Steve's half ast prospecting idea


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Had a little time to spare, so I thought I really need to go out metal detecting with my new GPX 4000. The only place I'm remotely familiar with are the areas around Yuma, specifically the Laguna Mtns. So, "self" I said, "you really need to find some ground that hasn't been flogged to death by every shoe clerk and snowbird with a Minelab." "Wonder what's up in that big ole mountain range thats between Adair Park and the Yuma Proving Ground?" The map shows the boundary runs right thru the middle, but I operate on the mind over matter principle. If I don't mind, then it don't matter.

Not being a total idiot, I check out Terraserver and look at the 2002 aerial photographs of those mountains. Wow, smack dab in the middle is a valley with a good sized wash down the middle and half a dozen feeder washes feeding into it. No roads, eureka, I've found prospecting Nirvana.

I gas up my trusty steed and drive from San Diego to Yuma, arriving noon on Monday. Windy and cold, just the way I like it. I spend the rest of the day on Monday trying to find a decent pass through the mountains to Nirvana. After several false starts, I find a pretty good canyon that looks like it will go all the way through.

Tuesday, I'm up and at it early. Still cold and breezy, not too bad though, especially when I'm on my way to prospectors paradise. A little hardship is well worth it. I start my hike with 3 bottles of water and a WalMart sandwich. An hour later, I'm through the mountains looking down at paradise. It's beautiful. Desert wash maybe 10 yards wide, bench gravels on either side and 3 good feeder washes that I can see, No roads, no trails except game trails. A couple really old claim markers up on the hillside, but no evidence of workings.

I get down to the main wash and fire up the 4000. I run the coil along bank gravels and immediately get that soft mew sound. Oh boy, I'm gonna need a mule to carry all the nuggets out of this place. I dig the target and its an eraser sized piece of cast metal. Mmm, that's odd, must be a piece of some old timers tool. I start again and get another signal, same odd looking metal.

Well, I'd better get out of this wash and try the bench gravels. I walk about 10 feet and get a signal that hits the clipper circuit before blowing my ears out. A bigger piece of the same metal. Mmm, I must have started right on some old-timers busted up tool cache. I change sides and work the other bench gravels. Same thing, now the pieces are getting even bigger. How can this be, there is no sign of workings?

I decide to walk down the valley and see if there's better ground. I round the bend and climb up a little knoll to take a gander. Uh oh, aluminum canisters the miltary uses for aerial flares. You guessed it, I'm in one of the Proving Ground impact areas.

I've just wasted half of my morning and still have a tough hike to get back out. I won't be deterred though. I'll hike one of these other canyon washes and come out up high, but near my truck, maybe. I came out up high all right. Mountain sheep had trouble navigating that terrain. I found their beds in all the lee sections of the ridge line, probably cuz they got too tired trying to walk in that loose, crumbling granite.

I make it back to my truck without serious mishap, then things get worse. First, I drive off after having left my favorite polarized sunglasses on the bumper. As I'm trying to get turned around to go back and look for them, my ATV sitting in the bed of my truck, slips loose of its moorings, and crashes my rear window.

Somedays, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. Well, I grabbed a decent bottle of merlot, drove to my sister's house in Yuma and sat in the Hot Tub soaking my aching body. All in all, its not so bad, I'm still grateful that I have the health and strength to go out on these little misadventures. Can't wait for the next one.

Enjoy,

Steve

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You know Steve if your looking for a hunting partner, I'm not interested. But I gotta tell ya I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. In my 25 years of hunting nuggets I think Ive done everything you described at least ounce but not in one day. By the way if your in an area were there are so many bomb craters it looks like the abandoned film site for the lunar landing project think to your self here's your sign. Been there done that. Take care, looking forward to you next post ah excuse me "adventure". AznuggetBob

"Those who persevere will survive"

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Steve, that just cracked me up...Been there, done that, and it's funnier when it happens to you.... :lol: ...So, just how much gold you figure you left amidst the junk?...Sounds like one of those places I'd stew over for a couple months, then grid myself up and go back determined to "dig the trash" cause some of those targets will be gold....NOT...Cheers, Unc

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This stuff was pretty old. Most of it was covered by a layer of gravel, maybe 1 inch down. Problem with that is you keep blowing your eardrums out on the big stuff that isn't visible on the surface. The small pieces have that soft mellow tone until you get them uncovered. My brain and ears just couldn't take it. In retrospect, I should have hiked the other direction and tried the feeder washes that were higher up and further east. I was so disappointed that I gave up.

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ROFL @ Steve!

You're a good writer, I ate that up! B)

Here is an account of my first pseudo-prospecting trip, from my "home" mechanic forum. I've since leaned that you aren't supposed to pan in the forest, so yeah. This was one of the times I tried to hike to the Gold Bar mine.

I have yet to "get" the concept of panning! I think the main issue is, the "practice panning sand with REAL gold added" that I bought with the pans has pieces of gold LEAF in them; they must be only 100 atoms thick! The gold seems to almost FLOAT, and on my first attempt at practice over the kitchen sink, I succeeded in panning ALL of the gold out, into the pan in the sink! My girlfriend was amused, but hid it well like a good sport!

I went out Sunday Afternoon, always late naturally. There were some yahoos shooting at the spot where I wanted to park and hike to a mine, so I drove the long way over Iron Mountain to the Monte Christo area, spending a lot of time spreading wildflower seeds where they could be seen from the road below. By the time I parked it was almost dark, so I fared even WORSE at attempting to pan with a flashlight in my mouth. So I sat there digging into the gravel of this streambed, and sucking any subatomic particle that gleamed with a sniffer bottle. Any REAL miner would have had quite a chuckle! My fingernails wore down, and I would not have noticed till they bled, but then I heard these Blair-Witch like noises on the slope above me! Mind you, it is now 8:00 on a Sunday, 4 treacherous miles to the road then 20 winding miles to LA- we are talking the STICKS and I am alone and unarmed. I stopped to listen... some heavy brush crackling, then what sounded like a mountain lion sharpening its claws on a tree! I'm pretty intrepid, but my stomach dropped, my b@##s pulled up to my abdomen, and I ran like a girl to the car, and I'm pretty sure I left behind one of my bitchin' blue anodized LED flashlights and maybe a 99 cent shovel!

I drove down the canyon a ways, trying to search for more of the mine workings from memory as I forgot my maps and aeriel shots. Never did find the mine workings, but I found a promising side-canyon and after stumbling up overgrown slopes in the dark, looked in the dry wash, and found a big gold FLAKE in the lee of a rock! Woot! It's probably really mica, but it's now in one of my little gold vials that came with the pans! I also found some promising rocks that i will break up and pan later if I can ever figure out the @#$%er!

Heehee, that was almost a year ago.

Cheers,

-Goldmember

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Hello Steve,

I've been there and done that many times before. Hey, you never know, if you didn't give it a whirl it would have ate at you for a long time. When it doubt, or if you have a good hunch, always give it a shot. Most of the time it will lead to a "Skunk," but it could open up an entirely new area to prospect if you find something! :D

On another note, how is the GPX-4000 working out for you? I can't say enough about mine.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

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Hello Steve,

I've been there and done that many times before. Hey, you never know, if you didn't give it a whirl it would have ate at you for a long time. When it doubt, or if you have a good hunch, always give it a shot. Most of the time it will lead to a "Skunk," but it could open up an entirely new area to prospect if you find something! :D

On another note, how is the GPX-4000 working out for you? I can't say enough about mine.

Talk with you later,

Rob Allison

Rob,

I love the machine, just can't seem to get the coil over gold other than my first time out. Realistically, I haven't put in much time yet. My trips have been short and full of interruptions from kids, family etc.. Looks like I'll have 3 or 4 days interruption free during Xmas. Kids are with their mother, girlfriend travelling back east. Yuma is still best for me because I have a place to crash and a hot tub. I have one more good idea, we'll see how that works out for me. Could make for another knee slapper prospecting story. Too much pioneer spirit, somehow I need to walk further, climb higher, suffer more. Tougher it is, the better I like it.

Steve

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Hello Steve,

Glad to hear the GPX-4000 is working out well for you. I appreciate your business like always. I'm hoping to get back down around Yuma before the winter season ends. I have a few spots I haven't been back to, one is a patch I found years ago that no one knows about besides my girlfriend. :D

Keep us updated on your adventures with the new Minelab detector.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Hey Rob,

Seeing as how your such a busy man these days, it will probably be years before you can return to check on that old patch. Now seeing as how I have so much time on my hands and am always willing to lend a detector, errrr hand, to anyone in need, just send me the coord's and I will run down and check to see if its still intact.

I know that its a long drive for me but I will do that just for you. :lol::lol::o:P:P

Bob T.

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