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  1. #136
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    527
    769 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by et1955 View Post
    I will also add that you need a chainsaw this time of year in your car, these areas have high winds and trees fall. Seen and it many times over the years.
    I got lucky this summer. I had thought to throw a bow saw in my car before leaving home. I was driving through a burned over area in okanogan county and while I was hiking around looking for a mine I kept heard loud cracking noises I thought must be gunshots but they were very loud and just weird. Interestingly there wasnít any wind that I can recall and I had been in the area twice before without incident. This time on my way out i discovered a dead tree, over a foot thick across the road and the mystery of the loud noises was solved. The wood was easy to cut through but in glad I had the saw and that the tree wasnít much bigger. There were a few other blowdowns I had to move but they were easily pushed aside. If it hadnít been for the saw I could have made it back the other way but it would have added a few hours to my trip but I could just as well have been trapped on both sides. Lesson learned.
    et1955, G1994, Gold4Mike and 1 others like this.

  2. #137
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    I got lucky this summer. I had thought to throw a bow saw in my car before leaving home. I was driving through a burned over area in okanogan county and while I was hiking around looking for a mine I kept heard loud cracking noises I thought must be gunshots but they were very loud and just weird. Interestingly there wasn’t any wind that I can recall and I had been in the area twice before without incident. This time on my way out i discovered a dead tree, over a foot thick across the road and the mystery of the loud noises was solved. The wood was easy to cut through but in glad I had the saw and that the tree wasn’t much bigger. There were a few other blowdowns I had to move but they were easily pushed aside. If it hadn’t been for the saw I could have made it back the other way but it would have added a few hours to my trip but I could just as well have been trapped on both sides. Lesson learned.
    A tree with a bow saw!? Wow you must have some machine arms! I have used a bow saw for a couple 2x4's and was not a fan haha. But that sounds better than no saw huh! I always carry an axe but haven't had to cut anything bigger than a big tree limb.
    et1955 and DizzyDigger like this.

  3. #138
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hey guys! So I went to Olney today and was happy to say I tested out a couple areas and didn't run more than 4 gallons of gravel when I saw this almost 1/8" inch flake sliding down with the gravel! I was ble to put my finger on it to stop it and pick it up and was like wow I honestly did not think I would've found anything today as from what I have read and you guys mention its spotty up there! The rest were just tiny flakes but this one was really exciting! I didn't spend much time panning as I wanted to hike up and down the area and get familiar with it so I can come back in the summer time and relax out there when its too hot to be in the city. Anyways I know it aint much but that's my first almost 1/8" flake and I plan on going back and running way mor gravel than 15 minutes next time!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gold4Mike, et1955, OwenT and 3 others like this.

  4. #139
    us
    May 2017
    Mount Vernon, Washington
    Angus Mackirk Foreman Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer Gold Hog Piglet highbanker Home made slate miller table
    204
    582 times
    Prospecting
    Wow, that's bigger than anything I've found yet!
    G1994, et1955 and DizzyDigger like this.

  5. #140
    us
    May 2017
    Mount Vernon, Washington
    Angus Mackirk Foreman Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer Gold Hog Piglet highbanker Home made slate miller table
    204
    582 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by G1994 View Post
    Wow that spot on Skookum looks amazing! I wouldn't mind goin there to just for the hike! I have explored Skookum before with no panning equipment just to get into the steep areas to check out and there are some really cool spots but I never tested the gravels. I did see what looked like several bear poop piles alomg the way though and also followed a deer trail down which kicked my butt on the way back up. It was eastward maybe half a mile past the big hill on the right when looking east standing on the bridge at the beginning. I found a really nice bend with some flat spots and a huge boulder but like I said didn't take my panning stuff as I was just in it for exploring/hiking but would like to check out that ladder area! As for the canyon on the SF yes its a couple miles in but there are 3 different trails which have taken me to the upstream end, middle, and downstream end of the canyon. The 70+ foot rope is at the southend trail ( I hope nobody, as in the person who set up the area, gets mad at me for sharing because its not my rope/discovered area and it gets very very few visitors ) and it is really fun I bought my brother a small belaying handle so we could practice going down ropes and it was tons of fun as it felt pretty dang safe! He only slipped and smacked into the side once but it isn't a 90 degree drop anyway so not too bad haha. For the other trails into the canyon, the northend trail gets you to the pools right before it starts flattening out to gravels bars, I found this trail by the crasiest experience atleast to me, I was exploring the area again last summer and out of the thick brush come out 3 cute girls all wearing swimgear and I was like hmmm ok so this is a dream, this place is enchanted, or theres some super cool place that way! So I asked them and they told me bout the swimmin holes so I went down and could not believe they hiked all that way but there is a nice spot climb down a rope 10 feet or so which looks like people just go to hang out and jump in the pools. From that point you can access the center of the canyon by walking along the walls or a very steep trail which sounds kind of like you are saying of sliding down your butt haha. The only spot I haven,t been able to get around is right in the center of the canyon the cliff protrudes into the river and its extremely steep, 90 degree, and the river is deep right there so I have never been able to get around it or come downstream of it from the south end of the canyon due to massive rocks/difficult terrain but maybe next august/september when the water is low I will keep trying as I just want to say I was able to explore the whole canyon haha. In the center of the canyon there is a massive rock someone has taken a dredge or something up there as it has 3 feet of material missing around it and they left some of their equipment/big hose up there hidden but I tripped over it exploring the surrounding mossy area. Wow this was a long post! Haha
    Great story! And a very cool area. We went into the downstream (north) end of the Nooksack canyon where it just starts to widen out. We were sliding down on our butts the last 20 feet or so down to the river. We all looked back up at the way we came in and knew we weren't going back out that way, so we might as well look for some gold. We found some rocky ledges to climb back out on. There would have been no way to go upstream from there down at the river level. Like you said it's vertical or even overhanging. It was March so we didn't see any girls swimming.
    If you look upstream on the Skookum at the bridge, there's the gravel road following it upstream on the left, is that the one you went up? Probably only a quarter mile past that gate there is a trail off to the right heading back down the canyon toward the creek. It is very hard to spot and I'm still not sure how I found it because the second time I went I missed it and kept on going. Anyway, that little trail leads down to the ladders. Not worth going until late summer because the ladders end up on a large slab of bedrock and there's no going up or downstream at high water from there. It feels so remote there, but we could see that little diversion dam from where we were at.
    G1994 likes this.

  6. #141
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    527
    769 times
    Prospecting
    The bow saw can make quick work of limbs and small logs. I feel like cutting boards would harder for some reason. One disadvantage of the bow saw is that you can only cut as deep as the distance from the blade to the bow which makes you get creative if youíre cutting something more than 8Ē or so. I need to get something else.

    Nice flake! Looks chunky. That was great luck! I have only found one flake just a little bigger but very very thin on the skykomish.
    minerjosh, G1994 and DizzyDigger like this.

  7. #142
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    687
    1169 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by G1994 View Post
    Hey guys! So I went to Olney today and was happy to say I tested out a couple areas and didn't run more than 4 gallons of gravel when I saw this almost 1/8" inch flake sliding down with the gravel! I was ble to put my finger on it to stop it and pick it up and was like wow I honestly did not think I would've found anything today as from what I have read and you guys mention its spotty up there! The rest were just tiny flakes but this one was really exciting! I didn't spend much time panning as I wanted to hike up and down the area and get familiar with it so I can come back in the summer time and relax out there when its too hot to be in the city. Anyways I know it aint much but that's my first almost 1/8" flake and I plan on going back and running way mor gravel than 15 minutes next time!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20210109_190510_HDR.jpg 
Views:	24 
Size:	1.85 MB 
ID:	1892480
    Olney will test you and if you can master it you will find gold where ever you go, I spent a whole year mining on that creek, I climbed all the small streams coming off Blue mountain into Olney and found nothing but had fun, interesting facts about Olney, there was a group of Hells Angels living there selling drugs, living in an old loggers cabin, they were finally located and arrested, I found there cabin, very scary. Also some ware back in that area is an old Chinese mining camp, sadly they were killed by some of the residence people living in Sultan pretending to be Natives of the local tribe, I met one of the ancestors of the killers and he told me what happened. Reason they where killed because they would not divulge where they were finding the gold they brought into town to sell. One main reason Olney is not predictable is every time it rains in that area the creek witch is very often it becomes a torrent and is unpredictable. P.S. after over 30 years of mining that creek I believe I have found the source of the gold, we will see when the weather gets better.

  8. #143
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    687
    1169 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    I got lucky this summer. I had thought to throw a bow saw in my car before leaving home. I was driving through a burned over area in okanogan county and while I was hiking around looking for a mine I kept heard loud cracking noises I thought must be gunshots but they were very loud and just weird. Interestingly there wasn’t any wind that I can recall and I had been in the area twice before without incident. This time on my way out i discovered a dead tree, over a foot thick across the road and the mystery of the loud noises was solved. The wood was easy to cut through but in glad I had the saw and that the tree wasn’t much bigger. There were a few other blowdowns I had to move but they were easily pushed aside. If it hadn’t been for the saw I could have made it back the other way but it would have added a few hours to my trip but I could just as well have been trapped on both sides. Lesson learned.
    Monday my new chainsaw arrives, will be clearing out the the historic trail going down the Bar below the Aristo claim and clearing out a fallen tree covering the back end of a 10ft. monster rock, I was finding nice gold but then I found a piece of concreate 3ft down, I gave up and filled in the hole believing that the old timers had been there, I climbed up the canyon and met Larry who for those who don't know is an old time miner plus worked for the PUD on the Sultan river area. I told him what I found and he informed me that that concrete came from a bridge that was washed out during a flood back around 1920, it should interesting what is below that rock, was finding 1/4in course flakes there.
    G1994, OwenT, DizzyDigger and 2 others like this.

  9. #144
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold4Mike View Post
    Great story! And a very cool area. We went into the downstream (north) end of the Nooksack canyon where it just starts to widen out. We were sliding down on our butts the last 20 feet or so down to the river. We all looked back up at the way we came in and knew we weren't going back out that way, so we might as well look for some gold. We found some rocky ledges to climb back out on. There would have been no way to go upstream from there down at the river level. Like you said it's vertical or even overhanging. It was March so we didn't see any girls swimming.
    If you look upstream on the Skookum at the bridge, there's the gravel road following it upstream on the left, is that the one you went up? Probably only a quarter mile past that gate there is a trail off to the right heading back down the canyon toward the creek. It is very hard to spot and I'm still not sure how I found it because the second time I went I missed it and kept on going. Anyway, that little trail leads down to the ladders. Not worth going until late summer because the ladders end up on a large slab of bedrock and there's no going up or downstream at high water from there. It feels so remote there, but we could see that little diversion dam from where we were at.
    Awesome thanks for telling me about the ladder! And no facing east on the Skookum bridge, I went up the road on the right around the big hill till it starts going downhill again and splits into 2 roads ( 3 if you count the overgrown with trees one ) then went downhill to the creek crossing a swampish area but in the summer it was kind of dry only one scary spot where I started getting sucked into the mud but was able to grab a log and pull my leg out! haha. For the SFN canyon area I don't know I may be calling the middle and downstream part incorrectly haha but I attached some pics of when I was in the center according to my gps. The first pic is facing upstream and all the way forward to the left you can see the 90 degree cliffside sticking outwards which I have not been able to find a good way around. 2nd pic is same spot looking downstream and all the way forward to the right you can see a small hill sticking out which is where I came/hugged/crawled behind from where the gravel bar starts showing on the west side of the river. The 3rd pic is from the hill previously mentioned right before I climbed down and you can see the water isn't too deep at that downstream northern most side of the canyon. It was in August so it was pretty dry and I'm sure it looks different than in March huh
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gold4Mike likes this.

  10. #145
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by et1955 View Post
    Olney will test you and if you can master it you will find gold where ever you go, I spent a whole year mining on that creek, I climbed all the small streams coming off Blue mountain into Olney and found nothing but had fun, interesting facts about Olney, there was a group of Hells Angels living there selling drugs, living in an old loggers cabin, they were finally located and arrested, I found there cabin, very scary. Also some ware back in that area is an old Chinese mining camp, sadly they were killed by some of the residence people living in Sultan pretending to be Natives of the local tribe, I met one of the ancestors of the killers and he told me what happened. Reason they where killed because they would not divulge where they were finding the gold they brought into town to sell. One main reason Olney is not predictable is every time it rains in that area the creek witch is very often it becomes a torrent and is unpredictable. P.S. after over 30 years of mining that creek I believe I have found the source of the gold, we will see when the weather gets better.
    Wow that is some super creepy history of that area! I hope I don't stumble near that camp anytime i'm hiking up there! And on Saturday I kept asking myself that question of I wonder where it could be coming from but I am pretty new to all this and am trying to research more but that is really cool you have been mining the creek for that long! Maybe I will see you out there someday it would be great to meet ya! I could hold off on the scary stories though I don't know if they might get to me while I'm out there all alone on those gloomy days like it seems it always is out there haha!
    et1955 likes this.

  11. #146
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by et1955 View Post
    Monday my new chainsaw arrives, will be clearing out the the historic trail going down the Bar below the Aristo claim and clearing out a fallen tree covering the back end of a 10ft. monster rock, I was finding nice gold but then I found a piece of concreate 3ft down, I gave up and filled in the hole believing that the old timers had been there, I climbed up the canyon and met Larry who for those who don't know is an old time miner plus worked for the PUD on the Sultan river area. I told him what I found and he informed me that that concrete came from a bridge that was washed out during a flood back around 1920, it should interesting what is below that rock, was finding 1/4in course flakes there.
    If you don't mind I was wondering what size chainsaw you carry up there? Gas or battery? I have only been along the road/near the road so have only seen a few downed trees and thought I should buy an 18" maybe? It would only be for occasional use as I live in the city but still go up to skagit and chop wood for the family haha

  12. #147
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    687
    1169 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by G1994 View Post
    If you don't mind I was wondering what size chainsaw you carry up there? Gas or battery? I have only been along the road/near the road so have only seen a few downed trees and thought I should buy an 18" maybe? It would only be for occasional use as I live in the city but still go up to skagit and chop wood for the family haha
    18INCH GAS only, faster and more efficient, as for the source of the gold on Olney it gets really complicated, the Spada reservoir ounce ran threw Olney, not the Sultan but due to glacial interactions the Sultan was created, that happened just before I was born, LOL. I was lucky I met the old timers that mined the area, the knowledge they gave me I will share but the fun part was teaching them modern methods to mining and my way. My best day was telling Steve who was 86 years old and an expert miner on the sultan river that he was standing on a deposit of gold, he ended up with 3 grams of gold. Threw Time and effort you will develop the instinct and see were the gold is.

  13. #148
    us
    Apr 2020
    Skagit County, WA
    22
    42 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by et1955 View Post
    18INCH GAS only, faster and more efficient, as for the source of the gold on Olney it gets really complicated, the Spada reservoir ounce ran threw Olney, not the Sultan but due to glacial interactions the Sultan was created, that happened just before I was born, LOL. I was lucky I met the old timers that mined the area, the knowledge they gave me I will share but the fun part was teaching them modern methods to mining and my way. My best day was telling Steve who was 86 years old and an expert miner on the sultan river that he was standing on a deposit of gold, he ended up with 3 grams of gold. Threw Time and effort you will develop the instinct and see were the gold is.
    Oh yes I think I remember reading some literature a while back regarding a glacial/ice dam of some sorts blocking the pilchuck/current sultan river area which caused the outflow down to the lowland to be through Olney Pass or so right? And ok cool thanks I have been looking at 18 inch saws too just need to decide on one haha
    et1955 likes this.

  14. #149
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    687
    1169 times
    Prospecting
    Complicated it is, what are the sources, Williamson creek main source for the sultan also known as the North Fork of the Sultan in Historic mining maps, sadly all access closed off to the public, there are mining claims up there though. There is a source of gold near Olney Pass and that is the Corona mine on the south fork of the Sultan, copper was the main mineral mined but gold was found there to, I mined the south fork and found nice gold in the moss. Now that the rivers are flooding check the river flood levels on the internet, The Sky is climbing fast, olney is probably flash flooding, it is awesome to see this happening. Be safe
    DizzyDigger and G1994 like this.

  15. #150
    us
    Ed Tracy

    Jan 2015
    Shoreline,wa
    Equinox 800
    687
    1169 times
    Prospecting
    Mystery for you Olney miners to figure out, Back in 1992 I found a chip of a larger rock in my sluice mining on the Olney, it was black but it was full of 1/8 inch flakes of gold, crushing it provided about 2 grams, now was this a glacial deposit or is there a major lode deposit there. ?
    Gold4Mike and G1994 like this.

 

 
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