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Chris Gholson

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Everything posted by Chris Gholson

  1. Chris Gholson

    May 2003 issues are here!

    Here is an excerpt from Jonathan's article in the May issue. Sorry for the "grainy" appearance, the image size was huge, so I really had to shrink it down.
  2. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Hi Mike, The dig was carried out on State land, not BLM. We have a current plan of operation in place with the AZ State Land Department. Cheers, Chris
  3. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Day 3 & 4 It was going to be hard to top the previous days find, but we were sure anxious to try. At first light back down into the gully we went. After some reclamation, Joe began sinking a series of trenches below where the big one had been found. We “pushed” and beeped all day long. The lump had broken our streak of bad luck, virtually every hole we dug yielded some gold. Nothing gigantic, but a nice 10 and 6 grammer, and plenty of little ones. By Day 4 we were feeling a bit worn down. The weather had been surprisingly pleasant, it even sprinkled rain on us one evening, this same time last year we would have been fried like an omelet! Even then, the sun has a way of slowing zapping one’s strength. We opted not to dig, but rather rework the holes that had already been dug. This landed us 1 or 2 more pieces, mostly small. That evening we polished off the reclamation and slowly, but very noisily, crept the track hoe down off the hill to the main road. We ended up with about 3 ounces of nuggets and a much-needed break from the hustle of the big city. The push had been a success, maybe not monetarily, but as they say in those credit card commercials, “ Four days of equipment rental = $1,000. Cost of fuel = $54.00. Food & supplies = $73.00. Gold prospecting with close friends = Priceless…” Oh, I almost forgot to mention why I titled this post Fallen Sunshine. I was told by a prospector in Hall’s Creek, Western Australia that the Aboriginal people used to believe that gold nuggets did not come from the ground, but rather were pieces of sun that had had fallen to the Earth. Looking forward to seeing you all on the 10th at Little San Domingo Chris
  4. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Here's a shot of the whole gang. (Left to Right: Chris, Steve, Joe, & Bob)
  5. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Me and the new 2 ouncer...
  6. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Once again I climbed into the pit and powered on. “Okay, let’s keep our fingers crossed.” I whispered. As I went to balance the machine it went absolutely bonkers! “Did somebody accidentally drop something in from above?” I asked. “Why?” “Because I’m picking up a monster of a signal right here.” I kicked at a clump of soil with the side of my boot. What I saw shot me straight up into the air. “Holy crap! Get down here and take a look at this thing!” I spouted off like a mad man. There, resting quietly on the clay, partially covered with soil was a shiny slug of gold! The four of us yelled, danced, hugged and shouted obscenities into the blue sky, you know – typical prospector behavior. I forced myself to snap off a picture before yanking it out of the ground. It was a spiral shaped beauty weighing nearly 2 ounces. Okay, it wasn’t the Hand of Faith, but after a dry spell even a 2 ouncer looks like a 90! We celebrated our victory appropriately that night around a crackling campfire with Dinty Moore beef stew and some cold beers. (story continued…)
  7. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Joe quickly opened up another trench similar in size to the first. When bedrock came into view he slid from the driver’s seat and into the camo backpack – the suspense behind the wheel had obviously been killing him. He scanned the ordinary looking sides of the trench first, saving the sweet stuff for last. Two shavings, one boot tack, and a fragment of tin can later, he snagged a pretty little nugget with a bit of quartz attached. Much like the first trench, no one had gotten rich, but it was enough incentive to keep us going. The track hoe gobbled open another deep hole in the gully, but this one proved to be void of gold. Joe backed up the rig and sank another – again, not a single nugget. The third hole was met with the same results. This was bad. We had chewed up fuel and several hours of precious daylight without any more gold to show for it. As a type of last-ditch effort, we all agreed to punch down one more, this time closer to the bank. Beneath the gravels we tapped into a juicy layer of reddish clay. My father spotted the “goods” and motioned to Joe to immediately kill the engine. As I slid down the fresh dirt I said a tiny prayer, which sounded something like this, “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let there be a nugget…” I switched on the detector and cautiously worked the clay. Three minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes went by and no signals. This was unbelievable! Some of the best looking virgin material I had seen at the Hill and not a frigin peep! I glanced up at Bob with a look of disappointment. He smiled and said, “Hang on, Joe why don’t you peel her back a few more inches. The gold has to be there, maybe we haven’t gone deep enough.” The bedrock didn’t look that much deeper, but anything was worth a try. The track cranked over and its’ teeth sliced down into the rusty clay like molten butter. We noticed that the bedrock gradient had dipped forming a natural catch. “That’s far enough Joe,” Bob shouted. (story continued…)
  8. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    No sooner had the morning campfire died out when my father, Bob and I heard the humming of the engine come to a halt. We walked over to have a peek. Joe had managed to cut out a trench approx. 7 foot deep in the gut of the gully. He had stopped when hitting upon a strange green colored patch of rock, this turned out to be the decomposed schist (or greenstone) bedrock. They hollered at me to give it a whirl and I happily accepted. The first target was no surprise; it was a shaving from the bucket. With this many boulders there were bound to be a few. The second target gave off a clearer hit, it was coming from somewhere in the weathered schist. There it was – the first nugget of the day! It wasn’t big, maybe half a gram, but it was gold! A quick cheer and a round of “high-fives” went around the hole. The third, fourth and fifth targets were shavings, but the sixth was another nugget, this time about 1 gram. Not a bonanza, but we had gotten our first sniff! (story continued…)
  9. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    Day 2 At 4:30 AM a rumbling sound could be heard in the distance. Looking through the binoculars we saw the headlights of a large truck moving on the horizon – the tractor was coming! Joe and Steve zipped down the hill to meet the driver. There was no way he could negotiate the narrow road to the claim with an oversized load, so Joe would have to drive the remainder of the distance at a snail’s pace with the hoe. Nearly an hour later a horrible screeching filled the canyon. The noise was growing increasing louder, it sounded as if a Sherman tank were invading the goldfields. Within minutes a monstrous orange arm with claws appeared over the ridge top, then a set of tracks carrying the huge diesel-driven steel body. Sitting inside the belly of the beast was Joe, grinning from ear to ear, and I can tell you he wasted no time getting the earthmover into position. (story continued…)
  10. Chris Gholson

    Fallen Sunshine

    We should have knocked on wood! Moments later we received a call on the cell from the truck driver informing us that he had run over some debris in the road and blown several tires on the haul trailer – this meant no digging until the following morning. We were bummed out to say the least, but decided to make the best of it and try some “surface” detecting. Two hours later my pockets were as empty as when I had started, so I decided to abandon the flats and try my luck on the banks of the gully. Not long after making the switch, the GP told me the coil had crossed over a metal object. I chopped away about 2 inches and the signal really started to “bark”. Another whack with the pick and a cute 1-gram piece came rolling out. I waved the coil across the hole again and picked up a second target. Another few chops and a larger 3-gram nugget appeared. Things were looking up! When the hole was all said and done, it had given up a total of 4 nuggets. By now I was hot on the trail and had forgotten all about my empty canteen. I pushed further up the bank kicking and scratching at any little signal that broke the threshold. At 7:30 PM it was really getting tough to see – time to head back. The bank had given up another 3 nuggets for a combined weight of 9.4 grams. Was this an omen of good things to come? We all hoped so. (story continued…)
  11. We’re Bringing the Outback to You… I am proud to announce that Arizona Outback is now the exclusive North American distributor for Gold, Gem & Treasure - Australia’s leading gold prospecting magazine! Whether you’ve been chasing the elusive yellow metal since the first detector rush started nearly 25 years ago, or you’re what the old-timers call a “new chum” to the gold prospecting game, we’re sure you will find a subscription to Gold, Gem and Treasure an invaluable source of information. Now in its’ 18th year of publication, Gold, Gem & Treasure is one of the only magazines in the world that has the interests of metal detector operators at its’ heart and soul. G, G, &T strives to not only present readers with value-for-money entertainment in their reading, but articles and feature stories that will actually improve their detecting abilities and success rate. Each issue is packed with vivid pictures of beautiful gold nuggets plucked from the rich Australian goldfields, helpful hints and tricks drawn from experienced prospectors, field tests, precious gemstones, coins, relics, maps, and so much more. If you’re serious about nugget hunting and have been yearning for a taste of the Outback, you won’t want to miss out! See for yourself why Gold, Gem & Treasure magazine has been the choice of Australian prospectors for the past 18 years! Subscription and pricing information will be available on the website soon.
  12. Hi All, With the construction of the new house in the Bradshaw’s getting underway, I am reluctantly selling some of my prospecting gear. I just sold my 3” Keene dredge and trustee drywasher, now it is time to bid farewell to the Gold Genie. I know this is a predominantly a detecting forum, but I wanted to offer it to you guys first before taking it to a show or placing it on eBay. It is the Prospector Model, and it runs beautifully. In the stores they sell for about $365.00, if anyone here is interested, I’ll let it go for $279. Here is a little more info: "All Gold Genie spiral recovery systems have an 18” blue spiral pan for easy observation of both gold and black sand. The pan is injection molded from polypropylene plastic. The deep cut spirals with sharp edges allow the system to work wet or dry. The controls for both the volume of water on the spray bar and the critical angle of the pan are designed to be easily and accurately adjusted. The 12-volt dc motor has a 2 speed switching system. The low speed is about 15 rpms and the high speed is about 22 rpm’s. The switch allows high speed, low speed and center off. A separate switch is provided for the 12-volt dc water pump so the unit can operate with or without water. The motor and pump have a total current draw of less than 4 amps. The gold and other values are collected by the spiral, and then discharged through a fitting in the center into a cup or pan. The frame is made from anodized steel."
  13. Chris Gholson

    FOR SALE: Gold Genie

    Hi Stan, As a matter of fact, I do have another piece of detecting equipment for sale. How about a custom-built 20 x 40” Coiltek drag coil!!! It is equipped with its’ own wooden, wheel driven trolley and there is a special compartment towards the back for mounting an SD-GP detector. A control box allows the big coil to be shut off when a target is found and diverts the power to the standard size coil on the machine for pinpointing. The coil can be used exclusively on the hand trolley or modified to be “drug” on skids by a quad or motorbike. Obviously this is not something you would want to use on a daily basis. It is a specialty coil designed to be used a patch finder. It offers great depth, incredible ground coverage, and is ideal for relatively flat country such as Gold Basin, Nevada, Quartzsite, or in the Outback of Australia. If you don’t want to use it for prospecting, it also doubles as a surfboard, life raft, or a nifty coffee table. A similar setup like this would cost nearly $1,300.00 if purchased here in the States. If anyone is ready to go SUPER-SIZE, I would sell for $500 and toss in the 12volt SD2100-2200 Coiltek system and 3 batteries for free. I would prefer an Arizona resident or someone willing to pick it up, because I have no clue how I would ship this baby!
  14. Bill, Thanks for the update on the outing. Bob Dansie and I will be there, really looking forward to a good ol' fashioned dose of GOLD TALK! See you soon... Chris
  15. Bill S., Just curious if the outing in San Domingo, AZ for this May is still happening. If so, could you post a little info. for us. Thanks in advance... Chris
  16. Chris Gholson

    Strange lights and sights

    Hi Jonathan, That impression in the ground is definitely wierd, looks almost too symetrical to be natural. I have run across something similar to that in Arizona. I believe the ones I have seen were the remains of old arrastras. I think these look similar to the "puddlers" once used in Australia. The arrastra was a crude device used by the early miners to crush gold-bearing ore. They would usually dig out a circular trench (like the one in your photo), line the bottom with flat rocks, then put a post in the center with something like swingarms on it. They would then attach a boulder to a chain and connect it to the swingarm. The free-milling ore would then be placed inside on the rock lined bottom. Finally, a mule or hose was harnessed to the gadget and would walk around in circles dragging the boulder, which would help speed up pulverizing the ore. Not a very efficient method, but it was cheap and fairly easy to build. In the "really" old days, it was people that were forced to power the arrastra. Below is a picture of an American arrastra I encountered 2 years ago in western Arizona. This one was not sunk into the ground, and it appears as if it had been modified to be powered by some sort of engine (maybe steam?). Chris
  17. Okay everyone, Any guesses as to what this thing is? It was just shown to me in Globe by a friend that dug it out of his attic. It seems it was found by a family member years ago, and until recently had been lost amongst a maze of boxes and cobwebs. It is round in shape almost as if it had been water worn, it is heavy (about 2 ounces in weight), made of metal, and is gray in color. One side had been cut open to expose the brilliant silvery metal beneath. The outer rind is slightly darker in color, but does not appear to have become heavily oxidized the way a piece of silver would. The location of the find is not known. My first hunch was a type of iron meteorite. However, after rolling the thing around in my hand for a few minutes I really started to wonder. It does not appear to have been burnt, no “thumbprints”, and there are absolutely no signs of rust. Could it be a native platinum nugget? I have seen a few from Siberia in the past, but they were much smaller than this lumper. The lucky owner was kind enough to give me a sample, so when my father returns from the mountains he is going to run some specific gravity tests. If this doesn’t reveal the identity, it is off to my friend at the University of Arizona for a few bursts from the “all knowing” electron microprobe. In the meantime, any guesses as to what this mystery metal might be???
  18. Hey Stan, Awesome post! Thanks for sharing those great pictures of the dig, that Gold Screw looks pretty slick - just about the right size for a 1-2 man operation. Its' small gold recovery doesn't look too bad either. There are a few spots in the Bradshaw's that would be perfect for set up like that. Quick question - how is it moved around? Is it on wheels, or is it loaded on a trailer? Loved the one of the nuggets, the way you guys arranged the shot is too cool! Keep the posts coming!!! Chris P.S. Your new GP battery & pouch have arrived
  19. Hi All, I apologize for being so quiet lately; this past week and a half has been a whirlwind. With all the recent events going on it has left me with little time to post. Last Wednesday found me at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Hopi Elementary School for the second annual gold, rock and mineral extravaganza. The first grade teachers, several dedicated parent volunteers and myself spent the entire day teaching over 150 elementary kids how to pan for gold, identify minerals in the field, and how to use a metal detector. I buried well over 200 coins on the school grounds and after a quick demonstration, turned them loose. What a treat it was to see their faces each time they found one – you’d think by the expressions on their face that they had just uncovered an ancient Roam gold piece! Both the children and the adults had a blast, and by the end of the afternoon everyone left with a small vial of gold. This weekend I headed down to Globe to hook up with the White Mountain GPAA chapter for an outing on a newly acquired claim. Although Globe, and the nearby towns of Miami, Claypool, and Superior are better known for their copper deposits than gold, there are nevertheless, small scattered placers to be found in the mountain ranges to the south. After rendezvousing with chapter president Larry Messick at the local Jack in the Box, and a short 15 minute dirt road drive, we arrived at the claim and were greeted by the other members. The gang was armed with an assortment of tools ranging from the traditional shovel and gold pan, to the more sophisticated equipment like detectors and a Gold Magic. With our gear finally loaded, we set off like a team of pack mules to a nearby gully. This is beautiful country, but incredibly brushy! I made the mistake of wearing a short-sleeved shirt, by the time we hit the gully my arms looked like a poorly drawn Tic-Tac-Toe board! Anyone planning a trip to this region will find a heavy-duty shirt (like a Brush Popper) and a quality pair of chaps a lifesaver! The narrow drainage was filled with black sand and rounded quartz fragments, but the thick cat claw and granite boulders made detecting a slow and careful process. My GP picked out a few bullets, a shot gun shell at half a foot, and some misc. old-timer rubbish. No nuggets – but the presence of boot tacks were a positive sign, indicating that at least the old-timers had thought the gully worthy of sampling. Upon my return, I was pleased to find that the others were having better results. They had dug down to a nice looking chunk of bedrock, cleaned out the cracks and ran it through the spiral wheel. The concentrates yielded a collection of tiny, yellow flakes of gold! Although we didn’t turn up any slugs, I have no doubts that if a person persisted for long enough in this area with a detector, they would most certainly be rewarded with nuggets. Thanks again to Larry and the rest of the chapter for inviting us to join in on the outing. Hope to see you all sometime down the track. Anyone interested in learning more about the White Mountain GPAA chapter, please call Larry at (928) 532-6323. Here's a shot of Larry and some of the other members getting ready to dig in!
  20. Hey Montana, Speaking of snakes... Went out this morning on a tully to look over some new country, didn't find any nuggets, but I did run across this little beauty! Not a rattler, as you could probably tell from how close I am to it in the photo, but a big 'un! She was at least a 3-4 footer. This warmer weather has all the desert critters stirring - time to break out those chaps!
  21. Hi Guys, Thanks for the feedback on the mystery metal. I thought that it may have been galena as well, but most all of the galena nuggets I've found with a detector have been encrusted with light brown material. This piece was not, very smooth and polished, just like it had tumbled down a river. How about the samples you found Ron, were they coated with something or clean on the outside? Jonathan, it felt heavy enough to be a placer nugget. If the color would have been golden instead of gray, I would not have doubted it at all. It was not the slightest bit magnetic even on a rare earth, so I think we can rule out the possibility of it being iron. This baby has really got my curiosity aroused. Here's another picture of it showing the side that was cut open.
  22. Chris Gholson

    Lest We Forget

    Well said...
  23. Here's me from my "good" side - contemplating where to start hunting.
  24. Hi Bob, I don’t know what’s the story behind those glued-on, poker chip test nuggets – they are definitely a bit of a mystery. I have seen this sort of thing several times in the past. A guy will pull out his “poker” test nugget, toss it on the ground, and wave the coil over it. I can tell you I get some really weird looks when the new machine I just sold them doesn’t even make a peep! After assuring them that the detector is not broken I will pull out a few raw nuggets from the poke (some even smaller than the original test nugget) and toss them on the ground. As expected, the machine sounds off nicely. I have come to believe that the glue used to secure the nugget to the chip is the culprit. This does not happen with larger sized test nuggets, but with pieces weighing less than 0.5 gram it is not that uncommon. Again, I’m not entirely sure why this happens, but you and Bandana Don aren’t the only ones that have experienced this phenomenon. Perhaps the glue is behaving like some sort of insulator. Does anyone else have any ideas?
  25. Chris Gholson

    The Outback is Here!

    Hi Denny, I will check on the possibility of getting you some back issues when I talk with the publisher in Australia sometime this week, or early next. I will email you once I find out. Do you have any particular year in mind? Chris