adventure. I put a lot of extra travel detail into that story, to aid others who might be thinking of doing a detecting trip to Australia. If you are thinking of doing this, and have not, I encourage you to look at that previous story. In the story that follows, click or double click the photos for full size versions. A few things changed in the eleven years since that adventure. First, the $1500 air fare I paid back then has basically doubled. Second, Australia now requires a visa even for tourists. You can’t complete travel without one. You can apply for one using an app on your phone, to take pictures of yourself and your passport. Details here. The real zinger came when I went to check in on New Zealand Air in Los Angeles. Even though I was merely passing through the Auckland airport on my way to Perth, I was not allowed to check in without a New Zealand visa also! Panic ensued, but luckily this also was done easily with a phone app while I was in the airport. However, although results are usually had in ten minutes, they note it can take up to 48 hours. Do this in advance and avoid the possibility of being denied boarding at the airport. Third, my final destination was Meekatharra, and this required making the switch to local Skipper’s Aviation, and an additional $600 round trip fare. On the previous trip we had driven a vehicle from Perth to Meekatharra, but this time I was going to meet JP directly in Meekatharra. The connections were such and the flight over so long, I ended up booking a room for the night in Perth, to ease the switchover. I stayed in the Country Comfort, Perth, which is affordable and nice, and which has a free shuttle service from both the main airport, and to Skippers Aviation. On a brighter note, the roughly even exchange rate from eleven years ago, changed to one hugely in favor of U.S. travelers at this time. I got $1.60 Australian for every U.S. dollar spent. A good thing, as prices are skyrocketing in Oz, like everywhere else. The exchange rate softens the blow. A little back story. I had spent a month of detecting in Australia in 2011, hosted by Jonathan Porter. I went home with a couple ounces of gold, which frankly did not impress me much. I think I sort of hurt JPs feelings when I said I saw no point in ever returning, if gold was the goal. I’ve relayed that information to other travelers since then, and not yet has one ended up telling me I was wrong. There is still great gold to be found in Australia, but frankly, it’s for the locals. Visitors with short time and minimal access should just be happy to find gold, any gold at all. For quantity, however, I’m better off on my own home ground here in the U.S. JP and Steve in 2011 JP and I talked about my returning someday, but for quite some time it was just that typical vague “someday” thing, that I never tried to make happen. Then things changed for me the last few years. I developed severe arthritis in both hips. It got so bad, that a couple years ago I thought my prospecting days, even my metal detecting, were about over. I was suffering enough last year, that I got both hips replaced this last winter. And miracle of medical miracles, I got a new lease on life! I feel better now than I have in many years. This experience changed my outlook on life and made me very aware the end of the tunnel is in sight. I’m good now, but I’m not getting any younger, and stuff just starts failing. You never know when, or how fast it will happen. Suddenly going back to Australia was not a matter of going to find gold, but just to go see an old friend. That’s exactly what I told JP, and I meant it. The gold no longer matters at all. I just wanted to have a nice visit and enjoy myself while visiting a friend. And JP, bless him, made it happen. A second layer to all that is I am celebrating metal detecting and gold prospecting for 50 years now. I got my first metal detector in 1972, and my first gold dredge right after that. I’ve been at it ever since, and now it’s been a half century of grand adventure. I decided an Australia trip was a perfect way to celebrate that fact. Also, out of the blue, Garrett Metal Detectors asked me to go along with them to Australia for the Axiom introduction. Boom, I went from never really planning on going back to Australia, to going twice in one year!! Part 2 of this story will chronical my upcoming return visit to Australia at the end of this month. I’ve been working with Garrett since last year on fine tuning the Axiom for release. This trip seemed an ideal way to get in some major hours with the detector, plus see how it handled mineralized ground conditions in Western Australia. JP thought I was nuts, and maybe I am, when I told him I planned on using the Axiom exclusively on the trip. I don’t know what to say, other than that it seemed like a fun thing to do. I can find gold with most anything, so I was not worried about that. After my last visit to Australia, I knew I was not going to find a ton of gold in just two weeks anyway. The point for me became to just use the Axiom, come what may, and go home happy regardless of the amount of gold found. Like I said, my perspective on life has shifted entirely from where it was years ago, when it was all about how much gold I was finding, period. Other than my little New Zealand visa surprise, the trip went smoothly, although the flights and layovers were a little long. I arrived in Meekatharra with everything I needed in one 50 lb suitcase, as another bag would have cost another $100 on every airline leg, and I set a record on this trip by traveling on six different airline. One bag was free, except for a small weight surcharge on Skippers. A bonus on this trip was that JPs son Tim was along. I thought this was great, as JP and I can be like an old bickering couple at times, so having another face along, and with a younger perspective, seemed like a fun idea to me. One that turned out great, as Tim is a prematurely wise young man. It was fun talking life and philosophy with him, and… wait for it…. our shared interest in computer gaming. Yeah, I’m a computer nerd for sure, and that extends to an interest in playing and modding computer RPGs. JP and I of course talked about detecting and detectors for endless hours, with not a small dose of the fact neither of us is getting any younger, and pining for the “good old days”, when gold nuggets just jumped out of the ground. Tim Porter - Gold finder supreme! Anyway, having Tim along was a highlight of the trip. It did mean that camp was full up, however, and JP had informed me to be prepared to tent camp, just like I did in 2011. I had planned on going a bit more deluxe this time, with a stand-up tent. I wanted to bring my own, as, trust me, you do not want to be shopping in Meekatharra for stuff like that. Then came my desire to limit myself to 50 lbs, including detecting gear. I ended up sleeping for two weeks in a one person, four-pound backpacker tent, on a pad in a sleeping bag. Luckily, very luckily as it turns out, the weather favored me. It only rained a couple times, and briefly. If it had rained like it has been, starting the day I left, it would have been a different story. As it was, it was no big deal at all, and I was quite cozy and happy in my Tiny Tent. All the rest of my camp needs were provided by JP and Tim. Tent shower, rides when needed, and they cooked every single meal. Thanks to both of you! Steve's "Tiny Tent" How did it go, you ask? The location was one of the same places we detected eleven years ago, and the place was already well hunted back then. It was a bit more about convenience than being where the most gold might be. We stayed camped in one place the entire time and made short runs with JPs side by side to different patches in the area every day. Unlike eleven years ago, it was far more about being relaxed and having fun. So no “up before the crack of dawn, detecting until dark” stuff. In fact, it was more often quitting early, to go sit around camp and chat. Excluding other stuff, I ended up doing thirteen days of relaxed detecting. The long story short is I found gold every day I detected but the first. But it was very slow going for me on very well pounded ground, just a few nuggets a day. I enjoyed every bit of it though, as the Axiom handled the ground and hot rocks just fine and is a real pleasure to swing. I do just enjoy using new and different detectors, to see how they can do. Finding anything when I’m doing that is almost secondary. It’s all about the ground handling, and how any target responds, even the trash targets. The weather was perfect, the company great, I was finding gold every day. It’s impossible to ask for more than that. Photo by Jonathan Porter "Steve's Gully" - found a few nice bits here They key to finding weight is finding larger nuggets. Try as I might, I could not get over anything of real size. I ended up with 13.5 grams of raw finds, with just a couple weighing in over a gram. I hit this with Whink 1% HF on my return, and once the enclosing laterite was removed, my take shrunk to 12 grams, with only one nugget over a gram, at 1.15 gram. The nugget had weighed 1.68 grams before, so that tells you how much laterite it had on it. It was worth the cleaning though, gorgeous little nuggets now, rather than the dirty lumps some started out to be. When you get to be my age it becomes obvious that life is all about the memories we create, and I will have very fond memories of this trip. JP and Tim were perfect hosts, and great detecting partners. I did not appreciate quite until now just how lucky I was with the weather, which really was perfect for days of wandering in WA. Even the travel, though overly long, went as well as I could hope for. The icing on the cake is I will return in just a couple weeks, to see parts of Australia I have never seen before, and to have another shot at finding some Aussie gold nuggets. Stay tuned for part 2 of this adventure, coming sometime in early November. Again, thank you JP and Tim, and best of luck on your continuing gold adventure! 12 grams of Aussie gold after cleaning, largest nugget upper left 1.15 grams
  5. I'm off to OZ on Sat to meet a fellow (but silent) forum member. Our plans included forum member Tony from Perth, but it seems he's been recalled halfway to the Goldfields. I won't actually get to the Goldfields until Wed which gives me about 3 weeks of detecting. I'm packing both the GPX 6000 and GPZ. I've got the new Coiltek 14x9 for the 6k and 3 XCoils for the Z. Looks like I'll miss NursePaul, he'll be about 300k further away. It's been tough to pack for this trip, airlines charge an extra $100 for a 2nd bag and the Skipper flight to the Goldfields charges $8.00 a lb for baggage over 35lbs. I've got the main checked bag down to 40lbs and my carryon at about 15 lbs. Bare minimums, 2 pr of underwear should be sufficient, amirite? I'm an old wildland firefighter, so 8 prs of merino wool hiking socks are a necessity. I don't want to travel halfway around the world and get caught up with blisters or a fungus on my feets. I'll check in periodically with some results and commentary on detector/coil selection. Tally Ho
  6. I arrived in Perth with all luggage intact. Caught the Skipper flight to Leonora and my ride was waiting. We pitched camp between Leonora and Leinster and hit a well detected patch. The 6k and 14x9 Coiltek were awesome at sniffing out some incredibly tiny gold. I had 15 crumbs just shy of 2 grams. My partner had an extra half day of detecting and pulled close to 4 grams. We packed up to head north for some 40e spots we had logged. Unfortunately, my partner sprained his detecting wing while loading the truck. We've holed up in the lodge in Leinster, hoping for some mending time, however; we got some pointy fingers from forum members Gone Bush and Dave D. Their guidance produced another couple grams in the poke and we're just getting started. We could not have organized this adventure without our Aussie prospecting brothers on this forum. Bravo Zulu to Tony in Perth for storing our gear and helping us at every step. Bravo Zulu to Gone Bush and Dave D, for unselfishly giving us the pointy fingers to productive areas us poor Yanks might never find. I'll get some photos and nugget weights out tomorrow. I hear the beer time bell at the pub across the street. Don't want to be late for beer time. See you fukkas soon.
  7. It rained for 4 days, got in a couple hrs detecting for about 1 gram. It stopped raining on Monday and I got in a full day for 7 grams, biggest 1.4 grams about 14 inches deep. Tue we did some exploring on some old leases, nothing but trash. We still got in half day back at the local patch for just shy of 4 grams, all crumbs. Yesterday a full day on the patch looking for deep targets. I got the lunker of the trip so far, 3 gram nugget close to 18 inches deep. Ended the day with 9 grams, the photo includes the half day finds. I would have to dig a moon crater without the 6000 for a pinpointer. The 17" Xcoil concentric is my go to for deep targets and it doesn't miss much of the fly specs either. We're packing up and moving 200 miles to some 40e ground today. We're hoping for an opportunity at bigger gold. The first photo of 14x9 coil in the dig hole was the 1.4 gram gram nugget. The 2nd with the scoop beside it was the 3 grammer. My photos always end up sideways from my phone, but you get the concept. So far I'm just over an oz for the trip. I have about 4 more detecting days left.
  8. This is a short one. We got a few hrs detecting in 2 days ago. I found 5 little crumbs before the rain came in. Rained all day yesterday and showing very little chance of letting up today. The tracks turn to mush so even if we could stay dry chances are we can't get out there. The atmospherics really give the detectors fits so it's bad luck all around. Sunshine should return on Mon, hopefully the tracks dry out quickly.
  9. Today finishes 1 week of detecting. We're still detecting the same patch and getting some gold every day. There are literally hundreds of dig holes on this patch, so we're trying to concentrate on deeper zones with the Xcoil Concentric. I ran the big 17" just as hot as I could in High Yield/Difficult. Fortunately, the Concentric runs pretty quiet in the hotrocks, but it's still a lot of audio to endure. I burned out after 6 hrs, but it was the most productive day so far. The tiny nuggets were killing me with pinpointing and hole size so after I had the hole opened up, I started using the 6000 as a pinpointer. The nuggets we're chasing are just out of range for the 6000. 1 more day on this patch then off to greener pastures. We're going to leave gold to find gold I think. 2 days of photos, I'm closing in on half oz. Biggest 1.87 gram
  10. A couple of weeks back I made a post about a seeded club hunt I attended. The next day a few of us left-overs went to find a Victorian era picnic ground to detect. While we think we had the right location, the area had been the site of much flooding over the years and was layered with huge amounts of overburden, debris, and modern trash. The only period thing found was a 1913 Wheat penny, so the group then desided to go to an 1800s railroad station site some miles away. When we arrived, the bulk of the group made a bee line to the foundation of the old depot building while I lagged behind. I figured this place had probably been hunted a lot over the years, so I decided to work the road less travelled and headed up an inclined area away from the pack. One of the guys yelled out that there was nothing where I was but trash and the good stuff was at the old depot foundation. I waved and kept scanning where I was. As I moved along I hit a few modern coins, but noticed the trash was getting older. Soon I was in an area with lots of old glass and started finding real old bullet cartidges. Soon after that it happened... I got a clear penny signal on the Deus II and there just under the surface was an old coin. Really old! I couldn't tell what it was at first, but as I gently wiped a century or more of caked dirt off the coin I could see the feathers of a headress. With a little more careful cleaning, I could just barely make out the date 1863. It was an old "Fatty" IHP and my first 1800s coin found in the wild! Needless to say I was ecstatic! I looked up and could see the rest of the gang scurrying around the depot area like ants on a piece of candy so I just stayed in my little area. I didn't find any more coins or even the the caliber of finds normally displayed on the forum, but I did find more old stuff that is cool to me. The guys did make some cool finds at the depot foundation including a Civil War era army coat sleeve button, a baggage tag with the name of the depot engraved, a Woodsmen Union pin, and a 1900s Wheat Penny, but I didn't get any photos of those. I also found this thing that I thought was more modern trash until I noticed It had a name "PAT.A" scratched into it. It could be a baggage tag I guess. My old sun baked IHP was the only 1800s coin found that day. Ironically, I found two 1863 IHPs at the seeded hunt the day before. I guess sometimes good things come in threes. 🙂
  11. 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
  12. Hey y'all, It's been a hot summer, haven't been posting much because most of my hunts have been run-of-the-mill, I'm just not finding a heck of a lot, and when I do it's kinda the same old stuff. Sadly all my current permissions are covered with crops, and I really haven't got round to finding any new ones. I do get out at least one day a week detecting anyway. 🙂 I went to my little beach one day and ran into the couple that owns a bit of adjoining beach, asked them if I could detect it. Turned out they were moving, and they said "since you've been so nice asking, have at it!" It's the 2 spaces beyond the chain. The next 2 are county property. Didn't find anything except this coin: It's solid brass with a plate attached, it's been in the river for a couple years, should last a long time. It has a plain mirror reverse: I got home and did a ton of research, it turns out it's a coin. This young man's father had 1200 made to memorialize him, he was a high school boy who went to a quarry, and was killed jumping in the water. It was all over the news here in 2019. You have to follow the hashtag as the web address is no longer valid. My dilemma was whether to return it to the family or who? Make a big deal of it or not? Someone tossed it in the Potomac, they have left them everywhere and all over the world. Great showing of respect for this young man whose life ended all too soon, 3 days before he graduated from high school. I thought about it for a couple of days, and finally returned it to the spot I found it. I think the person who put it there would have wanted that for their friend. 🙂 It is a beautiful spot.
  13. This is a true story regarding my find of an 1891 San Francisco dog license. My information was obtained through research at the Wil Di Magi National archives. In 1890 a larcenous scoundrel narrowly escaped being hung in Australia and fled to California to continue in his nefarious activities. when he came ashore in San Francisco He stole a families beloved dog. He proceeded to a northern sierra mining camp and advertised the dog for sale as a gold sniffing hound. He then stole a large gold nugget and slathered it with bacon grease and buried it near the camp. the next day he brought the dog out to demonstrate it to 47 eager buyers. he turned the dog loose and, sure enough, the dog went and dug up the nugget (which he then licked clean of bacon grease). There was an immediate bidding war for the amazing gold sniffing dog which sold for an astounding $152.75. The scoundrel from San Francisco couldn't help himself and started laughing at all the foolish prospectors and miners. but while he was laughing the dog disappeared, but soon returned with a huge nugget and gave it to it's new owner. the dogs owner was then offered $842.63 for the dog which he accepted. This same thing happened several more times throughout he coming days resulting in a very joyous, prosperous and happy mining camp, except for the scoundrel who returned to Australia and begged them to hang him. No one Knows what became of the famous gold sniffing dog though rumor has it that he became the leader of the (now extinct) Sierra Dingos. And there are those that claim to have one of his descendants, such as a dog named Wilson out of Reno Nevada one named Buddy near Oakly, California, one named Rooster from the North East Sierras but the only convincing one is an dog named Danny, owned by me and not for sale. The only known photo of the famous gold sniffing hound taken in 1896
  14. I've been scatter shot prospecting in the Rockies on my ATV, 20-40 mph winds constant. Normally 50 degree is my ideal prospecting temperature, but in winds like this it can be uncomfortable. It's a struggle to hear signals even in headphones in this kind of wind, but doable. There is very little written mining history, and not much geologic mapping and reports available in this area. This is one of long list of places closer to home which I've spent over a decade researching and compiling information on, to explore during free times like this when work and health aren't preventing me from going to the field and it's too hot to prospect down south. In most cases, my coil is the first to touch the ground here, so where there is gold around, it's almost all very easy targets. The ground is pretty mild here too for the most part, just how I like it. Auto+, easy sailing. Locate gold bearing areas, move on to the next. Quick, tactical prospecting...bring the 15" concentric X Coil on the GPZ in later when I want to find the deeper (and conceivably larger) pieces in the deeper soil. This is the type of prospecting and exploration I truly love. And finally I have a machine in the 6000 that makes it easy - no rig up/rig down time. I can drive my ATV until I see good topography and gravels, be detecting in 15 seconds, then throw the detector back on the rifle rack and be moving on within seconds again, until I see somewhere else favorable looking and do it over. My dog thinks I am reaching for beef jerky whenever I set my detector down. He wasn't too happy to see a camera instead. I got him in 2012 and he has been on every single detecting and dredging trip I've ever taken since then. If he can't go, I don't go. Meanwhile, I've yet to convince any of my non-prospector friends to come out with me even once! Some of these cracks in the bedrock hide nuggets. But sometimes they are just hanging out in the grass roots, or in the soil right near surface too. 25 for the day (one is hiding, mostly covered by the wide boy). I like when things work out with nice numbers, so I chose to stop at a pleasing place. I also think this is the most nuggets I've found in one day, so it's easy to remember. There are many more left, but the gold isn't as important as showing an spot is gold bearing in general to me. I found a few patterns. Have a few theories. My understanding of the area is increasing. Have a bunch more spots to investigate and then I can start searching for the lode sources. A trash shot for Simon so he doesn't feel alone in digging the bird shot. Definitely a few more trash targets than nuggets, but was close to 1-1. Can't complain there. On the subject of trash targets, one thing I would like to see improved on the 6000 or whatever it's successor is, is a faster recovery time. I'm finding it quite difficult to use in trash, especially shallow trash, due to how hard it hits, and then stays "hitting" long after the coil has moved away. In places with lots of shotgun pellets or tinslaw bits, this can make it quite difficult to try to work through the trashy spots. And separately, while I mentioned it in another thread, I really do feel like there is some "bogging" down happening in the electronics at random times that is causing me to not just miss targets in my scoop, but in the ground too. Unless it really just is so directionally sensitive that being off on a swing by a few degrees is the difference between hearing a target and not. Anyways, no product is perfect, and I'm glad to finally have a lightweight, quick machine to use with almost no rig up/rig down time. I got close to having this with the GPZ and 8" X Coil, which thankfully showed up at the perfect time to save my elbow from further damage and I'm very thankful for, but the 6000 just is one level quicker still and requires less "stuff" to tote around, so it's my main machine. I do feel the 8" X Coil does better in heavy salt still though, and the 15"/17" concentrics blow the 6000 out of the water when it comes to depth, bar none. I'd sell my GPZ and just stick with the 6000 if it wasn't for those two coils.
  15. While we all totally lose the plot when it comes the new Garrett Axiom, let's pause for a moment, take a step back and think about safety for a bit. You do NOT need to be a pilot to file a flight plan with a trusted and reliable friend. I'm headed to this general area, if I'm not back by such and such a time or you have not heard from me/can't reach me, send help. And if you aren't able to be back at that time because something happened.. do NOT leave that zone you told him/her you'd be at, plant your butt and wait, no one wants to be trying to find you cus you've moved.... and please, no "Oh I have a cell phone or a SPOT"... tell a friend so we can come help..... the life you save may be your own (when you're eventually found cus you didn't stay put, and your wife kicks your donkey). PS: If you're a loner and don't have anyone you can trust or a partner/wife etc.... make a deal with your local prospecting shop to file a flight plan with them, or the local search & rescue group. They'd rather have you as an alive repeat customer than a dead non repeat and the S&R folks would rather not have to come look for you and risk their lives so tell someone.... If you still can't find someone, reach out to your local Amateur radio community (most areas have a Ham Radio club), most of us also work in Search & Rescue and/or also work with local law enforcement, you'll find someone that doesn't mind the simple ask of putting a timer on their phone to make sure you've made it home ok..... Remember, you can just say you're going hiking, no one needs to know that you're some retired Marine from Boise who got lost in Rye Patch on the backside of Sawtooth cus your pockets were weighed down with Axiom nuggets and you refused to leave any behind on the crawl back to the truck. Jen
  16. Apologies but this is long! I seriously contemplated something like Klunkers 1000 word essay! 🤣 After 4 re-scheduled attempts last year that were all thwarted for travel restriction reasons, the W.A trip finally happened earlier this month. The trip was with my brother-in-law (we’ll call him Bill (for Brother-In-Law)) who lives in Perth and has been doing some prospecting himself over the past 2-3 years for some decent success. Flew from Melbourne to Perth, stayed one night at Bill’s place and then left at sparrow’s fart for the 9 hour drive to a super secret location somewhere near Meekatharra. The plan was to prospect 2 locations for a few days where his research suggested there might be some detectable gold and then, depending on success or otherwise, move down to his ‘patch’ where he has had most of his success. He found his patch earlier last year and over the past 12 months he and and a few friends in Perth had gathered nearly 500 grams of gold from it. Biggest piece being just shy of 9 ounces. Bill had organised access to stations, access to some live tenements via agreements and access to some pending ground. All up, we had about 5 rough locations that we were able to hunt and he knew would keep us busy for the 10 days we were out and about. Very thankful to Bill for organising everything as the W.A. system is a little complex for a newbie running a fly in/fly out, hit and run mission. All tenements and areas that we were allowed to utilise were loaded into the Trilobite Solutions Geology Travel maps and this would prove invaluable over the next 10 days making sure I stayed where I was supposed to be, logging prospecting walks that we did, logging finds, logging dry blow piles, etc. It is a great little app (for Australia and Canada). After a smooth run on both black top and good dirt roads we rolled into what was to be the first night’s camp at about 4 p.m. The camper trailer and swag were set out and the detectors were fired up. After such a lengthy build up to the trip we were finally into it! Bill wandered reasonably close to camp and I wandered a little further off. After 45 mins or so and a few short bursts of detecting I found my first little bit of W.A. gold. Easily a sub-grammer but it was a start - and day 1 was not a skunk! Couldn’t find anything more in a close area around that first piece and headed back to where Bill was as it was getting close to dark. He had found 2 small pieces and had another 3 signals marked for me to check with the 6000 (he was running a 7000 with stock 14” coil). I could hear 2 signals and felt the other was ground noise. He dug them up - 1 gold, 1 trash and 1 ground signal. Bill went off to start a fire and said for me to have another quick look around close to camp before it was really dark. Headed 30 metres west of where we had chatted and found a signal just down slope of an iron stone band. Another sub-gram piece of gold. Again, nothing more in a close area around it and started heading back to camp. On the uphill side of the iron stone got another signal - another sub-gram piece. This was quickly followed by 4 more sub-gram pieces and a signal left in the ground as now it was proper dark. Considering we arrived at this spot not knowing if we would find anything, it was a welcome start. Day 2 was, as all of them were, a start before sunrise. Straight back to the signal that was left un-dug the night before - gold. And day 2 was not a skunk! Bill left me to it and headed south from camp as my little patch turned into an approx 21 gram day for me. All little bits but the first 24 hours pretty much had my trip cost covered - everything from here on in was pure cream! Bill had also found himself a little patch with larger pieces but a lower total weight. I think about 7 grams was his biggest bit and total weight was approx 16 grams. Bill even ran the 19” coil on the GPZ 7000 over this area as it was flat and open but he could not eke out anything further. Day 3 saw a final clean-up of my little patch for a few grams (and day 3 was not a skunk!) and then several kilometres of walking, detecting, searching for new ground. We walked separately but the end result was zero. Bill had felt that if we were to find anything at that particular location it would have been quite concentrated - and he was right! Both small patches were barely 40 metres from camp. About mid-afternoon we felt the area had played out and we would be best served to head to the next prospect, set camp, have a quick search and then have a proper look the following day. The day ended with a new camp ground, no gold from a quick 30 minute look and a nice meal around the fire. Day 4 was a big day of walking. Again we targeted a concentrated area to begin with but when this proved fruitless the search was markedly widened. I headed east several kilometres and Bill headed north. The country is mostly devoid of low ground cover with the main vegetation being low shrubs and the occasional larger but stunted tree. It is a harsh environment of black rocks, red dirt, some areas littered with quartz and very, very little water. Something that amazed me for the whole trip were the dry blow piles that are assumed to be around 100-120 years old. They are barely noticeable in some areas due to their age but once Bill had shown me what to look for they were easier to spy. The sheer number of piles over a vast area is testament to the hard work those old boys did in such a harsh environment. Unfortunately location number 2 proved completely barren for any detectable yellow and we made the decision to cut the losses and move to ‘the patch’ that I had heard so much about. I guess sometimes it is hard to stay away from an area that has provided some good colour in the recent past. A couple of hours before dark allowed a little look around at where previous pieces were found, the lie of the land, a quick detect and the formulation of a plan for tomorrow. The evening detect found a couple of small sub-grammers for me and 2 just over a gram for Bill. Day 4 - no skunk! Day 5 saw Bill head north and myself head east for what was probably my biggest walking day. The plan was to spend the morning prospecting and if no success, to spend the afternoon around the ‘patch’ trying to avoid a dot day. Saw some good ground with the type of geology we were looking for. At likely areas I would set the detector and zig-zag slowly across and up a slope and sometimes check a small drainage or two. Very, very little rubbish in these areas which is a pleasant change to the usual Victorian rubbish areas. But on that day, also no prospecting gold. For all of the prospecting and some of the cleaning up thus far into the trip, the 17” had been the main choice of coil for the GPX 6000. It provided great area coverage when out prospecting and also allowed a decent area to be covered when going over old ground, with the hope of a deeper piece than the 11 might provide - although I am not sure if the depth advantage is that great. The afternoon again saw some hunting around the patch and a few small pieces coming from under bushes that hadn’t been searched quite so well or were just outside of the intensely searched area. Most under a gram but a few sneaking over. Later in the day I decided to put the 11” coil on to finish the day with a lighter machine and really scrub out an area in the middle of Bill’s patch. The plan was to see if there were pieces the 7000 had simply missed due to the different technology and coil sizes. A few small pieces popped their head above the threshold noise but honestly, not as many as I had thought. The move to the 11” coil also dulled out most of the conductive ground signal that had been coming through on the 17”. It wasn’t terrible with the 17” but the smaller coil certainly improved things. And day 5 was not a skunk 🙂 Day 6 brought about a different plan. I chose to finish off the scrubbing area that I started the evening before and Bill hooked up the 19” coil to look for some deeper nuggets and play with some settings. One was more successful than the other! Covering an area of approx 10 X 20 metres really thoroughly with the 11” I had marked 4 targets that were all soft. I felt 1 was probably ground noise but the others seemed like definite signals, although quiet. By this time Bill had ditched the 19’ coil due to no joy and came across to check my targets with the 14”. Bill really felt that he had scrounged every piece of gold out of his patch that the GPZ 7000 was capable of finding so he was keen to cross reference any targets that the GPX 6000 found. Bill felt the same as myself - 1 X ground noise, 2 X targets (very soft) and 1 that he could not hear at all. The 2 that he felt were likely targets were very soft and the area over the signals had just had the layer of small iron stones and quartz brushed off it - probably allowed his coil to be 1/2 an inch closer to the target than mine had been when first heard. Target 1 - ground noise. Target 2 and 3 - small pieces of gold. Target 4 - you beauty! This was a target that Bill’s GPZ could just hear and after taking 3-4 inches off it brightened with the GPX 6000. Another few inches and it brightened again. Was surprised that we had not actually dug the target out at this stage as it very much sounded like a small, shallow target on first detection. Another few inches and the detector was starting to really ramp up and we knew we were onto something decent. At over a foot deep the GPX 6000 was screaming in the hole and we moved to the Profind 35 and a little more delicate pick work and a broader area of excavation. Slowly, slowly dirt was removed and a final clump of ‘Kinder Surprise’ was removed from the hole. Bill broke it all up carefully and popped out the roughest, prickliest little personal best piece of gold that I have seen. A bit over 16 grams once properly cleaned at home and a few days in acid. A quick check of the hole revealed a further target which ended up being another very prickly but much smaller piece. Bill was excited by the really prickly nature of the pieces and was wondering what else might be in the vicinity, either slightly out from those pieces or slightly deeper. With some fairly decent enthusiasm he started to excavate an area approx 6 feet across and about 1.5 feet deep. The funny thing about this area is that it is not the real, hard pack ground that you might expect. It is actually reasonably soft digging once through the first inch or so with lots of rocks amongst soft, fine, red dirt. A swing around in the excavated hole provided a grand response of…zero targets. Bill is going to mull over that prickly piece and his whole patch for quite some time. He is thinking a dry blower might be useful but this requires a new type of application through the mines dept which may just not be worth it. The days start to blend a bit at this point but I think the day was finished with scrubbing and very little further gold. Oh well, it was still memorable for what ended up being the biggest and most unusual piece of the trip. Day 7 will be remembered for a long time to come… The day started with a combined walk south from camp to an area that had some adjoining rock structures that we thought was worth a look. About a kilometre from camp we split up with Bill wandering off a little further and myself starting at a small drainage. Moving about 20 metres downstream from where we had split, the GPX 6000 was fired up with the 17” attached, a step was taken and…bbeeeeeooooWWWWW. “Must be rubbish” I thought to myself as I scraped a few loose upper level rocks from the wash. Checked again and it hadn’t moved, scraped a few more inches and the target was moved. Definitely rubbish. Except that it wasn’t! 😀 A nice, solid, golden little ‘colour’ with some iron stone inclusions. Maybe 5 grams. “Hey Bill! You still nearby?” Well, Bill had moved off a little and with headphones on he only just heard me. Perhaps it would have been better if he hadn’t? 🤔 🤣 “What’s up?” was the reply. “You better come back here”. Bill came back expectantly and I showed him the prize. You beauty! We made a game plan of him moving upstream in the wash far enough that the detectors wouldn’t interfere with each other - maybe 25 metres. As he briskly took off I put the approx 5 gram piece (ended up just over 6 when weighed) in the keeper bottle, grabbed the GPX turned to start detecting and…bbeeeeeoooWWWWW. What the…? Another piece of gold! This time a larger surface area but really thin piece - about 2 grams. Bill’s readying up got a little quicker. Gold in the bottle, grabbed the detector moved 1 step…yep, you guessed it, gold!! Well, suffice to say that the next hour or so was a blur of digging targets, moving wider to try and get an idea of the area to be worked and stopping frequently to dig another target. Somewhere in that hour Bill dug his largest target for the trip - a 14 gram reefy bit with a nice solid backbone. Also during this time some idiot (currently typing a trip report) made a dumb comment in excitement of something like “We’ve got 4 days to clean up this patch”. Well, in 24 hours the smoke had cleared and we holstered our weapons. The patch was beaten. 55 grams was the total from an area of about 30 metres X 50 metres. The odd thing was that many pieces were reefy and were found really close to each other and most were about 5 metres out of the wash. The others were quite rounded and found in that 5-50 metre range from the reefy bits. We assume a large column of reef, broken down in stages with the earlier shed pieces moving a little and the later shed pieces having moved very, very little. And the reefy pieces were thin, really thin and like nothing that Bill has seen in that area before. So, the new patch took us through until about lunchtime on day 8, we scouted out for about another kilometre, detecting as we went but could not find ground that looked right or that brought up a target. It also took us to the limits of the tenement that we were allowed on. Bill had some other spots he wanted to try on the way home so we made the decision to pack up camp and hit the road. Moving a few hours further south would also cut some time off the final return trip to Perth. A full 9 hour trip and the end of some long days was not something either of us wanted. I can make the last bit short. Some further scouting at a location about an hour south proved fruitless and further detecting and an overnight camp another hour south only showed up 1 small piece on an area that Bill had previously found some multi gram pieces. About 4 p.m. on our last day the sky looked a little ominous and the last thing we wanted to do was pack up a wet camp in the morning. It meant that we probably lost 3-4 hours of detecting in the morn but we packed up camp and high-tailed it back to Perth, arriving just shy of midnight. With a total of 78 grams for me for the trip I was super happy. My goal had been to at least pay for the trip and that was covered many times over. Bill got 46 grams for his troubles. His goal for each of his trips is 5 grams per day. The distance he has to cover, time away from family, etc, means that he really sets a decent goal to make his trips worthwhile and well and truly pay for themselves as well. Being able to halve fuel costs with another person makes covering trip costs that little bit easier. A huge thank you has to go to my brother-in-law. Without his vehicle, knowledge of the areas we went, research he had put in prior to the trip, preparation with food, provision of bedding/sat phone/camp kitchen/EPIRB, etc, etc, etc, the trip would either have simply not been possible or at least would have been much, much more of a headache for me. And also not likely anywhere near as successful. Planning has most definitely started for next year 😀
  17. I wish I'd have filmed it. I went to the river with my family this afternoon. I specifically picked a beach that I knew would be heavily populated, so I could do a little jewelry hunting, while the family enjoyed the water. The river was indeed VERY busy. I was making my way around the shoreline when a gentleman spoke up, and said he had lost a wedding band the week before. He said this mostly in jest. I asked him where exactly he lost it, and he pointed to the opposite end of the river (A deeper area, probably 6-8ft). I told him if I came across it I'd return it to him. I didn't really feal like being fully submerged; I get real cold, real fast. The knowledge that a ring was possibly just sitting there was too much to bear. I knew, what I was looking for (A large black tungsten ring), and I knew where to look. I made my way over to the deep end. The water was up to my neck, with a slow current. I put my equinox into Field 1. Im usually looking for gold jewelry, and run in Park 2. I figured Field 1 would sound off better on tungsten, but honestly wasn't completely sure. My first couple targets were trash (pulltabs, and metal flakes) My third, or fourth target came threw loud, with a 10-11 on the VDI. I knew 10-11 was exactly the number I was looking for (My previous tungsten rings have all came threw in that range). I took a deep breath, and went under. I had no goggles, but I had my pinpointer. I released all my breath underwater so I'd sink, and with my pinpointer under my right thumb, I began to grab handfuls of river bottom, waiting for the vibration to follow the pinpointer into my hand. This lets me know I have the target. The ring was only an inch or so, and it only took one attempt to get a handful of river bottom with the target inside. I surfaced, and stared at my hand, waiting for the ability to see what I had. There it was, a large black tungsten ring. I made my way back to the family, and asked the man's wife where her husband had gone "he went to the bathroom", she said. I told her, I found her husband's ring, and, victoriously held it up. The wife, and various onlookers were astonished. I was so excited, not only to get the target, but to be able to return it. I ran into the husband on the way to tell my wife, and let him know. It took a little bit to convince him, but I assured him I was serious. He told me it was a 700$ ring that he used in place of his nicer band while at work. He offered to pay, but I couldn't accept. I finally know the feeling of retrieving, and returning a wedding band, and it was just as good as finding a keeper.
  18. Just canceled my prospecting trip to meet up with my buddy in AZ. due to the price of diesel fuel at $5.35 per ( 1200 mile round trip ) and still expected to go up more. Been planning this trip for months. I bet there will be lots of folks that will change travel plans this year.
  19. I lost my dad a couple of years ago and this is my second Father's day without having the chance to say I love him so I've been in a funk as today approached. The other part of my funk is my own kids are 1200 and 3000 miles away and I get to see them next to never due to one's career in the Air Force and the other who flies for Delta. So with that in mind I got a chance today to get up off my pity party butt and get out there and do something nice for someone. I got a text late last night (Saturday) from a young lady who had lost her diamond engagement ring somewhere on the beach at Rincon Beach Park. She told me that she has only had it for 3 weeks and after waiting 9 years for her boyfriend to finally ask her she goes and loses it. We needed to hit low tide so I agreed to meet her at 7am. Rincon beach is popular for surfers due to it's sweet break around the point where if you catch it right you can get an awesome ride. The tide pools though are just below the surface so it requires skill to just get out to the break! Ashley and her friends were just in front of the houses when a sneaker wave came in and as fate would have it she had just taken her ring off to put sunscreen on and so she gathered up her towel and pulled everything up and away. Logic would lead you, me and her to think the ring fell out right there and I could swoop in and save the day in less than a minute. If there is one thing I have learned in finding folks rings is that the logical place is usually not where the ring is at and today that was the case. I gridded a basketball size court area and came up empty. There was a secondary location 100 yards away that she and her friends retreated to with all their belongings and so I began to search a path from point A to point B. Ashley was beginning to have doubts and I reassured her the ring wasn't lost, it was here on the beach and that we just had to find it. I began to envision the scenario in which it was dropped. She had gathered up her towel and the ring in it, dragging an ice chest to the new location in the dry sand around the corner. I finally got the sweet pitch tone on my D2 and a 42 and I figured this had to be it and then bingo, this beauty was in my scoop. Needless to say I quit feeling the funk and realized that Father's Day was/is the perfect day to do something nice for someone else which is what a Dad does. It was a great reminder that we are to be selfless and put others first. Ashley was crying and man oh man, what a great moment it was. I tried to film it with my new camera but having my hat on made the sky look great but nothing else LOL. I retired last week so I have plenty of time to figure that camera out. Happy Father's Day to everyone and do what you do best! Just being a dad who is there! Dave
  20. Last weekend I had an opportunity to go on a club outing to an old mining ghost town site on private land. We had a hunt last spring at a different ghost town, which was my first, and this would be my second. I took the Deus II to test out and the Equinox, which performed well at my first ghost town hunt, as a backup. I had high hopes of doing a little better in the iron and nail infested ground since the Deus detectors are supposed to excel in iron. I used the Relic program mainly and did some checking with the Park and General programs and ran with Notch at 00-00, IAR at 2, Reactivity at 1-2, Iron Volume at 3, and Sensitivity at 96. I was prepared for the audio onslaught of the rapid fire iron and falsing tones, but was amazed at the stability of the Deus. The ground was bone dry from the long drought and iron tones were plentiful but managable and non ferrous tones rang out loud and clear. At about an hour into the hunt, I was learning to recognize the iron falses and nail tones from good tones. And then I hit a very recognizable penny tone and VID at 86. There were a lot of iron sounds mixed in as well but the 86 kept popping through. I imagined it was a large nail or big iron false but since I was investigating all targets, I had to dig it. When I opended the hole, I found a handful of nails, a piece of thin iron strapping and laying among the clutter was an unmistakable penny shape. My first thought was how did a Zincoln get down that deep? When I pulled it out, I was looking at a 1911 Wheat penny! I couldn't believe it. That was the oldest coin I have found in my 2 years of detecting in Colorado so I was pretty excited. The next day we were out at the site for a few more hours. I had been all over the place the day before like a dog looking for a bone, but decided to go back and work the area where I found the wheat penny and then it happened. I was almost hypnotized by the constant low hum of iron when an unfamiliar but solid 50 popped through. I thought it might be another button or piece of jewelry or something and then I saw something amazing in the hole! Another first for me! I know these things may seem trivial to you more experienced detectorists, but but this is like the Holy Grail to me. I never expected to be able to find something like this and now I feel like I actually can. More than that, I feel a little more like I'm one of you. I must say I am even more happy with the D2 as I learn it more and I believe it's good reputation in iron is well deserved.
  21. This is a special thread I am starting. It is my story up to now at our claims & Jed's dig site. The gold strike was a real event in 1936 and the exploration following over time is covered in the book. Here I want to convey my own experiences and adventures at The Whiskey Jack Mine and claims. I have kept my own journal concerning activities and events there. It is not a day to day and some of it is written after the fact from my recollections. It starts in 2012 and may give some hopeful prospectors and miners an insite into gold exploration and the ups and downs associated with it. I hope you will enjoy it. Cheers - G.M.
  22. Sorry, another corny title 🤣 I went back to the field where I dug the half-half real a couple of days ago. It was a cool and fairly windless day, I wanted to see what else was there. Up by the highway there are power lines and huge transformers, my poor Equinox would suffer greatly near the road, so I brought the Deus 2 again. Even the Deus was affected slightly the closer I got to the road, but that's where all the beer cans, foil and slaw are. About 30 feet in things improve greatly. Despite the slight EMI the Deus can lock onto a target with little effort. This is a small field so I figured 7-8 hours would cover it. It's wide near the highway but curves off to a small field off to the left. I want to show y'all a really cool seat you can strap around your waist so you can take a break without ticks or chiggers getting you on the ground, I've seen Chase with one and my fabulous wife gave me this one: It's about 2" thick, and the size of a Frisbee, maybe 10" in diameter. You pop it open and twist it slightly and it will hold 300 lbs! Great if you need a break in a big field. I walked all over this field and got a handful of relics: Most of this stuff is very old. From top left, a rein guide, it is cast with figuring on it, some part of fancy horse tack, a small brass triangular object, 7 buttons. The buttons range from a large Dandy to two Tombacs, 3 breech buttons, and what may be part of a 2 piece, it has a star like design with possible silver plating in the crevices. A boss of some kind, a large lead ball with a hole in it, spectacle buckle, 4 lead objects that are mostly rifle/pistol/buck and a lead bag seal. The third brass knob I've found here, and some sort of threaded brass finial. The Dandy also has silvered highlights: It appears to have 12 sides, but it's very indistinct. One of the Tombacs is highly figured as well and sadly broken: And the oldest find of the day was this spectacle buckle, it was about 8" deep. They date back to the 1650s. I got 3 coins today, a 1970 and 1974 memorial, and a 1909 wheat that I can't make out much else on. 😵 Finds to trash was great today, I'm really getting used to the "tonal nuances" of the Deus 2, and able to distinguish most deep iron falsing. A small amount of iron, buck balls and other junk.
  23. This is Day 2 of my trip to Nevada with Steve and Steve. On day 2 after having some gold in the poke we decided to pull out the VLF's for a while in the trash to see what we could find. The Legend was running version 1.06 which I later found out had issues and noticed the machine was running kind of funky at times. But still managed to pull a small nugget with it. Wasn't long before I went back to the GPX 6000. Love that machine, never thought I would own one but now that I've used one I think I'm going to have to get it.
  24. Rye Patch, Nevada. It’s the place so many prospectors dream about the chevron golden riches and yet so few actually succeed. The openness of the RP desolate dry desert has it’s own natural beauty with some amazing features when you pay attention. Yet at the same time the exact site poses the most unexpected of weathers, frustrations and or failures. In reality, Rye Patch area is a love/hate relationship for many. My Field Staff and I recently returned from our 1st of three Rye Patch Nevada Field Training/Camping Adventures. The 3 day weekend (Friday – Sunday) was surrounded by like minded folks who want to learn their gold detectors and how to be most proficient. Class size was subject by the amount of Staff I had present and we had to keep 3 eager students per Field Expert. Here’s a run down of how our 3 days unfolded and the knowledge shared/gained by all attending. Getting to RP is actually quite easy (if you are prepared for the unexpected) and one of the main reasons I prefer to train there is location. It’s kind of centrally located for the most of folks attending as many of the customers are coming from CA, OR, NV, ID and WA all though I have had customers from all over the world. Sacramento, CA and surrounding cities are an easy half day drive. Las Vegas, NV and Eugene, OR are both about 8 hrs. Salt Lake City is approx. 6 hrs and my home of Boise, ID is jus under 6 hrs drive as well. So many people from larger metro areas of surrounds states can all do RP in a day. We always have the few exceptions of distance folks and for this trip was Loren from Gig Harbor, WA., Steve from Zortman, MT., Mike/Sally and Maria from Colorado. The latter travelers had 11 hrs drive to the RP oasis. If you are prepared? This is part of the complete Northern Nevada eco system that makes it so adventurous in good/bad ways. In my 25 yrs of pointing folks to RP and Northern NV., I try to help get them prepared before they leave their home and start the trek to my stomping grounds. I have detailed directions, list of things needed and what to prepare for and or expect. It seems a good part of the class listen wisely and take proper protocol and then there are the few who enjoy winging it. Yes the thrill of “spare of the moment, off the cuff, just go do it”, is kind of exciting in a way, but at the same time could be a relationship nightmare. Actually the latter is very true as I’ve witnessed a few spats or a dozen in my times. I’m assuming part of the party was shared my notes of knowledge and then part of the family was not? Hazards of RP- Holy flat tires. Yes some folks will get one, a few maybe 2 and on a rare occasion you become the tire changing king. Just ask Steve who drove from MT. I passed him along the main road below camp coming in that Thursday evening. I could see a rig attached to a camp trailer pulled off the side and figured it was another of my students. Sure enough, as I inch up closer (don’t want to cover him with desert dust – fine tan power that ends up in every crack and crevice of our truck, campers, electronics, and even orifice of the body) I can see a flat tire on the trailer. I introduce myself while checking the scene and after affirming my hunch of it being one of my students. I calmly ask if he took heed of my tips for the trip notes. In it is, “please carry 2 spares, a jack and know how to change a tire”. Yes, Steve said and then went on to inform me that was flat #4. That’s right folks, Steve was changing the 4th flat tire and he had not even reached the class site yet. To be fair, he was only 2 miles away though. Yes, Steve is a Tire Flat Fixing King. His wife who was sitting in the passenger seat of the truck, I can only imagine….what a fun and exciting trip this is.. Hats off to Ma’am. The hazards of RP vary as much as the temps from day to night with occasional bigger swing than most realize. We started off Friday morning around calm 40 degrees and sunny. Heck one of the students was in shorts already. The noon break showed the high desert sun was more than a few expected as we were slapping the sun screen on cheek bones, legs, arms and nose tips. By that afternoon the temps reached 80 degrees and a cool water was a must. Come Saturday morning and we had a change of heart and 27 degrees with 20 to 25 mph winds and gusts of 35. No bear skin that day and all desire of a cool drink were denied while we looked for hats, scarfs, gloves and warm coffee. I realized 3 rigs had those fancy tents that come off the back of your trucks and all were near by that 1st Friday night and Saturday morning. But on Saturday evening not a one of them was near? Probably pretty wise, as the 19 degree morning on Sunday was a tough one for us. Snot rags, chapped lips and chattering teeth was the norm Sunday morning and all I can say is we were lucky the winds were not around to make it even worse. Around noon things turned to decent and the folks started to enjoy themselves in the NV desert again. We have no control over the weather so when I pick dates many months in advance and customers sign up to lock in those dates, we just have to go with the flow. Now for some smiles, a little gold and the fun. Of the 12 folks who were hanging around the class and learning what my Staff/I had to offer, all but 3 went home with a Rye Patch nugget (piece of gold). Yea I realize some of them were little picker nuggets, but to go home with gold is much better than going home with no gold. I make sure everyone realizes the purpose of the class is education and to not expect gold. If it happens, then you are doing things right and it goes to show you paid attention. The big winners of the weekend were the girls who attended the class. 3 ladies and all 3 dug gold. Sally was the Big Nugget Winner with a stunning 8.6 gram slug of gold. Her GPZ-7000 had no issues smacking that one about 10” down. We tested the GPX-6000’s and they screamed “Golden Glory” at the top of their lungs as well. On a side note, this is the biggest nugget to be unearthed during a training session in at least 5 yrs. Well done Sally and I heard the 2 of you ended up with over a dozen by the time your trip was over. Local lady Diane (below) from Winnemucca was on her A game over the weekend and her 3 nuggets proved she had the proper coil control down. Diane saved the best for last and the nicer nugget of about 1.5 gram. The last day Maria (below) from CO was able to pull a decent nugget at depth nearing 10”. Funny thing was the GPZ-7000’s had issues with this nugget and gave a goofy wishy washy response while the 6000 was smooth a s butter clear and clean. The lone GPX-5000 had not chance on the target until we were much deeper in the dig. No VLF machines could hear it as expected. Some of the other students with their 1st gold of the trip, a couple 1st gold ever and so they were all smiles. I too was able to pop my cherry for 1st gold of 2022 and of course as expected it came from Rye Patch. Steve (above) from MT was able to ease the pain of his pocket from 4 flats after he scored this chunky nugget. Andrew (above) from CA is proud of his GPZ-7000 nugget. I know more will be coming his way. Boyd (above) from Oregon was quite relieved when on Sunday morning he popped the GPX-6000 cherry. Loren (below) from WA hits a nice triangle piece at RP with his 6000. Randy (above) is proud to show off his 2 ounces of NV gold he uncovered with is GPX-6000 in less than a yr. He came to my class last Fall and has been scooping gold ever since. Another ounce (probably only take him a few more weeks) and he'll have his GPX-6000 paid for. Spencer (below) thinks the buggy can go anywhere. That mud hole is the only thing left of Rye Patch Reservoir which happens to be the lowest I've ever seen in my 25 yrs. . Sorry I did not get pics of George from Idaho and his gold with his GPX-6000 as I know he found at least 3. The overall results were as expected. The GPX-6000’s found the most pieces of gold. A couple of the small nuggets at depth, the GPZ-7000 did not hear at all. The old school and proven many years over GPX-5000 did not score gold, but was able to pop a strong signal at depth over the 8.6 gram slug Sally found. The lone VLF had issues with the moisture and many times we could not get an exact ground balance on it. Plus, it was running the larger 11” round coil when in fact I would have preferred the operator to use a smaller 6” coil to up his odds. Moral of the story on the detectors for Rye Patch is not going to be the same for other areas in NV or even for sites the customers themselves may be detecting in their states as each site varies. But as I new would happen for RP, is the GPX-6000 is the bread winner and will continue to be the nugget collector of machines for the near future. Yes the GPZ-7000 can still find gold at RP for those are on their A game and know the area, but when comparing signal after signal and target after target, the GPX-6000 walks away quite easily. A prime example of this is Mike/Sally from CO. They own both and swing both each day trading off machine the next. Mike’s comment to me was the GPX-6000 scores 4 or 5 nuggets to 1 on the GPZ-7000. Happy Hunting folks and we look forward to another eventful and fun filled session coming up in June.
  25. Well, my first wintering in Arizona hunting gold has come to an end and this past Monday I headed back to Montana to hunt gold in the next goldfield- Radersburg, Montana. Gold Basin was very tough finding gold consistently and the decision to move twenty something miles to Meadview was good and productive. Will I go back next winter? Perhaps, if the money from gold I find up to this September or October is productive enough. Living out of my small Tacoma and a bell tent in Arizona deserts next to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon was challenging and difficult at times thanks to high winds on a regular basis. The gold under my coil happened alot more frequently at Meadview. New strategies I thought up and employed proved very effective and it is now proving effective the very first day detecting at Radersburg with one beauty of a nugget at 10"-11" deep resting on bedrock. My first day at Radersburg was spent getting camp set up and my stove put in place in my bell tent, then going into town to get a months worth of supplies to hunker down and start detecting. After an incident in Meadview at one of the GSSN claims, a nervous looking guy trying to intemidate me with a pistol at a patch of nuggets I had just found, I decided to get a pistol. My choice was a Taurus Judge 45 Long Colt/410. Finding ammo for it is proving difficult. My gold finds at Meadview came on strong and stayed that way till my last day of detecting the evening before I left for Montana. My gold tally was 50 nuggets and a total weight of 16.47 grams. Not too bad for first hunt in Arizona in an area absolutely pounded to death for decades. Detecting at Radersburg is going to be a little slower recovering targets as you cannot conduct a boot scrape due to prairie grass and lichen root systems covering the ground everywhere. Bedrock is shallow and I will most definitely seek out areas where the bedrock is between 1 foot to 2 feet deep as I now know the Gpx 6000 has no problem hitting on gold at these depths. The second from the last day in Arizona I swung the 17" coil over the top of a gravel bar behind a bush in the middle of a wash and I got a faint low elongated growl that was totally different from all other signals I have gotten with the wild six. It was constantly repeatable so I dug and pulled up a .63 of a gram nugget at 15" deep. I measured the hole with a tape measure and this knowledge amazed me. The next day I completely removed a foot of overburden on the gravel bar and hit another nugget weighing .4 of a gram a foot to two feet away directly behind the bush. The last nugget, number 50 was a bitter sweet way to hit my goal of 50 nuggets with a 1.1 gram nugget at a foot deep. Yesterday being my first day detecting at Radersburg ever, started out slow with nothing but bits of iron and bullets. I took a few hours off to eat lunch and cut a tree down to feed my cylinder wood stove in my tent for the coming chilly weather still lingering. I then went out for a late afternoon hunt and hit on a .67 of a gram beauty of a nugget. Nice way to start the next month and a half off at hunting for gold full time. Every day my mind is saying you gotta produce, you gotta produce, and you would think that would take the fun out of detecting for gold but that is not the case. Every day as it comes and goes is just as exciting swinging for gold for a living, and living every day without the stress of having to run the mouse wheel to stay afloat in today's society, with rent/ mortgage and other bills. My Jackery 1000 and my Iceco 60 Ltr fridge/freezer is running flawlessly and I can run my fridge, charge my phone, my detector batteries and headphones as well as power my computer all at the same time and not run out of free power. It was well worth the initial investment. I will keep you posted of nugget finds to come and I will get a good photo today of the Arizona gold tally.
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