Winter Trip 2013 (pic heavy)
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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting

    Winter Trip 2013 (pic heavy)

    The November trip was great, and although I had a hard time
    adapting to the environment and work load the first week,
    the enjoyment of the second week more than made up for it.

    A few days of the trip were chronicled in another thread, but at
    the time I couldn't download any of the pics due to leaving the
    interface cable at home. Now that I've got them all processed
    I though some might enjoy seeing some highlights of the trip.

    Had the pleasure of staying with a long-time friend and his
    wife at their home in the Hesperia area, and while walking
    around the front yard one morning (trying to wake up) I came
    across this interesting cactus planted in their front yard. These
    seem to be some type of flower, but I've no idea what strain
    of cactus this is from:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    After spending a couple days working Ken's claim (no pics
    from there), Ken and I packed up our gear and headed out to
    a club claim in the Coolgardie area. Got out there, set our gear
    up and started a new hole. After we'd trommeled up enough dirt
    for 3 runs (about 45 gal. of material), the rain showed up, so
    we covered up as much as possible and retreated to camp.
    All night and into the next morning the rain/wind/sleet was
    relentless, so we loaded up the still-dry dirt from under the tarp
    and took it back to Ken's to run at a later time.

    Continued to drizzle til Sunday when the Sun finally returned, so
    we took advantage of the chance and set the Royal up in Ken's backyard.
    Here's a couple pics of the small Royal drywasher in action...

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    (fyi, that's Ken...I haven't been that skinny since I was 5)

    Didn't get a lot of gold from that run, but we did get a few pieces. Here
    they are on the Miller Table:

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    Next morning we packed it all up in the trucks again, and headed back to
    the camp at Coolgardie. We took 2 vehicles for safety, and also so Ken
    didn't have to listen to my snoring all night..

    On the way down we stopped at Gold Tramps place down by 29 Palms.
    Met Herb and his sons, and Herb was kind enough to enlighten Ken and
    I on hardrock mining. Unfortunately we had to get going far too soon
    in order to make Coolgardie before dark, but on my next trip down I'm
    definitely looking forward to spending a day or 2 with Herb and his son
    doing some nugget shooting and poking around their area.

    Thanks for having us down Herb, and you betchya I'll be back there
    next trip!

    Here's the camping area at Coolgardie. Pic taken from our dig site:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "The Hole"
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    "The Pay Layer" (learned this too late..)
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    Both drywashers in action (the small Royal and the Bowleg)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Couldn't pass up the sunset...stunning colors! (a benefit of smog?) Since neither
    of us were in a mood to cook, we roasted hot dogs over the campfire..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We headed back to Ken's place on Wed. morning as he had to prepare
    for Thanksgiving with his family. Wed. night we did take some time and
    do a final clean-up of all the gold Ken and I had dug together since I
    arrived:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    We had agreed to a 50/50 split, so out of the total of .8g I took home
    .4g.

    Since Ken and his wife were off visiting family, on Thanksgiving morning I
    loaded up my Toyota and headed back to the Coolgardie area on my own
    (and with plenty of turkey in the cooler!). Several other club members would
    be arriving there on Friday morning, and a night camping in the desert is better
    than any night indoors!

    Even though it was Thanksgiving and I was alone, that evening was the most
    enjoyable and memorable part of the trip........

    (to be continued)
    Last edited by DizzyDigger; Dec 21, 2013 at 07:24 AM.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  2. #2
    us
    FIRE...Financially Independent Retired Early. Poor but free!

    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
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    Prospecting
    Great pics, especially of the sunset. Great gold and memories...thanks for sharing. However, someone should gently tell Ken to lay off prospecting in his back yard. It's beginning to look like a well known pit on Gold Rush...only drier!
    DizzyDigger likes this.
    We don't fight for gain. We fight for what is rightfully ours.

    Just another supporter of Land Matters http://www.mylandmatters.org/ The one stop place for mining matters on public lands!

    CA prospectors check here http://www.mylandmatters.org/Donate/Gift1.html

    A recent study found that there are just too many studies being done.

  3. #3
    us
    Gold Tramp

    Dec 2012
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    Good show Mike.

    Did you get any yellow from those hard rock samples you brought for us to grind up for you ?
    DizzyDigger likes this.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting
    Herb, I just picked the stuff off the ground, but wish to heck I'd brought
    you more of that ore to run through your crusher. You turned that stuff
    into little more than powder!

    Set the Miller table up to run very slow, and at a shallow angle so
    the super fine material had plenty of time to "work". Ran that dust
    over it twice, and out of little more than 2 cups of powdered ore we
    pulled out about 30 pieces of nearly microscopic gold. I could only see it
    with the magnifying glass, but there's no doubt it was the "real deal".

    Next time I'm down in So. Cal. it would be great if I could spend a
    day just hiking around those hills and picking up more of the stuff.
    Might take a ton of it to be worthwhile, but it definitely held gold!
    gold tramp likes this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff95531 View Post
    Great pics, especially of the sunset. Great gold and memories...thanks for sharing. However,
    someone should gently tell Ken to lay off prospecting in his back yard. It's beginning to look like a well known pit on
    Gold Rush...only drier!
    I think what you're seeing is a berm between his house and the neighbors place.
    He keeps telling me that he'll get around to landscaping his backyard now that
    he's retired, but he's so busy doing other stuff (like prospecting) that I'd bet it'll
    still be nothing but bare dirt when I visit next Spring or Fall. (dirt looks fine to me,
    but apparently his Mrs. disagrees..lol)

    Just wish I had the mans energy level...he's my age, but works like a 25 year old!
    gold tramp likes this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting
    AzViper had asked what my thoughts were on the small Royal
    drywasher, and in general I think it's an awesome unit.

    It does have it's quirks, however. Any dirt fed to it needs to be
    super dry in order to flow through the feed. The material would
    jam up right at the opening, generally due to other dirt wedging
    in from the side. It was a real PITA to keep any material flowing
    through the feed until I figured out it had to be fed right down
    the center of the hopper.

    Ken and I weren't sure how fast to run the blower, and on the day
    I left for home one of the much more experienced members of
    Valley Prospectors came over and gave me a hand getting it working
    as it should. He dropped the riffle tray down about 3 notches, and
    had me turn up the blower speed from idle to the mid-point. After that
    it never so much as had a hiccup, and I got in an extra run due to being
    able to feed it much faster. No more jams, and the flow over the
    riffles was just right.

    End result: Learning how to properly run it made all the difference, so
    overall I think it's an awesome drywasher, and plenty big enough to handle
    all I could feed it in a day's digging.

    My hope is to have a Royal of my own before my next trip down,
    as I'll also be joining the club, and want to be able to camp out
    and work the claim for a few days on my own.
    Last edited by DizzyDigger; Dec 22, 2013 at 06:18 AM.
    gold tramp likes this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  7. #7
    us
    retired bumb and part time Hobo

    May 2005
    St. Louis, missouri
    6,525
    5590 times
    Thanks for the tag-a-long! it looks like you had a great trip!
    DizzyDigger likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Minning Tools: 12" Trommel, Royal Drywasher, Viper-Vac, Miller Table, Blue Bowl, Footprints, Google Earth, These Are Just Tools As You Still Have To Be On The Gold

    Sep 2012
    Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting in the southwest?
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
    2,038
    2247 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by DizzyDigger View Post
    AzViper had asked what my thoughts were on the small Royal drywasher, and in general I think it's an awesome unit.

    It does have it's quirks, however. Any dirt fed to it needs to be super dry in order to flow through the feed. The material would jam up right at the opening, generally due to other dirt wedging in from the side. It was a real PITA to keep any material flowing through the feed until I figured out it had to be fed right down the center of the hopper.

    Ken and I weren't sure how fast to run the blower, and on the day I left for home one of the much more experienced members of Valley Prospectors came over and gave me a hand getting it working as it should. He dropped the riffle tray down about 3 notches, and had me turn up the blower speed from idle to the mid-point. After that it never so much as had a hiccup, and I got in an extra run due to being able to feed it much faster. No more jams, and the flow over the riffles was just right.

    End result: Learning how to properly run it made all the difference, so overall I think it's an awesome drywasher, and plenty big enough to handle all I could feed it in a day's digging.

    My hope is to have a Royal of my own before my next trip down, as I'll also be joining the club, and want to be able to camp out and work the claim for a few days on my own.
    Mike I have only used my large Royal once but did not have any issues in feeding dry dirt as quickly as I could. In fact I had the hopper full most of the time. If I did anything wrong I had the engine RPM to high. Buying a Royal is an excellent choice as you will not find a better built drywasher as you know... I know you have seen the video of the Royal in action but others may have not. I really want to get out with the DW this summer.

    Last edited by AzViper; Dec 22, 2013 at 07:06 AM.
    DizzyDigger likes this.
    “He who builds their own equipment has a better understanding of what works and what does not work”



  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting
    Aside from seeing old friends and making new ones, the absolute best moments
    of the trip came Thanksgiving night. Oddly enough, I was out there camping
    on my own, and not another human in sight.

    Didn't get out to the claim till about 2 pm., and really didn't have much
    more to do than set up camp. That didn't take more than 30 min., so
    I grabbed a shovel and hiked up to the hole and worked at removing
    about the first 18" of material as it was still very damp from the rain.
    Once I got the area down to dry material I stopped digging, and had
    just enough time left before dark to get the campfire going, and to
    prepare my Thanksgiving meal of freshly made chile with a load of
    fresh turkey added to it.

    Weather was perfect, skies were mostly clear, and a good meal in
    front of the warm campfire after a couple hrs. of good, hard work...
    ....man can't ask for much more than that.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'd seen quite a bit of dead wood laying around, so after dinner I
    put on the headlamp and headed out to gather up some firewood.
    Got about 2 steps and immediately noticed a set of eyes glowing
    from the headlamp...

    (Back in the 80's I was an addicted varmint hunter, and had spent
    many nights hunting this same area for coyotes and bobcat (of
    which there's still plenty). One little critter that was constant
    pain in the mishkna were the Desert Kit Foxes. Most eager little
    guys you've ever seen, and not to gifted in the smarts department.
    If they think there's chow to be had, they'd completely ignore the
    spotlight and come racing right in to the varmint call. These fox
    are a protected critter and native only to certain SW areas, so ya
    can't shoot them or harm them in any way...we just had to put up
    with 'em.)


    My first guess was that it was a Kit Fox, and sure enough it came
    trotting right in when I made some squeaking sounds. I turned the
    headlamp down to it's lowest setting so it wouldn't blind the critter,
    and watched it bounce in to about 30 yds. from me, sniffing the
    ground every step of the way.

    No reason whatsoever to fear this little guy/gal? so in a calm
    tone of voice I said "Howdy!"

    It stopped where it was, and just sat down looking at me. I kept
    talking to it (not at it), and continued picking up the dead, busted
    off branches. Took my best guess and decided it was a female,
    and she followed me right back to camp. Once I had sat back down
    by the fire, she continued to poke all around the area looking for chow
    and investigating every little snake hole she could stick her pointy nose in.
    After that, she just sat herself down about 20 yds. from the campfire....

    Finally, it dawned on me that I had my Nikon D90 in the truck and
    might get a decent shot of her before she runs off. I got up from the
    campfire and had to open the truck door, and then fold the seat down
    to get to it. Meanwhile, the fox was checking out my chair, and the
    ice chest sitting by the campfire!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Told her if we were going to be friends, then she needed to understand
    that my coffee and cookies were OFF LIMITS..

    Since it was Thanksgiving, and she was my only company for the night
    it just didn't seem right not to share the food I had...seems that's what it's
    all about, right? So, I made her up a dry turkey sandwich in a piece of bread,
    and set it out for her to get. She looked up at me as if to say "is this MINE?"
    Told her to help herself, and it took just a few seconds for her to grab it and
    run off a ways to enjoy her Thanksgiving meal. (I normally don't condone feeding
    wild critters, but this did seem to be a special occasion.)


    She came right back to the campfire after she was done, and made herself
    comfortable about 20 yds. out from the campfire, and over the next couple
    hours we chatted (OK, I talked and she listened) about the good things in life.
    She'd get up and walk around the camp every few minutes, and at one point
    while collecting more branches she alerted me with a sharp little bark that there
    was something else out there. I looked around with the light, and sure enough
    there was a 6-7 mo. old coyote hanging around about 60-75 yds. out. Now,
    coyotes will kill and consume a small fox given the opportunity, but she was
    taking no chances and stayed within 20 yds. of camp.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wasn't long and it was midnight, and way past time to call it a night. She
    didn't seem to spook at all when I got up, so I asked her to pose for a
    couple of decent shots before we went our separate ways for the night...

    She agreed:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    (she constantly kept an eye out for that coyote)

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    Took the above pic at 32mm..she was about 10 yds. away, and
    not the least bit concerned about me.

    So, next time you're out in the desert and see a pair of eyes
    glowing white in your flashlight...fear not. A gold reflection
    usually is a coyote, and red is most often a cat/bobcat. Kit
    Fox are little guys, and this one was (maybe) 7-8 lbs, plus a
    gorgeous coat. They're also good to have around 'cause they keep
    the mice and scorpion population in check around those communal
    campsites.

    Not to mention they make good company around the campfire...
    Last edited by DizzyDigger; Dec 22, 2013 at 07:37 AM.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

  10. #10
    us
    Gold Tramp

    Dec 2012
    1,155
    2223 times
    Mike, on that ore if you got some small stuff make sure you try hand panning very carefully try to get a tail going in your pan.
    Those little fox are funny i have had a couple in the past that would lets us get real close to them, they would even pose for a picture.
    Herb.............
    DizzyDigger likes this.

  11. #11
    us
    Minning Tools: 12" Trommel, Royal Drywasher, Viper-Vac, Miller Table, Blue Bowl, Footprints, Google Earth, These Are Just Tools As You Still Have To Be On The Gold

    Sep 2012
    Arizona - Is there any other state worth visiting in the southwest?
    Fisher Gold Bug Pro, Nokta FORS Gold, Garrett ATX, Sun Ray Gold Pro Headphones, Royal Pick, Etc.
    2,038
    2247 times
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    Mike glad you had company for one evening and cute company she is. Like the story too.
    DizzyDigger likes this.
    “He who builds their own equipment has a better understanding of what works and what does not work”



  12. #12
    us
    FIRE...Financially Independent Retired Early. Poor but free!

    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    2,625
    4099 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks for the REST of the story DD. Reminds me of my first encounter with the Red Foxes in AK. A pair of them came running up to us on a fly in fishing trip. I pulled the Glock out cuz they came running up to us like our long lost dogs...I thought they must be rabid. I had never seen a wild animal do that without malicious intent. An older and wiser buddy told me that was just their nature. They hung around for a day or two playing with us and themselves then stole some left over fish while we slept and split.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once again, thanks for the stories and memories retrieved
    Last edited by Jeff95531; Dec 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM.
    DizzyDigger likes this.
    We don't fight for gain. We fight for what is rightfully ours.

    Just another supporter of Land Matters http://www.mylandmatters.org/ The one stop place for mining matters on public lands!

    CA prospectors check here http://www.mylandmatters.org/Donate/Gift1.html

    A recent study found that there are just too many studies being done.

  13. #13
    us
    Mar 2013
    ne okla
    Tesoro vaquero
    369
    126 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Great story DD and what a memorable thanksgiving- sunset and a friend. God bless and merry Christmas.
    DizzyDigger likes this.

  14. #14

    Nov 2007
    ,M.X.T.& Tesoro Tejon
    9,719
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Yep!!Little rascals!!!You are right they are pesky...brazen little guys.Much like there bigger cousin the Grey Fox,I have had them run into a call stand all bristled up,growling,refusing to leave.Central Nevada was covered up with them. The endangered San Joaquin Valley Kit fox,brought on all kinds of regulation(many miles away from their historical habitat) we had to abide by,and the only ones I ever seen were in town,and usually coming out of garbage dumpsters
    M.X.T , Tesoro Tejon





  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2012
    Concrete, WA
    Nokta FoRs Gold, a Gold Cube, 2 Keene Sluices and Lord only knows how many pans....not to mention a load of other gear my wife still doesn't know about!
    4,830
    8842 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by kuger View Post
    Yep!!Little rascals!!!You are right they are pesky...brazen little guys.Much like there bigger cousin the Grey Fox,I have had them run into a call stand all bristled up,growling,refusing to leave.Central Nevada was covered up with them. The endangered San Joaquin Valley Kit fox,brought on all kinds of regulation(many miles away from their historical habitat) we had to abide by,and the only ones I ever seen were in town,and usually coming out of garbage dumpsters
    If I would have had a couple weeks to work with this little gal
    I could have turned her into a lap pet..
    gold tramp, kuger and Jeff95531 like this.
    Mike (aka Dizz)

    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest
    of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick
    the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you
    were our countrymen." ~~ Samuel Adams, 1776

    Dizzy's Super-Simple, Universal Rule of Forum Conduct: Don't be an ass.

 

 
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