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Wow, "gold fever" is a real thing. I got back about 4pm, after finding my first nugget, and I swear, my hands are still a little shaky. I have been out every day weather would allow, swinging slowly away with the Equinox, and today was the day my coil and a small nugget converged!

It weighs in at .25 gram, but it might as well be a pound, for as excited as I am!

I was running in Gold 1, sensitivity at 19, Iron Bias 0, Ground Tracking on, and threshold adjusted for my lousy hearing. The target flickered at -8/-9, but I scuffed the small rocks away with my boot, and got a solid 1 on the TDI. I've quite a few bullets, and enough #8 shot for a couple boxes worth of trap loads, but somehow, in a way I can't put into words, this one sounded "different". I got it out of the ground no problem, but I didn't think it was gold, at first. It was caked in brown dirt, and I thought it was a tiny piece of rusty iron. A few quick scrubs, and I knew it was gold!

I have to admit, the first thing I did was look around, to see if there was anybody watching. I don't know what I expected, out in the middle of BLM nowhere, but I suddenly pictured every expert, with a high dollar detector to come speeding in, jump out of the truck, and clean off the hillside.

I hunted for another half hour, but had to bail back to town before dark. Tomorrow, that hillside will be beaten within an inch of it's life.

Question for the experts, does the fact that the nugget looks rough, with Quartz on it mean that it might not have come from far away? The hillside I found it on is open desert for a hundred yards uphill, where there is an outcropping of bedrock. Google maps shows a pretty clear, but small flood channel right from there, to within a few feet of where I found the nugget. I plan to follow that uphill, for lack of a better plan. Any input would be of great help!

Huge thanks to Bill Southern. I called and chatted with him tonight, to thank him for the excellent video series. I am a self-teaching kind of guy, and the internet is my classroom. I used a ton of tips from Bill's videos to get to this first small find.

I believe I will go crack a cold one, and de-jangle my nerves a little.

Regards, Kyle

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Congrats , now there will be more in the future !!!

Dave

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Thanks, Dave. I'm really pumped now, I just hope it wasn't beginner's luck. I'm really trying to understand not just what I'm doing, but hopefully why I am doing it.

So much to learn. I never really gave geology much of a thought. There have always been two kinds of rocks, "regular old rocks", and "hey, that one looks cool" rocks. Now, I'm realizing how interesting geology actually is. The fact that my Wife enjoys it also, is a huge bonus, as everyone here with a spouse will likely agree!

Regards, 

Kyle

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Way to go Bro.  Sounds a little like me when I found my first nugget.  Now to get Wifey to find one.   :thumbsupanim

   Old Tom

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Very nice,  first find ! :brows:        Yes, get back there and pound the area, but take it slow and easy....:black_knight_standing:

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Good job..! :yesss: That li'l guy did not travel far.. Go back n get the entire family..!

Swamp

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What everyone else said... beat feet back up there pronto. Adam is right go slow with the beepin, but there is no harm in walking up to that outcrop to scope it out visually.

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Congrats on your first nugget, and a neat looking one to boot.  It was not that long ago I found my first and I still remember how excited I was even though I was alone.  Get back up there as soon as you can or it'll eat away at you like it has and is eating away at me!

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11 hours ago, Trailertrash said:

Wow, "gold fever" is a real thing.

Yup, it sure is -- some forms stronger than others.  We as a species are hunters at heart, albeit for different objectives.  I don't know any longterm successful nugget hunters who aren't infected with some form of the madness.  You've just got to have the pumped up drive that comes with the fever to WANT to experience and learn more about the arts of nugget shooting to the extent that the nuggets begin swelling your poke on a consistent basis.  Thanks for joining this forum and for sharing your great moment.  As for your wondering about whether your nugget has brothers and sisters lingering nearby, most likely there should be others.  With some additional detail (not specific location -- always keep that info to yourself) such as depth of topsoil down to bedrock or false bedrock, geologic clues such as the presence of ironstone or quartz dikes, and surface clues such as the presence of ironweed, a better guess may be possible.

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Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

Tom, I think my Wife is hooked already! She gets frustrated at finding trash faster than I do. She even has special names for birdshot, but they are not forum-friendly. Now that she has a nugget to ogle, she's back on her game. I just needed something tangible, to trigger her inner packrat. It's shiny, and she wants more for her nest :)

Adam, I'm headed out the door in an hour. Gear is loaded! Slow, steady, and organized are the words for the day. I'm taking a roll of flourescent mason's twine, to grid with.

Swamp, I'm thinking that gold shouldn't travel uphill, upstream, or over a hill. That still leaves a large area, but I am not complaining. At least I have a place to start!

Dave, I will definitely be checking out the bedrock outcrops inch by inch. Since this nugget was only an inch or so down, I wonder if that means the vein it came from is near the surface, or even above? I had a lot of six-pack theories going in my head last night, as I tried to go to sleep. You know what they say about theories though...

Allen, I get the "eating away" part. I'm picturing a wagon circle of trucks parked below the hillside, fresh claim stakes, and large grizzled men with garbage can lid sized search coils, when I come around the corner to the site this morning. Gotta get out there!

I'll update as I go, win, lose, or draw.

Thanks,

Kyle

 

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Micronugget, I just saw your reply as I was posting. Thanks for the advice. I will get some pictures today, and take note of the things you mentioned. I'll post what I find tonight, maybe the more experienced eyes here can glean something out, with more information...

Regards, Kyle

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Nice first gold! Hillside to boot, even better. Try taking a rake and clearing the rocks where you found that nugget to get a little deeper with your beeper.

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Nice find. Congrats

Low and slow and away you go ...

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Alwaysdirty, funny you mentioned the rake. I hit Home Depot before heading out today, and picked up a cheapo rake. I pulled a couple inches off, but no success. 

Morlock, yeah, the slow part is tough. I have to constantly remind myself to ease off on the swing speed. Trying to learn a good habit is easier than unlearning a bad one.

No second nugget to be had, and I left my phone in the truck, so no new pics of the area. Headed back out tomorrow, so I will get some shots then. I am a persistent sob!

Regards, Kyle

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Far from an expert, but I thought it may have been Eolian, or windblown placer.  If it was on a flatspot on top of a hill maybe, but hillside, not likely.  The rocks are supposed to gather at the top forming a desert pavement.  If that's the case the gold may be towards the surface.

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10 hours ago, Alwaysdirty said:

Nice first gold! Hillside to boot, even better. Try taking a rake and clearing the rocks where you found that nugget to get a little deeper with your beeper.

"Rake" ? !?,...Rake you say!!, :89:...I don't use no "stink'n rake"???:5bat:??  Lets see ya "rake" these ....:laught16: :25r30wi::confused0089[1]:

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Lol. Nothing some heavy equipment, and 20lbs of Tannerite can't fix, right? 

How did you move those? Winch, drag with a truck, my Wife when she's mad at me? That's some serious effort, I hope it paid off!

Chriskii, I've never heard of that. Off to Google I go! Thanks for the input. The mystery of where this came from is absolutely fascinating to me.

Regards, Kyle

 

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9 hours ago, LowPoint said:

"Rake" ? !?,...Rake you say!!, :89:...I don't use no "stink'n rake"???:5bat:??  Lets see ya "rake" these ....:laught16: :25r30wi::confused0089[1]:

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 I pretty much used the Gold Bug 2 with the small coil so I never had to dig really deep holes. I had a pick on the side for digging deep holes (just in case) and carried a strong fiberglass hoe for digging shallow holes, moving debris , rocks, shooing snakes off, etc. The hoe saved me lots of time as well as wear and tear on my back. Didn't have to bend over or stoop down nearly as much using the hoe. Those are some fair sized rocks in that wash but I bet I could probably move most of them out of the way with the hoe. Just use gravity to move them downhill. Also don't have to worry about snakes or scorpions when moving rocks.

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On ‎1‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 10:40 PM, Trailertrash said:

So much to learn. I never really gave geology much of a thought. There have always been two kinds of rocks, "regular old rocks", and "hey, that one looks cool" rocks. Now, I'm realizing how interesting geology actually is. The fact that my Wife enjoys it also, is a huge bonus, as everyone here with a spouse will likely agree!

Nice job, Kyle.  That is a beautiful piece.  And I prefer the hillside gold as you might be able to pin down the source. 

As for gold fever ... yes, unfortunately you are a man marked forever like a werewolf or vampire.  There really is no cure.  I am SO sorry about that.  Now, whether light or dark, cold or hot, young or old, you will inevitably be drawn to the nearest of gold fields and beyond.  Always on the trail for the smell and taste of this earth's wonder.  Other colors of the rainbow now cease to exist.  Gold is all you see.  And your general family travels will never be the same as you will be drawn to every color change of the moving country side, hoping to spy a contact zone that will rip at your soul until you scour every square inch of it.  And all while your significant other shakes her head in fear of the person you have become... .   A prospector ..... 

I am SO SO SORRY :D

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Congrats on your first nugget ,should be more found in your future.

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6 hours ago, Andyy said:

Nice job, Kyle.  That is a beautiful piece.  And I prefer the hillside gold as you might be able to pin down the source. 

Thanks for the compliment! I put in another 6 hours today. Lots of lead, hot rocks, bits of iron, but nooooo gold.

Every solid 1-2 signal on the Equinox was a rush, and I got tired and sore, but not disappointed. I had a laugh, when I got down to one round ball left in my scoop, and it was still chirping on the detector. "Seriously? In a dried rabbit turd?". I crushed it up, and there was a tiny piece from a wire screen in it. Lol. Somewhere out there is a bunny with a sore back end. 

As for the fever, you laid it out perfectly. Glad I'm not the only one!

Beatup, thanks. I hope to find more soon, but I gotta get a grip on basic geology. I can see that, right from the start. Lots of reading in my future.

I got some pics of the rocks in the area, and the hillside where I found the nugget, but I am gassed out, and headed for an early night in the sack. I'll resize and post them Sunday, when I take a break. We are meeting with a prospecting club tomorrow, bright and early. Joining their group gets us on a decent sized claim, and hopefully some more knowledge of what to look for.

More details as they come.

Regards, Kyle

 

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 11:30 AM, Trailertrash said:

Thanks for the encouragement, guys...

...Swamp, I'm thinking that gold shouldn't travel uphill, upstream, or over a hill. That still leaves a large area, but I am not complaining. At least I have a place to start!

Dave, I will definitely be checking out the bedrock outcrops inch by inch. Since this nugget was only an inch or so down, I wonder if that means the vein it came from is near the surface, or even above? I had a lot of six-pack theories going in my head last night, as I tried to go to sleep....

...I'll update as I go, win, lose, or draw.

Thanks,

Kyle

 

True -- Au doesn't travel uphill / upstream.. And you did mention something important I didn't need to ask while keeping the 'nice find' brief about that chunkster : Outcropping.. As in -- there is one present.. I would be extremely surprised if you don't encounter more speci and/or nugglets -- not to mention the very real probability of vein encasements..

Looking Fw to seeing photos of the area and the next finds..

Fill that poke..!

Swamp

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Congratulations Kyle now you have the sickness.  Hope you pick up some more soon.  Drop that nuggie in some CLR and that calcrete will burn off tip.

Brownie

 

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Well done Kyle and thank you.... But you did it! Other questions have been answered and more is in your future :thumbsupanim

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Thanks, Bill and Brownie!

Swamp, I have been hitting the hillside to death for about 20 hours of detecting. No second nugget... I am wondering if I overlooked the obvious, and was working an old tailing pile, without realizing it.

 There is an old mine shaft about 50' away from where I found the nugget. There are scattered places of gravel, mostly of bits of quartz, all over the hillside. I had ASSumed they were natural, but if not, then I might just be chasing my tail. I raked the spot where I found the nugget, and dug down about a foot with a shovel, in a 2 foot radius. No dice. My Wife and I used mason's twine to make large squares above, below, and to both sides. We covered every inch, for about 100' in all directions.

I climbed to the top of the hill a couple days ago, and worked my way back down. If Quartz was the only key to gold, I'd have it made. Car-sized outcroppings of it in places.

I did the "flying wiener dog" fall on my elbow, and darn near broke it. I was hiking down a steep slope, and got cocky. I stepped on what I thought was bedrock, and figured out it was a loose stone about the time my feet were level with my head.

 I managed to save the detector, my pistol, the 11" coil in my backpack, and my phone, from grim destruction, but the elbow is taking a few days out of action. A painful reminder to be careful, and put together an emergency kit for my backpack. I know better. I did search and rescue with the explorer scouts when I was a teenager. No excuse! Space blankets, firestarter, first aid basics, etc. will be going in my pack before the next outing. $20 worth of stuff, and maybe 2 lbs of weight can make the difference between living and dying. If I had broken my arm, that would suck, but I could have gotten myself out of there. Compound leg fracture, back, neck, a mile from the truck in a canyon, with no cell service??? Deadman's hand, game over. 

Here are some pics of the area, and a nice one of the elbow. It sure looks like gold country to me, and I will hit it again, for sure.

Regards, Kyle

 

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