BJH Explorations and Mining. In memoriam of my mom 6/26/26-4/19/16


Silver Member
Feb 10, 2013
Deep in the redwoods of the TRUE Northern CA
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Teknetics Alpha 2000
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Thanks for being here guys/gals. It has been a good place for me to come and decompress because as many of you know, I've been tending to my mother for the last few months. Sadly, she passed today and as she wanted. She wanted the tube out and roll the dice and she rested comfortably with me and Karen for 4 more hours. I’m thankful God took her and didn’t force my hand…to make decisions I really didn’t want to make. On a lighter note, I can tell you one thing...nothing lit up her face like a little kid on Christmas as when I showed her my pitiful amounts of Gold that I had recovered for my efforts. When I found the picker…well …I’m not so sure who was more excited and even she could hear the rattle in the vial.

Anyways, I’m gonna get back out and at it sometime soon because I absolutely positively am in need of it. But of course there is a :censored: storm of loose ends that have to be addressed first. But I wanted to dedicate my 2016 season to her as she was the closest thing to an Angel on Earth that I have ever known. :angel7:

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God-speed Jeff. I wish everything well on your end!!

My thoughts and concerns are with you and yours Jeff. Glad she got to go out on her terms with loved ones at her side.

Hey Jeff and Karen, I'm real sorry for your loss of mother. Thanks for honking as you passed by my work zone on your way to visit her. How nice you were with her and comforted her at the end. I hope you two have a great year prospecting and otherwise.

All the best friend, we'll get together soon.

Wow, what a life she must have lived. Watching things evolve for 89 years. Gas prices, the cost of bread and milk, and of course you Jeff. I have no doubt in my mind she was the happiest mother on earth with you there with her. Keep your chin up and your pans full for her.

You nailed it Ducky. In fact, it almost sounds like she called you just to brag on me. :laughing7: I had over 100 years of stuff to go thru and she saved every single thing I ever gave her.

She will be with you forever, always there watching over you. I feel the presence of my grandfather all the time helping guide me through life's every change and adventure. My condolences go out to you and your family and I wish you a very successful 2016 season.

I know this year has been one of transition for many of us regulars here, myself included. Our new home (which was pretty much a gift from my late mom) is still in limbo due to a back log of title transfers @ DMV in Sacramento so we wait and wonder when we get to move in. If you are as old and experienced as me, you know how it feels to put time and $$$ into a place that you have no clear title to. But I digress...

In the mean time, my schedule has provided me with at least some time to review old photos that were taken during explorations closer to home. I would LOVE to show you the particular picture I found but it would be a dead give away. However...what I found was discovered by looking at the gravels/cobbles...I was previously digging into sand and completely in the wrong place instead of where the heavies all dropped out. The pic shows two distinct large cobble "mini" river beds that I was ignoring and instead was going for the sand and deep hole that was there next to it. But as I'm still learning and to make things even more interesting...the river eventually reverses itself during flood stage. It gets complicated. Anyways, since my only picker I've ever found was nearby AND since no dredging for long long time...short and sweet..going to try to hit the spot this week as water levels are way down, even for now. (no snow for us so no reserve)

Certainly can't complain about the weather tho...

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Thought I'd better post this up before the FOG syndrome sets in. I DID manage to get out yesterday and even on the day I had planned. I went late pm because even mid 70's can feel hot working in the sun. Fortunately, the planets aligned, a breeze came up and not only was it a spectacular day, I was the only one there (save for the wife and dog). Another reason I had to go back to this spot is I WAS DOING IT ALL WRONG before!

So I pack up the essentials and we go. It's the lower river...not too far from me and known (to me only) that good sized gold is scarce there. But to redeem myself, I had to get there and head for the places ignored on my prior visit. Water was low enuff as expected and as I stroll along to my destination, I stop and sample a shallow pocket in the bedrock. Nothing. Not a speck.

OK. Time to get serious and hit that spot you saw. Damm...I forgot the knee pads and I'm in shorts. Oh well...cleared area for knees. Sampled the top layer...ran it thru a 12 and nothing. Went deeper and well...cobble was packed and ranged from ping pong to football size. This looks interesting I think...seeing black sand too and finally...6 flour. I try to get to bedrock but it's another foot and cave in's begin from the sand and I sample once more (nothing) then finally I give up and move closer to the river. I find a deep but small ravine carved out in the bedrock from up high and follow it to a pocket near my target. Collect, classify, sample. One half flake. I move down and hit the lowest pocket next to the river. Top layer produces one full flake in a small pan. By this time, I'm 90 minutes into it and spent cuz haven't been out since Nov 2015 so I collected all the dirt in that pocket and brought it home.

So yes, pics will follow but it was great getting back into the saddle again. Like I told my buddy Dizzy, "I want to go...but I don't". And I am so glad I did. Depression is kinda like cabin fever...only it's in Summer and without an excuse. No way to be but it happens. :-\ telling when I can post the "total" from my little trip. It ain't much for sure but it's a start and most here know how bad I hate being skunked. But I will say it was great digging, throwing and looking at rocks and all the while...a pair of ducks traded surface time just upstream (like 20 feet away) for little minnows and tadpoles near the bottom. A nice sushi dinner for them for sure. The sun was just behind the mountain but a stiff breeze made it nice and where I panned was in full sun. Just the way I like it. :thumbsup: get out and get her done. THEN POST! :icon_thumleft:

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glad you were finally able get back at it!

Go get em Jeff! Sounds like a interesting adventure and I look forward to some pics:icon_thumleft:

Howdy Jeff,
I can totally appreciate your mental/physical condition as I've not been out since 2013 and the job's have not been easy on me and I've been worse to myself than the jobs. Anyway, glad you and yours are getting out for some play & sun time, gotta be nice!

I've a place up in NorCal I want to return to and will at some point but not in 2016. Next week heading to New Hampshire for my Nephews wedding and visiting with a few family members, looking forward to the respite from work. Best of success with all the current goings on and getting back out into the country....................63bkpkr

Thanks Herb. We got permission to rent to own and move in July 17 (till the title gets out of bureaucratic limbo land.) Couple major repairs just got finished up. Still trying to get settled in and the dirt I got from last (and only trip this year) is still waiting for me and the sluice.

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Finally! Got all the repairs done on the house that had to be done as our endless dry sunny days will soon be the exception rather than the norm. Started walking again last Monday and losing weight. Yesterday I got the sluice up and needs some minor repairs and the drop set. At 10 today, I'm taking my neighbor and new good friend Tad to the mine I found late last year for some sampling on tailing piles and where they first used the water cannons. Gotta go get ready... :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:

Mornin Jeff,
"Water Cannons", Many years back I took a Newbie backpacking into gold country it was his first time ever doing anything like that.
We crossed the river and headed up the mountain walking through old mining camp remains. Up, up we went and then we hit a flat spot maybe half way up. It was littered with pink and purple Champagne Bottles, the kind with the spots attached after the main bottle had been formed. As we scratched around in the bushes, this was pre metal detecting ownership, I came across a 4" ID output nozzle for one of the Monitor units, it is one of many mementos from the mine fields I picked up in the very early days of backpacking, circa 1960's. Those water units destroyed a lot of ground where as dredging only does what the river itself does to itself, silly government. Keep having fun even in the fog weather which I drove through this morning here in SoCal.

Right now I'm only dreaming about being out in the hills prospecting but I AM still dreaming about it and I may just take a long drive one of these days to go back to a place I found in 2009, it would be a car camping metal detecting trip. Time will tell what happens................63bkpkr

Ever notice how often plans get upended in our pursuit of the yellow stuff? Last outing was just like that. I was excited to get out and wanted to see if I could get my neighbor Tad hooked too by taking him to the old mine I discovered from last years explorations. I wanted to show him everything and he wanted to see that and more. Had to explain no shafts, and explained placer vs hard rock. By the time we went as far as we could go, I decided we should clean out some under water voids in the bedrock. Tad would clear the rocks and I followed behind doing samples. Nothing, nothing, some flour, nothing, nothing. Tad found that the bottom is not an easy thing to find. :laughing7: But by the time we got back to the truck, I was spent. I looked longingly at the nearly verticle 8 foot climb to get to the Hydro licking level, just to get some dirt and bring it home...and I just couldn't.

I was really outta sorts the next day till I realized what was wrong. I was depressed. The extra 50 pounds was much more of a burden this year than last. Even my pack seemed twice as heavy. Accepting the inevitable aging process and not liking it one bit, I figured my next trips would likely be next guesstimate for my healthy body program. Sooo, to get my mind off all that chit, I finished setting up and dialing in the high banker. As I did this, I noticed all of the areas I had band aided together and I went to work fixing everything and doing it right. (sure helps having a shop again) First off, the wood was in sore need of a complete cleaning and fresh coats of varnish. The wood was broken out at the back, where the hinge attaches to the header box. Some rewiring was next. Got the sluice leveled and set the standard 4 inch drop.

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I then got the dirt from my July 1 trip... the one and only trip I made this year. I ran it all thru the sluice and for the first time(and for some reason), I didn't even look in the sluice, just dumped it all in a bucket for the next day. I remembered seeing some gold in the samples and just hoped it was still there.

FINALLY! SAMPLING PAID ME BACK! Best day ever for gold recovery! Sluice is perfect, gold in EVERY pan of the concentrates! Little gold stars appearing out of the jet black sand EVERY Single TIME! SWEET! :headbang: :hello2: :hello2:


I know! Right? I have some minor work to do to the Miller table, and I'll test it by cleaning up the gold for a weight and more pics. Lanny was right, just keep after it! Woo Hoo!:hello2:

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Hmmm. It always looks like less than expected and smaller too once it's all cleaned up....but that's gold for ya. Here's what I got out of the two gallons 1/2" classified sample. Right outta the pan and fresh off the miller table. 5 more of these babies and I'll be at almost a gram. :laughing7:

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Glad to see the color adding up! Looks like your all set up to get a bunch more!

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