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Matt S

Arizona 2016- A season of 'Firsts'

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So. Now that my 2016 trip to Arizona is over and I literally have just pulled the last cactus thorn from my body (hopefully), I thought I would let everyone know how it went. I arrived in Arizona in later January with my new to me SDC 2300 and a desire to find a piece of gold with a metal detector as well as doing some general prospecting. I had plans to meet up with Luke J to attend the roadrunners get together at the lsd but when we showed up along with his neighbor Don it seemed it had been cancelled. Undaunted, we busted out our drywashers and spent the day running material and poking around with our detectors. Noone did particularly well, but we spent a nice day there and since it was my first time in the area Luke was able to show me around a bit.

The following Monday I had a lesson with Calvin Bunker at his claims in the Rich Hill area. Very nice guy with a lot of prospecting knowledge. At one point I was fumbling with my coil cover, sure that a piece of metal had gotten trapped between the coil and cover (the noisy chatter was unbelievable) and he asked what I was doing. Once I told him he explained to me that what I was hearing was the military jets flying overhead. I do not think I would have been able to figure that one out on my own having never used a PI before. I spent the day poking my coil under every bush I could swing under. At 3 PM, out in the open and nestled in some bedrock I heard a target and dug up my first nugget with a detector(approximately 4 grains). I did not have the sense of euphoria I thought I would however. Maybe because I thought I had cheated by taking a lesson? I don't know for sure. He definitely did not say "there's a nugget there". But it still didn't feel right to me for whatever reason.

I spent the rest of the week prospecting with another friend at a GPAA claim further north. Basically crevicing and also doing some detecting there. We both got a little gold and I did manage to pick up my second piece detecting. Again it was about a 4 grain piece and I felt a little better about it because it was in a out of the way wash, I wasn't able to find any more in the area though. That Sunday I met up with Luke J, AZ Mark, and the Toms to search an unproven piece of ground in the Vultures (Thank you all for inviting me). We did end up proving that there was plenty of lead and casings in the area but no one was able to score any gold on that day. I did get some advice for my upcoming trip to Quartzite from the Toms though and with advice to find Shep, Patrick, John or Joan; I headed west.

I had big plans for the day. It was my birthday and I knew that I would find a piece of gold for my birthday. As I pulled off the exit for Tom Wells road, however, my truck had different ideas. It died just as I was reaching the detecting grounds. So I ended up in a tow truck heading to Blythe, California. I spent the day at the Ford dealership there. They couldn't find anything wrong. Sent me home without doing anything. I spent the night in the motel and the next morning headed out early determined to get to it. Wouldn't start. Back to the dealership. I will cut this story a little short by saying that wasn't my final trip to the dealership but eventually we got it figured out. I spent a total of about 20 hours (detecting and prospecting) in the Quartzite area and never was able to find any good gold. I also never was able to find Shep, Patrick, John or Joan but I think I was able to amuse a number of people asking around.

With the temperatures heating up and my thick Michigan blood boiling, I had to head north again. I spent the next 2 weeks with my friend Dennis poking around different areas and I was able to do some dredging for the first time. Once on the Aqua Fria and once on Black Canyon creek. I also found nuggets 3 and 4 in different areas. Again, both were around the 4 grain area.

I thought maybe my detector would only find pieces of gold in that range (joking) but while waiting for material I had dug out to dry so I could run it, I busted out my detector again and doubled my number of nuggets(4 more that day) found in a short time including a rounded 4.5 gram piece. I was very happy with that piece as you can imagine. For some reason that seemed to open up the floodgates. With the exception of the first day detecting after I found those 4, I wouldn't get the skunk again in Arizona. In different areas too. I added a 2.4 gram piece on a day I found 10 pieces. Another day totaled 7 pieces for 2.6 grams. For one hunt I invited Luke J to join me and while I got 5 pieces, he definitely did a little better than I did with his 2.

I do not have exact weights for all because I don't even have a scale, but from the weights I do have I estimate my total to be around a half an ounce. The picture groups the pieces by the day they were found including the first four nuggets I found with a detector. I had a great time and am already looking forward to my next trip 10 months or so from now. Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. Matt

post-27739-0-94221000-1456796837_thumb.j

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Epic! Amazing you did so well for your first detector.

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Geezzz Matt!! Awesome gold and great story of your Arizona adventure. Thanks for sharing. You'll probably score way more on your next trip. Jim

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Matt, sorry were not able to meet up. This last trip was a bugger for me also. Burned up a bearing on toy hauler and truck threw a code that can be serious. Got home ok and truck goes in on Wednesday for checkup.

You did well on the gold!

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Nice. You made the rounds.

And here I am thinking I dug all the trash out of the vultures.:)

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Matt it was a pleasure hunting with you and I hope we can do it again next year. Glad you got a good showing of the yellow and it shows that you are starting to master that PI. Good luck to you bro.

Old Tom

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Really good run for a beginner. Took me months detecting a little here and a little there to get up to half an ounce when I got my SDC last year. Sounds like you got lucky by meeting some really good people to put you on the gold.

Edited by Tortuga

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Great story Matt.

Glad to have met you and you really scored some nice gold :)
Thanks for sharing.
Tom H.

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Too bad you missed Shep, John and "Jane". Some great folks for sure. Although Shep needs an eye kept on him.

Patrick

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Really great story, Matt. I wish I'd run across you out there hunt'n. Sounds like you were hunting with a good group of people. As for Calvin bunk, he is a great guy. Gave me some good pointers at Gold Basin last year. Changed the way I look at things. I hope to be able to help out newbies some day as others have done for me.

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If you tried to stuff that in a one oz. bottle, you may find you have more than 1/2 oz.

Gotta quit getting new people into detecting, won't be any gold left.... smile

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Great trip report and nice haul..! :yesss:

It is especially meaningfull to N & myself, as almost assuredly we just lived our this spring's trip to the Wickenburg - Prescott area vicariously via your words.. Odds are niow extremely slim for a springtime westward-ho for us, thanks to a nasty bit of medical weirdness encounter (see statin threads in the Lounge..) Got out with a detector yesterday for the first time since it kicked in, a light coin-shooter for all of an hour.. Today I feel like they did their worst, but they got no information out of me, no sirree.. :2mo5pow:

Swamp

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I just love to read reports like this. Great job Matt!

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Way to break in the detector Matt! I had fun that Sunday with you, Luke and the Toms. Even though we didn't find gold it was a memorable trip.

I ended up finding a Lard can according to Old Tom.

Gave it to my mother to put a flower in it and stick it in the garden.

Question: Did packing lard on a mule with camp supplies lead to the saying "Lard ass"?

Hope to see you next time you're out Matt.

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Looks like you got some good pointy fingers-Nice gold :head: Mike C... :200:

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Wow, what a trip. That will be a hard act to follow next year.

You were blessed. Good job Matt.

Envious in NV.

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Great trip ... Great story ... Thanks for sharing it!

Mike F

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Thank you all for your comments and encouragement (and in some cases correction), I do believe I had the correct name of "Jane" while I was in Quartzite but it might explain why my attempts to connect were unsuccessful. I am sorry too, Shep, that I was not able to meet up with you and introduce myself while I was there. It sounds like it might have been a case of poor timing, Hope your vehicle comes out of it ok. It does make me wonder though. I think someone else recently had vehicle trouble in the same area also on this forum. Swamp- I have followed the 'statin' thread a bit and hope that you work out the best course for yourself medically. I myself have to live vicariously through the forum for most of the year so I was glad to finally be able to contribute a bit. I have also brought back a couple of cactus thorns so I can poke myself in the appropriate spots while reading about others adventures. If you like, I can send you a few.

My one regret is not being able to meet more of the people I read about so I could put faces to the names. Wish I could go to one of the outings but the timing doesn't really mesh as my landscaping season is getting ready to start again and I have things to prepare. So, keep those stories coming please! They're going to have to hold me over until my next 'fix'. I realize it's going to be a tough act to follow next year but I sure do look forward to trying!

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Matt,

Awesome trip report, the gold is an added reward and a righteous one at that!! :yesss:

I like the cactus thorns idea, if you sit in front of a heater, close your eyes give yourself a few pokes with the thorns and it will be just like being back in the desert!!

I also think Al should take you up on the offer to send him a few thorns, he could use them for acupuncture, it will probably help with his heath issues!! :brows:

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What a great vacation dude . You scored and had a great time . I guess you have a chevy ? .

Im a FORD guy .

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