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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/14/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    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. 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.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. 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.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.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.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
  2. 2 points
    Not trying to JACK your thread here Dave just want to share my frustration. Well I'm starting to Appreciate why Mechanics can charge $90.00 a hour. CV Joint was most a BeeeeeOcchh to get off. Every thing I read, Youtube I watch said the Shaft was held in with a spring clip you just stick a crow bar in between the Tran case and CV ( Careful not to damage Seal) and should pop off with a good firm Yank. HA, I spent a hour Pulling, Yanking, Put enough force on the crow bar to move the engine in the mount. NOTHING. Had the Kid do it. He spent a half hour. Nothing. Wasn't enough room between the Case and Joint to get firm position with the bar. I figured I needed to get the crow bar in a little deeper so it wouldn't slip when I yanked a bit harder. Put a screw driver in between the CV and Tran Case. No Room be tween the two so I went to tap the screw driver in with a hammer. Tap Tap POP!!!! The CV joint just slid right out and off. darn ! Doing the other side is going to be Tap Tap POP Job.
  3. 2 points
    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
  4. 2 points
    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. All the best, Lanny
  5. 2 points
    Rivulets of Nuggets:Well, last summer, I dropped into an abandoned placer excavation (with permission of course as claim owners are mighty touchy about such things, and for good reason; however, I've spent years making lasting connections). It was a great looking spot as the bedrock stepped down in a series of terraces to where the ancient channel bottomed out in a large trough. In the bottom of that trough, the Oldtimers from the 1800's had been very, very busy. The signs of old tunnels were ghostly images for the trained eye, but those signs were everywhere.Now those old boys had drifted up from the river below which was, and still is, a long way downhill from where the Sourdoughs of the 1800's tunnelled into the good stuff, so I certainly admire their determination and efforts to chase the gold all the way to that trough as they did. The work required, all done by hand, boggles my mind! There were large boulders everywhere down in that gut (this makes sense, as the super-heavies were concentrating in that low spot as that's where the gut of the stream would have been roaring while the dinosaurs tip-toed across the stream). A little more about the work they did, well, those tunnels were all driven using pick and shovel, all of the timbers hand-cut and all of the joints done by axe-work, with no nails. That's right, no nails! Now, I've detected other old placer excavations where the modern miners tore through the old workings to get to the bedrock, thus disturbing many old tunnels, but those sites were then left littered with square nails (not so much fun when you're looking for nuggets with a detector), so I'm thinking the spot I was detecting last summer was old indeed, and perhaps those old miners were mighty early to the gold, so early that they had no nails available, as the iron to fashion them hadn't come up the trail and over the mountains by mule-trains yet.From the historical records, I know that the first miners in the area to spend that first winter were in serious trouble as the snow closed all of the passes extra-early, and food was extremely short. The smarter miners high-tailed it out of the valleys at the first sign of Old Man Winter getting cranky. However, the miners that remained spent a brutal winter eating food made from mouldy flour which, if it could be bought, was insanely expensive, and every game animal within many miles had long since fled. Moreover, the only reason any of them made it through at all is that an enterprising packer made it through during a Chinook (a warm wind that rapidly increases the winter temperatures for a short time) and delivered enough supplies to stop the starvation (He made his own fortune form his efforts to pack those supplies in that winter without ever dipping a pan!), and as the grateful miners were loaded with gold, which they couldn't eat, they were only too happy to trade. Right after he made it in, then skedaddled back out, winter's iron fist smashed and pounded the passes shut yet again until the spring thaw.So, there I was, down in that ancient trough, broken bedrock all about, the faint traces of the drift mines ghostly-evident as the modern equipment had done an efficient job of almost erasing every detail of those early efforts. I detected for about an hour in that ancient stream gut and got only two small sub-gram nuggets (and those against walls), not the kind of day I'd been hoping for, but the miners had taken up to six-feet of bedrock in their quest to clean-up what the Oldtimers had left behind, and the modern miners had done an efficient job for sure.It was one of those lazy summer days where the odd puff of cloud drifted overhead at rare intervals. The sun was warm and friendly, not a blast furnace baking my brain as it had been a couple of weeks earlier. None of the leaves were turning colour yet (at the altitude I work, they turn right quick at the first sign of any flirtations from Dame Autumn), the pines, larch (tamarack) and fir were dressed in their glorious mountain greens all arranged in soldierly formations up the canyon's slopes, standing at perfect attention with no wind to deform their perfect ranks. A Bald Eagle had been keeping an eye on me for quite a while as he rode the invisible thermals far above me, looking for all the world as if he had the perfect life of leisure set off as he was against that cobalt blue dome of pristine mountain air. A succession of honey bees buzzed their way past my ear to stop at a little seep for a bit of water, only to hurry off after their drink to get back to the golden business of honey-making for their winter larder. As well, tiny orange butterflies with blue spots were watering at the seep as they folded and unfolded their delicate wings.Because the bedrock in the gut was so clean of gold, I grabbed my five-gallon plastic bucket of grub, water, and various smaller mining and sniping tools, then headed up slope. I found a spot where the excavators with their buckets had scraped across some patches of iron-hard bedrock, leaving small sections of other bedrock in between: some of it soft, some of it hard. I limbered up my Gold Bug Pro and got to it.After a couple of sweeps, I heard a target. I checked the display and it was reading iron, but I've found from experience a reading like that can still mean a nugget, especially if there's a nugget under or surrounded by chunks of ironstone (magnetite). Furthermore, I'd already seen some rounded pieces of magnetite the size of strawberries. So, I extended my magnetic wand and scrubbed the area where the target was. Right quick a curled chunk of bucket or blade jumped to the super-magnet. I scanned the area again, but no remaining signal. I started swinging the coil again and hadn't moved far when I got a solid hit, iron bars low, meter pinning in the good. golden zone. I scraped the spot with my plastic scoop, then scanned again: target louder, meter solidly pinned, iron bars low. The previous succession of readings is always a heart-pumper. After a bit more work, I had a nice multi-gram nugget in the poke (I have a little plastic bottle about an inch and a half high I got at a craft store, one in clear plastic with a tight snap-on lid made of white soft plastic; it's a nugget-holding dream as it has a wide top.). I scanned the area again and was rewarded with a softer signal. After some more cleaning, I had another nugget in the poke, one just over a gram. I moved over a bit and got a string of signals, that's right, a string.So, of course, my brain is telling me I've hit a spot where the bucket shaved off more steel filings as it clawed its way across the bedrock. So, out with the magnet, but no friends! I scanned again, same results. I took out a little pick I use when detecting, and used the blade/chisel end to scrape the bedrock, and right away, the scraping revealed softer material trapped in a crooked little run in the bedrock. After using the other end of the pick to get into the run, I cleaned out the material and drug it all into my scoop, then dropped it in my gold pan. I kept detecting and was soon rewarded with a similar repeating series of sounds, performed the same check with the magnetic wand, negative results again, and cleaned the little rivulet with the pick putting the contents in the pan as well. (While I'm out detecting, I save time when I hit a good spot by taking the information from the meters as good data to pile material in the pan to check later, so I can cover as much ground as possible, not losing time to sorting, as darkness is usually my limiting factor because there's no way I'm detecting in the dark with all of the grizzlies and cougars that frequent the area.) Well, all I can say is that in between those domes of iron hard rock, nestled in those little patches of bedrock sheltered in between, I hit multiple rivulets of gold! It's probably the most fun I've had detecting in a long, long time. I just kept getting hit after hit. Sure, sometimes there were steel shavings, but the magnet made short work of them, and with the time I saved using the gold pan accumulation method, I really hit those spots hard until the darkness crept up to shut me down. Needless to say, before it was too dark, I took the pan to some standing water. Just for fun, I scanned the pan with the detector: talk about a lively golden tune! When I finally worked the contents down, and I didn't get very far, my heart almost stopped; nuggets were poking out everywhere, truly!In some of the pictures posted above (scroll up or click back a page or two), you'll see some of the nuggets taken from the bedrock where they were deposited eons ago. I have never found a place so generously laced with golden rivulets. Detecting that spot was what an old miner I knew would have called, "having a heyday". It's days like those that keep the dream alive, the fires of the fever stoked, and the imagination primed throughout our long northland season. However, Old Man Winter's grip is slackening as the maiden of spring uses her wiles to flirt with his icy personality, convincing him yet again to return to his Arctic stronghold, and then, the high mountain passes will open once more allowing me to chase the gold for another season.All the best,Lanny
  6. 1 point
    Trip report: http://mikestang.com/francapr2017.htm
  7. 1 point
    Last week Lu and I got out for 3 days. We ended up with two nuggets (2g) and 5 meteorites (98g)! The flowers were blooming ALL over. It was a good trip.
  8. 1 point
    . Sounds about like the fun that I just finished yesterday. Both cv drive axles and upper and lower ball joints on my 4runnner. With the lower ball joint disconnected it gave me the room I needed to removed the cv axle. I'm just getting to old for this much fun anymore.
  9. 1 point
  10. 1 point
    Mike ... you are famous but ... Lunk IS Fame. haha Glad you two guys finally met. Now you two are a tag team on telling people they have a Meteor WRONG! Mitchel
  11. 1 point
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  13. 1 point
    Hope you enjoy the shots, and all the best, Lanny