Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums
Lanny in AB

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

Recommended Posts

Hey Lanny GOOD STUFF!!!!!

You do remember that Discriminate will not work with a Mono coil right? nor will the cancel mode. If you have not tried the DD 11 inch Commander on your 5000 you will be amazed at what you can do in very hot soils... Everyone using the earlier models would throw their stock DD into a box, run out and get a Mono and forget about it. The GPX-5000 is a different animal and works wonderfully with a DD without the drawback experienced with earlier models. So if using a M<ono, give your DD Commander a try on that hot bedrock.

Thanks for your support and encouragement Bill.

Actually, I have used the DD, and I love it, but I wasn't aware that cancel mode didn't work with monos (must have missed that in the book, but that wouldn't surprise me too much--the fact that I missed it, that is). Moreover, the fact I missed that vital piece of information explains a few things I was puzzle by as well. I got out again last weekend and I'll have to add some more details to the running story I've started about my experiences with the 5000--it is an incredible machine that continues to amaze me with its capabilities.

Thanks again for all of the help with the item you shipped me--I hope everyone realizes what a superb, helpful person you are to deal with.

All the best--still learnin',

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part III

While packing my gear in the 4X4 that morning, I’d heard some strange noises. The sounds weren’t wolf-like, and they were far off, making it difficult to identify them or to accurately gauge the true direction of their origin. Nonetheless, those howls and cries sounded strangely canine, but not your typical dog talk, that’s for sure. As I made my way along the logging road I found out what all of the ruckus was about. There were two trucks full of hounds (Blueticks and Redbones I believe, but don’t quote me on it). The dogs and their handlers had been chasing cougars earlier that morning. Now, that sure explained the long, loud, and strange moans and wails I’d heard earlier!

During my descent of the mountain canyon, I stopped several times at clearings in the timber to snap pictures of the emerging waves of far blue, mountains, and the dazzling white-fanged, snow-capped summits of the closer peaks.

There is a remarkable beauty in nature that will ever remain unequalled, and the mountains of springtime remain the choicest, most priceless works of art that Nature has ever put on display.

I hoped to see some strutting, colorful, wild turkeys on the way out, but none waltzed from the trees to have their pictures taken. However, squadrons of ever-common deer flew across the road at regular intervals, and plentiful companies of disordered ground squirrels busied themselves with whatever it is that ground squirrels always seem so busily doing. In addition, Spruce Grouse planted themselves in the middle of the road in frozen postures from time to time, confident in their seemingly invisible invincibility, forcing me to swerve to miss them. So convinced are they of their invisibility when they freeze in place, that it would be quick work to make road pizza of the lot of them.

Eventually I made it to the main, paved road, and the stingy air was finally retaining some warmth it grudgingly accepted from the sun, but I could see that the wind was picking up. So, I hurried along to the junction, and then took a sharp turn from the highway onto another logging road, one that tortured itself as it twisted, clawed and fought its way up the narrow cliff-lined canyon that summited near the junction to the placer mine. At the turning point, taking a different branch of the logging road, I made my way downhill through some thick growth of Douglas Fir, pine, and spruce.

Part way along the forest track, I came to a place I had visited years before, and had always told myself I would revisit, to take a chance to snap a few pictures. It was the site of the burial ground for the Chinese miners that labored in the area in the 1800’s. Their cemetery was separate and distinct from the sourdough cemetery, and as part of their custom and tradition, they were to have their remains buried in the land of their birth. Therefore, the deceased Chinese all paid an up-front fee to have their remains shipped to their homeland, for reburial in their native country. I parked the pickup in a pullout and took the short, steeply climbing walk through the mature pine and spruce until I reached the vacant graveyard. The burial ground was as I remembered it: a series of excavated pits ranged in ordered ranks along the side of the hill, the walls of the excavations more subdued than on my former visit, as Nature had been busy softly muting the stark scars of the disinterred, hollow graves. Nonetheless, the place still possessed a paradoxical element: a reverent, but eerie quality that is hard to describe, and due to this, I snapped a few pictures and promptly returned to the truck, to continue down the trail to the placer workings.

When I arrived at the entrance to the mine, the gate had been left open, and I slowly navigated the steep grade of the downward trending cut as it worked its way around a cliff, until it finally leveled out in a large, relatively flat, mined-out area. I made my way across those flats to the current placer excavation. Some heavy equipment was busily stripping off a new section of overburden to get to the pay channels underneath, but the equipment was sited far upstream from where I was going to detect.

The wind had really picked up, and as I exited the 4X4 with my detector bag, the gusts of wind gave the detecting equipment wings and bizarre aerodynamics from time to time. In addition, the five-gallon bucket I gripped in my other hand was more stable, as it contained hammers, chisels, pry-bars, and several bottles of drinking water. Moreover, the bucket was less aerodynamic than the detector bag, and it rode out the bucking gusts of wind much like a seasoned bronc rider.

When I reached the pit, I was somewhat awed by the amount of ground before me. It had been taken right down to the bedrock, but there were areas where they’d cut far down into the bedrock chasing the heavier concentrations of gold in either the softer, or the more heavily fractured ground. In addition, it was clear to see where an old drift mine had cut across the northern end of the excavation, and those sourdoughs had cut down several feet into the softer, fractured bedrock as well. In addition, they had created at least one side tunnel that ran almost straight north, to where it disappeared under the ancient, glacial mantle of boulder clay.

All the best,

Lanny

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part IV

As I was setting up, one of the mine partners came down to see me. He told me that the best gold had come from the area outlined by the main drift’s cut where it met the offshoot tunnel from the main excavation. As he pointed that area out, I could clearly see that the richest area of pay had been contained within the boundaries of a roughly shaped, reversed L. He wanted me to check out sections all over the placer pit to see how well they’d stripped the pay dirt, and he wanted to find out if they’d cut down deeply enough into the softer bedrock. He let me know that I was welcome to keep anything that I found, and that all I had to do was to let them know what, and where I had found it.

I hauled the GPX 5000 out of the bag and quickly assembled it. I was in a bit of a hurry as I was concerned about the wind’s velocity because it was gusting terribly. It even rolled the detector bag across the bedrock towards a small pond sited in a large dig hole, but the bag suddenly lodged itself in a low cut that had recently been pumped dry. The wind gusted once more and even the five-gallon bucket took a header, but it didn’t roll very far, due to its weighty nature. Apart from the mini-hurricane, I had another concern. The heavy equipment that was operating upstream would undoubtedly be throwing off some electrical interference, and I was unsure how well the 5000 would handle all of that.

I fired up the detector, but I couldn’t get any threshold sound in the headphones. I shut it off and double-checked everything and started it again. No threshold tone. I tried all of the connections—they were secure. What could it be? I knew the battery was freshly charged. Nevertheless, I was stumped. That is, until I remembered that my headphones, in addition to a separate volume control, had an on/off switch! I flipped the switch and was rewarded with a nice, mellow hum. Next, with the coil elevated, and held perpendicular to the ground, I slowly moved in a half circle, noting the direction of the greatest electronic interference. And, you’ve probably guessed already. It was coming from the direction of the equipment. All kinds of squeaks, woo-woo’s, yak-yak-yak’s, and warbles were coming from over there.

I found an elevated pile of rubble where I could rest the coil, with the flat, bottom surface directly facing the bizarre electronic symphony. I then pushed the button to do an automatic tune out of electronic interference. I waited for sixty seconds as I listened to an eerie, unearthly composition of alien-like music as the detector worked doggedly to rid its electronic threshold of the unwanted invasion. After the abrupt tones that signal the end of the tuning, the detector was running very quietly. I stood up and slowly arced through the former zone of interference, only to be rewarded with the peaceful solitude of a very mellow, steady threshold sound. Very impressive the GPX 5000 was. In similar circumstances, my old 2100 would have squawked and warbled like a strangling crow on steroids, no matter how I tried to adjust or tune it. The 5000 truly was wowing me.

I knew that interference wasn’t going to be a factor, and that’s a great comfort when you’re trying to hear the ever so soft sound of gold. In fact, that’s one thing that a lot of rookies mess up on. They think that gold should be a nice sharp, crisp signal. Well, if the ground in goldfields was completely neutral, maybe the tone of gold would be. However, since good gold ground is often heavily mineralized, the electronic struggle to separate that gold signal from all of that background noise often leaves a barely audible whisper, or as has often been quoted by other nugget hunters, it’s signature is merely a “bump” in the threshold.

That “bump” simply means that the steady hum of the threshold is slightly disturbed or interrupted in some way. It’s when you repeat your swing over that same contact point, after removing a couple of inches of overburden, that you may have the opportunity to hear a more distinct disturbance in the threshold, or perhaps even a soft, audible target signal. Quite often, that’s how many nuggets are found. It’s not the loud scream or rock solid zippy tone depicted in many of the video finds. That in-your-face tone is often only evident after a considerable amount of soil has been removed. So, go slow, and listen very, very carefully. If the threshold gets interrupted for any reason, remove some soil, and scan the spot again.

Well, to get back to my story, I turned up the volume to compensate for the howling wind and headed out to detect the bedrock. Almost immediately I had a signal. It turned out to be a tiny sliver of bucket, or blade, or track. In fact, I spent from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. doing nothing but digging countless pieces of tiny steel fragments (I stopped counting after about eighty.), but I kept at it. (The tiny pieces of steel were much too small for the iron discrimination to be of any use.)

I walked along a shelf that skirted a deep pool where they’d excavated a large hole in the softer bedrock while chasing a richer concentration of gold. The shelf itself was composed of harder bedrock. I got a nice solid signal, used the pick and magnet to dig and sort, and soon I had an inch square chunk of heavily oxidized cast iron on the tip of the super-magnet. That was the largest piece of metal I’d encountered the entire day. I decided to head back over to where the main drift first entered the side of the pit, in the aforementioned reverse-L section. On my way over I noticed numerous contact zones where differing sheets of bedrock collided, and where faulting was very obvious. I detected along those margins, but all was silent. The wind was still gusting with a vengeance, and every once in a while it would grab the coil and try to fling it and the supporting stem assembly off to either one side or the other. It was nasty, and I was getting tired

I finally made it to that inverted L area. I could see the cut in the bedrock where the drift had first met the bedrock base. There was a shallow deposit of severely stained clay and small river-run still adhering to the mother rock. I changed my settings to go for deep targets, with slow motion, and used a sharp timing. (Remember, I am learning, and I was experimenting.) I started to grid my way carefully along the slight crown formed by the remnants of the ancient streambed. Now, what’s bizarre about this next event is that everything happened so quickly, and it’s bizarre because it goes against what I took so long to explain about the necessity of listening for the threshold disturbance of faint signals—there’s some irony for you.

Well, almost immediately, I got a very loud growling, in-your-face signal. It reminded me of a perfect replication of the tone thrown off by the piece of cast iron I’d just uncovered across the pit. So, I scraped off a couple of inches of material with the pick, and the signal got so loud it grated harshly on my eardrums. Naturally, I decided it was trash, as the whole pit had turned out to be nothing but a giant repository for slivers of steel and trash. Nonetheless, I dug down deeper to try to uncover the object. Moreover, as I dug, I noticed the absolute corrupt-looking nature of the river run. This stuff was remarkably ancient: it was super oxidized, lots of deep purple, red, and orange stain. The clay was so thoroughly colored, that it was impossible to recognize any normal clay color whatsoever.

I drug the material from the hole with the pick and smoothed it so that I could pass the magnet through it all. Nothing on the magnet. So, I ran it back through the muck again. No iron or steel fragments leapt from the clay. Doggedly, I passed the coil back over the hole. The signal was still in the hole, and it was really screaming now. (Because the signal was coming from ancient material tight on the bedrock, I was starting to doubt my trash theory somewhat.) I carefully went down about another inch and once again, I spread the material out on a section of benign bedrock beside the hole. This time the signal was in the flattened out material, and it was throwing off a very angry, growling tone. I was once again convinced. It had to be iron or steel. I passed the magnet through the spread out material expecting a loud slap onto the magnet. However, no steel or iron jumped to the magnet. Well, I couldn’t believe it would be copper or aluminum at this depth, in this old, original material, but I was stumped by what it could be from the sound it was emitting. So, I passed the magnet through the material once more to be sure I hadn’t missed something ferrous. No magnetic contact whatsoever.

Therefore, I had one course of action left, to use the edge of the coil to pinpoint the signal. (I was using the eleven-inch mono at this point, and it was running very quietly in this awful, mineralized mess.) I narrowed down the target’s location with the edge of the mono (What a ruckus it made then!). I picked up a small handful of the stained mess. I selected stones one at a time and passed them under the coil—maybe it was some kind of turbo-charged hot rock. Nothing. I looked down where I’d passed the edge of the coil while pinpointing and could see a narrow mark in the oxidized clay. There was a small bit of goo in a lump holding at that point. I picked it up, passed it under the coil, and man did that signal enhancer ever work! I got a solid blast that sent a shattering jolt straight to the auditory center of my brain.

The target was clearly in the goo, and the lump hefted heavy in my hand—too heavy for normal clay. I mashed the lump between my fingers (my hands were now something like the color of those of a slaughter-house worker’s). There was a solid lump in the clay mass that resisted. I rolled the object between my thumb and index finger and all of a sudden the sun began to shine—right there between my fingers. It was the unmistakable yellow that sun-worshippers had revered for thousands of years. There in my hand was the perfect, metallic imitation of the sun’s rays—the shine of solid gold. It was a fat, sassy, gorgeous nugget. I still couldn’t believe it. Everything I’d heard said it had to be trash: it was far too loud—it growled too much—it sounded just like the cast iron fragment found earlier. Nevertheless, it was gold, and the realization seeped in. At last, I had found my first gold with the GPX 5000. I had broken in my shiny new detector. I was falling in love—it was a golden, romantic moment I’ll never forget.

Of course, I checked the hole very, very carefully after retrieving the nugget. No remaining signal. However, I switched the speed to very slow and meticulously checked the surrounding ground. A bit off to the left, facing upstream, I got a bump in the threshold. I scraped off a couple of inches of muck, scanned again, and the signal was now a tiny whisper. I scraped some more and now had a tone. I dug down, scraped and flattened the material and now had a solid signal. Out came the magnet--no magnetic contact. I scanned again, used my scoop, and had the signal captured in its confines. I sectioned the material and scanned again and again until I had the target on the coil. It too was covered in that nightmare of pigment and stain. After some rolling about on the fingers, out peeped a juvenile nugget: one not yet out of puberty. It was a little half-gram wonder—very coarse and quite sassy.

The big brother weighed out at just under five grams, and peewee, well you already have his stats.

What’s the interesting thing about this story of discovery? It’s interesting that I had to dig an obscene amount of trash, for hours, before I finally got a true target, but it’s not uncommon. It’s interesting that I was tired, fed up with fighting the wind, and discouraged by all of the countless bits of blade, but not out of the ordinary. What is interesting is that I passed numerous, shallow dig holes where previous VLF hunters had dug, but where they had only probed a few inches beneath the surface. It’s also curious that I was beginning to think that the pit was detected out, and because I was so discouraged, I was clearly ready to take a break and get out of there. But, regardless, what’s really intriguing is that I hadn’t counted on the break I got that day at all. The double-golden break Mother Nature served up—I hadn’t counted on that—not by a long shot.

All the best,

Lanny

P.S. I found two more in the same area the next week: one that was a gram and a half, and one that was a quarter of a gram.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great reading Lanny! Got a picture of them nuggets for us?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great reading Lanny! Got a picture of them nuggets for us?

Bill,

Yes I sure do, but I'm off on another expedition starting tomorrow, and then I'm off to play for a few days. But when I get back, I'll try to post some shots of what I've been up to and what I've found.

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lanny you sure can paint a great picture with words...........congrats on your first GPX5000 $1500 gold!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lanny,

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I would love to see the picture of the nuggets, but please don't cut short your story telling if you post pictures of the gold you're finding!!! :grin:

Skip

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lanny you sure can paint a great picture with words...........congrats on your first GPX5000 $1500 gold!

Thanks so much El Dorado!

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lanny,

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I would love to see the picture of the nuggets, but please don't cut short your story telling if you post pictures of the gold you're finding!!! :grin:

Skip

Thanks a bunch Skip--the pictures are to follow.

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_4667-1.jpg

IMG_4635-1.jpg

IMG_4638-1.jpg

IMG_4656-2.jpg

Hope you enjoy the shots, and all the best,

Lanny

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_4662-1-1.jpg

IMG_4664-1.jpg

All the best,

Lanny

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pictures Lanny, I like the "Thumbnail" picture!!! :thumbsupanim :thumbsupanim

That ground really does look hostile for a detector, but that 5000 did it's job! :whoope:

Skip

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outflippinstanding...... that coil sure looks like it needs a bit more dirt and scratches, but by the time it looks like mine, I think you are going to have a nice full poke!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the pictures Lanny, I like the "Thumbnail" picture!!! :thumbsupanim :thumbsupanim

That ground really does look hostile for a detector, but that 5000 did it's job! :whoope:

Skip

Thanks Skip, and I'm glad you liked the "thumbnail" picture. It's funny how I miss obvious puns like that some times, but you sure nailed it. And, you're right, some of that ground is just not friendly to VLF's that's for sure.

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outflippinstanding...... that coil sure looks like it needs a bit more dirt and scratches, but by the time it looks like mine, I think you are going to have a nice full poke!

El Dorado--thanks for the encouragement. I'll have to get out and scuff up those new coils for sure. My other coils sure don't have that new look at all. So, I'll have to get those new ones out more often to get them some respectful scratches and nicks.

All the best, and thanks for dropping by,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A big hello to everyone. It's nice to be back for a visit again.

It's great to see that the forum is in fine form.

I found some nuggets last summer in an area that had skunked me two years running. I'll see if I can round up some pictures and post them for you.

All the best,

Lanny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoyed your post Lanny and have learned and relearned a few things that hopefully I wont have to relearn again. Man, you guys make me want a 5000! Now where to find the $'s? Your stories remind me of a guy that tells stories from the BC area on youtube, Darcy Cooper, with his Gold Prospector Miner or Bust series. You guys in Canada can tell a good story, and BC is surely a beautiful area. Here is Darcy's channel...I wouldn't doubt if someone here knows him. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBBF1PAuX5OatmeJyzg2sTA

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoyed your post Lanny and have learned and relearned a few things that hopefully I wont have to relearn again. Man, you guys make me want a 5000! Now where to find the $'s? Your stories remind me of a guy that tells stories from the BC area on youtube, Darcy Cooper, with his Gold Prospector Miner or Bust series. You guys in Canada can tell a good story, and BC is surely a beautiful area. Here is Darcy's channel...I wouldn't doubt if someone here knows him. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBBF1PAuX5OatmeJyzg2sTA

Dizzo,

I have never met D'arcy in person, but I been watching his videos for years and have communicated with him a few times, he does great videos and is one hard working miner!!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_1921_zps3alje6e7.jpg

IMG_2138_zpsonszasd6.jpg

Well, I've been gone for a long time from this fine site, and it's my loss as I can clearly see. Still a ton of great people here on this forum, still a ton of outstanding advice, but as my main thread is over on Treasure Net, I've spent what little time I've had for posting by doing it over there, but I'm feeling a hankering to spend more time over here for some very good reasons.

As for my recent wanderings (successes or failures), I'll have to print off a few of my stories to add to this thread. 

I've had some great detecting years lately, and I've been lucky enough to learn a bit more about how to find the nuggets while out detecting. In fact, detecting is almost exclusively all I do anymore as getting a dredge permit is getting harder and harder to do, so I've been forced to specialize mostly in chasing the nuggets these days.

All the best to everyone,

Lanny

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Edited by Hoser John
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Lanny! :4chsmu1:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my friend Hoser John,

Some pictures to help you get your mo-jo back!

Bouldersfastwater_zpsc0f2a532.jpg

I always wanted to dredge the spot in the picture below, not too far to bedrock, but never got the chance.

IMGP7855_zpsaa23a3cf.jpg

My original mining mentor, but he spends most of his time in the rocking-chair these days as age has a way of doing that to people that worked hard their entire life . . .

IMGP7850_zpsf40b3200.jpg

It's a long ways down, but I made it, and found some nice gold panning, enough that I'd have loved to have dredged this section as well, but getting permits is like finding hen's teeth!

IMGP7843_zps751109a0.jpg

Just can't beat the wonderful beauty nature crafts so easily.

IMGP7708_zps47d16e7e.jpg

IMGP7929_zpsbf82aa1a.jpg

See you on the trail one day John.

All the best,

Lanny

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

IMG_5166_zps8fd95a45.jpg

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.

71a07d15-d9d5-4e00-8ed8-cc2b6bc8ac08_zps

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!

IMG_0142_zpsqsgriuyi.jpg

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

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...