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Lanny in AB

Dig, dig--miss, miss--Booyah!

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WOW Mother nature at her finest and some mighty fine nuggets too. Yep Lanny that's the cure for sure for anything that ails ya-thanks as always-John

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Lanny,

Thanks for the GREAT photos and a REALLY GREAT follow along with you finding some awesome gold, I have always loved your style of adventure story telling, just like being there!! :thumbsupanim

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Little Peak:

So, I went back to the same spot the next day, but I wasn't able to get in until way late in the afternoon, early evening actually, but up here in the north country, the sun goes down mighty late, so a person can chase the gold when people far to the southern lattitudes have long since had to call it quits. It's one of the few benefits of chasing the gold above the 49th parallel, as the bugs I've mentioned numerous times, are in no way a benefit, and the short season to chase the gold due to the ice and snow shutting things down isn't always a party either.

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However, I've wandered from my story yet again, but that's nothing new in my writings either. So, I'd better get to it.

Now, the reason I've called this story "Little Peak" is because of a peculiar formation located on the uppermost terrace in that old placer pit. The pay layer that high up against the wall was mighty thin, but whoever had cleaned the bedrock with the excavator had had themselves quite the time. There was iron-hard bedrock with bull quartz, then there was soft, decomposed black bedrock, then a contact zone between a hard tan bedrock that butted up against a bright red bedrock. Now, what was curiously left intact by the placer miners was this one chunk of bedrock that rose up sharply, just like a little mountain; in fact, it looked so much like a mountain that I named it Little Peak. The super hard bedrock around the tiny mountain had sure been worked by the excavator bucket, tearing the surrounding bedrock down as much as they could, which wasn't much, but the little peak was in an exclusion zone for some reason, only scraped down. For whatever reason, they hadn't tried to flatten it.

Well, I'd worked my way up the terraces (mute evidence of the titanic forces at work in the ancient river channel's flow where the massive boulders borne along had pounded, hammered, and ground their way downward in a series of steps, cutting into the various hardnesses of bedrock as they worked their way down to the gut of the stream where the tunnels I've mentioned in the previous story were located); I'd found nuggets on my way up every once in a while, but nothing like the golden rivulets about half way down that cut. 

So, by the time I got to the flattened area around little peak, I was hoping for a change, but I was running out of daylight. The first spot I detected was the bull quartz. Man that bedrock formation was hard! I sniffed around with the detector for a while and after getting numerous signals, and with the help of the magnet, I'd soon created a metal hedgehog on the end of my wand! This was testimony that the miners had wanted to get as much of that bedrock as they could, as they'd severely tested the limits of their machine, but the bedrock wouldn't cooperate I guess.

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After clearing off the obvious surface bits of track and blade, I slowed way down and started to listen for gentle breaks in the threshold, and soon enough, I heard one. I got out my small sledge that I carry in my five-gallon bucket, dug out my rock chisel, then I went to work. However, it was a zero on the fun scale. I'd chisel and chip, scan the spot to be sure it was a legitimate signal, then chisel and chip some more. I repeated this until I got to where there was a strong signal and the meter was finally pinning in the golden zone. A bit more chipping, and I had a nugget just over a gram. I kept at that bull quartz until there were no more signals, and I had myself a nice catch of small nuggets in the bottle.

All the while however, that little peak was in the back of my mind, intriguing me. I really didn't think there was much chance of finding anything in that spot, I mean, after all, the miners hadn't thought it was worth much as they'd left it standing.

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Before I wandered over to check the place, I looked to the west. The sun was starting to sink below the mountain horizon, generating a gentle rosy-coloured warning that I was running out of time. Moreover, nature took this time to put on a performance: the robins were having a chirping contest, which usually means that clouds with a low-pressure system will be rolling in the next day. Huge blue, and green dragonflies were feasting on the last of the mosquitoes that were either brave or stupid enough to still be out, the dragonflies making short work of those flying vampires indeed, their iridescent wings a rainbow of magical colours through the fading golden shafts of sunlight, the rattle and hum of those remarkably flexible wings a marvel of impossible motions that modern man has yet to completely duplicate in any of his machines. Not to be left out, the mountain songbirds sang the summer sun off to its western slumber with a gentle lullaby. In fact, that small slice of the evening is one resplendent with some of nature's richest colours and her most beautiful sounds, a capstone of perfection that moves me to stop and reflect on the wonders of that short, magical time.

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Knowing that daylight was abandoning me, I worked my way around the base of the miniature peak, and just as I moved the coil up the eastern slope, I got a rocking hit! And, right above that hit, there was another. Well, I checked the surface with a magnet, but there were no jumpers (with a super-magnet, the iron and steel really jump out of the dirt; there are no lazy bits and pieces of ferrous material when faced with such a superior attraction). Of course, my heart ticked up a few strokes. I made another pass with the same result. I carefully scraped the side and found a small depression, scanned again, and the sound was louder, the meter solidly pinned! Well, I worked the signal out of the hole and didn't need to sort any dirt as the target was clearly visible in the scoop: a nugget just under six grams! Holy jumpin' dynamite!! I scanned the spot slightly higher up, and the detector still squawked. So, I scraped, noticed another depression, scanned again, and the meter pinned in the golden zone. After cleaning out the little run, I had a nugget just over three grams in the scoop. Well, I sure went 'round the mountain I can tell you!

And you know what? There were nuggets all the way around! However, not one dang thing on the summit. 

By the time darkness shut me down, I'd worked until there were no more signals, and man oh man, did I have a nice whack of meaty nuggets in the bottle. I sure made wages that day.

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So, that's the story of Little Peak, one generated on the day that Mother Nature's songbirds serenaded me to the gold, I guess you could say, a day when the Grand Old Lady willingly shared a little of her golden treasure.

All the best,

Lanny

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Little Peak, Part II:

Well, as the gold was fat and sassy up at the formation I'd named Little Peak, and as darkness had won the battle with daylight the day before, I just had to go back for a look the following day. Once again, the sky was that incredible mountain blue that stirs the heart, the air warm, and filled with the pungent smell of conifers. On this day, two tiny green hummingbirds were hard at war, chittering and squeaking as they fought a turf war over the flowery domain that lined the one side of the old excavation. 

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However, even though I hit the top of that Little Peak cut hard for the entire morning, I was only rewarded with a few small pieces, and I only recovered them as I'd forced myself to slow way down to thoroughly investigate every tiny break in the threshold. Sometimes, the breaks were caused by gold, but too often, the breaks were caused by tiny bits of blade and track, and of course, by some pesky hot-rocks that bedevil any VLF I've used so far. In fact, it seems like the tiny hot-rocks close to the surface are the worst; however, there were a couple of strange sounding rocks that were deeper, but larger, ones that pinned in the good zone and sounded sweet to boot. Those signals sped my heart up and had me thinking all kinds of golden thoughts, but they were generated by imposters, pieces of rock about a third the size of a golf ball, some stream-rounded, some angular, but imposters all.

Now, after pounding the top of that cut for so long, I'd worked up a powerful appetite, and a mighty big thirst, so I took my detector and my five-gallon bucket with my lunch and water and found a huge boulder that offered some shade. I angled my way under that broken off chunk of mountain and had the miner's lunch: beef jerky, bottled water, crackers, a handful of nuts, and a chocolate covered (real chocolate!) granola bar. Moreover, I actually enjoy it when I gear down for a bit: my ears get a break from the headphones, my arms and wrists get a break from running the pick and swinging the small sledge, and it's always great to lean up against something solid to give the back a break too. Furthermore, it gives my brain a break, and that might be the most valuable rest of all; I've found that the old noggin' needs a rest just as much if not more so than the muscles. The break offers my brain a chance to replay and review things I've seen earlier on other outings, a chance to rethink certain strategies, but often enough, a new thought will pop into my head about a spot I'd passed by that I really should check out, and that's what happened this day.

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There was a trough off to one side of the main gut in the lowest section of the placer cut. But, it was filled with water! Well, my little Gold Bug Pro (the detector I was swinging that day) has a waterproof coil, so I thought I'd swim it through that trough, just for the heck of it. Now, I don't know how many of you have tried detecting underwater in hot ground littered with hot-rocks, and I'm sure there's more I need to learn about the process, but when that coil goes under the water, all kinds of strange sounds (wooh-oohs, beeps, snorts, grunts, splattery-sparks, boings, etc.) start to assail the headphones. Nevertheless, in the midst of those alien wailings, there were what sounded like some genuine, positive hits. So, there I was, standing looking down into a basin of water that was possibly hiding some nuggets (some of the signals pinned on the meter right hard!), but that water was a problem. How to get rid of it?

I didn't have a pump with me, and it was a heck of a trek back to the ATV, then a stiff ride back to camp, so I had to engage my brain in some creative thinking. Well, I always go out with two gold pans, and I never use little pans, only the full-sized ones (all of my gold pictures are shot in those big pans), so I figured I might as well start bailing. Now, I don't know how much bailing you've done, but using a gold pan is mighty slow work, especially when a mountain spring keeps feeding fresh water into the works. 

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After bailing myself into oblivion with the gold pan, and after not winning the race to see the bottom of the trough, another thought hit me. I had my five-gallon bucket, so why not use it to vastly multiply my bailing options? Well, I emptied all of the contents onto a dry bedrock shelf, then I set to work. Any old pirate that ever had to bail out a leaky Pinnace would have been proud! The water sure flew, and I could even see by the wet mark against the wall that I was making progress, so being encouraged, I kept the water flying. Although it took quite a bit of elbow grease, and a ton of one-man-mining horsepower, I eventually got down to where I was staying ahead of the mountain spring. 

A shallow saddle poked up from the gloom, so I quickly grabbed my detector and made some quick passes and the headphones rocked with a solid hit, the meter pinning, the sound a sweet growl. Working quickly, I isolated the target, a nice 2.5 gram nugget! Well, this was encouraging, but the water was winning again, so I had to go back to the drawing board. I trailed the spring's outlet uphill a bit, took my pick and a small shovel, found some sticky clay, and made myself a diversion. Of course my barrier it wasn't stopping all of the flow as some of the water was running between plates of bedrock, then seeping back into the trough, but I did slow it down considerably, enough so in fact that when I went back to bailing, I noticed I was winning at a faster rate. 

The water dropped enough with that second assault that the saddle was left high and dry. I scanned it carefully and very slowly and pulled out two more nuggets that were on edge in the bedrock under the clay, neither one much over a gram, but the gold was a nice buttery yellow colour, the colour of gold that really warms the heart of nugget shooters everywhere.

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The mystery remained. What was in the bottom of that trough? So, I waded in with my mining boots and set to making the water fly again. When I finally saw the bottom cropping up, I got my pan and finished the job. The bailing routine would buy me about five minutes before the inexorable hydraulic nature of seeping water started to fill the bedrock trough again. But, that five minutes gained was worth all the effort. I started right in the gut of the stream and got a solid hit below a rock about the size of a football jammed solidly into the clay covering the bedrock. The signal was a sassy three gram nugget that had taken to hiding just under the edge of that fat cobble. I kept scanning the gut and got several more hits, but all of the nuggets were less than three grams, but greater than one. At the one end of the trough, the bedrock climbed steeply up what had obviously been a narrow, ancient watercourse.

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Well, that spot was a little bonanza that just kept on giving! Hit after hit in every little wrinkle of that bedrock, and I had to work hard with my little bar to winkle every one of them out from between those plates of bedrock, bedrock that had been hammered and worn down, rounded and pounded, but bedrock that still had enough edges to trap the nuggets and hold them tight. 

By the time I'd finished with the little watercourse, the trough needed bailing again. This time when the water had receded, I scanned up the sides of the slopes, but I wasn't getting any hits. I slowed down a bit and looked at the vertical sidewall carefully, then saw some of the same recognizable edges of those hammered plates of bedrock peeking out, so I started scanning higher up, which is ironic considering all of the effort I'd put into lowering the water! Regardless, the nuggets were up in those plates as well.

By the time my nugget shooting was done down in that muddy trough, up the ancient little watercourse, and all across the higher sides of the vertical wall, my gold bottle really growled as I swirled the nuggets around inside it.

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As for the strange sounds my detector makes when I submerge it in the water, it's really a moot point as the good sounds came through regardless, enough of them anyway to get me to bail out that trough to liberate those sassy nuggets from their bedrock prison.

All the best,

Lanny

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On 4/10/2017 at 8:26 AM, Hoser John said:

Wow I missed this post during my illness and glad to catch up with Lanny as he is "the" consummate writer, miner, photographer and a fine person too-John :yesss:

Thanks John! I really appreciate it.

All the best,

Lanny

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On 4/10/2017 at 9:38 AM, clay said:

Welcome back Lanny! :4chsmu1:

Thanks Clay. It's great to see so many great people still here.

All the best,

Lanny

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On 4/10/2017 at 4:24 PM, Au Seeker said:

Lanny, 

Glad to see you active on the forum again!! :thumbsupanim

Skip

Thanks for the warm welcome Skip!

All the best,

Lanny

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On 4/11/2017 at 5:20 PM, Andyy said:

Sweet, Lanny.  Can't wait to hear more of your stories.  Oh.. and thanks for finding my pick. :4chsmu1:

I'm glad you enjoy the stories, and now that I know it's your pick, I'll only use it to dig out nuggets that are under three ounces.:D

All the best,

Lanny

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14 hours ago, Hoser John said:

WOW Mother nature at her finest and some mighty fine nuggets too. Yep Lanny that's the cure for sure for anything that ails ya-thanks as always-John

Glad you enjoyed it John.

Take care, and all the best,

Lanny

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6 hours ago, Au Seeker said:

Lanny,

Thanks for the GREAT photos and a REALLY GREAT follow along with you finding some awesome gold, I have always loved your style of adventure story telling, just like being there!! :thumbsupanim

Thanks for taking the time to say so! I truly appreciate the feedback and the compliment.

All the best,

Lanny

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I'm heading out for a few days, then off for a longer stretch right after that.

All the best to everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome back,

Lanny

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The Island.

Well, this story doesn't have anything to do with a traditional island, at least not in the sense of one with a sandy beach fringed by palm trees surrounded by ocean. This story of the island is about a flooded section of bedrock that was once placered for gold, an area within a highly restricted claim that required hard-to-come-by permission to nugget shoot.

I'd passed by the spot on that claim before while hunting adjacent ground and thought about wading out to try my luck, but the flooded ground had deeper, dark pockets, boulders, and lots of uneven ground that made for dicy wading in the muddy waters of the earlier summer rains. But, a lack of rain later in the hotter months had cleared up the visibility allowing me to see and map the bottom much easier. 

The island itself consisted of one small section of bedrock that stood a couple of feet higher than the surrounding bedrock I've mentioned all drowned in icy water issuing from springs somewhere deep in the mountain. 

However, before I could start detecting, I had to get out to the island. This required some delicate wading with my mining boots, careful the whole time that I didn't set my foot wrong on a loose rock or step into one of those dark holes to fill my boots. Nevertheless, I made it with socks dry to the elevated bedrock, the highest point being on the south end. The bedrock was slate, red and tan mostly, not that the color particularly tells a person anything about its ability to hold or trap the gold, but what I really liked about it when I looked around was that there were lots of natural traps in the bedrock, with cracks surrounding, underlying, and spidering off from those traps.

I'd packed with me the usual sniping tools, two gold pans, a sucker bottle, my blue Estwing mining pick,my little Falcon MD-20 for sniffing gold from tiny traps, and the Gold Bug Pro to scan the larger, lower section that sat just above the water running all the way to the north end where the island pinched out. (If you're thinking this island was big enough for development, don't waste your imagination's energy. The whole chunk was only about twice the size of an average garden shed, but I always remind myself that when it comes to finding gold, the size of the ground to be searched isn't always an indicator of possibility. What the detectors tell me is much more valuable, as is what my eyes tell me about the ability of the mother rock to capture the gold.)

I pulled out the Falcon first and set to checking the multitude of little pockets that ran down the slope from the highest point trending toward the flatter, lowest section. Almost instantly I got a positive signal. Now, the Falcon is not a complicated detector. On most hot rocks it blanks as you approach a hot rock and "boings" as you move away. If it's metal (iron or otherwise), the machine emits a signal that gets louder as you approach a target then holds steady as you keep the head of the probe over the object. I couldn't see anything, but there was definitely a positive signal. So, I dug in my carrying bag and got out a pry bar that's great for working open cracks, prying up loose pieces of bedrock, and prying off parallel sections. As I've mentioned, there were lots of cracks around those pockets and a nice piece the size of a couple of silver dollars popped right out. I scanned again and this time got multiple signals.

I scooped out the clay and small particles with a sturdy spoon from the carry bag and plopped the contents into a pan. A quick pan later, three nice pickers appeared. I decided I'd do a rapid scan of that entire descending piece of pockety bedrock, and I got signals on and off all the way to where the bedrock started to flatten out. I had no idea if they were gold or bits of steel, but I went to work with the pick and bar and worked off any loose bedrock I could, then scooped and scraped all of the residual material into my pan. Booyah!! Stars in the heavens all over in that black universe of magnetite! Lots of small pickers were running with all kinds of flake gold, lots . . . 

I kept at that scan, pop it out, and pry the cracks system until I could no longer get any positive response. By the way, this involved lots of rescanning after I'd pop out the loose chunks of bedrocks or after I'd pry off a section of bedrock that was weakened by a crack. And, on the rescans, I'd often find targets down too deep to ID on the first pass, but that's because the Falcon is not a depth machine by any stretch of the imagination. As to why I wasn't using the Bug Pro, I couldn't get the coil into the little pockets! But, I did scan the entire slope (much like a mini-downhill ski run made of bedrock) with the Gold Bug after I'd finished with the Falcon to ensure I'd left no targets behind, and I did find a couple of laggers that were down deeper yet, but the take with the bigger detector was thin. The Falcon was the one that shone for that specialized purpose!

With the gold collected in the bottle, I went to work on the flat. The Gold Bug Pro got immediate hits, but there was metal (the wrong kind) everywhere! So, I pulled out the wand magnet and went to work. Hedgehog time! And again, more hedgehog decoration on the end of the magnet. After that, I went back to detecting. I'd like to say that I didn't dig any trash, but the clay clinging to the bedrock is a master at holding tiny bits of steel away from the draw of the magnet. 

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I stared scanning again and got a hit right away that popped up in the 40 range! It was a great little nugget of just over two grams. I worked the bedrock until it went silent and by the time I was done, I had a nice collection of gold in the bottle, flakes, pickers, and nuggets. The biggest was only five grams, but the total weight back at camp was almost 16.5 grams! What a day, and the gold ranged from pancake flat to real character pieces. Man, did that fire me up!!

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That experience led me to a very similar location a couple of days later that exceeded this story's take, and once again, I had to make my way through a water hazard to get there.

All the best until then,

Lanny

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Little Bedrock Pockets . . .

This story involves some exposed bedrock that had been worked in the past; however the interesting part about this area was first and foremost, it was difficult to get to because of permission access, and secondly it was flat out unfriendly terrain that made the descent to the exposed bedrock a dicey affair. The ground was still staked, but after a rather circuitous route, and after lots of talking, I was granted permission, only to find that I had to find a way down into those old diggings! I tell you what; it was steep! And, the footing was terrible, but as I've done many times in the past, I figure if I can find a way down, I should be able to find a way back up and out, and I did, eventually, but I'd better get to the gold tale. 

The location was pretty enough, pines, firs and larch populated the slopes above the excavation, and a blanket of aspens covered the bench below the excavation, their leaves whispering silent messages as they twisted and turned from the slightest imagination of any movement of air. It's amazing how an aspen leaf is brought to life by the tiniest breath of pristine mountain air. It truly is a beautiful sight, one I often pause to enjoy. Moreover, the northern sun was high overhead, sending its warm golden rays to heat the still cool alpine atmosphere. Furthermore, little mountain wrens filled the air with beautiful age-old masterpieces, ones never to be written or entered into a musical score, but wonderful melodies, brief marvels of Nature's genius nonetheless. Not to be left out, the flowers performed as mountain daisies undulated in white waves down the descending slopes. 

The spot I'd chosen to detect was one the miners of the past had excavated, one that cut through a large section of clay overburden as the chased an ancient channel, a river the dinosaurs apparently used to tiptoe across in the dim days of long ago. 

Well, that's what the geologist I consulted with told me, and he also informed me that if I was lucky enough to find any gold, it would be gold that was deposited many tens of millions of years ago (but hey, what's 100-200 million years to a geologist?). He pointed out a few things to me as well about the heavy glaciation of the area and how to tell the difference between glacially tumbled rocks and actual stream-worn rocks, which was interesting, as was the second part of his instruction to me that day when he told me how to look at the surrounding mountain peaks to learn to identify which ones the glaciers had plowed over in their rush to cover North America in ice (that's right, apparently there's a way to look at mountain peaks to see which ones got glaciated [they have shoulders on either side of the pointed peaks?] and which ones kept the uppermost part of their peaks free from the ravages of the ice sheets). 

The whole ancient-geological-events thing boggles my mind (I mean, hundreds of millions of years/billions of years, how am I supposed to get my head around that?), if I'm honest, because I just can't imagine sheets of ice, miles thick (deep) filling valleys and covering mountains. However, this glaciers vs. valleys vs. mountains thing does remind me of when I was in the much more northern gold fields chasing the gold, and the Oldtimers way back when in that area used to look for what they called bedrock rims, ones narrowly separated on each side of old stream-beds that would stop the glaciers from gouging down into the steep bottoms to strip them of their gold. Moreover, I've seen some of the gold (and found some of the sassy nuggets with my metal detector as well) that came from those protected valleys, and it truly was and is beautiful gold.

Furthermore, I've seen the areas that weren't protected by those bedrock rims, and I've seen the deep striations (giant scratches left by the glacier's claws, so to speak) in the bedrock where the gold hungry robber-glaciers scoured the very bottom of wider valleys, stealing the gold, then transporting it off to who-knows-where!

But, I digress in my story telling, which seems to happen more and more often to me these days. Perhaps because I've chased the gold in so many different places, and have chased it for long enough now that while travelling down the road of one memory in my cluttered mind, it triggers adjacent or related memories that propel me down other trails of memory . . .

So, I apologize, and I'll head back to the pockets story.

After finally getting my gear down into the bottom of that old excavation, I was faced with a couple of challenges. I don't know if the average nugget shooter knows about what I call creeping clay. It's clay that gets washed down into old excavations from the surrounding overburden, clay that moves like a slowly flowing invasive force, one that eventually covers almost all of the formerly exposed bedrock much as a lava flow does, except that the clay isn't lava or rock of course, but when it dries from its former plastic, sticky, gooey form, it's no fun having to use a pick to try to get it out of the way. Furthermore, oftentimes I wonder what's under three or four feet of that stubborn stuff that's ten to twenty feet wide. For instance, what good bedrock crevices and cracks has it buried that the Oldtimers had no way of electronically checking? To confess, that much clay cover is just too intimidating for me to dig, so I focus on areas with only a thin layer of overriding clay, or in best case scenarios, I dedicate my entire efforts to huntung sections that have not felt the heavy hand of the clay invader. 

As luck would have it, I stumbled across what I can only describe as some downward rolling troughs, ones trending downslope, an area the former miners had scraped with machinery, but due to the composition of the bedrock had left multiple pockets that nature had scooped (pounded or hammered) into that terribly hard bedrock before the ancient channels dried then solidified, but they were small pockets carrying ancient stream materials, ones the former miners must have considered not worth the effort, and commercially speaking in fact, they would not have been viable for a big operation to chase, but those little pockets were tailor-made for a nugget shooter like me. (I only realized the pockets were there after scanning the bedrock and getting a signal. In scraping the bedrock while chasing the signal, my pick scraped into some softer material, but material that was nevertheless tightly packed and hard; however, by following the margins of the softer material with the blade of the pick, I soon realized what I'd discovered. Moreover, the stony material running with the clay in the pocket had a lot of orange and red stain, and even purple stain deeper down, which in my chosen area means ancient, undisturbed stream-run.) 

So, I started the process of slowing down to hunt for other pockets.

After getting another signal (the first one was a bit of rusted steel caught on the lip of the bedrock where it contacted the pocket material), I scraped with the pick until I could clearly see the outline of the pocket. Then I used the tip of the pick to soften up the old material until I could scrape off a layer with the blade. I scanned again, and the signal was louder, but still a nice soft sound. (The previously mentioned steel target had been quite rackety as I got closer to it.) Encouraged, I worked off another layer, then scanned again. The signal was crisper now, but still sweet. After removing more material, the Bug Pro pinned in the golden range. The recovered target was a fat and sassy two-gram nugget that growled nicely as I spun it in my nugget bottle close by my ear. There were some sub-gram pieces in the bottom of the pocket tightly jammed into a little crevice holding purple-coloured material, but no more nuggets.

I spent the rest of that sun-filled afternoon finding and checking pockets, and several of them were good to me. So, I left with a nice collection of nuggets in my gold bottle, nuggets that Mother Nature had banked ages ago in those long forgotten dinosaur days, nuggets deposited safely in those little bedrock pockets.

All the best,

Lanny

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I'll have to round up some more of my stories to update this thread.

It's good to be back, but I'm out chasing the gold again, so I'll post when I can.

All the best,

Lanny

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19 hours ago, Lanny in AB said:

I'll have to round up some more of my stories to update this thread.

It's good to be back, but I'm out chasing the gold again, so I'll post when I can.

All the best,

Lanny

Ya better Lanny, you were gone a spell and bet ya got some tales and yeller.......

 

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Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink . . . (I apologize in advance for the length of this post. You super-pros will want to skip the first part of the story as it's written for the rookies.)

Last Saturday was an interesting day indeed.

The weather certainly was interesting. Mother Nature truly had dealt a mixed hand of cards: one minute the weather was sunny and warm; then it would cloud up and get cranky; the sky would darken like the face of some angry ancient god; heavy clouds, pregnant with the promise of rain would swirl overhead, releasing giant drops of icy water and sticky wet snow; then the wind would fill its lungs and blow a mighty series of gusts to clear the sky yet again. Spring, the season that imitates all other seasons, but imitates them only briefly; spring, the season that is the great imposter and yet the great bringer of hoped for change.

As the weather cleared, I broke out my detecting gear. I'd packed the Gold Bug Pro and the Makro Gold Racer for the day; however, before I could head to the spot I'd chosen, I was approached by a young rookie that noticed what I was up to, and he wanted me to show him how to run a metal detector. He'd bought one for himself, but that day he was out without it, and he wondered if I could give him a few tips on what to do to set up a detector and how to go about finding gold.

So, I set up the Gold Bug Pro for him, showed him how to ensure the coil wire connection was tight at the box to avoid falsing, how to secure the coil wire above the coil so it wouldn't false either, and how to ensure the connections on the coil rods were snug. Then I spent some time showing him how to ground balance. I spent a while on that subject with him so he understood how to do it properly, how to check to ensure there were no targets under the coil where he wanted to ground balance, some quick tips on EMI, etc. 

I gave him tips on keeping the coil level on his sweeps to avoid rising on the ends of the sweeps, how to overlap his sweeps for better coverage, how to keep the coil as close to the ground as possible to maximize detecting and target response, how to pinpoint by moving the coil 90 degrees to the original target response, and I also showed him how to do the coil "wiggle" to get the nose of the coil in the sweet zone for target recovery. 

Furthermore, I showed him how to properly set the threshold and sensitivity, how to adjust for EMI, and I walked him through the all-important aspect of investigating any slight break in the threshold as most of my targets are initially detected in that manner. 

As well, I instructed him on how to use a scoop, how to sift and sort a target in the scoop properly while using the coil to verify that the target was still in the scoop and how to use the coil to isolate the target by dropping material onto the coil. I also talked to him about the advantages of using a plastic pan for capturing multiple targets for later speed panning. In addition, I gave him my telescoping aluminum rod with the super-magnet on the end, and I went over the advantages of using it first, if he hit on a shallow signal, to quickly check if the target was ferrous or not.

I turned him loose on the road and he soon had a signal. So, I went over everything with him again as he started on his target recovery, and he quickly had the target out of the hole. Well, it was a nail, not one from the 1800's, but a modern nail; regardless, he was a quick study, so I let him keep the detector to work the road for a bit, and he soon recovered several shavings of track and bucket steel.

Because he was doing things exactly the way I'd instructed him to do, I was impressed (Lots of people I've tried to help learn to detect in the past have either misunderstood or ignored many of the tips I've given them, but not this guy: he was dialed-in and there to learn! It was easy to see his keen desire passion.). I watched him for a bit more, and he was ground balancing properly, using good sweep technique, slowing when he got a response, checking 90 degrees to the original signal, using the scoop properly for target recovery, and he'd really caught on how to use my extendable super-magnet-wand to eliminate shallow, ferrous targets.

In fact, he was doing so well, that I invited him to check some bedrock. 

He soon had several more signals, all ferrous, but he was really doing great. So I said to him, "This section with the hump, the small area completely surrounded by water is virgin. Have at it." So, he went to detecting, and I went to setting up my Gold Racer. He'd call me over every once in a while to check some strange signals he was getting (hot rocks and cold rocks, so I instructed him on their various target ID aspects), and then he'd tear into detecting again. 

I fired up the Gold Racer and started checking a spot where an old crevice had once bottomed out.

The rookie gave a shout and came a running! Now, as I've stated in other posts, "You can't make this stuff up!", he had his hand tightly closed around something, and that something was a nugget that was close to a gram in weight!! Well, I'll tell the world, he was some excited for sure. And, who wouldn't be! Rookie luck? Did he have a natural knack for it? Good questions, but regardless, he'd done it on his first outing ever. Quite remarkable actually, even if you factor in that I'd put him into a target rich environment, still remarkable as I've put others into similar settings in the past, and they've flown right over the nuggets and left disappointed.

Do you think he's going to get out and give his detector a good run first chance he gets? Well, wild horses won't be able to stop him I'd say, because he had that dreamy look in his eye as he left, and all of us that chase the gold know what that look does to a person; it keeps the fires lit!

I detected that little hump, with water, water everywhere, and got no gold. (I did however wade out into a couple of feet of water just beyond the hump and recover another small nugget.) So, the rookie got the only nugget in residence on that hump, but my day was just beginning.

The spot I was working could best be described as small bedrock islands, water, water everywhere (and as it says in The Rime of The Ancient Mariner), Nor any drop to drink! (I certainly would never drink any of that standing water, so that's why I always pack a bunch along in my five-gallon multi-purpose mining bucket.Those plastic buckets are such handy items for toting all manner of prospecting items to a site!)

Well, I carefully waded through a couple of feet of icy water and hit a bedrock rise. I slowly started working the bedrock with the Gold Racer. I soon had a soft signal that sounded like small gold. Just to be sure, I worked that spot carefully with the wand, but no ferrous. Then I took my small pick and scraped the surface, and sure enough, there was some clay riding on top. More scraping revealed some little rounded stones, iron-stained sand, and small bits of ironstone. I swept the spot again, and still the same soft, yet sweet tone. I then worked out material from all of the little cracks and crevices, tossed the material into my plastic pan, then swept the spot again. Still a soft tone, but not as loud, so more scraping with the pick and checking with the detector's coil until the area was completely silent.

By this time, I had quite a collection of material in the pan. So, I waded into a deeper spot and panned it out. Well, lots of golden goodies in the pan were peeking out of the super-heavies, and as you can tell from the previous pictures, lots of small stuff, but pretty nonetheless. (Please remember that the purpose of the last two outings has been to deliberately target areas that I've either already swept with the Gold Bug Pro or to check virgin areas just to see what the Gold Racer can find.)

To make a long story short, I kept at it for several hours while working those little bedrock islands, and I had many similar encounters with soft signals (with some of them broad in nature [some had great concentrations of fine gold!]) that had me doing lots of pick work to worry material from the bedrock until the detector went silent over the areas the Gold Racer had so expertly sniffed out. 

As I was about ready to pack up, I looked out at the water and noticed a boulder, about the size of a laundry basket, and thought, "What the heck, why not try to wade out to it if the water's not too deep?" So, I did.

Well, the water was getting deep fast, and the tops of my boots just held the deluge at bay. Very careful not to swamp my boots, I slid the coil of the Gold Racer around the boulder, and eeep! I had a solid tone, not a quiet signal like all of the others from earlier. Well, immediately the brain thinks ferrous, but the meter said gold. So, I wanded (hit it with my super-magnet wand [making up my own word?icon_thumright.gif]) the area, no ferrous! Tiptoeing around the boulder to keep my feet dry, I started to work the signal underwater. (I've posted about the frustrating nature of trying to capture underwater targets before, and this outing was no exception.) However, after multiple failures, I finally had the target in the scoop along with a whack of clay and broken bedrock.

I tiptoed back to shallower water, then hit the bedrock rise where I'd left my pan. I threw the material into the pan, worked the clay and bedrock material until it cooperated, then panned it down. Bam! A sassy nugget was revealed. A 3.5 gram little beauty! A keeper for sure, no catch-and-release with that one.

I packed everything up and hiked or waded back to where I'd left my snacks and water. After a refreshing break, and because the sun was beginning to head west behind the mountain peaks, I broke down the Gold Racer and packed it away. I loaded my tools back into one of my buckets but noticed that my wand was missing! What the?!?

Well, the last place I'd used it was way back where I'd found the nugget, so I fired up the Bug Pro and headed back across the bedrock wetlands to find my wand. On the way, I kept the Gold Bug Pro lit, and I let it sniff around underwater every time I had to wade. Three small nuggets later, I hit the bedrock rise adjacent to where I'd found the 3.5 gram nugget. There was my wand, right where I'd put it down when I'd panned out the contents from the scoop.

Now, I find it curious how on a return trip to the exact same place I've already detected, the brain sharpens the eye's focus somehow and the eye notices details I've missed the first time around. This time was no exception.

There was a small ledge, just above the water's edge, that held some iron-stained gravel and dark material. I couldn't remember having seen it on the first visit, but this time a switch had flipped for sure, and the old brain was screaming, "Run a coil over that spot you dummy!"

So, I did, and EEEP!! Now, the Bug Pro really yells (unlike the Gold Racer) when it sinks its teeth into a meaty signal, and I'll tell you what, it surely had my attention. I scraped off all of the loose material, no target in the scoop, but I threw it in the pan just in case. I scanned again, and EEEP! Now, here was a bit of an enigma, wrapped in a bit of a mystery to boot. I was staring at solid black bedrock. So, just for the heck of it, I ran the wand over the spot, but no friends.

After I'd swept the area again and the meter was pinning close to 60, I carefully went to work with the pick and broke out some material. I grabbed it with my hand to put it in the pan, and the weight was more than the small amount of material should have been. A very black 4.7 gram nugget was resting in my palm.

As for the material I'd tossed into my pan, there was good flake gold in it. I swept the edge of the bedrock and was rewarded with some nice soft signals, so I broke more bedrock until it went quiet, and then I panned it out: more pickers and flake gold, a nice catch.

Well, darkness was not becoming my friend, especially as I had to wade to get out, so I abandoned my workings and headed back to the truck.

What a great day! (For me and the rookie.)

These pictures of the gold are the combined take from the two Saturdays, close to 20 grams all in, with the fine gold excluded from the pan shots. The coins were found on the Fridays of the two weekends, working an old home site while learning how to use the Gold Racer in a target rich environment for testing purposes.



All the best,

Lanny

Gold Racer 2.jpeg

Gold Racer Finds.jpg

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Off on a gold trip this weekend, and I'll be trying out my new little sniper coil for the Gold Racer.

I hope it will help me sniff out some small gold in some hard to get to places, but if I hit on some big stuff, there'll be no catch and release in effect!

All the best,

Lanny

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Lanny,

Outstanding read along with outstanding gold.  You certainly earn it.  Your colorful tale telling makes for a good book if you ever get time.

Much of your writing does remind all of us of the little facts that make a difference in finding gold or missing it.

Do keep it up!

Bugler

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It was an incredible long weekend!

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pan-O-Gold.jpg 
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ID:	1596054 All of the gold to the left side of the coin (a dime) was found with the Gold Racer. The gold to the right, was found with the Gold Bug Pro and the Minelab 5000. (I can't underestimate the value of a one-two punch with a high-quality VLF followed up with the technology of a supreme PI!

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Gold Racer Coil Nuggets.jpg 
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ID:	1596055 This is a shot of the last pieces I found with the Gold Racer, all found while hunting hunting whispers after previously sweeping the bedrock with the same small sniper coil, and all of the finds combined on the left side of the pan were found with the Racer while using the little sniper coil. I will say that the small sniper coil is not good for any depth (and that's not what it's designed for), but it's super-hot on shallow gold, especially the small stuff (that is why I bought it); moreover, it loves to sound off on the chunky stuff too!

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Palm-full of nuggets.jpg 
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ID:	1596056 Some of the bigger stuff found that day. (Raw, uncleaned gold, pictures shot while in the field, looks much prettier now all cleaned-up.)

So, the story will have to follow when I find the time as this is a busy gold getting opportunity now that the weather's nice, but it was an incredible weekend hunt with lots of nuggets recovered, but perhaps the best (as far as the little sniper coil for the Gold Racer goes), I was able to capture well over thirty grams of small gold. The Gold Racer has turned out to be a sound investment indeed as has the little coil. (The detector has paid for itself many times already, and the little coil paid for itself in the first hour.)

All the best,

Lanny

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On 5/18/2018 at 12:51 PM, Bugler said:

Lanny,

Outstanding read along with outstanding gold.  You certainly earn it.  Your colorful tale telling makes for a good book if you ever get time.

Much of your writing does remind all of us of the little facts that make a difference in finding gold or missing it.

Do keep it up!

Bugler

Much appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to say so.

All the best,

Lanny

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Man what can I say but Nice!!!

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Lanny, awesome gold, great job!!

Also would like to thank you for taking the time to stop by the forum and posting, you have been missed here!!

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Great stuff Lanny and thanks for sharing, getting too hot to hunt days now so it is go North or hunt nights here. Glad you showed back up as well!

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Oh my word.  No wonder you are always smiling in your picture.  :D

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On 5/29/2018 at 2:00 PM, pondmn said:

Man what can I say but Nice!!!

Thanks for dropping in to say so, much appreciated!

All the best,

Lanny

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