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  1. #16

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Jeff--thanks for posting that perpetual classic! Nice find.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  2. #17

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    I posted this a while back on another forum--the link is now inactive.



    Gettin’ High On Placer Diggin’s

    (I have taken some liberties in enhancing some details of this adventure, but I have not exaggerated any of the facts about the gold.)

    Sorry in advance to those of you into illegal substances, or those of you hardy enough to have actually smoked gold, or ground it finely enough to inject, or snort it, because this tale does not deal with banned chemicals or hallucinogenic substances. (Except I do think I have hallucinated while dreaming about gold in the past, that is, when the fever's bad.) However, the effects of this prospecting tale are nonetheless mind-altering, not without risk, and perhaps worthy of reflection.

    One summer, when the snows had melted and the rivers had receded to make the trip possible, I headed up North to the gold fields. Up north means a sixteen hour drive (north and west) from my home. Why drive sixteen hours when there are other gold fields much closer?

    Well, far less people that’s why. In fact, where the pay dirt hides out there's less than thirty souls.
    Furthermore, it’s true that some of the local boys dig test-pits dug right in their front yards (where they run little sluices and get good, coarse gold), because the yards around their cabins hold good pay!

    But, I digress again, and as you'll see, I'm pretty good at digressing.

    So, on with the story. Anyway, less people is good, but the bugs? Bad! There are tens of millions of nasty blood-sucking bugs that fly!! You really can't hide or outrun them. In comparison, the bears are less of a concern, mainly because they can’t fly. (Wouldn't that be something? A flying Grizzly?!) But, because the bears are huge, smelly, and can be mighty cranky (sounds like a prospecting buddy I once had, or maybe he was saying that about me?), they deserve honorable mention and respect.

    To return to my story, the gold field's location is in low mountains with lots of streams, thick northern boreal forests of pine and fir cover them, swamps abound, and mounds of glacial till are everywhere. Moreover, as some of the ancient glaciers were miles thick, when they melted they generated numerous rivers, so some placer pits contain seven or eight various stream deposits that intersect and overlap each other, thus the different stratigraphic levels. To complicate things, the glaciers wrecked the natural watercourses by dramatically changing the watershed's orientation, often stranding streams far above those of the present day, and that takes me to my story.

    Picture this, I was sitting near the wash plant one day fixing a broken six-inch pump when I saw something across the river up on the opposite slope. A line of boulders and river rock ran along the side of the mountain. That line indicated an ancient riverbed perched atop the bedrock, about sixty feet above the modern-day stream. Clearly, sections of that high channel had sloughed off. So, I scanned the hillside with my binoculars to gather more information, and found that the channel rested on a bedrock rim, covered with eighty or so feet of boulder clay, further capped with thick forest. All at once, my pea-sized brain was hammered by a giant, golden brainwave . . . I must sample that channel! No argument or thought of personal safety holds me back if there's a shot at some gold! Fever fired my resolve.

    I grabbed my five-gallon (20-liter) plastic pail, shovel, pry/digging bar, and a small sledge, items that all fit handily inside. Next, I shouldered into my prospecting backpack. (I keep all of my essentials in the backpack for easy transport. Nonetheless, when fully loaded, it weighs just a tad under a fully loaded B-52 bomber.) But rather than worry about gear in my backpack, I should have packed a back-up brain in it instead. It could have saved me a lot of trouble.

    So, all packed up, I headed over to the river. Now, in Canada, even in mid-summer (which it was), the rivers that far north in B.C. NEVER get warm. In fact, if you dunk your head, you get an instant case of brain-freeze on steroids! Nevertheless, I had the clever idea I'd delicately pick my way across the stream in my rubber boots, hopping lightly from rock to rock, almost ballet-like. I danced across, losing more control with every step, until I put all my weight on a nice slippery cobble, and then prospector, pail, and pack plunged below the surface. (Any comments uttered after surfacing will be kept under publication ban to protect the innocent.)

    Now that I was wet and cold, I enjoyed the rest of the crossing (which is a big lie). I felt somewhat refreshed (another lie) after dragging my cold, soggy carcass out of the water. On a brighter note, after dumping eighty or so pounds of ice water from each boot, it was way easier to walk, soggy socks aside.

    Working my way up the bank, I hit a new obstacle. Boulder clay, the stuff I mentioned earlier, is a nasty mixture of tan to yellow clay and boulders the glaciers dumped wherever they wanted. It sloughs down hillsides when it's wet, then hardens into bomb-proof bunker concrete, though it's not quite as soft. Moreover, getting a toehold on that obnoxious stuff is the devil. Regardless, I cut steps into it with my shovel. Working a third of the distance upslope, I wound up in a wash filled with massive cobbles dropped from the channel and boulder clay above. The wash included a nest of ill-tempered branches and larger limbs as well. Regardless of my still squishy boots, I made it through while avoiding Mother Nature’s hazards and random obstacles. So, I continued upslope and worked my way into some pines. At that elevation, the smell of the pines is a wondrous thing; it's a smell I'll always associate with chasing the gold and the freedom to do so.

    At last, I hit the high placer diggin's and started to work. (A little description here: I must say it's tricky to perch one rubber boot on a three-inch ledge of bedrock, while the the other boot powers the shovel as everything is kept balanced, with the pick and bar manipulated to carve three feet into the face of the boulder clay, while uncovering the unpredictable contours of the bedrock rim.)

    My work exposed the top of the black slate rim at the bottom of that high channel. Pulling my sniping tools from my backpack, I cleaned every little crevice, pothole, and cranny in the slate. Then finding some promising oxidized dirt, I placed it in my bucket as well.
    Being a long haul back down to the river, and as I had no desire to repeat it, I loaded that bucket as heavy as I could to make that one trip worth my time. So, with the bucket full, I gathered all my stuff and turned around. Instantly, I realized something shocking; that slope was a lot steeper now that I was facing a trip back down it! How the heck had I even got up there? Had an anti-gravity time warp transported me or something?

    Well, we all know it wasn't any effect of anti-gravity or worm-hole travel, just caused by some moron that got himself into a place no sane person ever would. To get myself into such fixes, I somehow deny the laws of physics, probability, etc. so I believe I defeat them when I'm gold crazy. I carry on happily until I realize too late what I've done. However, one law never surrenders to my delusions, and that law, as we shall see, is the iron-bound law of gravity!

    Well, I was faced with a problem. I had to go down, no option, because I couldn't go up a vertical wall of boulder clay no matter how high I was on the effects of prospecting. So, I took the first step down. (This in spite of my brain trying too late to warn me of something. Come to think of it, I often override my brain's warnings while chasing the gold.)



    The first step really wasn't that bad. I just leaned into the hill and put all of my weight on a squishy boot heel. Miraculously, it stuck, and the eight-thousand pound bucket of gravel and I took another step forward. (Could it be that the bucket was so heavy because of its high gold content? Or, was I just an idiot that had severely overloaded it?)

    I kept at it, leaning and stepping, and soon found myself in the branches and cobbles that littered the gulch. I took several more steps but then a root or a branch snagged my boot. Well, that bucket just kicked out in front of me like it was rocket-boosted. Now, Sir Isaac Newton sure was right about gravity—his law grabbed me right then and there, all at about twice the speed of light.

    Immediately my brain switched to salvation mode as I flung myself backward as hard as I could, yanking the bucket towards me.

    However, the problem was, my feet no longer cared having already chosen to head down the mountain. My clumsy attempts at correction and salvation only magnified the effects of gravity by hurrying my feet on their way.

    When viewed from the other side of the canyon, it must have looked as if someone had shot and wounded a strange forest creature up on my side of the slope: some ugly beast, a raging bull-moose perhaps, or other smelly, obnoxious critter (a classification I easily qualify for after spending three glorious weeks in the bush!). It probably looked as if some tortured victim, the last of its death-throes a hopeless attempt, was hurtling down the slope to certain and speedy destruction.

    The real truth, however, is that instead of being out of control, I was magnificently in control--most supremely so in fact. In spite of my rubber boots throwing off more smoke than an Alaskan smudge fire, it was only my clever attempt to keep the bugs at bay, so I kept the smoke pouring from those hot boots while I then chose to find my brakes among the boulders. As a side note, the fact that the three spare gold pans in my backpack were absorbing more shock than a crash-test-dummy at mach-five was only a minor annoyance. Bashing off the face of the boulder clay was only a slight test of my prospecting mettle, so to speak.

    At last, still breathing (though hot and ragged breaths those breaths were), I came to a sudden stop. Some friendly tree branches gracefully halted my ballet-like plunge. (It's rumored a Russian judge gave me a 9!)

    Now, for those with a sense of the divine in nature, this was the perfect moment. The moment that finds the human at one with the mountain (and miraculously still alive). However, more remarkable than my survival was that none of the dirt had spilled from my bucket! Yes, that is the wonder in this high placer tale—not a stone was lost from the bucket, not a single grain of sand!

    Nevertheless, somehow I rearranged my joints to make them work again, more or less; the pain was less than severe, more or less. However, with renewed confidence and something like desperation to make it back to camp alive, I was on my way once again. The only obstacle remaining was the sullen boulder clay.

    At some point, you'd think the brain would revolt, refusing to power the major muscles in a descent like this after such a close call where the whole body has just faced imminent extinction at the hands of an ambitious idiot bent on sampling something so unfathomable as a bucket of dirt! But no, the brain can always be overridden! I've located the master switch to disarm it. I've used it many times, yet somehow still I live to tell this tale. (This is proof that life is full of mysteries, not easily solved by rational thought, or predictable theories.)

    At any rate, about a dozen steps down, the clay remembered one of its admirable qualities, the slicker than greased Teflon one, and off I went again. This time it was only a playful smashing, with the odd bone-jarring bash thrown in for variety. It lasted for a mere twenty or so feet, then I came to a feather-like stop on the gravel below, the contents of the bucket still undisturbed.

    Regardless, after I'd picked a pan full of golf ball-sized gravel out of my mouth, pushed several teeth back into their sockets, and replaced my left eyeball, I took a bit of time to check the bony protrusion between my shoulders to see what it was. Finding that it was my neck, and finding that it was still attached to my head, it was off to the river to pan the dirt!

    Three flakes, in five gallons. . . . You can't make this stuff up!

    I guess there's a lesson to be learned here, but far be it from me to get preachy, or to force my hard-earned wisdom on any of you. I'll let you figure out the drug-induced mysteries of this tale all on your own.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Last edited by Lanny in AB; Jan 16, 2016 at 01:08 AM.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  3. #18
    us
    FIRE...Financially Independent Retired Early. Poor but free!

    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    2,624
    4093 times
    Prospecting
    I waited till I could give your story the time I knew it would deserve. It made me feel much better for getting my 2.5 flakes from 2.5 gallons as I didn't work nearly as hard as you did. The moral as I see it?

    Sometimes we get punished for not learning better...like my affliction with waterfalls.

    Great story Lanny, tyvm!
    Lanny in AB 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.

  4. #19

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff95531 View Post
    I waited till I could give your story the time I knew it would deserve. It made me feel much better for getting my 2.5 flakes from 2.5 gallons as I didn't work nearly as hard as you did. The moral as I see it?

    Sometimes we get punished for not learning better...like my affliction with waterfalls.

    Great story Lanny, tyvm!
    No lessons greater than the ones Mother Nature teaches when I'm out chasing the gold.

    What's your story with waterfalls? You've got me interested. . . .

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  5. #20

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    (Alder Gulch, Virginia City Montana is where I first got bit! I wrote these lines in memory of that fateful day.)

    The Alder Gulch Virus

    In days gone by, when just a lad
    My sister’s spouse did somethin' bad.
    A ghost town visit he had planned
    A golden flame in me it fanned.

    The rocker boxes sit there still,
    With flumes and sluices on the hill.
    The Gurdy girls don't dance no more,
    The Sourdoughs are gone for sure.

    The gamblin' joints don't roar at all
    The Red Light district's lost its call
    The liquor's gone, the men no more
    That chased the gold in '64.

    In old Montanny, land of dreams
    The gold lay thick in Alder's streams,
    Virginia City was the spot
    Where Plummer's gang the miners shot!

    But in that gulch of golden fame,
    A virus got me just the same,
    An illness wormed into my brain,
    A yellow fevered nugget pain.

    A bug sure bit me on that day,
    My blood's infected, that I'll say!
    It ain’t no good to take a pill,
    There ain't no cure for this here ill.

    What ill is that, I hear you say,
    That addles brains in such a way?
    Why—fever golden, through and through!
    'The strongest ill I ever knew.

    I’ve tried to kick it, ain't no fun
    The golden fever's always won.
    It’s always there, a constant friend,
    It haunts my minin' to no end,

    It's with me always, on the slopes,
    That golden promise full of hopes.
    A double curse this blasted plague,
    Of that I'm certain, never vague.

    Why should I cure it? Shucks to heck,
    There’s tougher ways to stretch one’s neck!
    Like booze and parties, speed and weed;
    There’s gamblin', robbin', pride and greed.

    Well durn it all, I’ve thought about
    Until I’ve figured this all out.
    It ain’t the gold that's got me hooked
    It’s chasin' it that’s got me cooked!

    All the best,

    Lanny

    As this place holds a special spot in my gold minin' heart, here's a couple of videos of Virginia City, Montana. Have a look around.









    Last edited by Lanny in AB; Jan 27, 2016 at 09:43 PM.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  6. #21
    us
    FIRE...Financially Independent Retired Early. Poor but free!

    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    2,624
    4093 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanny in AB View Post
    No lessons greater than the ones Mother Nature teaches when I'm out chasing the gold.

    What's your story with waterfalls? You've got me interested. . . .

    All the best,

    Lanny
    I started getting into prospecting with a lot of help from the first season of Gold Rush. The glory hole So here I am brand new in CA with tons of streams and rivers and hundreds of water falls. I research river bends and falls. Most people say to stay away from falls...the gold gets ground up in the bottom with no where to go. And that is EXACTLY what I have found 6 out of 6 times last year. Lessons learned hardest are lessons learned best. If you'd like to read about my latest "proof" go here:

    Bottom of the 9TH with no time-outs remaining

    I believe I figured out what happened this last time. The falls are coming straight down and have been for several months with little change. (we are having the driest season on record here). I have found gold going upstream all the way up to the falls. The first few shovels at the base had rocks, then nothing but sand. The rocks and top layer had the most flour gold I had ever seen in a pan and little slivers. After that was nothing but 2 1/2 flakes. Now I didn't get to the bottom but with NO evidence to continue, I won't. I think that the gold is ejected outward (with considerable force) when it has a "normal" rainy season...AWAY from that gold grinding vortex at the base. I just need to work my way upstream, but the "easy access" is over...and forget about water falls, at least for now
    GrayCloud and Lanny in AB like 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.

  7. #22
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,854
    6705 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Great story Lanny mining is quite a addiction as we risk our very being on that golden hunch. A detector saved me whilst sliding down a extremely steep hillside as used as a protector and Tesoro fixed it for free with a new control box,sure saved my hipside fer sure. Looks sure are deceiving as jus' a little mo'higher turns into OMG how did I end up way up here hahaha a little adreneline goes a long way but does not garner safety-Respect-John

  8. #23

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff95531 View Post
    I started getting into prospecting with a lot of help from the first season of Gold Rush. The glory hole So here I am brand new in CA with tons of streams and rivers and hundreds of water falls. I research river bends and falls. Most people say to stay away from falls...the gold gets ground up in the bottom with no where to go. And that is EXACTLY what I have found 6 out of 6 times last year. Lessons learned hardest are lessons learned best. If you'd like to read about my latest "proof" go here:

    Bottom of the 9TH with no time-outs remaining

    I believe I figured out what happened this last time. The falls are coming straight down and have been for several months with little change. (we are having the driest season on record here). I have found gold going upstream all the way up to the falls. The first few shovels at the base had rocks, then nothing but sand. The rocks and top layer had the most flour gold I had ever seen in a pan and little slivers. After that was nothing but 2 1/2 flakes. Now I didn't get to the bottom but with NO evidence to continue, I won't. I think that the gold is ejected outward (with considerable force) when it has a "normal" rainy season...AWAY from that gold grinding vortex at the base. I just need to work my way upstream, but the "easy access" is over...and forget about water falls, at least for now
    Thanks for the background info and the reply. Now I've got an idea what you're referring to.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  9. #24

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Dredging River Dance; or, how to almost die dredging.



    (This rather lengthy tale is about one of my dredging misadventures experienced while I was investigating what I thought was promising bedrock.)


    Well, here's tale of summer's fun, more or less.

    Once, I tried to cross the swiftest part of the river to get to the other side. I like to think of it (my attempt) in terms of the world famous River Dance—there are common elements: both of them require very rapid movement of the feet, clever planning, and lots of spinning and whirling of the body, with accompanying vocal tones that may be melodious (well, sometimes).

    As I got suited up one gorgeous summer’s day to get into the dredge hole, I saw a cliff across the river at the base of a terrace of other cliffs that marched up the mountain in a series of timbered steps that rose upward for several hundred feet.



    Cut into the bottom of this black bedrock, there’s a wicked pool of water where the river fires most of itself through a bedrock chute. Just upstream of the chute, the river slams into the bedrock wall, cuts back on itself in a foaming suction eddy, then whirls on in a quick right angle turn to create a channel around eight feet deep, yet the width is only a couple of yards across.

    The rocks and boulders in that hole perpetually shimmy and shiver under the relentless thrumming of the stream.

    Nevertheless, my giant brain had a feverish idea—a true inspirational melon buster of an idea it was. I peeked across the river, and since I was already suited up for underwater gold hunting, my brain devised a way to get me safely to the other side to investigate.



    Now, remember, there’s a cliff on the other side, so holding on to that far bank isn’t an option. However, with the weather nice and hot, and the river level dropping day by day, it seemed a good plan to saunter over and have a peek underwater, right alongside the chute's edge to see if any nuggets were trapped in its cracks or crevices. I’d just peek around over there and have a shot at the coarse gold before the snipers cleaned it up later in the summer.

    As I’ve mentioned, I was geared up for dredging which works great for sniping as well. In fact, I had on two wetsuits, the shorty, and my farmer-John 7mm, with a cold-water hood; my mask, and snorkel; and my Hooka harness with my regulator slung over my shoulder. I was ready.

    So, my pea-sized brain (notice how my brain shrunk from earlier on?) decided it would be a glorious idea to secure my arm around an anchor rope and then tiptoe across the river—all while keeping constant pressure on the line to maintain my balance in the stiff current. That was the idea.

    I’d work my way to the far side of the chute, gently lower myself into the river, and then let the sixty pounds of lead I had strapped to me do what lead does best. While it sunk me, I'd casually examine the bedrock for orphaned chunks of gold, little river children in need of adoption, so to speak.

    That was the plan. That is not what happened.



    While the motor purred contentedly on the dredge to fill the reserve air tank, I stepped away from the Keene 4505PH four-inch three-stage model to work my way over to the chute to snipe for gold. I was excited to get going, to get into the hunt so to speak, and it reminded me of when I was younger and was excited to hunt pheasants with my gun dog.

    Come to think of it, it’s too bad I didn’t have my hunting dog with me then, as he’d have absolutely refused to test the waters for the golden game I was after that day. Being a smart dog, he’d have looked at me like I was crazy, turned tail, shot back to the cab of the truck, hopped in with a smug look on his face and then bedded down for a safe snooze!

    Upon reflection, there’s something about a dog being smarter than a human that just doesn’t sit well. Regardless, maybe some humble pie is in order and I should wise up and pay him a consulting fee to save myself future grief.

    Dog brains and canine wisdom aside, I decided that I’d quickly get to the task and cross that stream. So, I walked away from the dredge and immediately stepped onto a slippery sheet of slate. Not to worry, I told myself, for in addition to my weight-belt around my waist, I had ankle weights that would quickly stabilize my feet.



    Thinking back on it, there must be some science of river physics that my rice-sized brain hasn’t quite grasped. It must be a ratio or an equation that goes something like this: river velocity x mass + slippery rocks =stupidity run out to a power of 10! And, if you divide that by the dimwit factor high on gold fever steroids that day, you get a very predictable result. With every misstep in the stream, the river exerts an ever-increasing degree of control over the flailing foreign body that’s trying to stagger across it (NASA should consult me on bizarre test theories when they get stumped!).

    Well, the river's fun started almost immediately as my left foot, moving forward, slid down the slippery rock, the force mashing my big toe into a boulder, thus causing that formerly happy dredger (we’ll refer to this numb-skull in the third person, on and off, for the next while to keep things simple) to commence to weave a tapestry of glorious, colorful words in the mountain air, all accompanied by melodious tones (Well, as melodious as the sounds of a boar grizzly attacking a cougar with newborn kittens is melodious, I guess!).

    This verbal explosion of excited speech in turn created a momentary lapse in sanity, causing said golden boy to move his right foot in reflex to the hammering pain of his throbbing left foot's big toe. Furthermore, the river current promptly seized said bozo’s right leg in its grasp, at the exact moment when the right foot slipped quickly down a submerged incline.

    This in turn caused the back of the doomed dredger to twist slightly, creating some sort of physics wonderland where the broad part of the dredger's back now acted like a garage door trying to navigate the river perpendicularly, and yet the dredger was still trying to keep his body upright!

    This exponential force utilized the might of untold millions of gallons of glacial melt water moving at roughly Mach III (This guess of the speed is only an estimate as I had no calibrated instruments for measuring water velocity with me that day). These enhanced forces acted out their vengeance on the dimwit porpoising back and forth across the river, the same dimwit that somehow managed to keep a death grip on the safety line!

    I must call a brief pause here to say that there’s nothing so annoying as a smug dredge buddy that watches you thrash about as you helplessly struggle in the grasp of a raging river. It's not annoying that your buddy is watching. No. What's annoying is that while he’s watching he's laughing such a jackal-like, high-pitched laugh that it's effects terrify and frighten off any man or beast within three miles that could help with a rescue in any manner.

    But, not to worry, after several ballet-like corrections on micro-brain’s part, he’d righted himself by using the safety line. Well, almost righted himself that is . . . For, as he pulled back hard on the safety line to come upright, his garage-door-like body, playing the part of a super-rudder, rocketed him back across the river, bouncing him playfully off the boulders as it propelled him toward, while pointing him downstream of, the dredge. This liquid inertia started a barrel roll, spinning the attached twit around on the safety line like a tailless kite in a hurricane.

    Oh, did I mention that his Hooka regulator was hanging across his shoulder as he artfully (Yes, but more like really bad art than anything else) stepped into the stream? Well, with his regulator streaming straight behind him, and as his snorkel wasn't in his mouth either, he began to try to drink the river dry.

    Oh, desperate drinking it was! For, after his head plowed underwater furrows, he’d burst forth, shaking his melon side to side, smacking his lips loudly as he bellowed unpronounceable syllables from Viking drinking songs. Songs sung only after drinking steadily for two days! Nevertheless, he soon floundered (both eyes now felt as if they were the squashed and compressed eyes found on the side of the flounder) his way up the safety line. He then stood waist-deep in the placid river, magnificently in control, feet firmly anchored once again.

    Yes, rest from turmoil was finally his. However, then befell the shame of trying to explain his aquatic aerobatics to his mining partner.



    Nonetheless, after a witty explanation, the dope on a rope cautiously proceeded to the chute on the other side. Once there, he launched himself into the slack water behind a lip of protruding bedrock guarding the head of the chute.

    With regulator in place, he stuck his head under water only to see that the bedrock's surface was as smooth as a bathtub for most of its length . . . But there, just off to the right, was a small crevice, and in that crevice was a chunk of sassy yellow gold.

    (Oh, it was magnificent and glorious, the bright sunshine winked off it as it sparkled and shone.)

    Therefore, the dauntless dredger forgot the function of his gray matter and tried to reach the golden prize, forgetting about his precarious footing, and abandoning the shelter offered by the bedrock outcrop.

    This unexplainable act launched him yet into another River Dance. Clearly, this performance was not in any way connected to the one that played on the world stage for years. No, this was a river dance accompanied by colorful and strangely explosive, yet disharmonious tones instead of the lively, upbeat music of the famed production.

    At last, the soggy dredger, much refreshed after finishing his two-time audition for the River Dance, returned to his still purring dredge, stuffed his brains back in through the openings originally intended for his ears and nose, reinserted an eyeball, reattached an ear, and then quietly returned to a boring day of uneventful dredging.



    River Dance indeed.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Last edited by Lanny in AB; Jan 16, 2016 at 03:14 AM.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  10. #25
    us
    Mar 2003
    Redding,Calif.
    5,854
    6705 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    hahahaha thanx for my first righteous laugh a the day. River dance aaaa yes sir done a few myself. SF American,MF American,Sacramento ,all rivers but nuttn' that small. Only 60 lbs a lead?? not much at all as that's my slow water weights with 100+ for fast. Boat anchor and a dog chain to the weightbelt in sf american/m fork too as RAGES up 6-10' in mere minutes and swing yourself(and dredge)to bank when raging waters start. I found the ankle weights tear up knees BAD as momentum when knee hits rock tears them tendons,ligaments and turns that ol'miniscus to shreds. Waaaay back in the day when we started on this forum-prior owners-let us use more colorful language as I posted that Flying saucer rock story-new owners would pass a brick now hahaha. Still summer here so no time to play on internet as MUST detect as NO none zilch water. Thanx mucho as always Lanny for the ride alone a dancen' to a different drummer-John
    Last edited by Hoser John; Jan 06, 2014 at 09:23 AM.
    Lanny in AB likes this.

  11. #26
    us
    FIRE...Financially Independent Retired Early. Poor but free!

    Feb 2013
    Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
    Teknetics Alpha 2000
    2,624
    4093 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks Lanny. I love all of our stories of WTF was I thinking because we all have done it and more than once. Thank God there is that 10% left in our brains that screams out "MUST...LIVE....MUST GET OUT OF THIS" that brings us back to tell the stories...of what not to do.
    Lanny in AB 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.

  12. #27

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoser John View Post
    Great story Lanny mining is quite a addiction as we risk our very being on that golden hunch. A detector saved me whilst sliding down a extremely steep hillside as used as a protector and Tesoro fixed it for free with a new control box,sure saved my hipside fer sure. Looks sure are deceiving as jus' a little mo'higher turns into OMG how did I end up way up here hahaha a little adreneline goes a long way but does not garner safety-Respect-John
    That adrenaline does get a body in a heap of trouble from time to time--I'm with you on that.

    All the best John,

    Lanny
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  13. #28

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoser John View Post
    hahahaha thanx for my first righteous laugh a the day. River dance aaaa yes sir done a few myself. SF American,MF American,Sacramento ,all rivers but nuttn' that small. Only 60 lbs a lead?? not much at all as that's my slow water weights with 100+ for fast. Boat anchor and a dog chain to the weightbelt in sf american/m fork too as RAGES up 6-10' in mere minutes and swing yourself(and dredge)to bank when raging waters start. I found the ankle weights tear up knees BAD as momentum when knee hits rock tears them tendons,ligaments and turns that ol'miniscus to shreds. Waaaay back in the day when we started on this forum-prior owners-let us use more colorful language as I posted that Flying saucer rock story-new owners would pass a brick now hahaha. Still summer here so no time to play on internet as MUST detect as NO none zilch water. Thanx mucho as always Lanny for the ride alone a dancen' to a different drummer-John
    Yup--your river sounds bigger and faster. (Boat anchor? My, my--that is a terrific volume of water!) I admire the fact that you've survived by working in that environment, especially the times you had to beat the rising, raging waters!!

    I've had rocks come flyin' in the hole, a dog jumped in on top of me once (totally unexpected), and I've had various other rapid-pulse inducing incidents as well.

    Thanks for dropping in and all the best,

    Lanny
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  14. #29

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff95531 View Post
    Thanks Lanny. I love all of our stories of WTF was I thinking because we all have done it and more than once. Thank God there is that 10% left in our brains that screams out "MUST...LIVE....MUST GET OUT OF THIS" that brings us back to tell the stories...of what not to do.
    It's good that 10% is still there all right. There have to be some lucky neurons firing somewhere to keep me healthy while I'm chasin' the gold.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  15. #30

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,325
    5607 times
    Prospecting
    The Midnight Caller Enigma.

    Well, this is a story I've promised to write, and so after looking at my notes, here it is, in installments:

    The day we started up that brutal logging road amid the vast forests of re-seeded spruce and pine, things looked great. It was a hot and dry northern, mid-summer’s day. You know, the kind of day in the North Country where the sun sets at about eleven at night, and it’s still light at eleven-thirty. The kind of day where you’re in no real hurry, with all fine and right in the world.



    I’d driven all night, putting in the twelve hours it took to get to the junction by the little gas station and road-side café where we teed off the main highway to hit a north-west trending logging road. After about a mile on that packed, wash-boarded gravel, things began to change. As the trail to the gold was an active logging road, if you’ve never driven one, adventure and terror are common things.

    The craziness started after that first mile. All at once, the truck began to shimmy and shake like a disco dancer on steroids. I thought we'd flattened at least one tire, but when I checked, they were all up. However, the road looked like someone had been trying to imitate the effect of corrugated metal on that roadbed, like they’d mass produced the pattern and kept it up for infinity off into the distance.

    I had no idea that pattern was the result of non-stop heavily loaded logging trucks, nor did I have any idea that driving on it would be a new extreme sport, one that lasted for the next four hours!

    But hey, I got the best free back and body massage of my life. However, anyone tires of four straight hours of massage. Nonetheless, this isn't a story about free spa treatments. It's a tale of getting to where the gold hides. So, I’d best get back on track.



    On the way in, we had to drive quite slowly, for in the back of the truck we carried a substantial load. We had the quad tied down in the box, along with enough grub and drink for a month. A large waterproof bundle (duct-taped, enclosed tarp) sheltered our bedding and clothes, along with the large, white Outfitter’s wall tent. The other essentials were the wood-burning stove, the steel poles for the internal frame of the tent, gold pans and bottles, a chainsaw, a hatchet, a couple of axes, sledgehammers, pry-bars, buckets, river sluices, and a variety of shovels.

    Yup, we were loaded right up, and we didn’t want to wind up with a busted spring or two, so we just plugged along.



    Well, that road was bone dry, and the clay dust rose in an ultra-fine powder to invade the windless sky. It then fell to cling and coat everything in a tan blanket. Our whole outfit layered in clay dust. We could have pulled into Afghanistan or Iraq and not had to bother messing with any kind of desert camouflage.

    However, the dust was a fairly light coating until, heading in our direction we saw a massive self-propelled dust cloud boring down on us. Alarmed at the speed of the approaching cloud, we pulled off the road to avoid it. Lucky for us, we did! That freight train of dust went roaring past, and inside of it spun and bucked a fully loaded logging truck—the ultimate terror of the north! The ground jumped and shook as it thundered by. It's dust cloud, blocked the sun. We did absolutely nothing for the next few minutes except try not to panic. With our new coating of dust, our camouflage got a superb upgrade.

    After about an hour of pulling over to avoid death, and then moving cautiously forward again, the skies started to change. Clouds and patchy mist started to spot the horizon. Then, moving with amazing speed to greet us, the clouds hit us with a vengeance, and then rain poured for half an hour. The bonus was that the dust went away. The scent of a fresh pine and fir filled the air in the shower's wake, but everything in the back of the truck was now coated in slick clay.

    However, the side benefit made the logging trucks much easier to spot. That was a nice bonus that saved the nerves.



    The road now climbed steeply in elevation, carrying us into terrain littered with lakes and swamps, but a new hazard was about to present itself, and it was a northern doozy: a brand-new experience that required a steep learning curve, one packed with a powerful surprise.


    Here's Part II

    (Part II of The Midnight Caller.)

    Apparently in the North Country, they have these little things they like to call “punch outs”. Well, if you’ve never been “punched out” before (bar fights, sporting disagreements, and scraps over women don’t count), you’ve never lived the true northern experience.

    For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, I’ll try to explain what a "punch out" is. As you remember, the terrain and elevation had changed on our route in, and we were in an area with more crystalline lakes, low-lying areas pocketed with extensive swamps and little streams. However, every once in a while as we rumbled down the road, the front end of the truck would just dive down into it! And, I do mean dive!! The truck would drop, then smash into that big steel guard under the engine that stops the oil pan from being crushed. The shocks would bottom out as well, and then we’d be through it and the back end would then bottom out with a terrific crash. The full effect on us was like a violent chiropractic adjustment, one designed to adjust and realign every joint in the body!



    As you can imagine, this freaked us out as we had no idea what it was. However, after a couple of episodes, we learned to notice the subtle indications in the road that one of these jarring moments would soon arrive. The color of the road was slightly darker, and sometimes you could even see a little moisture leaking from the road bed around a slight depression on it (these depressions were much deeper than the aforementioned corrugated ruts). Upon cresting a rise in a stand of older timber, we found a van nose down in a big one, with the vehicle dead on the spot.

    We stopped to see if we could help, but they’d already radioed some friends that were coming to tow them out to the aforementioned little café way back at the highway junction. After chatting with them a bit, that's how we learned the dreaded punch-out's name! These unsympathetic traps are caused by deep frost coming out of wetter sections of the roadbed (areas of roadbed with more moisture appeared to be worse than dry stretches). As a result, the water created the spongy bottom of the punch-out. As they won’t support the weight of a vehicle, the nose of any vehicle dives into them thus punching out the vehicle (mechanically and physically), and sometimes the driver as well!

    Needless to say, we kept a sharp eye out for theses menaces, and avoided any serious consequences by respecting them through slowing down. After that, we simply detoured around them.



    However, our risks were not at an end. Working our way up a winding hill where the road was narrowing, and just as we were about to top out, a fully loaded logging truck came flying down heading straight for us. Well sir, we had no place to go, and that bit of road was too small for the both of us, so we did the only thing we could to save our lives—we hit the ditch, hard!

    The logging truck roared straight on through, as he could not have stopped, even if he wanted to (mass, momentum, etc.). Well, we sat there, nose down in the ditch, and shook for the next five minutes. Later we learned to travel with the proper radios to talk to the truck drivers to give them a heads-up by calling out the mile markers as we passed them, or we traveled on a Saturday or Sunday when the trucks weren’t running.

    By four-wheeling a bit after recovering, we chewed our way out of the ditch (It was a good thing we didn’t go into one of the many swamps!).

    The greatest surprises after that event were spotting a wolverine crossing the road (I understand they travel mostly by night, and it's the only one I’ve seen in the open). Next, we spotted a couple of black bears, a moose and her calf, plus a few deer.

    At last we came to a chain of lakes signaling our closeness to the goldfield. The road forked, and we took the one to the left and soon found ourselves climbing a long grade that led to a small settlement. The residents had no electricity (except for generators), no phones (sattelite phone at the store only), no natural gas for heat (wood-burning stoves or propane), and no water or sewer services (wells or river water for drink, and outhouses or septic tanks for the rest).

    We stopped at the store to get oriented, bought a few items, and inquired where we could pitch our Outfitter’s tent. We were directed down the road a ways to cross a creek, then continue to a flat with several historic cabins located in clearing the forest surrounding that surrounded the campsite. We then unpacked and set up camp.




    All the best, and more to follow,

    Lanny

    Bedrock and Gold: The mysteries . . .
    Last edited by Lanny in AB; Jan 16, 2016 at 06:54 PM.
    Aufisher likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

 

 
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