Rookie Gold!

Gold4Mike

Full Member
May 10, 2017
228
710
Mount Vernon, Washington
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Angus Mackirk Foreman
Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer
Gold Hog Piglet highbanker
Home made slate miller table
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Prospecting
My wife and I got our first gold on the South Fork of the Nooksack today. It's not much, but we only ran about 1 five gallon bucket of gravel classified to 1/8 and run through a Angus Mackirk Foreman sluice. I had trouble getting the sluice to run right so there was a lot of time wasted, so I'm pretty happy with what we got, and yes I did the happy gold dance, which wasted more time. The gold looks bigger in person! IMG_0269.JPG
 
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OwenT

Hero Member
Feb 11, 2015
568
849
Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
Primary Interest:
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 you’re cutting something more than 8” 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.
 

et1955

Hero Member
Jan 10, 2015
872
1,658
Shoreline,wa
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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!
View attachment 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.
 

et1955

Hero Member
Jan 10, 2015
872
1,658
Shoreline,wa
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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

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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. :dontknow:
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. :BangHead: 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
20200918_124923.jpg 20200918_124900.jpg 20200918_122115 (2).jpg
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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!
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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
 

et1955

Hero Member
Jan 10, 2015
872
1,658
Shoreline,wa
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Equinox 800
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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.
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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

Hero Member
Jan 10, 2015
872
1,658
Shoreline,wa
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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
 

et1955

Hero Member
Jan 10, 2015
872
1,658
Shoreline,wa
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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. ?
 
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Gold4Mike

Full Member
May 10, 2017
228
710
Mount Vernon, Washington
Detector(s) used
Angus Mackirk Foreman
Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer
Gold Hog Piglet highbanker
Home made slate miller table
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #151
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
View attachment 1893051 View attachment 1893052 View attachment 1893053

First two pictures is exactly where we were and yes it looked a lot different in March! There was no way going upstream from there. Just upstream where the walls got vertical there were several quartzie veins in the walls. Wish I'd grabbed some samples now.
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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

I wish I would been able to get out there this weekend but with all the windstorm stir up I had to come over and help out my parents in Skagit for the weekend! Oh well I hope there are some nice weekends like this one soon again!
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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. ?

Wow I don't know the answer to that but that sounds awesome! Did you continue to mine that area?
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
First two pictures is exactly where we were and yes it looked a lot different in March! There was no way going upstream from there. Just upstream where the walls got vertical there were several quartzie veins in the walls. Wish I'd grabbed some samples now.

Ah yes that cliff is super steep! I was calling it the center of the canyon just from the cliff formations squeezing back up just downstream of that open part, and just a few minutes downstream of that along the cliffs is where there was a rope for the pools which those girls told me about haha. So just upstream of that area can be accessed by another trail which is pretty cool and lands you down at a bar which is a good spot for a campfire/hangout if you're into that. I would spend most of the days just chilling in that upstream part of the canyon on those super hot summers days as its nice and misty/cool instead of 90 degrees out in town haha
 

et1955

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Jan 10, 2015
872
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Shoreline,wa
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Wow I don't know the answer to that but that sounds awesome! Did you continue to mine that area?

No I don't, Olney is a great place to learn to mine but not a productive place to mine, I focus on the Sultan and the Sky here in Wa., panning or sluicing I get a gram an hour but on my claims in Northern California I average 4 grams an hour. It has taken me over 40 years to get this level, as your are now I ounce was and it all started with a 1/4inch flake I found on Olney.
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
No I don't, Olney is a great place to learn to mine but not a productive place to mine, I focus on the Sultan and the Sky here in Wa., panning or sluicing I get a gram an hour but on my claims in Northern California I average 4 grams an hour. It has taken me over 40 years to get this level, as your are now I ounce was and it all started with a 1/4inch flake I found on Olney.

Oh my gosh those are some great returns! I'll keep practicing for sure! Do you go to California often?
 

et1955

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Jan 10, 2015
872
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Shoreline,wa
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Equinox 800
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Oh my gosh those are some great returns! I'll keep practicing for sure! Do you go to California often?

I wish, between forest fires, heat waves and water shortages plus the mining laws in California it has been 6 years since I Have been down there.
 

G1994

Jr. Member
Apr 15, 2020
25
50
Skagit County, WA
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I wish, between forest fires, heat waves and water shortages plus the mining laws in California it has been 6 years since I Have been down there.

Dang that is a long time waiting! But it sure sounds awesome when you do get to dig there!
 
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Gold4Mike

Full Member
May 10, 2017
228
710
Mount Vernon, Washington
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Angus Mackirk Foreman
Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer
Gold Hog Piglet highbanker
Home made slate miller table
Primary Interest:
Prospecting
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  • #159
Wife and I officially passed the 1 ounce mark this week (total)!:headbang: It's taken almost 4 years, but 3/4's of that has been in the last year. Looking forward to doubling it this year. Just ordered my Kwik Kiln II. She agreed to let me melt down the finest of the total, hopefully 1/2 oz. She still likes playing with the flakes in the vial and since she dug half of it I guess I have to agree.
View attachment 50 As of 011821 One Ounce.jpg
 

RTR

Gold Member
Nov 21, 2017
8,180
32,432
Smith Mt. Lake Va.
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Good going Mike :occasion14: The best hobby in the world :)
 

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