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Thread: Bedrock and Gold: The mysteries . . .

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  1. #2836
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thank you Lanny for this series of storied shared about what goes bump, snore or stomp in the night!

    I've backpacked since I was a teenager first sleeping w/o a tent, getting tired of the bugs and jungle juice at night I purchased my first tent and then on to others. And yes, just beyond that ever so thin nylon tent wall came unfamiliar sounds of mountain trolls, big foot, Grizzly bears and worse yet the unknown. However I've lived through 50+ years of tenting and never has the tent been torn, at night. The sounds when added to being very tired are multiplied to extreme heights by our unconsious or concious minds allowing ones mind to wander near and very far out there. Thank you for the reminder and I will try to remember that not all that snorts in the night is a meat eating monster..............Herb
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Mar 28, 2019 at 03:26 PM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  2. #2837

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,100
    5185 times
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    Herb,

    Always great to have your feedback as well as your shares about your past experiences, makes the connections to you more solid knowing about the common things we all go through while in the wild with our imaginations on hyperdrive overload.

    All the best, and thanks for always being a friend,

    Lanny
    63bkpkr likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  3. #2838

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
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    Interesting video with some good tips.

    All the best,

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

  4. #2839

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
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    This post falls into the category of things that haunt us, the lost opportunities, the unknowns that make us wish we'd have done something different, that we’d have paid more attention at the time, or that we’d have made a return trip . . .

    I know of a spot that I have to get back to one day where they were running the material so fast they were pushing nuggets over the end of the sluice boxes, and all of that material ran under a road across jagged bedrock, so those nuggets will still be there.

    That same outfit had a hopper that had a leak, and it used to ooze out material from one side. These guys were getting so much gold, they knew about the leak, and they knew they were pushing gold over the end of the sluices, but the season up north is short, and the material was incredibly rich, so they were running flat out to get as much as quickly as they could. Furthermore, because they were getting so much gold, they wound up not caring about what they’d lost.

    From my own experience, I know the gold was left at the site after they pulled their equipment out as I panned a few spots, and talk about pickers! That country is known for coarse gold. I gathered up a couple of five-gallon buckets for my son to pan, and what a party he had running those buckets through a little river sluice. There was lots of dirt left at the site of that hopper too. But, once again, a person would have to know exactly where to look, and to the casual observer, they'd never have a clue as to what had taken place there in the past.
    However, I’ll add a few more details about that abandoned area, and the wash-plant, as well as a bit about the crew and the deposition of gold in their mining cut.

    After removing about forty feet of overburden (boulder clay: thick glacial clay salted with boulders), the ancient channel was finally exposed, with lots of orange material (orange is a good sign of the heavy mineralization that runs with the gold in ancient channels) in the bottom six feet of material that was sitting tight on bedrock. Moreover, getting to the bedrock had exposed a large section of tunnel where the old-timers had worked extensively, and as those Sourdoughs did all of that underground, back-breaking work by hand, it was a good sign that we might have a great chance to hit some good gold as well, and we sure did.

    After the modern miners used the excavator to take the orange material out, and there was only bare bedrock left, I got invited into the pit to have a look at the side-wall of the channel, the area composing the ancient stream material that was still buried under all of the previously mentioned overburden. It was a sight I'll never forget.

    The excavator operator (who was also the mine owner) walked me in from the north end of the cut, and he said, "I've never seen this before. Come take a look."

    He walked me over to where the cleaned bedrock met the wall, and then he started pointing out nuggets in the wall! You just can't make this stuff up!!

    About a foot off of the bedrock, and all along the length of the cut, we walked along flicking out multi-gram nuggets from the side wall into a pan!! I'd certainly never seen anything like it before, and I haven't seen anything remotely close to that amazing sight since.

    The owner had to go to town for machinery parts, and the second-in-command wanted to yard as much through the wash-plant as quickly as possible, but not having been in the game as long as the owner, he overfed the plant, because when they shut it down, the twin sluices were yellow from top to bottom with nuggets!! That's another sight I haven't seen since, and one you should never see if you're running the plant properly. Furthermore, that's why the nuggets went over the end of the sluice with the discharge water, getting trapped on the broken bedrock as the water rushed under the road to fall into the waiting settling pond, and nobody ever tried to recover them as the whole outfit left at the end of the season and none of them returned (me included).

    However, as I said earlier, they got so much gold everyone was happy regardless. Now, that’s the kind of gold mining problem I’d love to have in the future, the issue of pushing nuggets over the end of the sluice but not bothering to recover them because the overall take was so rich!

    All the best,

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

  5. #2840
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    371
    487 times
    Prospecting
    A deliciously golden tale! One would wonder why you've never been back?
    Terry Soloman and Lanny in AB like this.

  6. #2841

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    A deliciously golden tale! One would wonder why you've never been back?
    That leftover gold is a long, long distance from where I'm currently chasing the gold, and where I'm at right now is producing good gold. However, I do plan a return visit one of these days, perhaps when where I'm at quits producing, but that far northern gold isn't going anywhere . . .

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Jeff95531 likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  7. #2842
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    371
    487 times
    Prospecting
    Lanny, would your playground happen to be the famous Atlin district? Or perhaps that is the Far northern goldfield you speak of? Other than that and the Cariboo area, and of course the Klondike, I'm not familiar with the gold districts of northern Canada. Maybe you could pm me if you didn't want to share here.
    Lanny in AB likes this.

  8. #2843
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    3,946
    4374 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Yes indeed, places to return to! I've more than a couple of those myself. Now yesterday I left my Bronco at a shop 12 miles from home to have a touch of work performed on her but before I left her at the shop I pulled my mountain bike out of the back end of the Bronco. I then rode the Bike the twelve miles, mostly uphill, back to the house. This morning there are a few parts of my body that are complaining at me. So what does this have to do with the cost of Tea in China? This exercise, now one month in progress, is so that I am strong enough to hit the trails this summer. I've at least 2.5 months to go before the trails Might be open so lots of time to build some good muscles. Also in nine days I will turn 75 years of age and I've quite a smile on my face about that.

    Very interesting share, thank you Lanny. Herb
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  9. #2844

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,100
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    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr View Post
    Yes indeed, places to return to! I've more than a couple of those myself. Now yesterday I left my Bronco at a shop 12 miles from home to have a touch of work performed on her but before I left her at the shop I pulled my mountain bike out of the back end of the Bronco. I then rode the Bike the twelve miles, mostly uphill, back to the house. This morning there are a few parts of my body that are complaining at me. So what does this have to do with the cost of Tea in China? This exercise, now one month in progress, is so that I am strong enough to hit the trails this summer. I've at least 2.5 months to go before the trails Might be open so lots of time to build some good muscles. Also in nine days I will turn 75 years of age and I've quite a smile on my face about that.

    Very interesting share, thank you Lanny. Herb
    Herb, good to hear from you again, and good to know you're training for your next adventure.

    If you're like me, every year I learn a bit more about chasing the gold, so I'm sure that on your upcoming trip you'll find some nice gold, whether it's the noble metal or whether it's the memories that always last.

    All the best,

    Lanny
    Terry Soloman and 63bkpkr like this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  10. #2845
    ca
    Jul 2014
    Port Perry, Ontario
    Fisher CZ21, F75SE, Gold Bug 2.9 & Minelab GPX 5000
    991
    1086 times
    Metal Detecting
    Great story about the gold spot Lanny. I think I might have drooled a little bit, picturing the wall with the nuggets and the sluice's golden pavement. For sure it can happen once in a long while (to somebody else, always). It reminds me of the old story of Terry Toop and his similar discovery on Mary Creek in the Cariboo.
    For sure, knowing where they ran their wash plant is an interesting place to metal detect. All kinds of reasons for a spill. The other spot worthy of investigation is around where they did their cleanups. Thanks for giving me even more gold fever awaiting for summer.
    OwenT, 63bkpkr and Lanny in AB like this.
    See my YouTube channel for amateur and fun videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnz...OeZbRt0F9XqVJA

  11. #2846

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,100
    5185 times
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    Lanny, would your playground happen to be the famous Atlin district? Or perhaps that is the Far northern goldfield you speak of? Other than that and the Cariboo area, and of course the Klondike, I'm not familiar with the gold districts of northern Canada. Maybe you could pm me if you didn't want to share here.
    Owen, do some research on the Omnieca gold field of British Columbia.

    Gold discovered in 1861, the rush to Vital creek in 1869, big things happening 1870/71. Lots of great placer creeks and rivers, lots of glaciation which really moved things around, so the best areas with consistent gold were ones where the gold was protected by bedrock rims on either side as the glaciers couldn't scour completely to the bare bedrock bottom as they did in so many areas.

    Fascinating area with lots of gold left still, but bugs, bugs, bugs and lots of bear too, plus truly hair-raising logging roads that if the trucks don't get you, the road will.

    All the best, and have fun doing some research,

    Lanny
    arizau and 63bkpkr like this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

  12. #2847
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    3,946
    4374 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Places like that can drive a person insane especially a single person or a small group. Claustrophobic due to thick brush and forest, noises real or in ones mind, bugs always at you(back then no bug juice, no nets just you your blood and the bugs) or even now with modern gear, fear for ones life due to the bears and 'sounds' , yup a person's mind does a lot of strange thing to the owner of it. And of course the driving force "Gold".........63bkpkr
    Lanny in AB and Jeff95531 like this.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  13. #2848

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
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    Can you smell the rice cooking?

    I recall being far to the north in a historic gold field, and I had the opportunity to have a chat with a Sourdough (a seasoned miner from the area) about his claim. He took me to a spot one day and told me a most interesting tale.

    However, before I relate his story, I’ll describe its location. It was far down in the bottom of a secluded valley. Steep, black-walled mountains rose on either side, and courageous growths of spruce and fur clung to the steep slopes, with birch, poplar and aspen peppering the evergreens lower down. Dark draws inhabited by deeper areas of gloom gave birth to swiftly flowing streams that emptied into the valley. From these gulches, the icy, ghostly breath of unseen currents of air rushed forth to randomly lift the hair, before chilling the neck and spine. Indeed, an eerie atmosphere pervaded that sullen spot of murky shadows where the long dead miners of some 150-years past had chased the gold to make their fortunes, or to lose their lives.

    On a gentle slop above long rows and piles of cobble stacks, the remnants of a massive hand-workings, the miner’s cabin was situated. It was an ancient cabin, one in continual use since the original gold rush, the cabin perpetually maintained and rebuilt until it was later used by a member of the North West Mounted police as a retirement refuge. Later, it was acquired by Glen the miner. Heavy logs formed the base of the walls, with smaller logs progressing up the sides, and there were only two windows, one big enough to allow light to enter, and one small one which served as a lookout. The log ends were all beautifully axe cut to fit and lock together, and there was an addition on the back of the main cabin that housed a food storage and washing area. The doors were heavy and sturdily built as grizzly and black bears frequently visited the area. (I have a story somewhere about the attack on Glen’s cabin by an enraged grizzly, quite the hair-raising tale he told me of his experience that truly made my blood run cold.)

    A path led down from the slope to a long draw that then led to a bedrock rise, with the draw, or gulch, continuing upward. On the other side of the bedrock rise a fast-flowing creek could be heard. The bedrock rise continued to climb as it joined the shoulder of the mountain. There was a trail that led up the non-creek side of that shoulder, and I headed off on foot to look the area over.

    The first thing I noticed, as I looked down into the draw from the trail, were the sunken places. There were five large areas where the earth had slumped, with smaller areas running perpendicular to the gulch that were still at the original level. This of course spiked my curiosity.

    When I returned from my hike, Glen the miner was at his cabin, and we had a chat.

    He started in with a bit of history of the area. That the place had been extensively hand-mined I had already seen; that it was shallow to bedrock in many places was also obvious. What he filled me in on was that the early miners were after the easy, shallow gold, and they had done very well, with many ounces of coarse gold quickly gathered from the shallow diggings. But, as was the common case in the 1800’s, there was always the news of new gold rush farther to the north where the gold was equally shallow, easier to get to, so the miners that loved the quick gold soon left to chase other strikes. That left the deeper gold that required organized groups of people with the necessary capital to start up larger operations.

    Then, he told me about the arrival of the Chinese miners in the area. They followed the gold rushes and came in after the other miners had had creamed the shallow gold and had either abandoned their claims or were looking to sell cheaply. The Chinese, he said, were not afraid of hard work, and moreover, many of them did not have a choice of whether they liked hard work or not due to being indentured laborers, a form of slavery so to speak, until they had paid off the Tong for their debt to the organization. Glen went on to explain how the Chinese used a lot of opium during their miserable existence, and he told me of bottle hunters that had come a few years before my arrival and of their efforts in trash dumps to recover the precious little bottles. He also told me of the tiny log huts the miners lived in, short-walled on purpose as they were easier to heat during the brutal winters. In addition, he told me of the superstitions the Chinese were bound to, mysterious ones that propelled their efforts.

    Then, he took me on a walk.

    The bedrock rise that I’ve already mentioned was where he took me, but he walked me over closer to the face where there was a bit of a fold, and that fold hid from view the entrance to a tunnel, but one that he had caved in with is heavy equipment as it led to a large area of unsafe underground workings, ones the Chinese had excavated by hand. I then told him about my upslope hike, and of seeing the collapsed areas, and he confirmed that all of that long draw was a continuation of the original Chinese workings. He elaborated that the Chinese had struck an ancient channel by cutting below it through the solid rock so they could hit the base of the channel where the coarse gold was trapped. A lot of trapped water had flowed when they punched through the last of the bedrock, but they had cut the tunnel on purpose so it would drain the ancient water down and away before they went to work.

    The gold was coarse, and they took out a lot of good gold over several years, but then one day the horrific happened, the roof of the tunnel, off on one side excavation of the gulch, collapsed, killing several Chinese. They left the area . . . (This is not an isolated incident, and I have read about this in other gold rush accounts, bad Josh/Joss [bad luck] was something they didn’t mess with, and the area was forever cursed to them.)

    When Glen first acquired the claim, he had gone into the tunnel mouth, and he’d taken samples from the floor of the tunnel. The buckets of dirt he’d recovered were full of pickers! To prove this, he gave a jar of the dirt for later panning, and it was indeed loaded with gold!!

    So, his interesting tale had answered my questions about the sunken areas I’d seen on my walk, and I could see just how extensive the underground workings were that the Chinese had driven up that gulch from the size of the collapsed areas. Those determined miners had really got the job done, regardless of their motivations.

    As we were leaving the tunnel mouth, Glen turned to me and said, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

    I said, “What?”

    He said again, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

    I answered, “No, can you?”

    He then told me that on certain days, when the wind was just right, he could smell the scent of rice cooking as it drifted down to the cabin from the gulch. He didn’t smile or joke in any way, and the gloomy setting of the area, with its accompanying tragedy, put nothing but a large punctuation mark on his story.

    All the best,

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

  14. #2849

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,100
    5185 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr View Post
    Places like that can drive a person insane especially a single person or a small group. Claustrophobic due to thick brush and forest, noises real or in ones mind, bugs always at you(back then no bug juice, no nets just you your blood and the bugs) or even now with modern gear, fear for ones life due to the bears and 'sounds' , yup a person's mind does a lot of strange thing to the owner of it. And of course the driving force "Gold".........63bkpkr
    Yes, indeed!

    All the best,

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

  15. #2850
    Charter Member
    us
    TerryrSoloman.com

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000; Equinox 600 -- Tesoro Mojave -- Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger -- Bunk's Hermit Pick
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    Metal Detecting
    Honorable Mentions (1)
    I can smell it!

 

 

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