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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/25/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    short story of high grader at the May Lundy A High Grader’s trip down the mountain After leaving the tram station, opportunities began to present themselves for taking high grade ore from the ore wagons before arriving down to the mill site. The high grader has to concern himself with discovery of this ore at any time so devious plans need to be in order to be successful. In the canyon he can be seen for a long time and he has the same situation with discovery on the face of the mountain coming down alongside Lake Lundy. The May Lundy Mine lies in the Homer mining district on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Prospected during the 1860 the Comstock rush, the lodes were not discovered until 1879. Located at about 11,000 feet the ore was brought down to the canyon floor via tram and then ore carts to the valley below. Author on trail above Lake Lundy After receiving the ore from the tram and the wagon loaded, the high banker proceeded down the grade. At the entrance to the canyon a 90° turn to the east brought you out on the face of the mountain for the 1.5-mile descent to the lake below. At this point the cart is visible to the valley and just a straightforward march down the hill without opportunities to “displace” some high-grade gold. Mined gold is very much like a fingerprint in that it is very distinctive to its location. An Assay office can tell where the gold came from by just looking at it. Many “lost mine” claims were sold with high graded gold with potential buyer’s unaware of the scam only until they went to the Assay office. High grade ore, El Dorado county, Calif. So now the high grader is left with a dilemma, how to steal the gold from the wagon and be able to cash in on it without being caught with known gold from the May Lundy. Right where the trail comes out of the canyon there is a level bench overlooking the waterfall dropping to the valley below. In the shade of aspen trees, a fire is built in a secluded kiln and coaxed into an extremely hot state. A bed of borax is heated with some crushed high-grade ore. As the mixture melts, the gold is separated from the rock and gathers in the borax forming a “button” of gold. After cooling, the borax, now looking like black glass, is chipped away leaving nearly pure gold and is now in a state that is untraceable back to the mine. This story is all speculation on the high-graders part. We just found a pile of melted borax with quartz / granite alongside the trail as described above on our hike and I am just postulating on the happenstance of it being there. I will be smelting these samples down to see what was in them. Hope you enjoyed the journey.
  2. 3 points
    If a hunter shoots a cow he is negligent and liable for the damages. Plain and simple. BLM land is multiple use. The rancher has no more right to use the land as a miner or a recreationalist. As a prospector, hunter or fisherman I don't need to ask permission or notify anyone of my intentions to use public land. If a rancher wants to know who I am and what I am up to he can ask me. Just like I can ask a rancher what he knows about gold on his lease. A rancher leases the grass. As long as the public does not eat any of the grass a rancher has little to gripe about. Just as a miner has little to gripe about unless a rancher is taking claimed minerals. On BLM land there is a big problem with some ranchers believing they have more rights than other users. The same problem exists with some claim owners. They often feel that other public land users are not welcome. In some cases they actually try to run people off. There is no reason that anyone should notify a claim owner or lease holder of their intentions to enjoy public lands. This is entirely up to the individual. No one is going to "accidentally" shoot livestock. That is just preposterous. If it happens the shooter is negligent and responsible for the damages. If it happens on purpose the shooter is a criminal and faces severe penalties. Stealing private property is a criminal act whether it is cattle or equipment. It does not matter if the land status is private or public. If the rancher wants to know who is on his public land lease it is his duty to patrol it and ask people who are there. They have no duty to provide him with any information at all. Just like a claim holder. They have no right to interfere with the public use in any way. All public users have a vested interest in their activities. Ranchers have private property (cattle) that no one has the right to interfere with. Miners have private rights to the minerals. Hunters and fishermen have equipment and game. But the land and the access is public. No user has the rights to demand anything of another. And users do not have any responsibility to notify, ask permission or otherwise beg to utilize public land. Asking ranchers about gold (or game, fish, locations) is often a very counterproductive folly. In some cases it may work. In other cases it just causes trouble. It all depends on individual personalities and these can be all over the map. You are just as likely to get wrong information as good information these days. My advice is to know the land status and any leaseholders in the area and get your information from the official records. Take anything that you hear from ranchers, miners or other users with suspicion. It is more often than not incorrect.
  3. 3 points
    I agree with you on part of your post. We run cows on BLM ground and we do worry about them, dont get me wrong. BUT..i would never expect anybody to go find who has the grazing rights so they can ask me if i care if they use the BLM land we ALL own. Just because we have the grazing rights for a certain piece of ground, doesnt mean we have the right to keep people off of it or even ask them why they are there. Grazing public lands has risks that come with it and we are very aware of that. You cant ASSUME that everyone using the ground is a bad person looking to cause damage. Its everybody's land to use, not just the ranchers.
  4. 2 points
    I don't keep track of the months but this was 2 trips from one patch ..scale isn't near by but probably around 7 grams.
  5. 2 points
    I don't know about chiggers???? I've never had any issues with them up here,...........You flatlanders down there in Phoenix must have to deal with them !?!,......when it gets real humid and hot up here I've had to deal with thrip, and those peskey, biting flys though. "Hey", we got a much better rain (and more-like) monsoon rain up here today. It came in hard and thrashing with lightning, thunder and came down in buckets for about 20-minutes-or-so,.........I was hoping for more of a "Biblical-type" downpour...something along the lines of a constant and consistent 20 inches of rain over a 30-minute period,..that way all this cursed-overburden would be washed down to Phoenix. Gary
  6. 2 points
    Oregon Gold Story-Dave Rutan: Part-3 Throughout the day before the event, the guests trickled in, with groups of 2-3, being the average and everyone got the guided tour from Dave, then visited and mingled until almost sundown. At that time, almost a dozen people collected in the Lodge, seated around a couple of hand - hewn wooden tables. After plentiful drinks, sandwiches, and a few tall tales, everybody turned in. The following morning after coffee, I hit it early and spent some time probing and detecting the most likely spots around the camp and ended up with lots of trash to show for it. I worked underwater (submersed coil), at the creek with the Fisher, and retrieved nuts and bolts and square nails, as anticipated. At 5:00 pm, I ambled back to the lodge and found Dale distressed and in a lather to get dinner out on time. Dale was several years older than I was, and was the only one responsible for preparing the food. He was the cook, did the food prep and set up, and served the meals, along with doing the clean up afterwards. I could see he was swamped and it wasn't going to work, so I jumped in to help meet the 6:00 pm dinner schedule. I decided to sacrifice some of my detecting time to help Dale out since he was a super nice guy and really did appreciate the help. Between the two of us, the kitchen was kept humming, and I still got in 2-3 hrs per day detecting time which I used to find, "hot spots" to help the high bankers find a place to set up on and I was able to continue pulling in a few "pickers" which keep things interesting (while hoping for a nugget like the 1/4 oz specimen previously found) On the last day, I decided to walk the property to look for old diggings and signs of previous mining. After about an hour of walking and spot detecting in between fallen trees and logs, I found what I would have liked to have seen the first day. A hillside with a huge half moon shaped cut, that had been hydraulically washed out of a cliff face. The hillside wall had trees and bushes growing straight out of it horizontally. I spent about an hour going over stacks and piles of rocks, digging numerous deep signals with the PI and 11" coil. I was finding what appeared to be parts and pieces of the high pressure"Giant" " that had collapsed the wall. I soon began to wish I had brought my GB-2 with me from my truck, so I could have avoided some of the deeper trash targets. It was obvious the hydraulic pit had not been detected before and even though the PI was wearing me down, I knew it should have be just a matter of time before a nice nugget turned up. Unfortunately, that was not to be, since I was out of time. Before I headed back to camp, I discovered two long tom sluice boxes buried deep in the mounds of gravel that had been washed down from the hillside. In addition to being covered with gravel size and larger rocks, the "Toms" were almost completely covered with old logs and a double layer of dead fall on top. It would have probably taken half a day to dig those sluices out, but it sure might have been worth the effort, if I'd only had the time left. When I got back to camp, I told Dave and Jim what I had found. It turned out no one knew where the hydraulic pit or the sluice boxes were located on the property! Jim was grateful for the information and said he had heard a rumor about hydraulic mining having been done somewhere on the place but hadn't been able to take the time to wander around looking for the spot. On the final evening at the camp, after everyone had been fed, and the final tally and split of the gold was completed; assorted brew and mash was served and shared, and good byes were being said. Jim D, who had been a little skeptical of my presence the first day, sat a bottle of bourbon on the kitchen counter where Dale and I were finishing up with the dishes and cleaning. He poured us all a short one, thanked me for the help and told me I was welcome to come back anytime I wanted to. I would have liked to have gone back at the end of July when the next 3 day event was scheduled and had a chance to work the hydraulic pit but that was not to be. I was off to the next adventure which happened to be a summer of prospecting around Idaho City, Idaho, then wintered in Arizona and New Mexico. Dave Rutan continued to expand his interest and investments in prospecting and Gold Camp development which entailed a multi-year long battle with environmentalists and the National Forest Service over claims and patented land ownership and access in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in Oregon. He finally relinquished claims for one gold camp as a means to retain ownership of a second prime gold camp location until an apparent lightning caused forest fire which destroyed the cabins and equipment he had brought in by helicopter. Rather than go through another lengthy legal battle to rebuild, he elected to put the property up for sale. Dave Rutan had to have grit and determination to stay in the fight so long in order to realize his dreams and ambitions and I saw a lot of parallels between Dave and the rugged miners who came before him. He put up a good legal fight. But I wonder what Henry Wines would have done?
  7. 1 point
    Fair enough Bob. It is public land and there for everyone to use and that people need to respect the mineral claims and grazing leases. I was just trying to point out to the city folks that if someone runs into a grumpy rancher just to keep in mind that he is probably protecting his livestock and has more than likely at some point or another had a bad run in with people on said land. And no you don’t have to ask permission, But if you took the time to make the aquatints with the rancher it could just grease the wheel so to speak and make things less caustic. Like you said though there are a lot of personalities out there and I am sure there are lease holders that think the land is theirs. Bottom line the rancher can’t say no to you that doesn’t mean he will be happy you are out there. You are also correct that you may get bad information from the rancher about the minerals on the land, that could be for a lot of different reasons. But I can’t say it would hurt to ask what they might know. Take what information they share with a grain of salt and consider the source after all they are not miners or prospectors they are more worried about food and water for their livestock. So to them you just might be a fool that wants to poke around in the dirt with a gold wishing stick, and in general just a pain in the backside. No one is going to "accidentally" shoot livestock. That is just preposterous. If it happens the shooter is negligent and responsible for the damages. If it happens on purpose the shooter is a criminal and faces severe penalties. Stealing private property is a criminal act whether it is cattle or equipment. It does not matter if the land status is private or public. Bob livestock is shot every year by hunters it doesn’t matter if it is malicious or on accident that isn’t preposterous it happens. Just like people are shot every year by fellow hunters across the country in hunting accidents. Because they don’t take the time to identify the target before they shoot. So unless it is caught on camera or by a law enforcement officer the offender is never brought up on any charges. Even if I see you shoot my cow it won’t go to court because it is my word against yours. I know that for a fact as it happens year after year at the ranch I grew up on.
  8. 1 point
    Interesting. When I was a kid, living in Simi Valley, my family camped at, what we then called Lundy Lake, a couple of times. I stll remember hiking up the canyon to where there were snowfields. I also remember, not long ago, my older brother telling me we met an old miner up there, who had a poke full of nuggets. Apparently he told us he knew where he could get gold any time he needed it. I was only about 7, so don't remember the old guy. Jim
  9. 1 point
    I would like to address this from the ranchers point of view. First I grew up on a cattle ranch. But in Texas where I grew up is all private land with no open BLM land so there is no public use. Never the less. If I have my property ( the cattle) out on a piece of ground I will want to know what you are doing out there. Ok so let’s say you go out on public lands to hunt deer or quail. That is your right, but what happens when you shoot my cow? Also you might consider that cattle rustling still exists in this day and age. Cows are worth three to five hundred dollars a piece. So if you run into a mad rancher you might take a minute to consider his point of view. He is just protecting his property the cattle. So with that said you might want to take the time in your research of new places to hunt gold and find out who has the grazing rights leased on the land you wish to prospect and contact them so they know who you are and what you are up to before going. Who knows they may know where the gold is and can point you to places worth looking at. After all they have probably spent more time on that ground than anyone else.
  10. 1 point
    Oregon Gold Story: Dave Rutan Part-2 I realized the minute I laid eyes on the camp that the odds of finding any stashes of gold nuggets or coins with a metal detector would be slim to none. As many prospectors know from experience, one of the main problems with metal detecting in Oregon or any place where there are a lot of trees and dead fall is the difficulty in getting a coil close to the ground. Sometimes it's impossible. Trees and brush, overgrowth and carpeted landscape of that nature is the usual ground cover, and Wines camp was no exception. Except for the immediate area around the cabins, parts of the creek banks, and the road going in, the area was a thicket and looked to be practically impossible to get a coil within a foot of the surface, except in a few places where mining had occurred and the brush had been cleared. Most of those areas were of course, littered with trash and mining debris. History of the Claim: From what I could find out about Henry Wines documented history beginning in 1866, and the history of the property, I concluded that the likelihood of him having amassed and buried a considerable amount of both nuggets and gold coins was pretty good, due to the circumstances of his death, which was sudden; and his known propensities to hoard his larger nuggets and buy provisions with his smaller nuggets and fines. At the time of his death, Wines had 20 active claims, about 5 miles of property, including both homesteaded and patented land. His creek property was several miles in length and the pay streaks on the properties were documented to be from 300-600 feet in width. When he went to Grant's Pass for provisions, he always brought with him from $500.00 to $1900.00 in gold that he bought gold coins with. He was never known to have spent a single gold coin, which added to the speculation that Wines was hoarding and burying his gold. At the peak of his mining success, in addition to several cabins, Wines had water ditches, a barn, horses, flumes and a hydraulic giant on his land. From the very beginning though, the main problem in the new mining community that straddled a disputed section of the Jackson-Josephine county was lack of legal jurisdiction and law enforcement. The counties fought over who was responsible for the border area, a condition that basically normalized claim jumping and intimidation by anyone who had the nerve to try it. The record shows that hundreds of angry and disgruntled miners tried to push Wines off his land and jump his claims in the process. He managed to keep them at bay by patrolling his property armed with a rifle, which he apparently, was not reluctant to use. Many miners that wandered onto Wine's property was said to have simply disappeared, never to be heard from again. On several occasions, Wine's was witnessed to be in possession of the personal property of missing miners such as a watch, clothes, and a rifle, and when these observations were reported to the local sheriff, nothing was ever done about it because of the counties dispute over boundaries and jurisdiction, and so the disappearances continued on for years. Wines managed to hold on to his claims, and periodically would acquire one or two new employees and/or partners who were good workers but they never seem to hang around for too long. Maybe just long enough to accumulate a grubstake towards getting a start somewhere else in the new land. Wines would respond to people gruffly when pressed about the matter, and since he was feared for his violent, threatening reputation, he was never pinned down on the issue. Wines was not married, but on one occasion a new miner from California drifted in to Grants Pass on a day that Wines was in town. The miner recognized Wines as being wanted by the law for the murder of his wife in California. The miner alleged that Henry Wines was an assumed name but the miner could not recall what Wine's real name was (or at least the name he was wanted under back in California) So, again, nothing ever came of the incident. July 2002: Since we had arrived on the day before the scheduled 3 day event, Dave and Dale took me around the property on a tour of the old log cabins, the main Lodge (2-story) with a loft, all well preserved and maintained. The original seasoned rustic appearance looked just as it did in old photographs of the buildings. We walked the gold bearing creek which still had occasional stretches of waist deep water in places, and holes that were slightly deeper. Dave mentioned that the creek almost dries up completely in August which is when the 1/4 oz sun baker nugget had been found. I was carrying an SD-2200 with an 11" mono coil as we walked along the creek while they explained how they would set up high bankers for each 2-3 person team every 30-40 yards or so. The backhoe and trommel were parked in the area of the most recently discovered pay streak next to a tall pile of overburden that would be used for the last day for the "common" dig and the participants would split the gold for that event, plus keep the gold found on their own at the high banker stations. Dave said there was one problem that they hadn't been able to get worked out, which was initially determining the best place to set up the high bankers to make sure the users would be finding gold right when they started. It was time consuming to try and test all the different spots up and down the creek that they needed, so usually, they just let the guests work the creek for awhile, then keep moving the equipment around to other spots until they hit on gold. Sometimes that method worked out, but not always. There were many small scattered multi-layered pay streaks on the claim that eroded into the creek, some more consistent and productive than others. I told Dave that I could try detecting the bank with the PI, but to actually search in the water was another matter. The only water detector I had was a Fisher CZ 6-a with submersible coils and I didn't think the sensitivity would pick up on small gold. So, they watched for a few minutes while I detected along the edges of the creek bank and they happily dug all the signals which turned out to be the usual rusty trash targets and a few bullets. Both Dave and Dale were astonished and amazed every time they dug up a piece of trash. They acted like a caveman who had just discovered fire. It was pretty hilarious watching these two grown kids laughing and having fun, and after awhile I noticed that every few feet along the edge of the creek, the banks had eroded off, leaving a horse shoe shaped depression, about a foot wide that water had back filled into. The result was a layer of silt an inch or two inches deep with about an inch of water on top. I decided to test these areas, so I set the 11" inch mono down on top of the water, just barely touching. I immediately started getting soft and faint but repeatable mosquito whispers which turned out to be "pickers" Dale scooped up a shovel full of mud from the first depression and dumped it into Dave's gold pan and several seconds of panning left a couple of nice flakes of gold in the pan. We repeated the process down the length of the creek and kept finding gold the same way, sometimes 2-3 pieces per pan. Now, they were really excited. I have to admit that I was also impressed at learning something new, and with just how sensitive the mono coil was! Later that afternoon, Jim D. one of the other partners showed up to get the equipment ready for the following morning. Jim was the back hoe/front loader operator and the mechanic/fix it man. He was cordial but I could tell he wasn't real happy at having someone brought in without having to pay. After hearing the explanation from Dave, and learning that I would not be using a high banker to mine the creek, he seemed to be OK with me being there and didn't mind me metal detecting since he obviously didn't know anything about detectors either! Part 3 to follow.
  11. 1 point
    I went out the other night and heard the leopard toads croaking, this is what signals the monsoon. A few hours later it was pouring down rain.
  12. 1 point
    Here's one I've watched a couple times. These guys have been moderately successful over the years.
  13. 1 point
    It sounds like someone needs a good dose of disinfectant and some light inside their body.
  14. 1 point
    Homies assertion was the BLM was putting up locked gates to restrict access on public land. And that hacksaw were being used to cut the locks. It isn't about fences. It isn't about cattle. This was an absolutely untrue attempt to make someone believe the BLM was restricting people (not cattle) from public land (not water sources) with locked gates (not fencing). And that hacksaw were being used to gain access. I call BS on that. I am out every day and involved in what goes on. There are conflicts and issues and a pile of BS on both sides. But the fairy tale that the BLM is trying to keep people off public land for legitimate use by installing locked gates is nothing but a pipe dream that supports a certain political agenda. It is simply not true. Yes they build fences to control cattle and protect sensitive areas from cattle. They also close roads in high impact or sensitive areas. But that is just not what we are talking about here or what Homie was driving at.
  15. 1 point
    It just wanted you to pet it.😉
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