Prospecting and Other Adventures in NFAR Country - 63bkpkr
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  1. #1
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Prospecting and Other Adventures in NFAR Country - 63bkpkr

    To start this off, finally, I will insert the photos and then add some descriptions as time allows. I've explored and enjoyed the North Fork of the American River (aka NFAR) since 1963 though I am far from finished with my adventures there! I hope you enjoy............63bkpkr

    Along the NFAR

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    13 Jan 2017 Continuation

    After I park my 92 Bronco at the end of the Jeep road, my prospecting comes after dropping down the canyon wall to the river valley ~ 3000 vertical feet below. "Many Years Ago" I purchased a Kelty brand external frame backpack, the model is a Sherpa, and the model name should give you an idea about the volume of the pack. My typical pack weight at the top of the trail at the start of most trips is about 85 light pounds though once when I was in really good shape I carried in a 115 pound pack, not bad for a guy who's about 5' 10" tall weighing at that time ~ 155 lbs. Anyway here are a couple of pictures of the pack on two trips.
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ID:	1401375 Just touching down from the hike in right on the riverbed. This was the first time the A52 was tried out and it worked even though I had no clue of how to set it up, purchased at 49er in Auburn CA.


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ID:	1401376 Still at the apartment in Fremont CA - the blue thing to the left of the picture is my BGT waiting for its first outing, I am certain it was disappointed with me as I did not put any gold through it. And yes I do wear that knee brace and yes the black thing to the right of the picture is my 6' 6" hiking staff and yes that is a Mountain Bike Handle Grip glued to the top of it. The orange thing on the front of the pack is a "SPOT Messenger", the same one that likely saved my life.

    Camps - where would any trip be without a camp:
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ID:	1401383 the start of a camp in a tight side canyon. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1401387 The 1" O.D. cables were strung across this little stream for chain falls to run on for lifting boulders up, moving them over a little and then working the sample that was underneath the boulder. The chain falls were very large and very heavy, how they go them in there is anybody's guess but a lot of sweat was part of the journey from the top to the bottom of the canyon.

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ID:	1401391 This camp is downhill from a hard rock gold mine. The gold vein went right across where a creek was running and eventually it cut through the rock exposing the vein allowing pieces to drop into the creek that carried then down to a larger creek, the one flowing into that lovely swimming hole.


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ID:	1401393 Note, Insurance Policy


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    So, I'm minding my own business hiking down this sidewall into a very rugged and remote area when I look up and see that the clouds are closing in on me. I pop out of a section of 'Mountain Misery plants' to find sort of an opening on the hillside, I figure it is time for me to kick out a "flat spot" and put up my tent. I just had the tent up, all my gear inside the tent and it starts to rain. Well, no steak and potato that night. I wake up in the morning and I can see my breath, it is still raining but I feel that something is not right. I unzip the tent and fly and look out across the canyon to see that the top 5th of the 8000' mountain on the Other side of the canyon is WHITE! I am prepared for rain but not snow so the trip is over except for hiking my self and ALL my gear for a two week stay back out. I wait till noon, as that is when the rain will stop, it does, so I pack up all my wet gear and make it back up to the next level of forest and note that the clouds are massing again so I set up camp again. It starts raining before I have all my stuff in the tent, grumble. I was able to finally get a fire going and cook my steak and spud, enjoyably eat them and it starts to rain again.
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ID:	1401400 I kicked out this flatish spot for my tent and quickly got it setup




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ID:	1401401 this is a picture of the trail I came in on, what you can't see it!

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ID:	1401402side canyon the tent is pitched on
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ID:	1401404 view from my tent the next morning and why I hiked out
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ID:	1401399 tent pitch on my way out very wet!
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ID:	1401396 The next morning trying to dry things out before packing them up.

    Going back in the history files of simple tent years -
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ID:	1401405late summer Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1401408not summer!

    So TNET is telling me I can have only 40 pics per post so I guess that means I need to start a second post for this long tale of adventures, As The World Turns!....................63bkpkr
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    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jan 25, 2017 at 07:40 AM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2016
    Colorado, Littleton
    215
    578 times
    Prospecting
    That looks like an incredible area for gold and fishing - enjoy! Looking forward to seeing your prospecting stories from there.
    KevinInColorado likes this.

  3. #3
    us
    Jan 2016
    California
    Whites MXT-300, Tesoro Sand Shark 10.5", Bazooka Sniper, Bazooka Prospector
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    Honorable Mentions (1)
    Beautiful

  4. #4
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
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    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Prospecting and Other Adventures in NFAR Country part II

    and one last camp picture Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1401409 of Early Early simple tent days, father and son, though some camps are better than others! One Sept/Oct. holiday trip we came in from Virginia, we setup camp Way up river towards the end of the trip I noticed the clouds were starting to come in so we moved camp back down river to the bottom of the trail and re-pitched our tarp tents. I had brought one large tarp with me, like the above picture, and had found a second in the canyon. I strung my rope between two trees placed the first tarp on the rope and then overlapped the second tarp to the first by say a 20" long overlap and tied both tarps out with a third on the ground underneath the two tarps overhead. Now THAT was a five star hotel if I've ever stayed in one!!!! Cozy dry and warm regardless of how hard it rained, NICE!!

    The early days, first three are ~ 1965 in Green Valley
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ID:	1401411first version of backpacking insurance policy .44 mag
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ID:	1401413 My brother and I still had hair on the top of our heads

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ID:	1401414 ~ 1970 Doug and I coming out of Sailor Flat and yes I am Really Dumb at this time (not even a waist strap on that Alice Pack which was carrying my two drawer tackle box from Michigan, I mean really DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and of course that fishing rod container only grabbed hold of about 74.372% of the trees and bushes. Go Ahead and Laugh as I am!

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ID:	1401410 about 1993, sorry no gold to show, I was still too inexperienced to understand how to setup the dredge. Note, I even had a permit for dredging!! Carried in ~ 200 lbs of gear by myself in three trips up and down the mountain.

    Ahh, the warm glow! prospecting in background
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    Making the tummy feel right

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ID:	1401425 This beauty came from a high mountain pool up in No Man's Land and it was an all day affair going up to, getting into the box canyon and then getting back to camp down on the river. Oh, and there was a bear waiting for us on our return!! And yes this was a medium sized rainbow as the pool's were filled with a lot of 18" to 24" trout as well......that's a Mepps in its mouth!

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ID:	1401437me ~ 1975 out from Barstow Jeep Run Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1401435~2008 NFAR
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ID:	1401433 A little Rental home on Whidbey Island Washington state 2003

    One November I thought it would be a good time to do some hard core exploring, the weather was not severe and also of importance the day time temperatures were mild and for what I had in mind the mild temps would be a blessing.

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ID:	1403221 At the top of the canyon and an easy drive in.
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ID:	1403223 sort of a camp
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ID:	1403230 Ditch between side walls

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ID:	1403231 It was indeed rough country I saw a couple of places to go back and explore further


    Out & About in higher country, up side canyons, back in the back of back country and the like:

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ID:	1403232 Ropes are handy Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1403237 Looking over/past hydraulic workings and into the NFAR canyon

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ID:	1403248 Up there, creek at the drop off

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ID:	1403250 More up and back

    Continued in next post!
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    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jan 17, 2017 at 08:14 AM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  5. #5
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
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    Continued Back Country:

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ID:	1403255 On top
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ID:	1403254 time to retire

    So my backing buddy says to me "Hey why don't we raft it", Oh OK! 1972 first run down the NFAR from Euchre bar to 1st Colfax bridge (we'd intended to go all the way to Clementine Dam, low water kept us from completing that mission)

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ID:	1403258put in at Euchre Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1403256 In Lovers Leap Gorge

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ID:	1403259 Shortly after put in and we still had the bottom of the raft with us!! Not long after this pic the bottom was gone!! 92 CFS water flow and we portaged a lot. This subject will be taken up in another post of just rafting but we have made it all the way to the second Colfax bridge takeout! Some rough running and a few dangerous spots, we've had four trips down the NFAR with no lives lost, very few injuries (bruised heads, two stitches & one helicopter rescue - its interesting!) The river is nothing to be fooled with when unprepared, trust me I know!! The typical "Rubber Duckie Yellow Rafts" can be prepared to make them much better and the paddles they come with should be thrown out as they become dangerous as the blades become sharper/rougher from fending off the rocks. Life jackets and simple helmets are a must as well as heavy duty sun protection.......63bkpkr
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jan 17, 2017 at 08:34 AM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  6. #6
    us
    Jun 2013
    El Dorado County
    ROCKING GOLD GRABBER MINI- BGT PROSPECTOR- ANGUS MACKIRK EXPLORER- MILLER TABLE, MULTIPLE SUCKER TUBES, VARIOUS HAND TOOLS, PANS AND CLASSIFERS, FORS GOLD PLUS, MINELAB PRO 25 PINPOINTER- DIY ROD MILL
    1,480
    3226 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Absolutely amazing pictures Herb! Thank you for sharing! I lived in Fremont for 35 years now up in el dorado county. Thanks again for sharing the knowledge
    63bkpkr, Asmbandits and Aufisher like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDoozah View Post
    The fact that homo sapiens teach genetically engineered canines tricks, on the third planet of this particular star in the Milky Way, is extremely unlikely.

  7. #7
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    NFAR Country even under water

    mytimetoshine,
    You are quite welcome for the information and thank you for the fine comment! I "Love" this country and sharing it with others is a real pleasure even if only by past photos, there are a lot more to come though I'm finding it hard to find the time to add them to this blog as work is still sucking up a lot of my time and energy. Stay tuned as I will continue this.

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ID:	1404567 There are surprises all along the NFAR like a small Buick engine with transmission and a capstan type winch mounted to the output of the tranny, a few sluiceboxes here and there, a few cabins still exist and miles and miles of just beautiful country to explore!!


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ID:	1404575 The deer beds are at the base of the trees in the foreground (right, dumb animals)

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ID:	1404576 Son and I with black hole. In the black hole is a box canyon with a 200' waterfall and in the pools there are lots of 18" to 24" Rainbows.

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ID:	1404578Father & Son at the base of the 200' waterfall

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ID:	1404577 Mans Best Friend "Abner" a Kuvasz ~ 115 lbs

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ID:	1404579 That's many miles of country to explore and just a small portion of the NFAR area. The sandy looking bald spots are hydraulic Monitor workings, ~ 7000' elevation. Gold is where you find it!

    And some side canyons:

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ID:	1404689 My son Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1404690Hard Rock Gold Mine
    on left out of picture
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ID:	1404692 500' Waterfall

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ID:	1404694I want to rappel down to the
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ID:	1404695 Diving weights, old sluicebox and other signs of activity

    Then there is "stuff"

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ID:	1405024 What the fish were biting on at that moment

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ID:	1405025 Scenic look at some rocks even one floating in there

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ID:	1405029 Those are old patent dates on a drilling machine for making holes for dynamite
    work in a hard rock mine out in the middle of no where

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ID:	1405030 Natural Color

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ID:	1405031 Sifting out some of the raw sample, that sifter came from Bed Bath & Beyond

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ID:	1405032 ~ 2008 From the left clockwise: .22 slug, 30 cal slug, magnetic rock, dime for size, three more magnetic rocks and in the center some yellow junk

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ID:	1405033 In the back of the large boulder on the right is where the lead and yellow junk came from

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ID:	1405034 2nd trip total take, the twins on the dime were rusted together so check the rust rings on rocks

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ID:	1405035 Now if I'd only had it set up properly, maybe I would not have lost the 1/4" diameter
    flake that shot right out over the riffles! It was an amazing experience.

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ID:	1405040 The third and final take from in back of that large boulder

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ID:	1405041 The big boulder is on the right of this picture, I filled in the trench I had dug and I figure this will be a natural sifter for any gold that drops out of the water flow over the top of that boulder!

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ID:	1405044 This is the total take including the Limonite Crystal, about 1/4 oz. troy on top of a silver half dollar

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ID:	1405047 This flake of gold was under about 8" of 'solid' Bedrock, found with a GMT

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ID:	1405048 Other types of Gold found "out there"

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ID:	1405049 The total take of searching for gold IN 'solid bedrock', look for the tiny cracks

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ID:	1405050 A different time for "Other Gold"

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ID:	1405051Looking at a tree from a unique angle
    Last edited by 63bkpkr; Jan 21, 2017 at 03:43 PM.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  8. #8
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Virgin Tools and Used

    It is quite likely we all have tools that we enjoy using and then those new tools that we hope work out well, here are three of mine that meet those standards.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1405903 My BGT that I purchased while I was in Texas so it is still Virgin, I am glad I purchased it when I did even though I knew I would not be using it any time soon!!

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ID:	1405900 My recent purchase of the Gold Claw pan with many large, medium, fine and very fine riffles and if one does not look close they will miss seeing the very fine riffles on one of the two pinched side walls.

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ID:	1405902 Then there is my tested and reliable Batpan with its integrated ~ 3/8" sifter, the heavies just drop right to the center of the pan, go figure!

    Sigh, someday soon I hope to be out there!!!............................63bkpkr
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  9. #9
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Vehicles

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ID:	1406616 Top of the NFAR
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ID:	1406617 just for grins & giggles though they still use these
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ID:	1406618Father & Son at start of another trip
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ID:	1406620
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ID:	1406621
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ID:	1406622 Look close at the left corner in the trees = Bronco

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ID:	14066242 wheel drive
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ID:	1406623really 2 wheel drive
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  10. #10
    us
    Oct 2016
    SoCal
    X-Terra 705 Gold
    255
    345 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Sweet....Gold comes and goes, but the memories of the adventures will last a lifetime! In digital form possibly forever!

    On another note it appears you've been exploring the NFAR my whole life....Born in 63.
    Aufisher and 63bkpkr like this.

  11. #11
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Good Morning Kenmitch,
    Yes I dropped into the NFAR canyon for the first time in February of 1963 when I was 19. I am still looking forward to many more years of hiking that country! I've a trip planned for the 4th of July weekend though the snow must be all gone before the trip date to make the trip possible and of course my Bronco must do the round trip to and from San Diego............63bkpkr
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  12. #12
    us
    Jun 2013
    El Dorado County
    ROCKING GOLD GRABBER MINI- BGT PROSPECTOR- ANGUS MACKIRK EXPLORER- MILLER TABLE, MULTIPLE SUCKER TUBES, VARIOUS HAND TOOLS, PANS AND CLASSIFERS, FORS GOLD PLUS, MINELAB PRO 25 PINPOINTER- DIY ROD MILL
    1,480
    3226 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr View Post
    Good Morning Kenmitch,
    Yes I dropped into the NFAR canyon for the first time in February of 1963 when I was 19. I am still looking forward to many more years of hiking that country! I've a trip planned for the 4th of July weekend though the snow must be all gone before the trip date to make the trip possible and of course my Bronco must do the round trip to and from San Diego............63bkpkr
    If that trip happens. I would love to tag along.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
    Asmbandits and Aufisher like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDoozah View Post
    The fact that homo sapiens teach genetically engineered canines tricks, on the third planet of this particular star in the Milky Way, is extremely unlikely.

  13. #13
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    mtts, sent you a pm.........63bkpkr
    mytimetoshine and Aufisher like this.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  14. #14
    us
    Oct 2016
    SoCal
    X-Terra 705 Gold
    255
    345 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by 63bkpkr View Post
    Good Morning Kenmitch,
    Yes I dropped into the NFAR canyon for the first time in February of 1963 when I was 19. I am still looking forward to many more years of hiking that country! I've a trip planned for the 4th of July weekend though the snow must be all gone before the trip date to make the trip possible and of course my Bronco must do the round trip to and from San Diego............63bkpkr
    Silly how things we really need can sometimes get in the way of things we want to do....In reference to the hopefully drought ending weather we've been getting.

    The areas shown do look really nice, peaceful, relaxing, while packed with lot's of adventures! Good luck on your trip! 4th of July is a ways away still so it's possible there will be no snow left. Broncos are built Ford Tuff!
    63bkpkr and Aufisher like this.

  15. #15
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
    4,033
    4543 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Broncos "built Ford Tuff" - Yup this old girl is certinally that though she is looking a bit rough but then I really do not worry about it being stolen as it simply looks rough. And yes, I have had a vehicle stolen once while parked on a mountain side in NFAR country. Not a fun experience as we'd just spent three days in the rain, hiked out in the rain and needed that car to be there with dry clothes, etc. It was snowing when we got to where the car had been, I changed out the snake loads for all solids in the revolver and headed for the paved road. Should I have seen my car driving around I would have fired at the driver! The theives were never found though the car was, they had used it for robberies in the area and then dumped it in a remote area. They came very close to allowing us to die in bad weather on top of a ridge line with heavy winds and snow coming down. The question of what to do is still very prominent in my mind, any similar situation would certinally be met with the "Fight response"!.........................63bkpkr
    mytimetoshine and Aufisher like this.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

 

 
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