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Lanny in AB

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

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Lanny It was almost like treasure hunting meets nugget hunting. Im talking about Preston finding that ring and all that gold in that old rusty trommel.
It started a new form of gold hunting in new areas and old mining equipment for us.
He knew that there where dead spots or leakage in old mining equipment sites. I was impressed.
There dosen't seem to be a lot of interest in my throwing my stories in here on your thred so I'll send you some PM's on it.

AzNuggetBob

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Not true, Bob!  You and Lanny have great stories...please don't stop

fred

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On 4/1/2019 at 9:02 AM, Mike Furness said:

Great Story! Add it as a chapter in the book! :thumbsupanim

Many thanks Mike!

Really appreciate it.

All the best,

Lanny

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9 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny It was almost like treasure hunting meets nugget hunting. Im talking about Preston finding that ring and all that gold in that old rusty trommel.
It started a new form of gold hunting in new areas and old mining equipment for us.
He knew that there where dead spots or leakage in old mining equipment sites. I was impressed.
There dosen't seem to be a lot of interest in my throwing my stories in here on your thred so I'll send you some PM's on it.

AzNuggetBob

Bob, I think people love to read your stories, so please keep them coming!

I certainly enjoy what you're sharing, and I too have found gold in old gold-washing machinery, and I've also recovered some nice gold from spots where water was leaking that took the gold with it.

All the best,

Lanny

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Thanks Fred, Lanny  and all. I'll write a few more.
One day I get a call from a new start-up mining company that had been referred to me by a friend.
they where looking for someone to help them set up a new operation.they wanted me to come out to their new claims for an interview.
So I show up and we talked for awhile I told them what I can do and what I've done in the past and they hired me on the spot.
Well the first thing they wanted me to do was go with them and check out a trommel they where thinking about buying.So we get there I ask the owners about it and to crank it up.they turn on the water and crank it up.
I'm walking around it looking for any mechanical problems.as I'm walking down the side of it I notice these odd bolt/nut things welded to the side of the trommel? at first I'm puzzled by them?
It doesn't seem to do anything.they look like those long all-thread nuts about two inches long. there are four of them around the outside of trommel that you use to join two threaded rods together. they are welded to the side of the trommel with about 1/2"bolt in them.I look on the inside and I don't see anything that they do.
maybe it was to intended to bolt something to the outside or inside of the trommel? maybe mounts for a thrust plate for old rollers,drive gear,chain sprocket,whatever.
the frame looked like it may have been converted from gasoline/chain to electric gear drive.
so I blow it off and tell my new boss I think its a great trommel for the price. it was about three x twenty feet long. it was used but not abused and they should buy it,and they did.
So a few days later I'm out the new site prepping the ground for the trommel and it shows up on a lowboy. I get a 988 loader and we offload it barrel first and then the frame and start setting it up.
I get the barrel back on the frame and I'm sitting there on the loader and I spot those all-thread bolts and it dawns on me could those holes that the bolts are in go all the way through into the trommel? so I get off the loader go over to my tool box and grab a crescent wrench. one happened to be pointed down at me so I unscrewed it first.
I look up in the hole and Bingo! its packed with gold and black sand.
I go over and grab a screw driver and a gold pan. I jam it up into the hole and out rains a about 3/4 an once of gold into the gold pan.after we got the trommel hooked up to power we cleaned and drained them all.
 
I have more stories on this subject and they only get better.
I will write them as I get time. hope you enjoy them.
AzNuggetBob

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Lanny this happened to me back in the 90's.I think The reason I like these stories is, it's almost a treasure hunt and like free gold.please excuse the pun.as long as you know where to look. 
On this job we were on Weaver creek.the upper pay streaks in the creek paid the bills(equipment,claims leases, fuel, wages and Misc.) but the real money was at bedrock. 
it was about 25 feet deep where we were on it.
and that in most the lower area's areas along the Weaver creek claims the old timers hadn't made it to bedrock this far down the creek except for a few tunnels.
On any given day a pump would take a crap for one reason or another on our wash plant, the sluice boxes would overload and by the time we would get everything back up and running correctly.
I knew, we had lost some fine gold out of the overloaded sluice boxes. no big deal.we used to stand next to the sluice boxes on clean up and as we 
picked out the pickers before we pulled the rugs we would accidentally drop a small nugget now and then and not find it in the mud, no big deal.we where recovering about 8-10 ounces a day.
I finally quit working there and moved on wanting to go back to nugget hunting. but I remember thinking if and when this plant ever shuts down I may come back and hunt the area for those little pickers we had dropped trying to get them into a bottle.
So a couple years later I'm blasting by the old placer mine site on my 500 Yamaha dirt bike with a detector on my back heading for one of my favorite patches and the claims owners son is flagging me down. all the equipment had been hauled out and the mine shut down.
we talked for a minute and he asks, Bob you worked here where is a good place to pan?. I remembered those little pickers we had dropped and I said If I where you I would scrape up all that small area with a shovel right there next to where the sluice boxes where. we dropped a few little ones there.He says thanks and off I go. I kept going by for a few days I'd see him over there panning and I'd wave and he waves back.
The next day I'm driving by and he flags me down again. so I drive over there and he says take a look in that bucket. Ok I expected to see some pickers in there. It's got about a gallon or two of water in it so I pick it up and start to rotate the muddy water and I'm shocked. the bottom of the five gallon bucket is covered in fine gold and some black sand, he had been hand panning this out for several days. I'm talking gold almost an half inch deep in the bottom of the bucket. I didn't see a lot of pickers. it was almost all fine gold.
I'm thinking there is a least twenty or thirty ounces in there maybe more. I said where did you dig this?
He said see that 2x3 foot long hole in the ground right there by the end of where the sluice boxes were.That was where we had a stacker belt with steel buckets for  tailings about two feet wide dug into the ground. it was running fixed and wet all the time similar to a huge bucket line lift stacker on an old floating dredge.
the only difference was we used it to stack the tailings up so we could load them out with a loader every day and it never moved and had been sorting round and round lifting the tails out and packing fine gold under it for years. all that gold had concentrated under it. makes you wonder about those old bucket line dredges don't it.
I ran into him again about a week or so later in town and I asked him, well after getting it all cleaned up what was the total,he said almost 40 ounces.
I'm not sure If I would have ever bothered to dig in that hole least at that time, but I was learning a lot about mining old mining sites.
That actually happened before the Preston find in Mexico. by then I was done. I'm hitting the old abandoned equipment/wash plant site first. I'll get to the digs later.

Take care out there.
AzNuggetBob 

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I know from nothing about gold panning and nugget hunting, but I could read Bob's stories all day long!  Why has he not written a book?!

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1 hour ago, steelguy said:

I know from nothing about gold panning and nugget hunting, but I could read Bob's stories all day long!  Why has he not written a book?!

As the old saying goes, Bob has probably forgotten more than many of us know, (certainly including myself for one), about the subject . . .

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18 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Thanks Fred, Lanny  and all. I'll write a few more.
One day I get a call from a new start-up mining company that had been referred to me by a friend.
they where looking for someone to help them set up a new operation.they wanted me to come out to their new claims for an interview.
So I show up and we talked for awhile I told them what I can do and what I've done in the past and they hired me on the spot.
Well the first thing they wanted me to do was go with them and check out a trommel they where thinking about buying.So we get there I ask the owners about it and to crank it up.they turn on the water and crank it up.
I'm walking around it looking for any mechanical problems.as I'm walking down the side of it I notice these odd bolt/nut things welded to the side of the trommel? at first I'm puzzled by them?
It doesn't seem to do anything.they look like those long all-thread nuts about two inches long. there are four of them around the outside of trommel that you use to join two threaded rods together. they are welded to the side of the trommel with about 1/2"bolt in them.I look on the inside and I don't see anything that they do.
maybe it was to intended to bolt something to the outside or inside of the trommel? maybe mounts for a thrust plate for old rollers,drive gear,chain sprocket,whatever.
the frame looked like it may have been converted from gasoline/chain to electric gear drive.
so I blow it off and tell my new boss I think its a great trommel for the price. it was about three x twenty feet long. it was used but not abused and they should buy it,and they did.
So a few days later I'm out the new site prepping the ground for the trommel and it shows up on a lowboy. I get a 988 loader and we offload it barrel first and then the frame and start setting it up.
I get the barrel back on the frame and I'm sitting there on the loader and I spot those all-thread bolts and it dawns on me could those holes that the bolts are in go all the way through into the trommel? so I get off the loader go over to my tool box and grab a crescent wrench. one happened to be pointed down at me so I unscrewed it first.
I look up in the hole and Bingo! its packed with gold and black sand.
I go over and grab a screw driver and a gold pan. I jam it up into the hole and out rains a about 3/4 an once of gold into the gold pan.after we got the trommel hooked up to power we cleaned and drained them all.
 
I have more stories on this subject and they only get better.
I will write them as I get time. hope you enjoy them.
AzNuggetBob

This is a great story Bob, thanks for posting it as I really enjoy reading stories about this.

I remember the first time I was around an abandoned wash-plant. I'd never even seen one before. 

Anyway, I was down at the Manson River one day doing some panning. Along came an Old-Timer that had a tire repair business (I'd met him a couple of days before and had him fix a flat on my truck: logging roads sure are tough on tires.) in this tiny little spot in the middle of nowhere in the mountains, and he had ridden a converted three-wheeler (a Honda Big Red, but rigged with car tires and rims!) down to the river.

He said, "See that old wash-plant. You'd be amazed what I can get out of those old machines with a fine crochet hook. You just have to know where to look."

Well, that's how I got started in knowing the likely places gold gets trapped or gets washed out or leaks from wash-plants. i built on the tips he gave me which I used on other abandoned sites and equipment after that, and I was shocked at what I was able to find on that trip.

It' remarkable how much gold something as simple as a leak in a sluice box will produce. I've had fun finding those spots.

Great story, and thanks for posting it here, truly appreciated.

All the best,

Lanny

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7 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny this happened to me back in the 90's.I think The reason I like these stories is, it's almost a treasure hunt and like free gold.please excuse the pun.as long as you know where to look. 
On this job we were on Weaver creek.the upper pay streaks in the creek paid the bills(equipment,claims leases, fuel, wages and Misc.) but the real money was at bedrock. 
it was about 25 feet deep where we were on it.
and that in most the lower area's areas along the Weaver creek claims the old timers hadn't made it to bedrock this far down the creek except for a few tunnels.
On any given day a pump would take a crap for one reason or another on our wash plant, the sluice boxes would overload and by the time we would get everything back up and running correctly.
I knew, we had lost some fine gold out of the overloaded sluice boxes. no big deal.we used to stand next to the sluice boxes on clean up and as we 
picked out the pickers before we pulled the rugs we would accidentally drop a small nugget now and then and not find it in the mud, no big deal.we where recovering about 8-10 ounces a day.
I finally quit working there and moved on wanting to go back to nugget hunting. but I remember thinking if and when this plant ever shuts down I may come back and hunt the area for those little pickers we had dropped trying to get them into a bottle.
So a couple years later I'm blasting by the old placer mine site on my 500 Yamaha dirt bike with a detector on my back heading for one of my favorite patches and the claims owners son is flagging me down. all the equipment had been hauled out and the mine shut down.
we talked for a minute and he asks, Bob you worked here where is a good place to pan?. I remembered those little pickers we had dropped and I said If I where you I would scrape up all that small area with a shovel right there next to where the sluice boxes where. we dropped a few little ones there.He says thanks and off I go. I kept going by for a few days I'd see him over there panning and I'd wave and he waves back.
The next day I'm driving by and he flags me down again. so I drive over there and he says take a look in that bucket. Ok I expected to see some pickers in there. It's got about a gallon or two of water in it so I pick it up and start to rotate the muddy water and I'm shocked. the bottom of the five gallon bucket is covered in fine gold and some black sand, he had been hand panning this out for several days. I'm talking gold almost an half inch deep in the bottom of the bucket. I didn't see a lot of pickers. it was almost all fine gold.
I'm thinking there is a least twenty or thirty ounces in there maybe more. I said where did you dig this?
He said see that 2x3 foot long hole in the ground right there by the end of where the sluice boxes were.That was where we had a stacker belt with steel buckets for  tailings about two feet wide dug into the ground. it was running fixed and wet all the time similar to a huge bucket line lift stacker on an old floating dredge.
the only difference was we used it to stack the tailings up so we could load them out with a loader every day and it never moved and had been sorting round and round lifting the tails out and packing fine gold under it for years. all that gold had concentrated under it. makes you wonder about those old bucket line dredges don't it.
I ran into him again about a week or so later in town and I asked him, well after getting it all cleaned up what was the total,he said almost 40 ounces.
I'm not sure If I would have ever bothered to dig in that hole least at that time, but I was learning a lot about mining old mining sites.
That actually happened before the Preston find in Mexico. by then I was done. I'm hitting the old abandoned equipment/wash plant site first. I'll get to the digs later.

Take care out there.
AzNuggetBob 

This is another great story Bob, and it shows how gold will concentrate around wash-plants that stay in place for a long time.

Close to 40 ounces! Wouldn't that be something?

I know of a spot that I have to get back to one day where they were running the material so fast they were pushing nuggets over the end of the sluice boxes, and all of that material ran under a road across jagged bedrock, so those nuggets will still be there.

That same outfit had a hopper that had a leak, and it used to ooze out material from one side. These guys were getting so much gold, they knew about the leak, and they knew they were pushing gold over the end of the sluices, but the season up north is short, and the material was rich, so they were running flat out.

I know the gold was left after they pulled their equipment out the next season as I panned a few spots, and talk about pickers! That country is known for coarse gold. I gathered up a couple of five-gallon buckets for my son to pan, what a party he had. There was lots of dirt left too. But, once again, you have to know where to look, and to the casual observer, they'd never have a clue as to what had taken place there.

Thanks for your stories and keep them coming.

All the best,

Lanny

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2019 at 6:56 PM, BMc said:

As the old saying goes, Bob has probably forgotten more than many of us know, (certainly including myself for one), about the subject . . .

Thanks BMc I'll agree with the first part of your comment. :D

Edited by AzNuggetBob
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Well here is another one I think we can learn from. 

I'm going to start off by saying Old abandoned mine Haul roads have always been a good place to hunt on smaller gold operations.
At this mine I generally operate the 922 loader,feed the wash plant and watch over the wash plant for any problems.so I'm a go-fer-fix all too, this is a two man operation.
kinda standard for most smaller mining operations.we were running a 3'x30' trommel up in Nevada. I'd been working there for almost six months and I started to see a pattern starting to form. The haul road from where the placer gravel was dozed out into a pile by a partner was about 75 to a 100 yards to the wash plant down a winding road.
I'd run back and forth feeding the plant from his dozed up piles. he would push off top soil and just push me the pay-streaks. the pay-streaks in that area weren't hard to spot. they where much more red than the white bleached out looking alkali soil on both sides of them them. so one day on the loader I'm headed for the plant with a full bucket and start bouncing in the loader. not much but enough to need to come almost to a stop so it quits. all this time on the return trips I realize I'm dropping ore out of the bucket in spots. I'm thinking I'll clean it up later. well later on the road is getting rougher and I'm bouncing again. there was no going slow on this operation. we were cranking out the yards. so I drop and flatten the bucket and back drag/flatten the road with the bucket back to the loading area.
and in case you don't know, that's like spreading frosting on a cake. day after day, month after month.
So one day after running we are all sitting around taking about the mine and I say to the owner I cant keep running full loads down the long road.
I'm spending half my time cleaning up the road. and he's saying more less don't worry about it. we have to get as many yards through the plant as we can. I said I'll bet there is a bunch of gold in the road. this was pay streak I was dropping not sluff.
so I go get my metal detector and go over and start swinging the haul road.
after a few minutes and several nuggets I come back and show the owner. he says don't worry about it. I'll get the dozer operator to shave off a few inches of the road into a pile and you can run it through the plant when you get some spare time. Ok sounds good to me.
well it never happened.we were always so busy I blew it off,so did the dozer operator and just kept loading the the plant and flattening the road with the loader as needed.
A few months later the owner passed away. The whole mine shut down.they hauled all the equipment out and everybody went there separate ways.,and as far as I know that haul road is still there, just the way we left it.
 

Take care out there.

AzNuggetBob

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1 hour ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Well here is another one I think we can learn from. 

I'm going to start off by saying Old abandoned mine Haul roads have always been a good place to hunt on smaller gold operations.
At this mine I generally operate the 922 loader,feed the wash plant and watch over the wash plant for any problems.so I'm a go-fer-fix all too, this is a two man operation.
kinda standard for most smaller mining operations.we were running a 3'x30' trommel up in Nevada. I'd been working there for almost six months and I started to see a pattern starting to form. The haul road from where the placer gravel was dozed out into a pile by a partner was about 75 to a 100 yards to the wash plant down a winding road.
I'd run back and forth feeding the plant from his dozed up piles. he would push off top soil and just push me the pay-streaks. the pay-streaks in that area weren't hard to spot. they where much more red than the white bleached out looking alkali soil on both sides of them them. so one day on the loader I'm headed for the plant with a full bucket and start bouncing in the loader. not much but enough to need to come almost to a stop so it quits. all this time on the return trips I realize I'm dropping ore out of the bucket in spots. I'm thinking I'll clean it up later. well later on the road is getting rougher and I'm bouncing again. there was no going slow on this operation. we were cranking out the yards. so I drop and flatten the bucket and back drag/flatten the road with the bucket back to the loading area.
and in case you don't know, that's like spreading frosting on a cake. day after day, month after month.
So one day after running we are all sitting around taking about the mine and I say to the owner I cant keep running full loads down the long road.
I'm spending half my time cleaning up the road. and he's saying more less don't worry about it. we have to get as many yards through the plant as we can. I said I'll bet there is a bunch of gold in the road. this was pay streak I was dropping not sluff.
so I go get my metal detector and go over and start swinging the haul road.
after a few minutes and several nuggets I come back and show the owner. he says don't worry about it. I'll get the dozer operator to shave off a few inches of the road into a pile and you can run it through the plant when you get some spare time. Ok sounds good to me.
well it never happened.we were always so busy I blew it off,so did the dozer operator and just kept loading the the plant and flattening the road with the loader as needed.
A few months later the owner passed away. The whole mine shut down.they hauled all the equipment out and everybody went there separate ways.,and as far as I know that haul road is still there, just the way we left it.
 

Take care out there.

AzNuggetBob

Great story!

Oh the places we've left the gold to get to it when we had time, but then the time ran out . . .

Really enjoyed that gold tale, and when there's good gold to be got, there's no slowing down the owners when they want to push the yards.

All the best,

Lanny

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Lanny I'll bet there is nuggets in that road with scrape marks on them from me back-dragging that road. :D
I need to get back up there some day.

Reminds me of another story where the gold nuggets I found crossed the road.but that was old channel exposed by a road grader.
kind of a different subject.

Lanny I know you have more great stories.
AzNuggetBob
 

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On 4/5/2019 at 10:53 AM, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny I'll bet there is nuggets in that road with scrape marks on them from me back-dragging that road. :D
I need to get back up there some day.

Reminds me of another story where the gold nuggets I found crossed the road.but that was old channel exposed by a road grader.
kind of a different subject.

Lanny I know you have more great stories.
AzNuggetBob
 

It's true; I gathered many stories over the years, but I'm intrigued by your story about the old channel that got exposed on the road as it reminds me of some lost gold that I have yet to locate.

A prospecting friend of mine sent me a note once about a crevice he found, one missed by the Old-timers, and he took out close to two ounces of coarse gold, by panning, in two days. However, he had to head back home, which was a seven hour drive away, and by the time he got back several weeks later, they'd pushed a road through where there was only a trail before, which altered things so much, he could never find the exact spot again.

I'd love to hear your story about that old channel, if you're willing to share it.

All the best,

Lanny

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Lanny, if I could..... Add you to my list of amazing prospectors? Good to have had you aboard for all these years and the photos and story are amazing!

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49 minutes ago, Nugget Shooter said:

Lanny, if I could..... Add you to my list of amazing prospectors? Good to have had you aboard for all these years and the photos and story are amazing!

 

49 minutes ago, Nugget Shooter said:

Lanny, if I could..... Add you to my list of amazing prospectors? Good to have had you aboard for all these years and the photos and story are amazing!

Absolutely! And not only his great stories, just look at all the stories he's helped to pry out out of AZNuggetBob. Priceless! (now if only the ripple effect would kick in) I'm sure, (know for a fact) there's plenty more out there!

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Lanny here is another good one.
Remember the wash plant where the claim owner's son found that 40 ounces of gold.
Well I was just sitting here thinking about it. "Lost Gold" One day I'm standing next to the dump truck. that is the way we were
feeding the wash plant. I've got the door open on the truck watching how full the hopper is so as not to 
overload it.The hopper has rails spaced a few inches apart to sort out the larger rocks from going through the trommel right. I'm nudging the PTO on the dump truck. adding a little more. when your standing there every day watching the plant you get 
used to normal sounds but your always listing for problems on the plant.
belt slip, bearing squeal,what ever. 
I'll never forget this. all of a sudden I hear something clanging in the trommel? 
as its going around? bang bang bang bang bang and I realize, its something heavy in the trommel. did not sound like normal oversize rotating around at all.
the first thing that comes to mind, a big nugget? so I run down to the other end of the trommel were the oversize dumps out and I'm watching and waiting. I'm thinking huge nugget.
I'm looking and looking the clanging stops and I don't see anything? I wasn't ten feet away from the end of the trommel watching the gravel go around and pour out.
no big nugget falls out into the pile? I think I may have finally solved this mystery. I'm thinking gold right.
I wonder if it was a large Iron Nickel meteorite and I was looking so hard for gold, I just never saw It.
just another rock.

AzNuggetBob
 

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Lanny One thing I have to say. thanks for inviting me to post here. 
It brings back a lot of old memories. I learned a lot from them and I'm having a lot of fun sharing them. 
AzNuggetBob

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On 4/10/2019 at 7:05 PM, Nugget Shooter said:

Lanny, if I could..... Add you to my list of amazing prospectors? Good to have had you aboard for all these years and the photos and story are amazing!

Thanks, and I know nothing about there being any list, but what an honour that would be.

I remember with fondness your kindness when I was learning about chasing nuggets in the Arizona desert near Stanton, and how you came out to meet me! You brought me a new coil, spent a bunch of time talking to me, and you put me on a claim where I could try my luck, such great things you did for me to make me feel welcome.

You make the top of the amazing persons list in my books; what an outstanding guy you are.

All the best,

Lanny

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16 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny here is another good one.
Remember the wash plant where the claim owner's son found that 40 ounces of gold.
Well I was just sitting here thinking about it. "Lost Gold" One day I'm standing next to the dump truck. that is the way we were
feeding the wash plant. I've got the door open on the truck watching how full the hopper is so as not to 
overload it.The hopper has rails spaced a few inches apart to sort out the larger rocks from going through the trommel right. I'm nudging the PTO on the dump truck. adding a little more. when your standing there every day watching the plant you get 
used to normal sounds but your always listing for problems on the plant.
belt slip, bearing squeal,what ever. 
I'll never forget this. all of a sudden I hear something clanging in the trommel? 
as its going around? bang bang bang bang bang and I realize, its something heavy in the trommel. did not sound like normal oversize rotating around at all.
the first thing that comes to mind, a big nugget? so I run down to the other end of the trommel were the oversize dumps out and I'm watching and waiting. I'm thinking huge nugget.
I'm looking and looking the clanging stops and I don't see anything? I wasn't ten feet away from the end of the trommel watching the gravel go around and pour out.
no big nugget falls out into the pile? I think I may have finally solved this mystery. I'm thinking gold right.
I wonder if it was a large Iron Nickel meteorite and I was looking so hard for gold, I just never saw It.
just another rock.

AzNuggetBob
 

The things that haunt us, the lost opportunities, the unknowns that make us wish we'd have done something different, paid more attention . . .

Too bad you never got to know what it was that was bouncing around in the trommel, but  I like your thinking about how it could have been a meteorite.

It's such a great thing to get to hear a bit about a few of your experiences Bob, and thanks for posting them, and please don't stop. Let those gold-chasing tales continue.

Remember the hopper that was letting out gold in my previous story? Well, the ground they were working was so rich in that spot, I have a story to share about it.

After removing about forty feet of overburden, the ancient channel was finally exposed, with lots of orange material in the bottom six feet of channel that was sitting tight on bedrock. Moreover, getting to the bedrock exposed a large section of tunnel where the old-timers had worked extensively, and as they did all of that back-breaking underground work by hand, it was a good sign that we might have a great chance to hit some good gold, and we sure did.

After they used the excavator to take the orange material out, and there was only bare bedrock left, I got invited into the pit to have a look at the side-wall of the channel that was still buried under all of the previously mentioned overburden. It was a sight I'll never forget.

The excavator operator (and mine owner) walked me in from the north end of the cut, and he said, "I've never seen this before. Come take a look."

He walked me over to where the cleaned bedrock met the wall, and then he started pointing out nuggets! You just can't make this stuff up!!

About a foot off of the bedrock, and all along the length of the cut, we walked along flicking out nuggets from the side wall into a pan!! I'd certainly never seen anything like it before, and I haven't seen anything remotely close to that amazing sight since.

The owner had to go to town for machinery parts, and the second-in-command wanted to yard as much through the wash-plant as quickly as possible, but not having been in the game as long as the owner, he overfed the plant, because when they shut it down, the twin sluices were yellow from top to bottom with nuggets!! That's another sight I haven't seen since, and one you should never see if you're running the plant properly. Furthermore, that's why the nuggets went over the end of the sluice with the discharge water, getting trapped on the broken bedrock as the water rushed under the road to drop into the settling pond.

However, as I said in my other post, they got so much gold everyone was happy regardless, but, that's the other part of the story.

All the best,

Lanny

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:09 AM, AzNuggetBob said:

Lanny One thing I have to say. thanks for inviting me to post here. 
It brings back a lot of old memories. I learned a lot from them and I'm having a lot of fun sharing them. 
AzNuggetBob

Bob, so glad you're sharing some of your stories and memories here on this thread, and please keep them coming!

I love reading about your adventures while you were out chasing the gold.

Thanks for posting them here, and all the best,

Lanny

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Lanny when you mentioned that rich bank it reminded me of this.This was about a few months after the that same placer operation shut down in my last story. I had permission to hunt all the claims and I remembered a place down in the lower end of where we were working the creek.we had done pretty well chasing a pay streak along the bank of Weaver creek. 
We were doing so well there and it was right up against the claim line so the placer plant owner I was working for decided he wasn't going to get into a battle with the adjoining claim owner. apparently they had already had some discussions about it.
he had the claims surveyed and had wooden stakes put up along the boundary line.

So I'm thinking its got to be a good spot to hit. this wall of old cemented gravel is about eight feet tall and 20 yards long. So I gather up my wife, my daughter Heather about 4 or 5 years old and my nephew John about 7.
We decided we where make a picnic of it in the creek bed.So we get down there and my wife breaks out a folding table and the ice chest. the kids are running around doing what kids do.we had scrapped it down to bedrock with a dozer when we were running the placer operation but because of the claim line left the wall. I go over and I start swing this wall/bank of gravel. I hit the first one. I chisel it out with my pick,this bank is like cement, almost a conglomerate.
very old river bed.the first one is a couple grams.I'm excited.
I move along the wall and I hit another one. this one was about a grammer/half grammer. and then another one. The next thing I know I got my headphones on and here is little John tugging at my pant leg saying is this a nugget uncle Bob. he holds out his hand and he has a little yellow rock in it.
I say to him no John just another rock, keep looking and off he goes. I'm moving along and I hit another one. this is turning out to be a really good day. her comes John again, Is this a nugget? no john just a rock. so I pull out my nugget bottle and I show him. see this is what they look like. see how heavy they are and really gold colored. I let him hold a few and off he goes again.
I move down a little further and and I get a really nice hit in the wall with my detector. I start banging on the wall, chipping out the rocks one at a time. I know this is a good one, its loud and deep. so I'm trying to concentrate so I don't hit it beating on the wall. all of a sudden I pop out another rock and I can see it. its a big flat nugget. I call them corn flake nuggets.
its sticking out like a tongue looking me. I tug on it but its not coming out.
no sooner here comes John again. Is this a nugget Uncle Bob he holds out his hand and I look and I look again. yes that's a nugget. where did you find it. he turns around and points at a bedrock knob. it was about a grammer. so I'm looking around trying to figure something to put it in and I just slide the cellophane off my cigarette pack drop the nugget in it and twist it. I remember I said put this in your pocket so you don't loose it. he stuffs it in his pocket and off he goes to find more, my daughter right behind him.so I go back to chipping at the bank again. I've almost got this nugget out, its got to be a good 3/4 ouncer maybe more, and there is John tugging at my pant leg again. I turn around and there is John with tears running down his face and I said whats wrong? he holds up the cellophane wrapper and there is no nugget in it. he said its gone.

I went over where he was and swung around for awhile and could not find it. well its not his first nugget and wouldn't be his last but I felt so bad. I said to my wife go over to the truck and see if you can find a nugget bottle in the glove box. she comes back hands me a bottle. so I reach in my pocket pull out my nugget bottle and pour out some smaller nuggets and said her ya go John, pick one. and of course I had to give one to my daughter too. you know how that goes. everyone had a great day.
Here is a photo of my daughter and some nuggets.see the flat corn flake nugget second from the left, top row. that corn flake nugget turned to be 39 grams. I love this photo.

heather 002.JPG

 

 

 

AzNuggetBob
 

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Good stories. 

Hey ... I was thinking ... maybe you could be *my* Uncle Bob?? :inocent:  LOL.  (really ...... I am serious)  My uncles are lucky just to get their butts off the sofa!!

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Can you smell the rice cooking?

I recall being far to the north in a historic gold field, and I had the opportunity to have a chat with a Sourdough (a seasoned miner from the area) about his claim. He took me to a spot one day and told me a most interesting tale.

However, before I relate his story, I’ll describe its location. It was far down in the bottom of a secluded valley. Steep, black-walled mountains rose on either side, and courageous growths of spruce and fur clung to the steep slopes, with birch, poplar and aspen peppering the evergreens lower down. Dark draws inhabited by deeper areas of gloom gave birth to swiftly flowing streams that emptied into the valley. From these gulches, the icy, ghostly breath of unseen currents of air rushed forth to randomly lift the hair, before chilling the neck and spine. Indeed, an eerie atmosphere pervaded that sullen spot of murky shadows where the long dead miners of some 150-years past had chased the gold to make their fortunes, or to lose their lives.

On a gentle slop above long rows and piles of cobble stacks, the remnants of a massive hand-workings, the miner’s cabin was situated. It was an ancient cabin, one in continual use since the original gold rush, the cabin perpetually maintained and rebuilt until it was later used by a member of the North West Mounted police as a retirement refuge. Later, it was acquired by Glen the miner. Heavy logs formed the base of the walls, with smaller logs progressing up the sides, and there were only two windows, one big enough to allow light to enter, and one small one which served as a lookout. The log ends were all beautifully axe cut to fit and lock together, and there was an addition on the back of the main cabin that housed a food storage and washing area. The doors were heavy and sturdily built as grizzly and black bears frequently visited the area. (I have a story somewhere about the attack on Glen’s cabin by an enraged grizzly, quite the hair-raising tale he told me of his experience that truly made my blood run cold.)

A path led down from the slope to a long draw that then led to a bedrock rise, with the draw, or gulch, continuing upward. On the other side of the bedrock rise a fast-flowing creek could be heard. The bedrock rise continued to climb as it joined the shoulder of the mountain. There was a trail that led up the non-creek side of that shoulder, and I headed off on foot to look the area over.

The first thing I noticed, as I looked down into the draw from the trail, were the sunken places. There were five large areas where the earth had slumped, with smaller areas running perpendicular to the gulch that were still at the original level. This of course spiked my curiosity.

When I returned from my hike, Glen the miner was at his cabin, and we had a chat.

He started in with a bit of history of the area. That the place had been extensively hand-mined I had already seen; that it was shallow to bedrock in many places was also obvious. What he filled me in on was that the early miners were after the easy, shallow gold, and they had done very well, with many ounces of coarse gold quickly gathered from the shallow diggings. But, as was the common case in the 1800’s, there was always the news of new gold rush farther to the north where the gold was equally shallow, easier to get to, so the miners that loved the quick gold soon left to chase other strikes. That left the deeper gold that required organized groups of people with the necessary capital to start up larger operations.

Then, he told me about the arrival of the Chinese miners in the area. They followed the gold rushes and came in after the other miners had had creamed the shallow gold and had either abandoned their claims or were looking to sell cheaply. The Chinese, he said, were not afraid of hard work, and moreover, many of them did not have a choice of whether they liked hard work or not due to being indentured laborers, a form of slavery so to speak, until they had paid off the Tong for their debt to the organization. Glen went on to explain how the Chinese used a lot of opium during their miserable existence, and he told me of bottle hunters that had come a few years before my arrival and of their efforts in trash dumps to recover the precious little bottles. He also told me of the tiny log huts the miners lived in, short-walled on purpose as they were easier to heat during the brutal winters. In addition, he told me of the superstitions the Chinese were bound to, mysterious ones that propelled their efforts.

Then, he took me on a walk.

The bedrock rise that I’ve already mentioned was where he took me, but he walked me over closer to the face where there was a bit of a fold, and that fold hid from view the entrance to a tunnel, but one that he had caved in with is heavy equipment as it led to a large area of unsafe underground workings, ones the Chinese had excavated by hand. I then told him about my upslope hike, and of seeing the collapsed areas, and he confirmed that all of that long draw was a continuation of the original Chinese workings. He elaborated that the Chinese had struck an ancient channel by cutting below it through the solid rock so they could hit the base of the channel where the coarse gold was trapped. A lot of trapped water had flowed when they punched through the last of the bedrock, but they had cut the tunnel on purpose so it would drain the ancient water down and away before they went to work.

The gold was coarse, and they took out a lot of good gold over several years, but then one day the horrific happened, the roof of the tunnel, off on one side excavation of the gulch, collapsed, killing several Chinese. They left the area . . . (This is not an isolated incident, and I have read about this in other gold rush accounts, bad Josh/Joss [bad luck] was something they didn’t mess with, and the area was forever cursed to them.)

When Glen first acquired the claim, he had gone into the tunnel mouth, and he’d taken samples from the floor of the tunnel. The buckets of dirt he’d recovered were full of pickers! To prove this, he gave a jar of the dirt for later panning, and it was indeed loaded with gold!!

So, his interesting tale had answered my questions about the sunken areas I’d seen on my walk, and I could see just how extensive the underground workings were that the Chinese had driven up that gulch from the size of the collapsed areas. Those determined miners had really got the job done, regardless of their motivations.

As we were leaving the tunnel mouth, Glen turned to me and said, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

I said, “What?”

He said again, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

I answered, “No, can you?”

He then told me that on certain days, when the wind was just right, he could smell the scent of rice cooking as it drifted down to the cabin from the gulch. He didn’t smile or joke in any way, and the gloomy setting of the area, with its accompanying tragedy, put nothing but a large punctuation mark on his story.

All the best,

Lanny

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