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I got out of town for a few days, and on the way back to dodge, decided to cross the valley out towards Mariposa and Yosemite. Problem was, a rockslide had buried the NP Road, so I tooled around Hornitos and Coulterville. Sonora Pass was still closed as per the cop, so I wandered around back towards Merced. As happens just about every other place in the foothills, there is a wire fence up and who knows what owner is waiting around with a gun.

But one thing I did notice was the road cuts and shoulders in a historical gold mining area. I got out a GB with a big coil and hit a few spots over off the ranch and county roads. I got a few hits too. I had to get back to vegas so I couldn't hang out, what with the wife and kids along. It seemed the better productive areas was along the old toll road from Hornitos into Coulterville, then a few spots on the road to (J59?)La Grange (lots of dredging tails too). I got 3 dinks off the Snelling road back towards Merced.

Damn. it's always like that. when you have baggage along, you find things. when you have time and no place to get to, the treasure is in hiding, but good. Now my brain will be seared and the thought of going back to look again will be with me all the time at work. What a distraction!

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Whatsforsupper you were in my area as I live in Merced and Grubstake lives in Mariposa. The owner of the property at the intersection of the Hornitos Rs and the Old toll road has gold on his property. If he lets you on his property he promptly asks to see your gold and then takes 90% of it and leaves you with 10%. My friend found out the hard way. Hwy 140 into the park is cleared but closed because of slide danger. too bad we missed you in our area. Hope you had a good time with you family even if yu didn't get much detecting time in. Jerry

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I figured as much. Had it been just me, I would've spent some time and made a call.

As for the land, I figured someone would have something to say. That's why I worked the 3 feet from the pavement to the fence (road easement?).

I made the remark that the Tastee Freeze was for sale in Snelling, but the wife wouldn't take the bait. I love that whole area.

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I am more than sure that others, while traveling the area and looking over land disturbances, schists, slate, and myriad gullies, can't help but sense that the gold situation of the 49-ers was a mere scratch, and anywhere in the vicinity could be found any weight of gold bullion undiscovered; maybe even something on the Columbia limestone pocket or beyond.

You drive around and have to fight off the $dollar$ signs, fences, and the almost overpowering sense of riches for the systematic searcher or miner. Add to that, the ability of the metal detector and experienced detectorist to 'see' what everyone before could not. This is one area where it pays to be a local and know where you can be in safety, and places and people to absolutely avoid.

It probably follows that many of those landowners are bitten by the same fever, and some may handle it better than others- for greed and the sense of a $million underfoot is the curse of the gold seeker. Stricken and out of control, people do things not normal, and the devil makes his ugly head known. Regular people do a 180 degree change in personality and emotions. That some hunk of metal in the ground exerts that influence and force is a formidable problem in anyone who lets the dreaming scenario get out of hand.

Not that I am any better than anyone else. If I lived within a few hours of a really good area, I would probably spend more time figuring out how I could spend all my free time in pursuit of that extra little 'bonus'; yardwork, house chores, honeydoos, tending the kids and homework, even marital cuotas be damned! The implied promise of finding real loot for the diligent and methodic search pattern can become damned reckless.

What makes it real bad is that while one is so focused on finding the gold, they aren't paying attention to other hazards around them (narcs, bushwhackers, snakes, landowners) and get their self into some real ugly traps and binds.

Of course, the shot of really making out big has the same odds as the lottery, but it can be a romantic time at that.

Pick and shovel can both be a blessing and a curse. What makes it worse is finding enough chunks to confirm that it's there for you, if only you'd dig a little more. Having to go away and leave that potential while you hit back for your day job or home chores, can be enough to push you over the edge- where minutes will be hours, and you spend all your free thought moments hoping that some other yayhoo doesn't find your spot and make out big while you are away.

Some hobby, Eh?

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