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  1. 7 points
    These forums are a type of social media (like YouTube, FaceBook, etc.) where reality is often distorted in the viewers perception. You see a few people posting gold photos consistently and suddenly it seems very easy to accomplish. Same with reality shows. There are far more lurkers than posters and some of the most successful prospectors - detectorists never join a forum or participate in social media. It’s just not their thing. What you don’t know is as meaningful as what you do know, and as Clay noted - aside from gold, there are many other opportunities with natural resources. Knowledge is a big key. Finding gold consistently is fairly easy to do with experience. Finding enough to exist is one thing, finding enough to thrive is another. It all circles back to what you want and need, especially with living standards. Many people don’t know what they want other than the fact that they want change and more control over their lives. Deciding to be an independent miner is fundamentally a form of risk assessment. Like a few others here, I’ve done small scale and agree that it’s hard work and risk. You have to treat it like a business, because it is. It can be romantic/legendary in thought and it can make for good memories, especially if you can laugh at hard times. There are plenty of places where good gold still exists, and the bottom line is no one gets it all. Everyone leaves gold. It can be fun to chase crumbs, try to find what others may have overlooked or left behind because of something far better in their sights, or be the first in an area to find the big gold trophy nuggets. My daughter recently graduated with her first college degree and is pursuing her second. Before she started college my wife and I asked her to think about what she wanted her days to look like 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 years from that point in time. It took awhile but she came up with an answer. From there we just needed to apply some ideas about how she could accomplish those states. We knew the end goal, so we began journey planning with that in mind. People change, and their dreams and goals change. Life is short so again, there is nothing wrong with taking a chance if you want to. You can always change course. My point is this, what do you want your working days and your future to look like - construction sites or the gold fields? Are you willing to accept the risks that come with striking out on your own? I have a friend who was in the construction business for himself here in the lower 48. He really wanted to go to Alaska and try his hand at independent mining, so he pulled up stakes here and went north. A lot of research went into the decision and he ended up being a handyman for a few years, but eventually acquired a few claims. Having prospected Alaska myself, I agree Alaska is vast with huge potential. But it’s not a cakewalk. He still has yet to make a profit and maybe when this season is done he will, I sure hope so. Just because you’re passionate about something does not mean that you won’t suck at it. Avocation vs vocation. Other friends of ours wanted to live the “van life”. He and his wife sold their house, 95% of everything they owned, paid off all debt, and hit the road after completing a van build. They kept some cash, made some investments, and now work part time/seasonal jobs to keep their savings as intact as possible. They absolutely love it and never plan on looking back. Now with prospecting you could do the same and give yourself a safety net of sorts. Success, satisfaction, and happiness have different definitions for us all.
  2. 7 points
    And you thought your neihborhood was tough.
  3. 7 points
    Just got back from a few days in the mountains bowfishing. My son got a bucket full of big bullfrogs and we had a great time. We did manage to shoot a few fish as well. Here he is with a whopper goldfish. What a neat target for a bow from a kayak! He cut that rascal up and caught two nice catfish with cut bait. And here is a nice Gila trout I managed to hit. He is about 20 inches long. I have fished for these trout in this lake for years. I have never caught one. But I was working along the bank looking for frogs and saw lots of nice fish down deep under the boat. At first I couldn't tell what they were. I watched them for several minutes and decided they were trout but I honestly could not tell what kind they were. There were many of them and they were all nice size. I started taking shots down deep and it took several shots to get the "drop" right. The fish were in about 3 feet of water and it is extremely tough to figure out your trajectory and make shots that deep. Not to mention trout are swimming around and turning all the time and can be tough targets. But after a couple hours and a dozen shots I finally managed to nail a pretty nice one. I couldn't believe it when I pulled him up and saw it was a Gila trout. He was bright sunset orange and yellow. What a hoot! I dressed him out immediately and buried him in ice. Battered and deep fried within 4 hours or so. Yuk man. I ate the skin and a big piece of meat just to say I ate it and fed the rest to the dog. He was a lot more fun to shoot than eat. The frog legs and catfish was excellent though so everyone was well fed. Thanks to my son. I spent the whole day getting a Gila trout and that was cool. But the toddler put the frog legs and catfish on the table. And he did it shooting (and fishing) off that kayak which is something I just can't get the hang of at all. So cheers to the offspring! He is a real fisherman!
  4. 6 points
    I sure respect that position Skip. I think we see it in much the same terms. We deal with it at opposite ends of the spectrum though. So here is my perspective on it... When I was a youngster just learning to hunt my father took me to a slaughter house where they were killing and butchering pigs. I saw what real horror was. Animals feel that every bit as keenly as humans do. Those pigs that were waiting knew exactly what was happening. They could see and hear it and they hunkered and trembled in fear often for hours before their death. There was no attempt to reduce pain or fear. I knew instinctively that if I ate that meat that I would be committing some sort of a minor "sin". What was happening was morally wrong. There was pain and horror of innocent animals at the hands of some humans which (I am told) are all in need of some salvation. All that bad stuff had to be going somewhere. I figured it was going into the bacon. I had already seen how they kill beef cattle and although it was not as bad it was still grim business. And half of the stuff they make from a cow is from parts that a hunter would leave in the field. I saw the stark contrast between a hunter harvesting an animal and how commercial meat was handled. I wanted to insure that my diet contained the least amount of terror, pain and horror as possible. So like everything else that has to be done right I had to do it myself. That is a big reason that I hunt. Most of the red meat that I eat comes from animals that don't even know they are dead yet. And most of the fish go to sleep in a box of ice. The guy that killed them loved and respected them. Their death was done ceremoniously, with honor and intent. Almost an act of worship in a holy place. They were not only food but the hunt made the hunter stronger and wiser. Each hunt is a spiritual and emotional journey as well as a physical one. And when I make a mistake and cause fear or pain I must see it. I must feel bad about it. I must walk and track until I get the job done or admit I cannot. I have to ask for forgiveness and make it right because I see the consequences of my actions as it is happening. And I try to learn from it. I figure that is just that much less crap I am going to have to deal with trying to get my heathen azz into heaven you know? My plan is to have a bunch of colorful fish and sleek deer at my judgement talking me up about what a groovy warrior I am. Otherwise I am afraid I will have a herd of horrified hogs hunkering in some awful nightmare situation witnessing for me. Just my two sheckles on it. https://nationaldeeralliance.com/presidents-blog/top-10-famous-quotes-for-deer-hunters A peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact." -Aldo Leopold
  5. 5 points
    Hello all. My name is Spencer. I'm AllenJ's son. We've been prospecting for about 1.5 years now in the Butte County, CA area. It started with me purchasing a Gold Bug 2. My father and I went up to the French Creek area to test the detector out and after finding a bunch of shot, we were infected with the sickness and have dedicated most of our free time to prospecting since. I'm not able to get out as much as last year due to being in school again for the first time in 10 years, but since I'm only taking one summer course, we are able to get out about once a week. The attached picture is from one of our best trips out, if not the best trip, last summer. It was one heckuva day.
  6. 5 points
    here are a couple of realities to consider. Experience. Gold prospecting requires a command of a lot of disciplines. That takes time. It takes skill to make money at any job and gold prospecting is no different. That skill and experience comes with time invested. Without that experience there is no way you can break even much less make money. Location. Mineable earth that pays in gold value is rare. Any spots that have been found have been claimed and probably worked. You will need to find gold in gravel rich enough to recover $100 a day in a quantity to last you indefinitely. Otherwise you are going to have to find many good spots to work. That takes a lot of unpaid hours of searching and a bunch of knowledge. See the previous paragraph. I know a whole bunch of "independent miners" and I can tell you exactly zero of them can rub two nickels together. They only actually work a few days a year. The rest of their time is spent welding on some contraption or living in their head. Guys that come from a farming or mining background that have access to rich ground are the only folks that have a chance at independent placer mining. That is a rare situation that they are most likely born with. A guy that has years of experience at prospecting and knows a few good producing areas can make a profitable hobby from it. You have to love it and obsess on gold for years before you can go out and snap up the nuggets. You must live in an area that produces fantastic gold and have access to good ground. You must do your thing in secret or have sole access or someone else is going to work your spot too. If all that lines up you might make $100 a day for your time spent. Maybe. You can make a whole lot more cash a whole lot easier working at Wal Mart. Sometimes at Wal Mart a hot chick comes around with her boobies falling out. That don't happen when you are digging holes in the old hard ground. And your blisters don't split and bleed from collecting shopping carts either. So if you are after a hundred frogskins a day I would go to work at Wal Mart part time. You can prospect the cracks in the sidewalk at Wal Mart after work and make more than you can the first year combing the desert for gold.
  7. 4 points
    Also meteorites cause fires, a heavy wool coat will keep you cool in the desert heat, laws don't apply to natives on native soil and the postmaster has the key to Kim Kardashian's chastity belt. Wisdom for the ages man. Pure wisdom.
  8. 4 points
    Interesting that you would quote me but not give credit. I will stand by what I wrote and grant you an education opportunity as a reply. These are not "Known Historical Facts". If you had actually continued your research you would know that Onate (the last conquistador) was prosecuted and convicted of lying in these records and for personally lying to the King about these discoveries. It is a famous and very well documented trial. He was convicted of 13 charges including murdering his second in command and two of his officers along with a few hundred Acoma natives. He was a very stabby guy and couldn't stand even a little criticism even when it came from his best friend and confidant - who he stabbed to death publicly. It was shown that Espejo had concocted his story also but his legacy was mostly excused because Onate based his defense on Espejo having lied. That really didn't matter to the court because Espejo didn't lie to the KING as Onate had and that was the worst crime under Spanish law - a much worse crime than getting all murder stab stab with his officers and friends. Onate was so disliked and distrusted by his expedition colonists that on one of the few occasions he left Santa Fe when he came back after two weeks 3/4 of his colonists and employees had grabbed their stuff and headed back home to northern Mexico. His expedition and his fortunes collapsed shortly thereafter at which point the KING signed a warrant for his arrest and trial. Onate lied to the KING about having a producing silver mine on the Hopi Mesas (there is NO mineralization in that formation). Onate lied to the KING about personally traveling west to reach the Southern Sea where he found pearls heaped upon the shore. Onate lied to the KING about the extent of the Kansas expeditions - leading to him ordering the murder of one of his officers who objected. As far as gold in the Sycamore? Never happened. I owned the gold tooth mine patent at the confluence of the Verde River and Sycamore Creek and lived there for more than a year in the '80s. I know Sycamore Canyon and all it's side canyons intimately from years of exploration. There are NO mineral deposits of any significance. Certainly no gold whatsoever. The flagstone quarry in Sycamore pass between Casner and Black mountain is the only mining that occurred in that area other than at the gold tooth. The gold tooth was not a gold mine. It was named for the little yellow/brown chert inclusions found in the fluorite deposit that was being mined to supply the smelter at Jerome - they resemble yellowed teeth if you use your imagination. The deposit at Jerome is a deeply folded volcanogenic massive sulfide deposit. The Spanish are very familiar with those deposits as they mine several world class deposits of that type in Spain. The central ore body at Jerome begins at the 1,600 foot level. There was a lot of gold found at and below that level. There is no free milling gold or silver near the surface. Some very oxidized copper minerals were exposed in a small patch above the many Jerome mines - you can still see that patch today if you can get permission to climb above the pit. That was the only surface exposure. "Ore"? Well sure if you are just dying to find something to report back so you can get more men and supplies. I've read Espejo's reports from this period and knowing the area well I can only conclude his reports were fantasy based on stories gleaned from natives he questioned in his travels. The simple fact he never provided any samples of his "rich ore" is more than suspicious in my mind particularly when combined with the fact that the deposits he "discovered" that Onate claimed to have mined never existed.
  9. 4 points
    I got the point. My intent was to illustrate one path to the objective - not the only one. Just prospecting as a single man is not a paying profession. Prospectors seek and miners remove what prospectors find. Prospecting without the skills involved in mining means you will have to sell your discoveries. To sell those discoveries you need a knowledge of, and credibility, in the industry of mining - my point. There are at least two prospectors on this forum who make a decent paycheck from the recurring payments received from the mining leases on their prospecting discoveries. Both of those individuals are trained professionals with degrees and practical experience in the industry. Both these individuals also nugget hunt. I doubt either one of them could even pay the grocery bill much less their mortgage, utilities, medical and transportation costs from the gold in hand they get by nugget hunting despite their education and years of experience. That doesn't mean it's impossible to do but if successful pros haven't been able to pull it off ... There are thousands of professional prospectors working all over the mining states in an industry that generates more than a billion dollars a year. They would be really puzzled by any implication they aren't prospectors or that they work for the big mining companies. These guys and gals actually hike into rugged areas to work long hours in the desert and snow. When not researching potential prospects their working days are spent in the field. They, virtually to the person, love that aspect of their profession. Their job involves real boots on the ground prospecting and not a one of them would consider wearing cowboy boots or Italian shoes while they do their work. Very few of them are dickheads but feel free to call them out on that and see just how tough real professional full time prospectors are. In my profession we deal with a lot of these 2-8 man companies. I think every one of them would tell you that without a real working knowledge of the industry and some intense education and research you can't survive as a prospector in today's world. Sniffing around for nuggets is a great pastime but it doesn't consistently pay the bills. If you are only prospecting for gold you will walk right over valuable prospects for other metals and minerals that could pay your bills while you look for the next nugget. Don't worry though, while you may miss the easy payoff there will be a professional right behind you to prospect, claim, explore and lease those minerals so they can continue paying their bills while prospecting for their next payout. Prospecting is just one of the skilled jobs in the mining industry. Mining (including prospecting) has been an industry for all of recorded history. Little has changed over that history because like most real professions what actually works doesn't change much over time. Trying to go against the flow of what actually works in mining would be akin to deciding, as an electrician, that the 50 amp leg you are putting in will be fine supported by a 16 gauge solid aluminum wire. You just can't fool mother nature - the real world will always come back to smack you into sense if you survive your hubris. Mining is a well developed group of professional jobs that work together to bring metals and minerals to market at a profit. Even the smallest prospector will eventually have to engage other members of the mining profession if only to take advantage of the existing market structure and quality assurance (assays). A real paying gold strike of any size is going to require either employees or partners to get the gold out and turn it into money. Just wandering between nugget patches hoping the next patch will feed you long enough is a tough row to hoe. I already wrote that didn't I? Seems to be a recurring theme over the last few thousand years. A prospector who doesn't think they belong in the mining industry will have to find another profession. Prospecting has been an integral and essential part of the mining business since day one. Pretending you can work outside the industry while hoping to make a living without the education and knowledge to be gained from thousands of years is a formula for failure. I tried to suggest one way to gain the knowledge and experience you will need while transitioning from electrician to full time prospector. I'm sure other professionals can add some real working knowledge of how that might be successfully accomplished. All personal opinions and sartorial suggestions are also welcome.
  10. 4 points
    We all understand your past…that's a huge reason why we are all here - to evade dickheads in cowboy boots and Italian shoes.
  11. 4 points
    Electrician, If you are an electrician, I have buddys out here in Las Vegas that are electricians, making $35-40 an hour..... I dont know a fully qualified electrician making under $20 an hour.... I would go that route, than $100 a day...
  12. 3 points
    It is sad in a way. Remember the old adage ."even a blind squirrel can find a nut"? My guess is someone that wasn't even looking for the treasure will stumble onto it.
  13. 3 points
    You don't get invited to many parties do you Clay?
  14. 3 points
    George lived near Walnut Grove...I think that was the name...it was at the top of the hill on the back way to the Rich Hill area...he was a cowboy/cattle rancher and gold hunter. As I recall he found about a dozen gold coins in old mining camps. He got his thumb caught in a lasso once...said it hurt worse than getting stabbed or shot... Maybe Morlock can add to this... fred
  15. 3 points
    So im not sure about the mines there Bob, but here 99% of the shift's are a 5-4 schedule. Meaning you rotate between working 5 days on then 4 days off. Then 4 days on and 5 days off. I work Tuesday through Friday and am hourly. The salary folks work Monday through Thursday. The work is as steady as you would ever want and you can do all the OT you want or just work your schedule. The only people around here that work crazy days in a row are exploration companies. Even then the mines are starting to limit their exposure hours "time worked" for safety reasons. There are regular hourly employees that clear 6 digits a year and have 5 days off at a time to play and spend time with the family. Thats only working half a month. Heck even the lower end employees clear $80,000 a year. It is the best industry i have ever been in and I've been at it for almost 13 years now. I have friends that have 4 to 6 years of college and they get what the mining industry pays its entry level folks. It is hard to beat. I wish i could work the hills with my boys and bring in what i make now. Talk about a dream job.
  16. 3 points
    These are not miners these are tradesmen. These are wage earners working at a corporate mining operation. Only a tiny handful are independent miners and the vast majority of them fail for the reasons outlined above. The discussion was about an individual getting out of that rat race and fossicking a hundred bucks a day as an independent. Not getting a corporate job as an electrician in the mining industry. For all practical purposes mining = construction when you are talking about wages, skilled crafts involved, actual work processes performed, etc. etc. A skilled craftsman can work for peanuts making a contractor wealthy or he can play the corporate game on bigger jobs (or mines) and make Davis Bacon wages or better. Or he can get disgusted with the whole soul sucking scene and strike out on his own. In other words I don't see the discussion as being about getting a job in the mining industry. Nor "prospecting" as it relates to the mining industry. I don't see the discussion being about the mining industry at all. I see it as a discussion about freedom and doing something more meaningful before you get old. An independent prospector is to the mining industry what a deer hunter is to the meat processing business. No one smells the crisp fall air and yearns to get a job pulling the hides off cattle. Likewise an electrician unfulfilled with years of pulling wire for a dickhead in cowboy boots on a construction job does not dream of pulling wire for a dickhead in Italian shoes on a copper mine. He wants to go out and find some placer gold and be free of all the BS. At least that is how I see it.
  17. 3 points
    Dude that is rough, especially for a skilled trade like that. I work for the mining industry in northern Nevada and the electricians are the highest paid on the mine sites. Im talking 38 to 45 bucks an hour for a 12.5 hr day. Thats some good pay! Might be worth looking into for ya.
  18. 3 points
    Very good point Ron. The majority of paying placer operations that fail do so because of the sticky finger problem. If the placer deposit is big enough to pay out for a reasonable time you will need to work with employees or working partners. Both are notorious for taking their pay out of the box and "forgetting" about their five finger bonuses when payday comes around. Security takes on a whole new meaning when you are working with friends and partners. Gold often causes reasonable people do some very unreasonable things.
  19. 3 points
    Nearly 1/4 million people mine full time for a living in the United States. Mining can be a very profitable profession. Trained journeyman and master electricians (IBEW?) are an employable group in mining. The wages and benefits are better than most other skilled professions. Prospecting on the other hand is a highly technical and speculative profession that can pay off very well occasionally. If you are prepared for long periods between paychecks in an interesting job with a significant risk profile prospecting might work for you. The problem with a lone individual making a living prospecting is that you will be in competition with some seriously smart, educated, motivated and experienced professionals with financing. Mostly exploration geologists working in groups of three to eight or so. That business is highly competitive right now due to the squeeze the big mining companies are experiencing and the lack of available financing from skittish stock markets. Prospectors by the very nature of their profession do not mine - they sell, partner or lease the mineral deposits they have discovered and defined. It really helps to understand the current market and company needs as well as having some inside contacts if you want to go that route. A degree from a good mining school is also a good idea. Untrained and unknown prospectors with even a fantastic discovery are going to have a very difficult time getting in the door of a potential mining partner these days. If you are thinking of prospecting/mining as a single person job you've got a tough row to hoe. The knowledge base, skill set and physical requirements are much greater than mining for a living or prospecting. In Arizona, on BLM managed lands, there are currently about 25 permitted placer gold mining operations. How many of these are profitable is anyone's guess as that information is kept private but in my experience I would be surprised if more than two or three of those are active, profitable operations at any given time. I guarantee you the profitable ones have paid their dues many times over to get where they are. I know of a few metal detectorists in Arizona, California, Nevada that could potentially make a reasonable living by full timing but they all keep their day job. Swinging a detector full time to feed your family is a risky proposition. I do know a few placer and lode miners who manage to feed their families with shovels, breaker bars, sledges, drills, dredges and backbreaking work but I'm sure they would tell you it's not a job that you could ride into retirement age or one that you could continue profitably if you were injured or you had unexpected expenses arise. Maybe consider keeping your current profession but get a job at a mine as an electrician. Keep your ears and eyes open, learn the business side of mining and make some contacts. Perhaps after a few years working at different mines and you might then know if it's even a profession you would enjoy. If you decide it's the thing for you try to sell your skills to an exploration group or even a junior mining company so you can see how professional prospectors work. The whole time work to make those ever valuable contacts within the industry. That's just one possible path to work your way into full time prospecting for profit. Hopefully others in the industry can chime in with their point of view.
  20. 3 points
    Good question, and smart to ask before you leap. Prospecting full time is not quitting your job, it's trading your current job for another one. The dirt business is hard work. I’ve met more than one millionaire who were told they would never succeed, and many times that number of people who gave up on their dreams when the road got rocky. There are wealthy people who are miserable, and people who barely eek out a living who are truly happy. Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world will change for you. We all walk our own path. Live fully, experience the things you want. Have fun, be different. Everyone screws up so sometime, friends, lovers, partners, just be ready to enjoy the process and allow the lessons to make you better. Good luck!
  21. 3 points
    I mined full time for a living for about 7 years and did pretty well financially...But what whooped me and my partners was the crew (37 of them) shutting down the pumps whenever we partners left the mine, and jumping into the sluice...They stole some major big nuggets and the local store owner had a deal to guarantee he'd buy any gold from our operation...We finally went broke after an especially hard wet and snowy winter up in the Klamath Mountains on a North Fork, Salmon River trib... But during my years dredging with a 4" Keene I did average about 1 ozt per week... But when gold prices skyrocketed every swingin' richard in the country started making finding ground quite difficult...Fortunately, as an experienced local, I knew some of the best hidden and productive places ... Mining was challenging to be consistent but back in the day you could do it...Now, I don't think one out of every thousand folks who try to make it is successful....But you've got to take into consideration that prospecting and mining is the most fun you can have with your knickers pulled up.....Cheers, Unc
  22. 3 points
    Just wondering if them wheels will show up on Dave's plane...….
  23. 3 points
    I like this post, I quit fishing and hunting years ago because I don't kill anything unless I eat it and now a days I don't have time to clean the catch, so I won't go and hunt or fish for the fun of it, even fishing and releasing them doesn't suit me, if I ever need the food I will do it all again, but the suffering will be minimal to the food source.
  24. 3 points
    Good stories and a great reminder to us all, especially those just starting out. Digging up trash shouldn't confirm what your insecure subconsciousness is trying to convince you of, (that you're never going to find gold) The experienced conscious mind understands that every piece of thrash dug is just one step closer to success . . . digging up a gold nugget (and holding it in your hand)
  25. 3 points
    (NOTICE: No gold found on this outing. Read on only if you enjoy reading about the adventure.) Deep Canyon Ghost CampWe’d heard rumours, but we’d never followed up on the information . . .We were told to head down the logging road until we saw a large area off to the left side that had a designated winter pull-out for vehicle parking. After we’d found the spot, we were supposed to check the forest behind the pull-out for an old trail, and by following the trail, it would lead us down the mountain into a steep canyon where the Old Timers had taken out lots of chunky gold, and all of their work was done by hand as the gold was shallow to bedrock; shallow diggings, the Old Timer’s bread, butter, and cream. Furthermore, there was supposed to be an old cabin where a highly successful miner had been found dead. His body was discovered during the deep winter snows, and only located weeks after he’d died, but his cache had never been found. So, it seemed like a good spot to investigate.We grabbed a couple of detectors, some bear spray, a flare gun with bear bangers, some sniping tools, a couple of pans, and off we went.Not far into the trees we found an old cabin, but it wasn’t quite old enough for the stories we’d been told, but it did have some cool items in it; however, there were no other structures, and we’d been told there were “cabins”.We carried on, picking up the thread of the trail, but we got crossed by some deadfall. Working our way through, we were soon on our way downslope. In short order, the steep trail dropped in pitch even more, and the surrounding forest was extremely quiet, which was unexpected.We were in an area of dense growth, but no buildings were visible anywhere. As we rounded a bend in the trail, we saw a collapsed roof, and under the roof, the drooping remains of a log structure. Off to the right at about a 45-degree angle, there was a building that had obviously been a workshop at one time, as lots of cast off materials and machinery parts surrounded it.In front of us, right off the trail to our left, was an old root cellar, and someone had been digging behind it, throwing out all of the old cans and bottles. To our immediate right was a building and part of the roof was beginning to collapse. What was interesting is that under an intact portion, there were still many cords of cut firewood.As the steepness of the descent increased, we came upon a large, long log building, one that had been re-roofed in more modern times. To elaborate a bit, the cuts of the logs where they were fitted at the ends had been beautifully done by some master builder in the past. Those logs were securely locked; it was built to weather any kind of severe force. To the left of the long building, there was a house, the roof over the porch collapsing, and when we went inside for a peek, someone had done a lot of work to cover the rooms in every ceiling with tin, and that was curious.After poking around the surrounding buildings for a while, and after snapping some pictures, we worked our way along the edge of the cliffs to get down to the creek.One of the first things we noticed was a hand-stacked rock wall on the opposite side, one expertly crafted on the bedrock of the creek to rise up to then intersect the cliff face. Someone went to a lot of work to stabilize that spot.Visible above the rock wall and the cliff were countless hand-stacks of cobbles, evidence of the gold rush where the miners were working the shallow diggings to get to the easy placer. (Later on, we met a modern-day miner, and he told us there were lots of nuggets recovered in the two to three-ounce range!) As the canyon was so steep, and due to the shallow deposits, it had never been worked by mechanized mining.My son fired up his detector and set off to see what he could find.While he was hunting for targets, I set up to provide over-watch: we were after all in the land of the grizzly and the black, as well as the territory of the cougar.As luck would have it, there were no encounters with apex predators, and it was a beautiful afternoon with the forest lit by golden shafts of soft sunlight that filtered down from high overhead. However, the normal symphony of mountain songbirds was absent, as were any signs of hummingbirds or butterflies, all my normal companions while chasing placer. In addition, no mountain flowers were present, reflecting the scanty soil conditions of the canyon.As I kept watch, I moved around and noticed that every place there was any kind of a gut or a draw the miners had tossed out the cobbles to reach the bedrock bottom. In fact, I couldn’t find one place where they hadn’t excavated any likely-looking spot. Furthermore, as I looped above the area where my son was working, I came across numerous trash pits with all kinds of interesting old cans and containers, rusted evidence of either former food or fuel needs.My son called me down to the creek where he’d isolated a target underwater, but it turned out to be a small part of an old square nail, which for whatever reason always sounds off like a good find on the pulse machine. He kept digging the rest of the afternoon and recovered countless trash targets: square nail tips and sections; intact square nails of various sizes; bits of can-slaw; a chunk of punch-plate; various pieces of wire of differing compositions; as well as chunks of lead, etc.What he didn’t find was any gold, but that’s the way it goes in the nugget hunting game; buckets of trash get dug before the gold gets found. In retrospect, I don’t even know how many buckets of trash I dug before I found my first nugget, and I think that’s what kills most beginning nugget shooters. They give up after the first palm-full of trash or sooner. Nugget hunting requires serious dedication and patience, but when that first sassy nugget is finally in the palm, there’s nothing like it, nothing.We gathered up our gear, took a few more pictures of the cabins and buildings on our way out, and then hit the switchbacks as we slogged our way up out of that silent canyon.We will go back, but with a different focus this time. We’ll move some hand-stacks from some likely looking spots to give the underlying, undetected bedrock a sniff. I mean, two to three-ounce nuggets? Something had to have been missed in a crack somewhere . . .All the best,Lanny
  26. 2 points
    Just read this. Hope someone finds it soon. http://amp.timeinc.net/time/money/longform/theres-a-treasure-chest-worth-millions-hidden-somewhere-in-the-rocky-mountains-these-searchers-are-dedicating-their-lives-and-savings-to-finding-it
  27. 2 points
    I don't know that they would have known him, fred..... My grandparents owned a ranch down there when my dad was very young. They then moved to Skull Valley, and then to Prescott. My dad passed away in 1989 ( at age 62,..way to young), and the only info that I have about them in Walnut Grove is an old faded picture of their place down there, and a brief history of my dad's upbringing down there. Gary
  28. 2 points
  29. 2 points
    Does it matter that the indigenous people of the Americas were not vegetarians, had a much shorter lifespan and died by the millions when the Spanish made contact? You should spend some time actually learning facts and history rather than fantasizing about it. The truth about what happened is much more fascinating conversation than the fairy tales you present as facts. What actually happened when Europeans came to this continent is very important history and our lives are so much richer knowing it. Yours would be much richer too if you learned some actual history. You would be wiser and not so easily led into believing preposterous things.
  30. 2 points
    Thank you. The only reason I found this was because AllenJ had an idea. His idea paid out. Yeah, I was tired of lurking. I also plan to live vicariously through others once the fall semester starts.
  31. 2 points
    Welcome Spencer! I guess me talking about this forum finally got to you lol. As I'm sure I've said to you already these folks know their stuff and are very helpful. This forum is a great resource.
  32. 2 points
    If only it were that simple!!! But their are guys that cannot get work anywhere but the low-ballers. Usually due to bad personal decisions or are in-between major projects. "MY" area goes something like this- All the major players that pay great money, the requirements are that you are a member of the good ol boys club. These companies are extremely incestuous. Family and friends. The outsiders do ALL the work under the "management" of the club. Pay is great, decent benefits, little to no profit sharing. They do mass layoffs after major projects (1+ year projects) and use temp manpower to do a lot of the manual labor portion for the skilled tradesman. The next group of good payers, $#!t you out as soon as the project is over. They go after the low hanging fruit, leaving us to hunt work after a few months or more of good pay but NO benefits. Their projects are spaced sporadically, could be a 6 month wait. Can't feed a family like this, maybe good for the young folks that do not have financial skills. Low ballers, usually have steady work, but pay crap and little to no benefits. The "skilled" tradesman does ALL the work, usually solo or if your lucky you'll get an apprentice for certain projects. These companies dangle the carrot of "steady" work. Finding a permanent home as a "commercial/industrial" electrician is difficult. If you're on the residential side, you really should work the service end. It pays well here, in the right company. Commissions on service tickets run 35-65% plus your hourly rate, company truck, gas card, etc. The hours for service folks are HORRID. You're on call 24/7/365. Friends of mine work this side and they take home $95-120K a year. But they're never home, that money just sits in the bank. No vacations, no outings, picnics, get togethers, nada.
  33. 2 points
    You live in Wickenburg and you need pointers? How about one that spins around in all directions? Just kidding man! Welcome! You are in the perfect place to figure this stuff out quick. Pester some of the grumpy old mossbacks on this forum about it. Half of them have been swapping spit around Wickenburg for decades. Offer to bring lunch and beer. Wear something sexy if you have to. You are bound to be on gold in no time! One pointer. You need a cool prospector name that projects a bit more confidence than your current handle. Sluicebox Sam, Muckin' Mike or some such clobber. You are going to have to change it as soon as you find gold anyway so get ahead of the curve and getcherself a suitable handle to soak a shirt in. Honestly. See ya round cheekako. Good luck and don't eat the snow worm.
  34. 2 points
    Welcome to the forum! I will give you your first pointer...research...it all starts with research, you can start with researching these forums because they have many, many, pointers all typed out for many years now and more are posted most every day, I would suggest you read as many topics as you can that seems to gain your interest in the knowledge you seek for a start
  35. 2 points
    I fully understand the question he was asking. I was just shocked by how much he made being in a skilled profession like that. I would love to live in the mountains full time chasing nuggets and gold but unfortunately i still have many bills like a mortgage and a vehicle payment. Now IF a person was retired and had a set monthly income, then yeah you could probably do it if you didn't burn through your income doing it. Just because you make 400 dollars a week doesn't mean that was enough to pay the bills and be comfortable. Thats the other thing to look at. Now if that was enough to live off of comfortably, then by all means 100 bucks in gold per day should be enough. Good luck!
  36. 2 points
  37. 2 points
    I got that. And no doubt most tradesmen are undervalued in the private sector and sometimes grossly overvalued in certain other situations. I have been a tradesman most of my life and supervised skilled trades for the rest of it. I started out in residential construction and had a residential building company for 15 years. Then I went to heavy construction and construction management. I worked for Bechtel, Phelps Dodge, NASA, Ch2M Hill, Freeport McMoRan and also the State of New Mexico. So I know how the construction/mining industry works and the wage disparity. Everyone needs to get paid what they are worth. In my town an electrician in the private sector hires on for $12 an hour with no vacation or benefits. Ten miles to the east on a Government job they make $35 per hour with great bennies. Thirty miles to the south they can make $45 per hour. All of them live in the same community and do the same work. Ten percent of them can provide for their families and the rest live in mobile homes and rely on public assistance to take up the slack. All of them wish they were out in the desert walking around with no responsibilities no matter how much they make. I was just pointing out to Clay that his definition of "mining" and "prospecting" was completely different from what the OP as well as most of us here define it. Even if the definition is technically accurate. And that my interpretation of the post was not about the need for getting a job in the mining industry but rather experiencing life before it slips away.
  38. 2 points
    I think that is called a cliff...
  39. 2 points
  40. 2 points
  41. 2 points
  42. 2 points
    Just the tail wheel, the landing gear wheels are way over sized. Old Tom
  43. 2 points
    It is big business here as well. But even business won't make a trout taste good. I think it is safe to say that many fishermen regard trout as one of the least palatable catches. Especially stockers. And as water temps and fish size increase so does the muddy taste. It is worse in lakes and less in rivers. That has been my personal experience. I am certain I am not alone with this opinion. You may enjoy them all and that is just peachy. I find the small wild stream trout palatable when they hit the skillet within a few minutes of being caught. In frigid weather from icy water they are good fare. I like small fresh caught trout baked in foil with citrus and butter in the winter. The only way I enjoy summer trout is when it is cooked into spicy fish patties and served with a big bowl of mountain grown pinto beans. Any other fish including carp, frogs, crayfish, and shellfish are preferable to trout IMHO. I like walleye best but I eat every fish I take except the carp. I eat many pounds of catfish, bass. crappie and frogs each year and we always manage to have a couple of crawfish dinners. I do catch a few trout each year but I generally release them or give them away to someone who likes them. The only reason I shot that trout is because I had never shot a trout with a bow. The only reason I ate him was because I shot him. I probably won't shoot at another trout because I would not want to have to eat another one. I love hitting fish with that arrow though buddy! It is just intoxicating to shoot down into the water and see that arrow go through a big fish. Wow what a rush! I will hunt bass or catfish to get my kicks though. It is kinda like tassel eared squirrel hunting. They are as big as cats and hide like snipers in those tall ponderosa pines. They are the ultimate rifle target bar none. I freaking LOVE to shoot them out of tall trees and watch them tumble down over the branches while the dog goes berzerk. It is almost as good as sex and you can do it 10 times a day. But I quit shooting them years ago because I hate to skin them and I don't like to eat them. I just can't kill them for fun because that is not cool no matter how much fun it may be. Shooting trout is a lot the same for me I guess.
  44. 2 points
    The trout fishing here is amazing but when the water gets hot, they taste just like the algae and the weed growth in the water. We have one reservoir here where they taste like the mud when it gets hot too. Best tasting are the ones through the ice or the creek's.
  45. 2 points
    A lovely shade of green I'd imagine. Alaska Fish and Game used to release the older "brooder" trout into local lakes once in a while. They were fun to catch, but as you pointed out...were mushy fleshed and tasted like chit.
  46. 2 points
    He tasted just like mud with bones. I think all the Gila trout in that lake are stockers from the hatchery. There was a fishing derby a couple weeks ago and they said they stocked a bunch of big ones just before it started. My guess is that the fish I saw were these stocked trout. A smaller, naïve fish would have probably tasted a whole lot better. Still, trout is not my favorite eating. Everywhere in New Mexico except this particular lake you need a special license to fish for Gila Trout. Lots of guys are obsessed with catching them on flies and spend hundreds of hours trying to land one. I have a buddy that has been at it for 3-4 years now and has not caught one. I showed him the photo and he hates me now. He thinks it is cheating that I shot it with a bow and arrow. I figure getting one that way is just as tough and a lot less likely than catching one on a fly. Lots of fly fishermen have caught them. I cant say I have ever heard of anyone taking a Gila trout with a bow. Now I know where they are hanging out I bet I can catch them pretty easy on a rod and reel. I wonder what color my buddy would turn if I showed him a stringer full?
  47. 2 points
    I knew George as well. What a terrible accident. RIP George
  48. 2 points
    Thanks Lanny buckets of junk before the first nugget, I identify with that! In the late eighties I lived in Chino Valley, Arizona. I was frustrated and George Med told me to stop by for some mentoring, so I did... He watched me tune and use my Garrett. He looked through my junk and said I should be finding gold as well as anyone... nonetheless, I continued to find anything except gold! so it went for a while longer . ps. George was a very successful gold hunter at time..may he Rest In Peace fred
  49. 2 points
    If you're looking for the safe, you'll find it in the basement of the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in dowtown Wickenburg. I researched this story in the Phoenix Library a couple of years ago. The first report to the media was by "Buckey" ONeill who was then serving as the sheriff of Yavapai county. During the interview, he mentioned that the safe had been washed away and had not been found. That really excited me as it verified all of the stories I had read and heard over the years. I almost left then and there to go search for the safe since it would have been within 50 - 60 miles of where I lived---But I kept reading looking for more clues. As I scrolled through the microfilm of the 1890 Phoenix and Prescott newspapers, I found an issue dated approximately 2 weeks after the initial report where "Sheriff ONeill has arrived with the latest updates on events in Wickenburg". Included in the updates was the news that the safe had been found and recovered with the contents intact. A couple of months later, I visited Wickenburg and happened to go into the museum. While I was there, I noticed a large, ornate safe in the basement. The descriptive card with the safe indicate that it had been washed away during the flood of 1890 and later recovered. So no safe to be found, but the area of the flood is still worth searching for all the smaller items that were washed away and have yet to be recovered.
  50. 1 point
    Looks like you guys had a blast. Good job!
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