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Introduction and trip to Franconia


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Hello folks,

Just a brief intro, I'm new to meteorite hunting and live in southern California. Been a flintknapper for many years and just now getting into meteorite hunting (Paleomanjim on Youtube). My son lives in Vegas and does a lot of 4 wheeling so we spent a week last month traveling along the east part of Nevada and spent some time searching dry lake beds looking for our first meteorite. Saw a lot of chipping grounds and some artifacts but no meteorites, or at least anything that would stick to our magnets. I am heading out to Franconia and perhaps Gold Basin on June 11th for 3 or 4 days of hunting, this time solo, weather allowing. Traveling in a camper van and bringing along my enduro motorcycle to get around. I picked up a used Fisher Goldbug, the original, not the 2. I've been practicing with it in the yard, seems to work fairly well and simple to use. Not sure if this is a good detector or not for meteorites, the price was right so I bought it. I'm thinking about buying a Goldbug 2 for my son, the higher frequency one. Any thoughts on the Goldbug 2 or should I go with something else? Any suggestions appreciated. I'm kinda excited about the thought of finding a meteorite!.If any of you are gonna be out there maybe we can get together, thanks.....jim

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Jim, Franconia has an area on the north side of the freeway that is designated "Wilderness Area", be aware of it as there are NO motor vehicles allowed.

Can't comment on the GB2, but the original will do just fine for you. Have fun an Hapy Huntn.

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Jim,

Welcome to the forum! You have one of the best machines for gold and meteorites, at least those at GB and Franconia. The GB will work well and if you're considering another machine, then the gold bug one or two is a good choice. The White's GMT is another excellent choice. As the older goldmaster are too. Be careful out at GB and Franconia, the snakes are out in full force, and remember to take plenty of H2O. There is a whole host of info on the web site, o read until you can't read anymore and have a good time out there. Again, welcome to the forum... Jason ;)

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Hello folks,

Just a brief intro, I'm new to meteorite hunting and live in southern California. Been a flintknapper for many years and just now getting into meteorite hunting (Paleomanjim on Youtube). My son lives in Vegas and does a lot of 4 wheeling so we spent a week last month traveling along the east part of Nevada and spent some time searching dry lake beds looking for our first meteorite. Saw a lot of chipping grounds and some artifacts but no meteorites, or at least anything that would stick to our magnets. I am heading out to Franconia and perhaps Gold Basin on June 11th for 3 or 4 days of hunting, this time solo, weather allowing. Traveling in a camper van and bringing along my enduro motorcycle to get around. I picked up a used Fisher Goldbug, the original, not the 2. I've been practicing with it in the yard, seems to work fairly well and simple to use. Not sure if this is a good detector or not for meteorites, the price was right so I bought it. I'm thinking about buying a Goldbug 2 for my son, the higher frequency one. Any thoughts on the Goldbug 2 or should I go with something else? Any suggestions appreciated. I'm kinda excited about the thought of finding a meteorite!.If any of you are gonna be out there maybe we can get together, thanks.....jim

Hi Jim and Welcome!

Be careful with the motorbike out there. BLM is trying right now to shut down the Southside and they are looking for ammo. Local 4-wheeler clubs and a State Senator trying to stop the closures.

Read my lastest post on my hunt today. It got hot out there and dry. Bring lots of water and be careful hunting alone. You can not drink enough water to stay hydrated without long periods of rest. Cellphones do not work in all places and you can get yourself in trouble in a hurry out there this time of year. For the Northside, there is no where you can ride your bike (except up the North Franconia Road). It's either BLM Wilderness or private property and the roads there are also private. BNSF does not want any travel on their right of way and sometimes the BNSF LEO is out there. The vast majority of finds on on the North side of the tracks. We very seldom here of any finds on the South side anymore. I know of 2 finds this year on the South side....and one of the them is questionable (IMHO).

Our temps will begin triple digits out here very soon.

Don't mean to make it sound so bad out there.

Jim

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Forgot to comment on the GB2.

IMHO it is the best VLF machine on the market for hunting meteorites. It does take time to learn the ways of operation, but they work great and are basic in their operation...no frilly things to FYU.

The wife and I have them. I swing the 14" coil and the wife swings the 10" coil. 95% of the finds at Franconia are on or near the surface. The 10" coil is probably optimum. The 14" coil seems to work good and covers a greater area. Today, it was easily out performing a GMT with a 15" coil on small on the surface Chondrites. The 6.5" coil screams on surface stuff and shallow depth objects but in order to cover any ground, you gotta swing like a helicopter at full torque!!! It's a great coil to use in the rock fields.

Jim

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Hello Jim. Let me add my welcome to the forum.

A "flintknapper"? I had a hunch what that was, but had to use Wikipedia to be sure. I saw some beautiful examples on line. Look's like quite a skill.

I live about 20 minutes from Franconia in Lake Havasu City. If you don't mind, I'd like to stop by your camp and get some lessons on "knappng" my flints that I use for fire starting. They are quite dull, and I usually make a mess trying to put a nice edge on them.

I can give you a tour of the area if you like. It's pretty much wide open, but some roads are better than others. I can also give you coordinates of camping areas to choose from. Keep me posted as to your plans, and lets try to meet up.

I'm sure Frank C and Desert Sunburn will be around as well. The heat shouldn't bother those two desert rats too much, seeing as they are local's also.

Patrick.....

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Hello Jim, I'm back.

Please forget my request to help me with my flints.

I just saw some of your work on U Tube, and it would be like me asking Michelangelo to paint my truck !!

Gorgeous and amazing work.....

Patrick.....

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Thanks everyone. Looks like a great group of folks here! I'm hoping for cooler weather and the forcast so far is looking good, a little below normal.

I had a bad experience with the motorbike a few years ago in Wyoming when I left the key on, the headlight caused the battery to die and I had to push the bike 2 miles back to the rig in 100 degree heat. Been extra careful since then, I always bring lots of water. I may leave the bike behind if I dont need it. I'll be driving a Pleasure Way class B motorhome, just a big white van but weighs 7500 #'s, dont want to get stuck driving to the hunting location. It has good clearance and can go about anywhere a car can but soft sand could be a problem.

Jim, I checked out your finds from yesterday, fantastic! Nice website too. I've been wanting to find a meteorite ever since I was a kid and saw meteors streak across the sky. I remember thinking how cool it would be if one crashed next to me. I've probably walked over quite a few collecting flint in the field, never new what to look for.

Patrick, I'll be happy to help ya with your knapping, I'll bring some hammerstones and spalls of dacite for ya, easy stuff to learn on. Warning, flintknapping can be very addictive! I've been at it for 30 years...

My wife and I are in Washington DC right now touring the area. We get back home on Saturday the 11th. I'm going to try to head out on Monday the 13th, early. ....thanks again everyone, ....jim

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Welcome Aboard!! I just watched some of the youtube videos. Very nice work. You make it look easy...lol Not sure where you are in SoCal but sometimes we head east in search of space rocks and gold. Good luck on your Franconia hunt.

mick

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Jim,

I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. this morning watching your videos. You have a new #1 fan! I am an old artifact hunter and have met a few knappers that have really impressed me, but it is plain that you are quite the artist.

I have been a wood carver for 40 years and have always wanted to work with flint. It seems that anything that makes my hands sore and makes me stoop over a tiny workpiece for hours turns me on. Anyhoo, you will be hearing from me again. Once I digest the material available I am sure that you will have to field some questions and point me in the right direction. And if there is ever anything that I can do for you as far as meteorites and prospecting is concerned dont ever hesitate to ask.

The real deal is a rare thing and there is no doubt you are the real deal. I am very impressed!

Knap on brother!

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Good advice!

Jim,

Welcome to the forum! You have one of the best machines for gold and meteorites, at least those at GB and Franconia. The GB will work well and if you're considering another machine, then the gold bug one or two is a good choice. The White's GMT is another excellent choice. As the older goldmaster are too. Be careful out at GB and Franconia, the snakes are out in full force, and remember to take plenty of H2O. There is a whole host of info on the web site, o read until you can't read anymore and have a good time out there. Again, welcome to the forum... Jason ;)

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Just be careful with accidental inhalation of flint dust though as it my cause silicosis. There is no cure for it. Maybe you already know this. And happy hunting meteorites! I'm like you I love meteorites but unlike you I'm waiting for fall season to come to Arizona, perhaps less snakes and critters!

Hello folks,

Just a brief intro, I'm new to meteorite hunting and live in southern California. Been a flintknapper for many years and just now getting into meteorite hunting (Paleomanjim on Youtube). My son lives in Vegas and does a lot of 4 wheeling so we spent a week last month traveling along the east part of Nevada and spent some time searching dry lake beds looking for our first meteorite. Saw a lot of chipping grounds and some artifacts but no meteorites, or at least anything that would stick to our magnets. I am heading out to Franconia and perhaps Gold Basin on June 11th for 3 or 4 days of hunting, this time solo, weather allowing. Traveling in a camper van and bringing along my enduro motorcycle to get around. I picked up a used Fisher Goldbug, the original, not the 2. I've been practicing with it in the yard, seems to work fairly well and simple to use. Not sure if this is a good detector or not for meteorites, the price was right so I bought it. I'm thinking about buying a Goldbug 2 for my son, the higher frequency one. Any thoughts on the Goldbug 2 or should I go with something else? Any suggestions appreciated. I'm kinda excited about the thought of finding a meteorite!.If any of you are gonna be out there maybe we can get together, thanks.....jim

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Just be careful with accidental inhalation of flint dust though as it my cause silicosis. There is no cure for it. Maybe you already know this. And happy hunting meteorites! I'm like you I love meteorites but unlike you I'm waiting for fall season to come to Arizona, perhaps less snakes and critters!

Speaking of snakes, check out my ScrapBook Story for 6/2 on my web page.... http://desertsunburn.no-ip.org

Jim

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Hi Jim,

God forbid anyone gets bitten by a snake, even if one survives there is the issue of tissue necrosis, it's too much a price to pay for anything, even meteorite hunting. Therefore, no preaching intended, everyone should wear snake gaiters and look around you for snakes or scorpions before picking up the meteorite. Not a smart thing to brave it, it's not "tough" to go looking for meteorites without snake gaiters. It's serious........

Thanks.

Speaking of snakes, check out my ScrapBook Story for 6/2 on my web page.... http://desertsunburn.no-ip.org

Jim

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Hi Jim-

Welcome to the forum. The Gold Bug 2 should work great for meteorites. Have never found one with a GB2 but have plenty of experience with them and I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Go low and slow and you'll be almost guaranteed to find one -or many if you are willing spend lots of time hunting for them.

You don't by any chance sell kits that contain everything needed and called "flint knapping for dummies" :) --- do you? Have had an interest in this for years but never got around to it for various reasons. Plenty of time to learn this now though. Just need to get everything together and I'll be raring to go. Suffering from sheer boredom these days. :spinnin:

Steve

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Thanks for the extra tips and snake advice. I'm always on the lookout for em and kind of like seeing them, as well as the lizards like chucks and collareds, good photo ops.

The silicosis when flintknapping can be avoided by knapping outdoors. I dont know of any modern knappers who have ever had it. I'm guessing many of the folks on here have come across lots of knappable rock on their meteorite/gold hunts, things like jasper and agate knapp well and are plentiful out here in the west. Better yet are the obsidians and dacite, easy stuff to learn on. Start slow and just aim for crude bifaces in the beginning, a few flakes on both sides to make a rough hand axe. It takes several hundred pounds of making gravel to get the hang of getting them thin, but its fun getting there. The ancients had lots of secrets that modern knappers still have not figured out yet, some of the better Clovis, Folsoms, Midlands, Sweetwater biface, Gerzean knives and others have never been replicated properly with abo tools, we are still trying to figure out what their secrets were. Thats the cool part, trying to figure out new techniques.

We were at the Smithsonian Natural history museum the other day, nice collection of meteorites, I'm learning what they look like, took lots of pics. We did not see the big iron from Oregon, was not in the main collection.

Weather still looking OK out there, just want to get one trip in before the heat really picks up, that should wet my appetite for some fall runs. Might try a trip to Holbrook or New Mexico in the summer. I'll take pics of any finds and share em......jim

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So couldn't stop thinking abuot those videos of your's Jim. I saw an old broken whiskey bottle and I had a big nail that I had found. I also had a small piece of elkskin from the back of a worn out glove. I sat down under a mesquite bush and made my first arrowhead! What a hoot!

It isn't very thin and it isnt a real sexy shape but I am just as proud as heck!

It took me about 45 minutes to make and the bleeding stopped within a few minutes. I got up and started walking and hadn't gone a hundred yards until I spotted this one.

I am afraid I am hooked.

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Bob, that is exceptional for a first try (I think I busted my first 50 or so glass points before they ever got near being done), and even better that you did it with a chunk of an old beer bottle. beer.gif

I've spent a fair amount of time working with obsidian and Israeli chert, and generally wind up breaking many more pieces than I ever get to finish. Spent many years hunting with primitive archery gear, and while arrows are relatively simple to make, I always wanted to take a deer with one of my own knapped broadheads. In the end, I always ended up using the modern 2-blade steel heads as they can take a lot more abuse than knapped obsidian.

Jim: There are those of us that can hack out something that is rudimentary and functional, and then there are artists of the trade. You are most definitely in the latter group.. :wubu:

Mike

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Bob, that is exceptional for a first try (I think I busted my first 50 or so glass points before they ever got near being done), and even better that you did it with a chunk of an old beer bottle. beer.gif

The danged ol' rusty nail I was using to pressure flake was a PIA. I can see that a tool made from a softer material could get a lot thinner flake and make it run farther across the glass. And a block with a void in it to support the core would be a vast improvement over hunkering down with that glass wrapped in a piece of elk hide too. I am in the process of making my knapping tools like in the video and have quite a few hammerstones that I have collected from various sites, so I am almost ready to try it again!

It was hot and sweaty and I was left with microscopic shards of glass stuck to my arms and neck. Didn't even know they were there. When I washed my hands and face a few hours later I started bleeding from everywhere! So I have learned a few good lessons about knapping glass for sure!

Thanks for the good words! I have always wanted to try to do it and I dont know why I never did. That sort of thing is right up my alley. When I saw those videos it was like something was compelling me to do it.

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So couldn't stop thinking abuot those videos of your's Jim. I saw an old broken whiskey bottle and I had a big nail that I had found. I also had a small piece of elkskin from the back of a worn out glove. I sat down under a mesquite bush and made my first arrowhead! What a hoot!

It isn't very thin and it isnt a real sexy shape but I am just as proud as heck!

It took me about 45 minutes to make and the bleeding stopped within a few minutes. I got up and started walking and hadn't gone a hundred yards until I spotted this one.

I am afraid I am hooked.

Bob...that is just simply awesome! You did good and you are still alive and didn't bleed out! :thumbsupanim

I gotta show you guys something I found. I'll take a picture and post it in a bit.

Jim

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Bob...that is just simply awesome! You did good and you are still alive and didn't bleed out! :thumbsupanim

I gotta show you guys something I found. I'll take a picture and post it in a bit.

Jim

I found this a while back....something I seldom ever see and nothing like this before. It appears to be a knapped cutting tool or something.

What do you think??? It fits comfortable in my hand if I simulate cutting something and the edges are sharp enough to skin or cut with.

http://desertsunburn.no-ip.org/cold/DSCN0203.jpg

Jim

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I found this a while back....something I seldom ever see and nothing like this before. It appears to be a knapped cutting tool or something.

What do you think??? It fits comfortable in my hand if I simulate cutting something and the edges are sharp enough to skin or cut with.

http://desertsunburn.no-ip.org/cold/DSCN0203.jpg

Jim

Definitely a tool. I have a whole bunch about that size worked on one end, both ends, or all the way around. I think it was the predecessor of the axe. You could break a bone open or cut a yucca root with it.

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