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Thread: The Quest for Maine Gold

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  1. #181
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Triple D, Arizau, and JonnyBravo3000...I really am not sure whether this was a former riverbed or not.

    There is a stream not far away, big enough to be called a brook that is forever running. This is located in a valley at 500, feet and my gravel pit is below that, as indicated by me often digging below the water table.

    The only information the Maine Geological Survey gave me was that the size of the gravel indicates how much water was moving THROUGH the soil when deposited. It must have been moving pretty good because there are not a lot of big rocks in it. Most of it is sandy, to maybe 2 inches in diameter. Occasionally I do get a big rock, but they are few and far between...very, very isolated.

    Sometimes my beliefs do not match up with geologists, but in this one area they do. Geologists believe that the ocean rose to the 540 foot level in Maine, thereby putting this gravel pit under ocean water. I believe in the bible, so I believe in Noah's flood. Regardless, both proposals put this area under water at one time, but when the water ran out of the valley from either event, it would have scoured the hilltop I live on, pushing soils down into the valley, and then left the gravel behind when the glacier melted, or the water ran out leaving behind a gravel bar in a sense,

    My spell checker may be spelling this wrong, but what I have here is "eskews" of gravel. Now that I have cut the trees in the pit, you can now clearly see the lay of the land originally, and where that front shovel did its work in 1969. So I am not sure if this gravel pit was the result of one big mud puddle, or a former river bed? The new acre of gravel we found, terrain wise, looks like a giant football in shape. It is tapered on each end, and rounded on the sides to form a twenty foot high hummock roughly an acre in size, split off from the rest of the gravel pit area by a stream.

    I will have to take time out from my digging and get some pictures for you guys to show you what I am talking about.

    One thing I did note yesterday when I was digging down there was, the clay layer is just on top of the water table. It is about a foot thick, but if I dig below that clay, the water starts bubbling up. I have no idea what that means in terms of gold. There is gorgeous gravel below the clay layer, and down under the water table by another twenty feet or more.

    Oh...one more thing in this long-winded post. I am finding a crap-ton of galena-like-stuff. It is the strangest stuff. I dig it out of the gravel, but when I jump down to inspect it, the second I touch it, it crumbles into granules. Most of the time just the gravel swirling around the bucket is enough to take a chunk the size of a milk bottle and instantly turn it into dust. It is the strangest stuff, but in big form, it looks like the pages of a book, layers upon thin layers opened up like you took a book and dropped it on the floor and it fanned open. I got to have it tested just to see what the heck it is exactly. I call it galena, but it might be something else.

  2. #182
    us
    Nov 2013
    Central N.H
    36" BGT Prospector, 30" BGT Sniper, And related gold prospecting equipment
    484
    398 times
    Prospecting
    Ore cart as you describe.If its an old river channel the size of the rock. Would be the size of a stream in your area. But the clay layer is interesting. That would be related to a stream. And would act as a false bedrock. But also a glacier could have deposited in that one spot. Your gravel pit. The galena your seeing sounds like books of mica. But you most likely know what mica is.

  3. #183
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Ore cart as you describe.If its an old river channel the size of the rock. Would be the size of a stream in your area. But the clay layer is interesting. That would be related to a stream. And would act as a false bedrock. But also a glacier could have deposited in that one spot. Your gravel pit. The galena your seeing sounds like books of mica. But you most likely know what mica is.
    I got some pictures for you so that you can judge for yourself.

    Well it was raining/snowing today…yes, I know it is May 14th 2019, but nature does not seem to know that, so I went and got some pictures down to my gravel pit since I am not doing much else. I have not been prospecting much because I have been redoing all of the earthworks around our old (1930) Tiny House, and it has been taking all my free time.

    This photo shows how fine the gravel is here though. I threw a water bottle into the photo so that you could get a sense on the size of the gravel. Its really good for bank run gravel for roads and such, but needs a little overburden mixed it to get it to compact well.

    In looking at this photo though, I think you might be right in that it was indeed a stream at one time. There is plenty of quartz, and as hard as that is, that is pretty rounded over edges.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #184
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    This picture shows the outcropping of bedrock where I took a few buckets of gravel, and test panned it, and found gold. Bedrock crops up every once and awhile here, but there does not seem to be any pattern to it.

    As I said in an earlier post, we do not dig constantly in here enough to keep everything fresh. Over time overburden slumps, and we move elsewhere to dig for awhile, never digging more than a few hundred cubic yards in any given year. That is why there is a lot of grass and trees starting to grow.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #185
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    This picture shows a variety of things. In looking back, you can see where the front shovel just pushed up banks hither and thither, with no real plan on future use. I think they just dug here and there hoping to find gravel, and wherever it was easiest and quickest to load trucks. It looks obvious now, but just last year the forest had grown up so thick since 1969 that you could not even walk through it. The feller-buncher mowed it off nicely though.

    The water pictured is NOT ponded water, it is actually the water table.

    You can also see the foot-deep layer of clay that sits just on top of the water table.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #186
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    Totally unrelated to saws, but I was super excited this weekend as I have been redoing my front yard, and built a set of granite steps out of some old granite slabs I had kicking around. Well I have been looking for this all my life, and it was the first time I have ever found it...hand split granite done by flat chisel!!

    About 1830 someone invented the wedges and feather method of splitting granite, which is where a star shaped chisel is used to drill a ROUND hole, then half round wedges are inserted and driven home until the rock cracks. You can even buy these feathers and wedges today. But before 1930, they split rock by flat chisel.

    To do that, the settlers used a spoon shaped chisel and cut a slot in the rock every few inches, then drove home flat wedges to split the rock.

    I have founds tons and tons of rock split by feather and wedges, but never any by spoon chisel and flat wedge. But this weekend I grabbed some granite I had kicking around, and in the dirt, you could just make out the spoon chisel cuts in the rock. That means this split rock was OLD!

    My house is not that old, built in 1930, but it was built after the old dance hall here burned. Before that it was a home that burned. To this day, the house sits on the old foundation built for the first house in 1800. Not in the 1800's, but THE YEAR 1800. A few years as I bulldozed around this house, I found some granite foundation stones, and pushed it aside figuring I was use them some day. I had no idea they had been split the old, old fashioned way though with spoon chisel.

    I had always heard about this old method of splitting rock, but in all my years of digging around granite, never saw it before. Now it will be part of the front walkway to the house, so I am super excited. (Rocks do that to me for some reason).
    Here is a picture of the granite rock split by spoon chisel. Kind of interesting how a person can date how it was split based on the method used. No plug and feather used here. All I can say is it must have taken forever to split this using that method.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #187
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    It is hard to see in this picture, but this is the football shaped gravel bank that we did not know existed until after we removed the wood off last year. It is about an acre in size, and a nice discovery.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #188
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,006
    2896 times
    Prospecting
    Do you wash the gravel or just dig and load?
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  9. #189
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by arizau View Post
    Do you wash the gravel or just dig and load?
    I just dig and load. I kind of have to on this pit as washing would eliminate the clay and it would not compact properly. The soil engineers usually have me mix overburden in with the gravel for that reason.

  10. #190
    us
    Nov 2013
    Central N.H
    36" BGT Prospector, 30" BGT Sniper, And related gold prospecting equipment
    484
    398 times
    Prospecting
    Ore cart by the pictures. Looks glacial to me. But i think the gravels did come from a stream. Picked up by the glaciers. And deposited there. As i said a good place to test. If you find a layer with good gravel. With bigger stones.Laying on the clay. I have always had the idea. Of digging out a beaver pond. Down to bedrock. But not possible now. Thinking all the silt would be a good catch. For the gold. And a story i read. Of an indian in northern N.H. That said there was a beaver pond. That had enought gold pay off. The national dept. And when he came to town. For supply"s had a fair amount of gold. That is a nice piece of granite. As good as any machine. Can do now.

  11. #191
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by triple d View Post
    Ore cart by the pictures. Looks glacial to me. But i think the gravels did come from a stream. Picked up by the glaciers. And deposited there. As i said a good place to test. If you find a layer with good gravel. With bigger stones.Laying on the clay. I have always had the idea. Of digging out a beaver pond. Down to bedrock. But not possible now. Thinking all the silt would be a good catch. For the gold. And a story i read. Of an indian in northern N.H. That said there was a beaver pond. That had enought gold pay off. The national dept. And when he came to town. For supply"s had a fair amount of gold. That is a nice piece of granite. As good as any machine. Can do now.
    You can still dig a pond like you describe, at least in Maine you can, up to a certain size, which I think is like a quarter of an acre, so not very big at all. It gets questionable when it is in a stream through. I say that because some farmers I know built a manure digester, and to get the manure from their dairy farm to their digester took more permitting to cross a stream then it did for them to get a municipal waste dump permit.

    And sadly I have had to go to course for "altering the course of a stream" when I ripped out a beaver dam. That was stupid as I did not alter the stream, the beavers did, I just put it back to where it was. The kid...and I mean kid...who was in charge of the Department of Environmental Protection's case was something else. He wanted me to pay a $35,000 fine and only got $2500 so I call it a win.

    He did not stay in Maine long. They sent him up to Millinocket about the time the two paper mils closed, and he started running his skimmer. The boys up there did not like that to much, and started to put the lead to him, and they were not trying to miss either. The DEP knew it was not going to end well, and sent him down to Portland where he did a little better, but I do not think he is in Maine any more.

    Good riddance!

    I say that because he did not do his job anyway. When I first found out about him having heart burn over a little beaver dam, I went to Augusta to put the questions to him. I got out there at 10 AM and he was not even at work yet! Even then he was scared; he was not used to having to answer to someone that is for sure, and that was before he was getting shot at. We are pretty rough around here I admit, but not like they are in Millinocket, and especially right after the mills closed.

    They wonder why we have the lowest crime rate in the country! Its because "shoot, shovel and shut up" deters more crime then calling the police!
    triple d likes this.

  12. #192
    us
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    F2
    1,753
    1955 times
    Prospecting
    Looks like glacial debris to me.

  13. #193
    us
    Aug 2010
    Maine USA
    331
    309 times
    Quote Originally Posted by OreCart View Post
    You can still dig a pond like you describe, at least in Maine you can, up to a certain size, which I think is like a quarter of an acre, so not very big at all. It gets questionable when it is in a stream through. I say that because some farmers I know built a manure digester, and to get the manure from their dairy farm to their digester took more permitting to cross a stream then it did for them to get a municipal waste dump permit.

    And sadly I have had to go to course for "altering the course of a stream" when I ripped out a beaver dam. That was stupid as I did not alter the stream, the beavers did, I just put it back to where it was. The kid...and I mean kid...who was in charge of the Department of Environmental Protection's case was something else. He wanted me to pay a $35,000 fine and only got $2500 so I call it a win.

    He did not stay in Maine long. They sent him up to Millinocket about the time the two paper mils closed, and he started running his skimmer. The boys up there did not like that to much, and started to put the lead to him, and they were not trying to miss either. The DEP knew it was not going to end well, and sent him down to Portland where he did a little better, but I do not think he is in Maine any more.

    Good riddance!

    I say that because he did not do his job anyway. When I first found out about him having heart burn over a little beaver dam, I went to Augusta to put the questions to him. I got out there at 10 AM and he was not even at work yet! Even then he was scared; he was not used to having to answer to someone that is for sure, and that was before he was getting shot at. We are pretty rough around here I admit, but not like they are in Millinocket, and especially right after the mills closed.

    They wonder why we have the lowest crime rate in the country! Its because "shoot, shovel and shut up" deters more crime then calling the police!
    With what you have in Augusta today, DEP can declare a puddle in your driveway to be a wetland. The landowner is behind the eight ball and at their mercy.

  14. #194
    us
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    F2
    1,753
    1955 times
    Prospecting
    One little canister of Tannerite will eat a beaver dams lunch. Dont be in the flood channel when she goes cuz its alot of water!

  15. #195
    us
    Jan 2019
    Maine
    463
    420 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by placertogo View Post
    With what you have in Augusta today, DEP can declare a puddle in your driveway to be a wetland. The landowner is behind the eight ball and at their mercy.
    My opinion differs in that I think they want people to believe that. It is definitely in their best interest to think that way.

    I have stood up to them three times and have been better for it every time. Once it went to court, and the other times they did not even try.

    People often forget that ultimately their citations have to go through an ELECTED official, the District Attorney's Office, and that office gets citations from the State Police, Sheriff's Office, Marine Patrol, Game Wardens, Forest Service, others, including the DEP. In other words, they are overwhelmed with very limited staff, so unless they are sure they can get a conviction, they will not even waste their resources.

    There is a right way to state all this, and a wrong way, but politely suggesting that whatever citations overzealous regulators are leveraging against you must "convince a jury of 12 people of my peers that I am doing something wrong beyond reasonable doubt", lets them know right up front, just what they are up against. There is a host of steps to the process, and if they know every step you are going to defend yourself, they often give up pretty quickly.

    Two years ago the forest service tried to nail me on some nonsense "cargo theft" charge. All it was, was long-hauling wood, and I did not do it anyway, because how could I, I do not even own a truck or have a license. It was stupid. I would admit if I did, but it did not get beyond the Grand Jury. It just goes to show that for the most part our court system works.

    Even then the Forest Ranger that showed up was quietly put in his place. He was all puffed right up, serving me some subpoena, and wanted me to talk. I just told him, as I do everyone that shows up on my farm, "I am not saying anything until I talk to my attorney." That deflates their ego pretty quick. They messed up pretty good anyway. They executed a search warrant on the wrong house, and looked pretty sheepish when the mail carrier told them so. They could not get out of the house quick enough. Then the Forest Ranger kept running his mouth trying to get me to talk though I clearly stated I needed an attorney. The third strike against them was with the grand jury...

    But I can back up what I say, three years ago I took the Federal Government to court and won. The Maine USDA said it was the first time they had ever lost a case in Maine. But in that case, the Federal Judge told me the burden of proof was on me to prove my case, and so I had witnesses, and talked pretty plain when it was my turn to speak. He must have liked me because it even shocked me when I won.

 

 
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