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Lanny in AB

What you can't see just might be . . .

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Invisible Gold in Plain Sight

 

I know I’ve commented in the past on the tenacity of stubborn gold: gold that is wedged far down in crevices; gold that is concreted in a matrix that perfectly matches the color of the mother rock—the matrix perfectly cemented and blended so as to negate the possibility of differentiating the former cracks from the nurturing bedrock; also, gold that is carefully cached in Mother Nature’s natural concrete—a brawny blend of smaller rocks and sand that looks much like the concrete of boring, common sidewalks.

 

However, not long ago, I had the opportunity to chase nuggets with my detector in a most challenging formation. I had been granted the privilege of detecting the down-slope of what can best be described as the exit ramp for an excavator: the ramp emerging from a steep, gorge-like placer pit. To detect in the pit itself would have been madness, as the face was an active weeping wall of numerous springs, strangled fountains endlessly forcing a living ooze of cobbles, clay, and boulders into the watery pit below. To say there was a water problem at this excavation would be gross understatement. It most likely was a hindrance to the old-timers as well.

 

But, as a matter of record, the entire placer deposit comprised the remains of at least seven ancient streambeds, ones that crisscrossed at a hectic and confused conjunction, one formed where the lower ends of two stalwart canyons met. Atop those black canyons, their mute rims existed as stubborn proof to their resistance of dim ice ages long past; they remained as stout geological survivors of that ever-restless glacial grinding.

 

Because of these rims, ancient glacial-melt rivers were ultimately funneled through their timeless gates—the gold they carried being given temporary sanctuary in deep beds of rock and bolder clay. Long before we ever arrived, the Argonauts of the 1800’s had sunk many shafts to various layers and levels of pay, drifting along until the gold ran out, mysteriously stripped away by some intersecting channel. Or, until water, financial downturn, backbreaking labor, or unknown disaster had closed the workings for good.

 

In fact, the primary reason for the aforementioned pit’s location was due to the discovery of a roomed-out section of drift-mined bedrock on the claim. No one rooms-out, by hand a piece of bedrock some thirty feet below the surface of the boulder clay unless the gold there is good. The large boulders the excavator pulled out some forty feet below that shelf of bedrock also proved why the hand-miners had not sunk their shaft there, and the seepage of that low sump would have inundated any attempts as well.

 

But, I must get back to my detecting story. So, I found myself detecting only the top of the escape ramp. The bedrock, as is the norm for this location, was red-hot electronically. I used a double-D coil, sensitive to nuggets a gram and larger, and was still getting chatter. But, between the pops and snaps, I heard definite cresting sounds in the threshold—those welcome golden hums that serve up secrets long lost.

 

I scraped off the gumbo of overburden and was faced with black and purplish bedrock, laced with quartz stringers. Not a crack or a fissure in sight. I scrubbed the coil along the mother rock and was rewarded with a series of sharper tones amidst the background chatter.

 

Looking at the coil’s path, the sounds it traced ran diagonally across and down the slope of the rock. I slowly perceived that the detector was likely following invisible crevices, ones that rolled off into the yawning pit. Knowing that the detector wouldn’t lie, I got out my wide bladed, thin crevicing chisel and carefully chipped the actual bedrock-sides of the crevice into the material of the crevice itself; as in this case, the crevice material was not solidly concreted. It was more of a crumbly composition; however, it mimicked exactly the color of the bedrock, perfectly hiding the fissures and thus any material they contained.

 

So, using a right-angled gouging tool, I drug the material upslope of one of the diagonal cracks into a plastic scoop. Next, I passed the scoop under the coil and got a nice crisp tone. I shook the scoop, settled the heavies, and at the same time gingerly sluffed the lighter material out the end.

 

There were five rugged nuggets in the scoop. None were over a gram and a half. And, I located two other crevices using the detector, garnering more of those small, yet sassy nuggets.

 

By the way, I like to put my nuggets in a pliable plastic bottle, and nothing lights me up like the happy rumble of nuggets in that bottle. I don’t know why, but I just love the sound of gold dancing on gold.

 

Oh yes, it’s at this point in the tale where you can brand me dumb, again—I’ve made the same mistake before! It seems I always get preoccupied with the nuggets, and I forget about the bedding the nuggets are nestled in (I guess I’m a slow learner, or maybe just incorrigible.). Anyway, my partner bless his soul, did not forget. He gathered it all together into a pan and took the works to the creek, under some murky premise that gold of various sizes travels together. <_<

 

I almost had an aneurism when I saw how much chunky gold there was in that pan!

 

And to think, every bit of that gold, nuggets and all, would still be there today if the detector hadn’t seen what my eyes couldn’t see in plain sight.

 

Lanny in AB

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Hi Lanny,

Thank you for taking us on this wonderful gold detecting adventure B)

You have such a flair for painting a mental picture with your words and it's so much fun looking over your shoulder as you go about sniffing out those nuggets :D What a thrill :D

 

Wishbone (George-NM)

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Both Wishbone and Bill are right on Lanny your writing is super good and ya had my interest 100% of the time always ready for the next line. What an adventure that was! :):D This story is rated a 10+

 

Don

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Bill,

 

I really appreciate your comments. One day I hope you and I can swing the coils together again when we have more time, and maybe this time I'll capture some of that elusive Arizona gold. :)

 

All the best,

 

Lanny in AB

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Wow Don,

 

Thanks for that wonderful comment. If you enjoyed it, well, it was well worth the time it took to write it.

 

Thanks again,

 

Lanny in AB

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Small Bedrock Bonanza

 

I was on what can best be described as a prospecting walkabout one midsummer day. The festive sun, bronzing itself against a perfect backdrop of cobalt blueness, was radiating a glorious wave of welcome heat. Somewhat cheered by this break from several days of cold drizzle and outright rain, I began investigating some old workings near a most crowded creek, one nearly strangled by thick stands of willow. Deep green horse-tails, small waxy butter-cups, and meadow grasses slowed the flow even more.

 

The day's new-heated air was waxing humid by the little creek, and no breeze disturbed the calm. Now, I know this setting sounds serene, but not when one is far removed from civilization, as in the great northern Boreal forests. In fact, the conditions were perfect for an all out assault by the deep woods own pernicious blood bank, that living wall, that suffocating all-enveloping cloud of black flies, mosquitoes, and no-seeums. The air was so thick with them that I had to breathe through my nose only, as any oral intake of air resulted in an unwelcome repast of Insecticus Wingdus Yuckus. I whipped out my can of near-nuclear grade Deet and gave myself the prospector's equivalent of a sheep-dip dunk. With that, the flies bugged out of my airspace to swarm testily around me, about four inches out.

 

With enough bug paste in my mouth to last a lifetime, I cut up the creek bank and wove my way through a stand of hundred-year-old pine, the floor carpeted with dewy ferns and juniper. I then turned parallel to the creek, about thirty feet upslope. There was a gentle breeze blowing, enough of one to send the bugs back to the creek.

 

All about me were ample signs of old workings, and more modern ones as well, ones done in the thirty's. I happened upon a spot where the bedrock had been left exposed. It appeared that a small operation had stripped off about ten feet of yellowish boulder clay (a stubborn solid deposit of boulders and clay dumped by the receding glaciers of the last ice age) to expose an old stream channel resting on the mother rock, one that cut back under the rising boulder clay for an undetermined distance.

 

The excavation I scouted was about twenty feet wide at its widest, and about sixty feet long. It ended abruptly where the shoulder of the mountain thrust through on the downstream end at a place where the old channel took a sharp turn to dive back under about fifty feet of boulder clay—far too much overburden for a small depression era operation to work. I walked back to the spot where the bedrock remained exposed, dropped my pack, and pulled out my sniping tools and my gold pan.

 

I scraped around for any low spots that still held accumulations of original ancient placer material—small tightly packed river stones and gray clay. I found a few and cleaned them out. I made the trek back to the creek and panned them out. Almost no black sand, and no gold. I went back up to the workings and sat on a flat boulder. I took a long look at the topography. I noticed a spot where the bedrock rose sharply from the exposed sheet, then leveled off as it ran back under the boulder clay. I also noticed that at that point the bedrock was covered with about two feet of clay slump.

 

Well, I don't know about you, but I'd rather not dig if there's nice exposed bedrock to work, but as the exposed bedrock was not giving up any secrets, I somewhat dispassionately took my shovel and cleared a spot about four feet square. The bedrock here was all uneven, with lots of irregular little pockets. I cleaned a few out but got no satisfying results. As I was about to leave, I hesitated, then decided to dig under the boulder clay a bit where the bedrock started to dip down, before it disappeared entirely under the boulder clay. I was quite surprised to find that the rock dropped off about a foot, before it leveled off again. But what interested me most was the composition of the material between the boulder clay and the bedrock. It was a gray colored sand atop a clay and rock mixture, a mixture composed of compacted clay and small pebbles.

 

This is the stuff you only hope to find. It's virgin ground. What I had unearthed was bottom edge of the face, as exposed by the small operation. I was working intact ancient placer, tens of thousands of years in the waiting. The series of irregular pockets I'd cleaned right before this drop-off were an encouraging sign. This was a bigger pocket, about a foot across—a likely looking trap. Much renewed, I cleaned out several pans of material to the bare bedrock, then trucked them one by one to the creek. No gold! What was going on here? Everything was so perfect. I pulled out some lunch and ate moodily while I pondered some more.

 

After eating, I went back to examine the hole. The air had dried the moisture from the bedrock, and I was staring at some reddish bedrock, different from the larger section of exposed bedrock behind me. But, that was not what caught my attention. The bottom of the hole was laced with what looked like a network of blood vessels, purple veins standing out in living relief against the red rock. This was a never before to me—never before had I seen such an occurrence. I didn't know what to make of it, much less what to do. However, eventually my prospecting curiosity got the better of me, and I took a screwdriver and scraped at the veins. They were nowhere near as hard as the rock. In fact, they were more like a purple clay, and I soon discerned they were sealing cracks in the bedrock! Well, I dug and scraped and soon had about a tablespoon of material.

 

I hurriedly took it to the creek and sunk the pan. The bugs were back, but I didn't care. I'd gladly donate a little blood to get a look at this stuff. As I mashed the material under the water against the bottom of the pan, the watery contents turned an ugly purple color. The creek water was crystal clear, but I couldn't see the bottom of my green pan. I sunk the pan flat in the creek and continued to let the creek carry off the discolored water. Then I tilted the pan to settle the heavies in the crease, and began a gentle washing motion, the pan at a sharp angle to the creek, using very little water to wash. The water was now clear in the pan and I saw a riotous array of very dark, heavily stained small BB-sized stones. This was new. I tipped the pan back to pick out some of the stones and saw that ever welcome, never jaded yellow flash. There in the crease were three saucy pickers, close to the same size as the darkened stones. No fine gold whatsoever.

 

To say I raced back to that hole would be to do my Olympic sprint a grave injustice. I flew. I gouged as far as I could into the cracks, but very little material remained. I took out an awl and probed the crevices and was rewarded with a soft resistance at the junction of two veins. I pushed harder and the awl dropped three inches. I twisted the probe and it spun around in an ever widening circle. I'd found a little pocket, one fed by gold-bearing crevices! I popped that very hard bedrock with a chisel and opened a hole large enough to insert the bent handle of a spoon. In this manner, I gouged out about three tablespoons of wet, purplish clay, sand, and small stones. With no material left in the hole, I casually sauntered back to the creek. Not! On reflection, I don't think my feet ever dented the moss on the downslope.

 

I got the same result as earlier when I sunk the pan and kneaded the material—a cloud of heavily oxidized sediments dyed and discolored the water. The stones were slightly larger than BB's when I could finally see them in the crease, but this time the gold was protruding in a most sassy manner! A nice clutch of pickers they were, in the quarter to half gram range. And, no flattened run-of-the-mill flakes either. Every piece had a rugged, most handsome character.

 

I never found any more gold at that place as the bedrock dipped again, rushing down beneath that ever mysterious guardian of the north, that enigmatic formation of boulders and stubborn clay that ever riddles the eager prospector: riddles him by hiding away to cache so many of the north's ancient golden placers.

 

Lanny in AB

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Another great story Lanny rqted a +10 in my book. I think your writings have a stong flare of adventure and a high qaulity writing style. You should be able to put them in some kind of a book and have your works published.

 

In the past when I dabbeled at wrtiting, my stories were all written as if we were sittin around a smoky camp fire at nigtht drinkin boiled coffee now and then flavored with a floatin but dead sleeter. Most of my writings were published by Popular Mining Magazine. Perhaps they just need filler for the magazine. :D

 

Don

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Thanks so much for your kind words Don. It's an honor to hear compliments like that from such a well-published author!

 

Here's a picture of some Northern Gold, some gold I dredged out this past summer. The largest piece is about half an inch long, and someday I'll write a post about the discovery of that piece, and its raft of buddies.

 

All the best,

 

Lanny

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/Lannyinab/101_0401copy.jpg

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Here's a little tale for you. I remember prospecting out this river a while back. It was to heck and gone up north, down in a steep canyon, one lined with lots of brush, pine, fir, and balsam. Very rugged slopes they were that led down to that river. I was trying to find a spot where I could detect or pan, and get some nice coarse gold. I was in an area that was known for coarse, round gold, and I wanted some.

 

Well, I wrestled my way through some obnoxious brush, in fact I got smacked in the face by a piece of said brush that I'd stepped on to try to get down to what had obviously been a very active suction eddy during Spring Flood--I can still taste that bark and those leaves when I think on it!

 

Anyway, this spot was straight down the mountain slope from where an old drift mine went in, about a hundred feet up slope. In fact, that old drift mine went in on a bedrock hump, one located about seventy feet above the river. The oldtimers had seen the hump and then those sourdoughs just drifted along the upsloping bedrock, under about fifty feet of boulder clay. And who knows how far back they went, or of they roomed it out. It's still there, but the entrance is caved in.

 

Some modern miners had come in with big equipment and made a road around that point on the hill, and they'd taken it right down to bedrock and as they widened it, beat the bejeepers out of the drift mine.

 

Now, what a dummy I was--I didn't detect that scraped off hump where the drift mine had gone in. Instead, I went over to what was left of the entrance, and hauled buckets of material down to the river to pan.

 

If you don't think that was fun, then you don't know what fun is. And, you probably think a double root canal is fun too. Man, what a miserable time I had getting those buckets down to the river, what with walking down a 30-40 degree slope, covered in broken bedrock and loose cobbles. Fun?

 

Every bucket had gold in it, but only flakes, and I wanted coarse gold, none of that flake stuff for me. No sir. But, after three buckets (five gallon plastic ones) of that goo from the bottom of what had been uncovered of the drift, I'd had enough fun.

 

Well, back to my story. So, I'd located this spot down on the river where there'd been this back-tailing of water during spring run-off, and low and behold, it was exactly below that bedrock hump, the one I told you about where the oldtimer's had drifted in. Well, after getting slapped around by those aforementioned branchs, I finally dropped into what can best be described as a truck-box sized hole in the river bank, one with all of these bread-loaf sized cobbles plastering that sucked-out section of the bank.

 

I was in my own little enclave down there, and I couldn't be seen from the cat-trail above, nor from up or down the river on my side of the bank. And the other bank was some scene from prospecting hell--vertical insanity! I had packed down my old detector and my shovel. I fired up the detector, and I started scanning the cobbled section. I immediately got a loud signal.

 

So, I chucked a load of cobbles into the river and scanned again. The target was still there. I moved some of the smaller, underlying loose stuff and there it was--a nice square nail. What the? That wasn't what I wanted. I wasn't after flake gold, and I definitely didn't want old squares, but as I found out through repeated digging, they were all over that bank!

 

Well, being the dummy that I was, I never made the connection that this could be a good sign; in fact, I scanned some more and got more signals and just gave up with the detecting because I KNEW they were all square nails.

 

I decided to clean off the rest of the loose stuff from under the cobbles, and I chucked it into the river, in a hole, some eight-feet deep. A hole, by the way, that was just below a series of bedrock drops. Another clue that should have slapped me in the face just as hard as that stupid bush had earlier, but no, my mind was bent on finding coarse gold, not on paying attention to blatant and obvious clues. I'll just blame it on Northern Brain Fever, or some other useless excuse.

 

Anyway, to somewhat shorten this tale, I found a layer of soft bedrock, with lots of vertical shingling, under the loose stuff, and so I scraped it off and panned it out. Immediately I had coarse gold in my pan! What the?

 

All along that section, about eight feet long, there was great color, not good color, great color! I sat down and started looking at that cut in the bank. The bedrock I'd uncovered was rising up right into the bank. Then my pea-sized brain made the connection. Remember this, that directly above me was the bedrock hump, and here was rising bedrock heading up in the exact same direction. Talk about a cross-wired brain I was using that day.

 

I was obviously on a shelf that must have connected to the hump. Of course there were tons and tons of overburden between me, the rest of that rising shelf, and the hump. Anyway, my somewhat tweaked brain did a flip-flop out of its largely unconscious mode and I scraped all of that exposed bedrock and sluiced the remaining material--I had an aluminum river sluice in my vehicle up on the cat-trail. I won't bore you with the near-death experience from the header I took while coming down what I thought would be an easier route than the so obviously inferior face-slapping bush-whacking route!

 

Whatever, I made it to the river alive, sort of in one ragged disheveled piece, and I commenced sluicing. The first shovel of dirt that hit the sluice produced a nugget. It was around two grams, and L shaped. It didn't even get into the first riffle--it just sat there in the header--immovable. I sluiced the remainder of the remaining dirt and got great color all through it. It was getting dark, so I reluctantly went back to camp, which was a long way off, but in a very comfortable log cabin nonetheless. Oh, did I mention that it had been raining for three days straight prior to my find on the river?

 

Well, the next day, the river had dropped about four inches. When I weaseled my way back through the now obviously serene and ever-more safe face-slapping route, I could see the waterline on that soft bedrock, and there in the morning sun was a nugget! Just basking there on the bank like it was taking a spot on a sunbather's beach or something. My mind did a triple flip.

 

What was going on here? The gold was consistent right up to the bank where the suction eddied portion ended in the boulder clay, and now it was heading down into the pool. I scraped out into the pool as much as I could, but the bedrock dropped off quite sharply, and for those of you that have tried scraping off river run under running water, it's no easy task as it's like the stuff becomes teflon slippery or something.

 

Anyway, you should have seen the coarse gold that came up no matter. Well, by the time I'd finished teasing all of the material I could up that watery slope, and after I'd run it, I had a quarter-ounce of nice rounded coarse gold, and several nice nuggets.

 

So, what's the purpose of this rambling tale? Why, those square nails were all over the place because the suction eddy had robbed them from the flood level of that river, and the bedrock had stopped their descent. And the painful truth now is that the gold had been yanked from the flood stage along with the nails. But the really horrible fact is that quite a few of those annoying, so obviously square nail signals were undoubtedly from coarse gold, or nuggets! Now, the killer double-root-canal reality is, what the heck did I throw into that eight-foot deep pool? What the heck indeed. . . .

 

Well, if I think about that too much, I'll just go crazy, so why bother? I'd rather just admit that I'm plumb dumb, get over it, and get on with finding some more gold.

 

All the best,

 

Lanny in AB

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If you look at the nugget on the quarter, that's the coarse gold I was after--rugged stuff, with lots of character. No flat pounded slugs in that patch at all. I'll see if I can find some other shots of some of that coarse gold. I traded a whack of it on a new dredge a couple of years ago.

 

Lanny in AB

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/Lannyinab/25nugflakecopy.jpg

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The Rooster, The Corn, and The Slug

 

This is an unlikely sounding title for a gold tale, but bear with me. This tale’s beginning originated twenty-four hours before any gold-seeking ever began. The initial stages comprised approximately eight hours of the usual mundane fuss and bother required of any gold trip: the packing and loading of all the bits and pieces necessary to sustain life for several weeks in the deep northern woods, several weeks where self-sufficiency is ardently required.

 

This cartage consisted of loading pieces of mechanized equipment on the trailer, a small wash plant, a fun-sized home-made backhoe; whereas, in other years the freight was a gold jig, or various sizes of sluice boxes, pumps and hoses. Furthermore, as with every expedition, the ubiquitous staple of generations of prospectors, the canvas wall tent, with its accompanying wood-burning stove. In addition, the organization of the pack boxes full of food, the duffels of bedding and clothes, the chainsaw and axe, all arranged around the four-wheeler in the back of that ¾ ton diesel. By the way, I love the sound of that Cummin’s motor once we’ve started, its song both comforting and reassuring.

 

The rhythmic hum of its dieseled machinations somehow soothes and entices me—a rather Pavlovian response. For its presence soothes, a result of its uncompromising endurance over great distances, yet it also entices as its very sound is associated with summer gold hunts—expeditions charted well into the nether regions of the still-wild northern gold fields. Regions so vast they defy development. Man’s attempts at excavation a puny scratch in all its immensity.

 

Places where you can top a mountain on a dimming trail (the remnant of some seldom-used track, one surrendering to the relentless march of nature’s ever-birthing process of certain reclamation) to gaze off into the distance and see nothing but deeply green-colored countless ranks of marshalled pine, fir, and cedar, all on their endless march into the graspless distance. Numberless undulating forests cresting rugged peak after endless ridge, until the distance melts and blurs them into one fathomless horizon.

 

All of this timeless march with no sign, no hint even, of human disturbance, hindrance, or occupation. No power-lines, no cat-trails, no cut-lines, no excavation scars—nothing but the vast splendor of nature untrammelled and untamed. This sight, this Boreal vista that always leaves me feeling insignificant, always marginalized by its presence, yet awed by its savage beauty, its raw majesty.

 

As is often the case, I digress; so, back to my gold tale.

 

After a night and day sixteen-hour drive, we arrived at the gold fields of North Central British Columbia. The black flies, the no-seeums, and the mosquitoes were having a bloodsucking banner year. In a gesture of self-preservation, before I stepped out of the 4X4, I made certain my can of bug dope, that pungent northern survival sauce, was in-hand, ready to hose myself down as soon as I stepped from the vehicle. That accomplished, having super-saturated every exposed cm of skin, the top of my pant legs where they tucked into my socks, my shirt cuffs, shirt collar, back of my head, ear canals, hair on the top of my head, and my hat brim (I’m not kidding!), I grabbed the SD and fired it up. It gave a nice, complacent hum, letting me know it had survived the arduous hammering of the last leg of the trip, the five-hour trek over unforgiving logging roads. Roads replete with a menagerie of obstacles: moose, elk, deer, black bear, grizzly bear, wolverine, and the biggest menace on the block, those fully loaded, out of control logging trucks that plied the earlier sections of road.

 

The detector was outfitted with the standard eleven-inch DD coil, and I had on a nice set of headphones—a further annoyance to the swarming bugs, as the bug dope had knocked them back at least three inches. Having learned earlier to keep my mouth shut, or ingest a meal of mad marauders, I walked over to the exposed bedrock.

 

We were working an abandoned excavation containing a small shelf that dropped down from a larger formation above. This was a minor site, one opened where the bedrock faulted: a black-graphite-schist met a harder iron-red formation. The wall behind was a combination of pockets of slump serrated with sheets of broken slate from the canyon-wall above. Sombre pines stood sentinel all along the rise.

 

I was eager to detect the place where the two bedrocks met. There was some folding and the faulting had undoubtedly created some traps. This site, abandoned only a day earlier, was what the locals called old Tertiary channel, virgin bedrock having “n’er seen the light of day” in tens of thousands of years! However, because it was such a small site, my hopes were low. I slid down some slump and planted my feet on the bedrock. The lower portion was covered with water—the seepage from unseen busy springs was already drowning the site.

 

I skidded the coil over the spot previously mentioned and after only two sweeps I had a signal. Now, I’ve learned over the years, that detecting old workings is an endeavor fraught with madness—the madness of dealing with phony signals. These are generated mostly by bits of blade and track, with the occasional square nail, or nail tip, that’s slid into the pit. These nails are all that remain of some long gone ghostly sluice, flume, or cabin.

 

So, with some trepidation, I scanned the spot again and still got a solid response. I scraped the bedrock off, passed the coil over the place again and got a nice syrupy signal—real sweet. A visual examination showed nothing. Dragging the super-magnet over the bedrock was fruitless too. Detecting the spot again produced a nice, low on the sides, peaked in the middle nugget-like sound. My pulse increased.

 

I got out my small sledge and chisel and carefully chipped around the signal area. I broke out a piece of cemented bedrock about baseball sized. I passed it under the coil: the signal was in the chunk of rock. Carefully I began tapping on the rock to get it to crumble. A golf ball sized piece broke free. I checked it—nice signal. I broke it down with more ginger hammering and out popped a nice nugget that looked like a rooster’s head, complete with comb and beak! A nice five-gram piece of Mother Nature’s rarest art. Caching it in my plastic sniffer bottle, I scanned the area again, moving out a bit with my search. Approximately a meter away, I got another nice signal—this one seemed longer in length. Could it be an old square nail? I scraped the host rock and could see no such thing. The next scan produced a slightly stronger signal, though not as strong as the rooster target—it was softer, but with that characteristic mellow sound. I chipped along the bedrock and hit a spot that hid a crevice. This material was not cemented, but it was the exact color of the black bedrock. I took out a bent scraping tool and drug it the length of the crevice to where the crevice hit the next drop in the bedrock. Out popped four quadruplets—four little kernels of corn. They each weighed in at almost a half a gram—two grams of corn for the rooster perhaps?

 

The remaining bedrock only provided a small search area. I scanned it with the DD and got no response. I pulled out the 18” mono and slid it around the entire area. It was considerably noisier than the DD and I could only get it to run on balance one. I skidded the area again and could hear something, but I had no idea what I was hearing. I’d never heard it before, and had no way to identify it. The sound was just a slight break, a bump in the threshold. Now, you know that that big 18” was giving a severe pounding to that graphite schist, and I started to wonder about ghosting, false signals generated by that hot bedrock, but this was like no spectral wail.

 

Intrigued, I took out the chisel and carved off about an inch of rock. I scanned again and this time there was a faint signal—not a whisper or a bump—a signal. I smacked off more rock and scanned again. This time there was a louder signal. To shorten the story, I broke out a piece of bedrock, gently crushed it, and out slithered a slug. A four gram slug. No character, no definition, just a fat little slug.

 

So, what was it all about? Near as I can figure it, something to do with a rooster, four kernels of corn and a slug. :huh:

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Yup Lanny, all great stories. Made me wish I was there partnering with ya swinging my GP3000 and hearing for myself some of those sweet sounds made by the golden rocks. Gosh dang it I'd like to be nearer 35 years of age, rather than closer to twice that age, all full of piss, vinegar, nats, skeeters and enthusiasm with a poke full of nice gold nuggets gatered along the trails in the gold fields. :D

 

Thanks for posting your fine stories.

 

Don

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Thanks so much Don.

 

I wish I had the zip and get-up and go I had ten years ago!

 

By the way, I really appreciate your kind compliments,

 

Lanny

 

Here's a shot of some little nuggets I found with my detector, south and east of the area mentioned above. You can see that the gold is much more hammered down here in the south.

 

smallnuggpancopy.jpg

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The gold in the above picture has a few flakes in the crease and on the flat of the pan. The gold in this picture is characteristic of the gold from sixteen hours north and west of here--very good character. The big gold looks just like it, except bigger. :lol:

 

palmgoldcopy.jpg

 

Lanny

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The two larger nuggets, shown here in familiar company, are ones taken from a cemented crevice in the bedrock, one filled with a black matrix the exact color and hardness of the surrounding bedrock. Traces of the matrix are still attached to the longer nuggets.(The biggest=3.2 grams, the next biggest=2.4 grams.)

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v709/Lannyinab/whackofgoldnetcopy.jpg

 

Lanny

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Here I am dredging--the water is just warmer than the glacial ice it comes from! :(

 

dredgegoldresizecopy.jpg

 

All the best,

 

Lanny

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Brian,

 

Live right near the border--pretty much south and west of Lethbridge. I cut my prospecting teeth looking for gold in Virginia City/Nevada City in Montana. There's sure some nice gold in Montana--I'll have to get back down there and see if I can snag a nugget or two with my detector. Had to give up detecting in Montana for a few years due to the fire restrictions because of all the forest fires.

 

That Montana is beautiful country--especially around Helena. I can see why you miss it.

 

All the best,

 

Lanny

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Just a quick note to say hello to everyone. I'm actually off to do some prospecting this week. Got out about three weeks ago and found some nice gold, and my partner found a nugget with the detector--the GP3500--nice machine. Saw some bear and Elk and deer--got the wall tent with the woodburning stove set up, so the camp is ready to go. Dredge season starts soon, and we've got some decent prospects for the wash plant as well.

 

We even found an old cabin in the bottom of a gulch--one we've missed finding somehow for all these years. It's well hidden, obviously on purpose. It was an old drift-mining location and the cabin had squares from the 1800's and rounds from the 30's and 50's it looks like. Might be worth some further investigation.

 

All the best to all of you this summer,

 

Lanny

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Guest Guest_dave wiseman

hello Lanny.great stories and writing as usual,very nice gold.Do you ever sample the quartz stringers that cross the creeks,by crushing up and panning. dave

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You know this is cruel to those of us held captive by time and circumstance.

I looked in my closet the other day and saw Huck Finn sitting next to my Gold Bug detector looking very anoyed at not getting out for such a long time. The Siren call of the gold fields can be deafning when you can't go. Wyndham

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