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Title: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 16, 2019, 11:15:29 AM
Now, for something different, Flashback Friday Entry:

(This is a true story, although I have taken some liberties in enhancing some details, but I have not exaggerated any of the facts about the gold.)

Before I start this story, I’ll need to provide a bit of background. I was chasing the gold in the mid 1990-s one summer, in a wilderness area far to the north of where I currently live. While there, I worked with some large-scale placer miners, helping out whenever and wherever I could. In return, as the miners were a wealth of knowledge about the new-to-me area, they gave me valuable tips on where to look for gold in that heavily glaciated region. They also let me tag along as they excavated to bedrock so I could see firsthand the local variables of gold deposition. However, as any of you that chase the gold well know, even with tips from the locals, it’s still possible to find trouble while looking for gold, and that trip was no exception.


Story Title: Gettin’ High On Placer Diggin’s

Sorry in advance to those of you into illegal or licensed substances, or those of you hardy enough to have actually smoked gold, or had it ground finely enough to inject or snort, because this tale does not deal with banned chemicals, licensed stimulants, or hallucinogenic substances. (Except I do think I have hallucinated while dreaming about gold in the past, especially during our long winters.) This story deals with the mind-altering effects of a metal. However, this prospecting tale itself is nonetheless mind-altering and reading it is not without risk.

One summer, when the snows had melted and the swollen rivers had dropped enough to allow travel, I headed up North to the gold-fields. Up north means a sixteen-hour drive from my home. But, why drive sixteen hours when there are other gold fields much closer?

Well, there’s far less people that’s why, and there’s coarser gold. As for population, there are less than thirty souls. As for the gold, it’s chunky and knobby. On a related note, some of the local boys dig test-pits right in their front yards, then shovel the dirt into a small high-banker onsite, and they get good gold.

But, I digress again, and as you'll see, I'm pretty good at digressing.

So, to summarize, less people, that’s good, right? But bugs? Bad! There are tens of millions of nasty, blood-sucking, winged vampires! There’s no way to hide from, or to outrun them. The bears, by comparison, are less of a concern, mainly because they can’t fly. But, because the bears are huge, smelly, and can be cranky (kind of like me after too long in the bush) they do deserve some respect.

In retrospect, I was in an area of low mountains with fresh, crystalline streams, surrounded by thick stands of deep-green boreal forest. In the low places, mysterious swamps nestled into the hollows and were bordered by countless mounds of glacial till, leavings from the miles-thick ancient glaciers that once bound the land in perpetual winter.

The moving glaciers generated havoc, and the ancient, glacial meltwater produced numerous, titanic rivers, and some placer excavations have exposed seven or eight overlapping and intersecting stream deposits. In contrast, the frozen glaciers were dozers on insane steroids, cutting deep down or deep into the original bedrock, then pushing sections of channels helter-skelter, or orphaning sections of channel high above the present streambeds. It was one of these orphaned sections that this story is written about.

One day, I was sitting near the wash-plant fixing a broken six-inch pump. Having been at it a while, I took a break. Looking across the river, I noticed something high up on the opposite slope. A line of boulders and river rock ran in a well-defined line along its side. The line indicated an ancient riverbed resting atop the underlying black slate bedrock. It was roughly sixty feet above the modern-day river, and sections of that high channel had sloughed off, exposing a bit of face.

Because of this, I scanned the area with my binoculars to gather more information. Clearly, the channel rested on a bedrock rim, while the river-run itself was covered by eighty or so feet of boulder clay, which was then topped by thick forest.

All at once, my pea-sized brain was hammered by a giant, golden brainwave . . . I had to cross the river to sample that channel!

No argument or thought of personal safety holds me back if there's a shot at getting gold! As hot fever had fired my resolve, I had to act.

I grabbed a five-gallon (20-liter) plastic pail, shovel, pry/digging bar, and a small sledge; these items all fit neatly inside the bucket. Next, I shouldered into my prospecting backpack. (I keep all of my essentials in the backpack for easy transport. Nonetheless, when fully loaded, it weighs just a tad under a fully loaded B-52 bomber.) However, rather than worry about the gear in my backpack, I should have chucked it out and made room for a back-up brain instead. As will be seen, a spare brain would have saved me a lot of trouble that day . . .

Regardless, all packed up, I made my way down to the river. Now, in Canada, even in mid-summer (which it was), the rivers that far north in B.C. NEVER get warm. In fact, if you dunk your head, you get instant brain-freeze! Ignoring rational thinking, I had the clever idea to delicately pick my way across the stream in my rubber boots, and ballet-like, I flitted from rock to rock. Yet somehow, I lost control. Disaster struck! Prospector, pail, and pack plunged below the surface. (Any comments uttered after surfacing will not be printed here in order to protect the innocent.)

In spite of being wet and cold, I fully enjoyed the rest of the crossing (that’s a huge lie!). I felt somewhat refreshed (another whopper) after dragging my cold, soggy carcass out of the water. On a brighter note, after dumping eighty or so pounds of ice-water from each boot, it was easier to walk.

So, threading through the poplars and aspens beside the river, I then headed up the slope until I hit a new obstacle: boulder clay. This is the stuff I mentioned earlier, a nasty mixture of tan to yellowish clay liberally dosed with boulders that was abandoned whenever and wherever the lazy glaciers wished.

Boulder clay sloughs or oozes down hillsides when it's wet, and later it dries into bomb-proof concrete, though not quite as soft as concrete. As well, getting a toehold on it is the devil. Regardless, I somehow cut some steps with my shovel, and through stubborn dedication, I progressed a third of the distance upslope finding a v-shaped wash filled with cobbles and larger rocks, ones birthed from the channel and boulder clay above. The v-shaped wash held a nest of ill-tempered branches, dead limbs, and exposed roots that blocked my way. However, even with my squishy, soggy socks and boots, I navigated Mother Nature’s hazards.

I continued upslope and worked my way into some sheltering pines. At that elevation, the smell of the pines is a wondrous thing; it's a smell I'll always associate with the true sense of freedom only to be enjoyed in the mountain environment while out chasing the gold.

At last, I reached the high placer diggin's, the coveted bedrock rim with its ancient channel. Eagerly, I went to work. (I need to provide a little description of the worksite here: Imagine how tricky it is to rest one rubber boot on a three-inch ledge of bedrock, as the other boot powers the shovel, all while trying to maintain enough balance to avoid a tumble down the mountain. Imagine as well using the pick and bar in such tight quarters, while trying to carve out an excavation, one running three feet into the face of the boulder clay in an attempt to expose the bedrock.

Success arrived when I exposed the underlying black slate of the high channel. Then, pulling my sniping tools from my backpack, I cleaned every little crevice, cranny, and dip or gutter in the slate and dropped the collections into my bucket. In addition, I added in some oxidized reddish-orange dirt to my bucket as well.

Not relishing the long haul down to the river with a small load, and wanting a good test sample, I loaded that bucket as heavy as I could in case I only made one trip. So, with the bucket filled, I tossed my tools over the edge to a landing of sorts, lifted the bucket, and turned around. Instantly, I realized something shocking; that return slope looked a lot steeper than it had on the way up! What mind-altering substance had possessed me to get where I was anyway?

Clearly, some moron had deluded himself into scrambling to a place no sane person ever would. Moreover, I get myself into such fixes by denying the existence of the laws of physics, and probability, etc. I override and defeat all laws, and any stored wisdom when I'm gold crazy. Yet, I carry on in happy oblivion until I realize far too late what I've done. Regardless of my denial of scientific laws, etc., one law never surrenders to my delusions, and that law, as we shall see, is the irrefutable law of gravity!

So, there I was, faced with a problem. I had to go down, no option, because I couldn't go up a vertical wall of boulder clay regardless of how high I was on gold-fever delirium. Deciding on a better course of action, I took the first step down. (This in spite of my brain trying too late to warn me of some impending doom. Come to think of it, I often override my brain's warnings to court danger while chasing gold.)

However, the first step really wasn't that bad. I just leaned into the hill and put all of my weight back on my boot heel. Miraculously, it held me in place, and the eight-thousand-pound bucket of gravel and I took another step forward. (Could it be that the bucket was so heavy because of its high gold content? Or, was I just an idiot that had severely overloaded it?)

I kept at it, leaning and stepping, and soon found myself in the branches and cobbles that littered the earlier mentioned wash. I took several more steps but then a malicious root or scheming branch snagged my boot. Well, that bucket just kicked out in front of me like it was rocket-boosted. (At about twice the speed of light, Sir Isaac Newton’s law had instant and complete control.)

Immediately my brain switched to its salvation-panic mode as I yanked myself back as hard as I could, the bucket jerking back toward me.

However, the problem was, my feet no longer cared what I was doing, as in trying to right myself, they chose instead to betray me by heading down the mountain. The effects of gravity increased in intensity as I picked up speed.

Now, when viewed from the other side of the canyon, it must have looked as if someone had shot and wounded a strange forest creature, some ugly beast, a raging bull-moose perhaps, or some other smelly, cantankerous critter (a classification I could easily qualify for after weeks in the bush!). It also must have looked as if that crazed creature was hurtling down the slope to a certain and speedy demise.

The real truth, however, is that instead of being out of control, I was magnificently in control, in fact, most supremely so. Even with my rubber boots throwing off more smoke than an Alaskan smudge fire, the accompanying smoke was a planned effect to keep the bugs at bay. However, keeping the smoke pouring from those hot boots while simultaneously attempting to apply my brakes among the boulders proved too tricky. In addition, the fact that the three gold pans in my backpack were absorbing more shock than a crash-test-dummy at impact was only a minor annoyance. As well, bashing off the face of the boulder clay was merely a slight test of my prospecting mettle, so to speak.

At last, still breathing (though hot and ragged breaths those breaths were), I came to a sudden stop. Some friendly tree branches gracefully halted my ballet-like plunge. (It's rumoured a visiting Russian judge, observing from across the river, gave me a 9 out of 10!)

Now, for those with a sense of the divine in nature, this was the perfect moment. The moment that finds the human at one with the mountain (and miraculously still alive). However, more remarkable than my survival was that the dirt had not spilled from my bucket! Yes, that is the wonder in this high placer tale—not a stone was lost from the bucket, not a single grain of sand!

So, with pay-dirt still intact, I somehow made my joints regain function, more or less (more pain and less function!). However, with renewed confidence, I set off once again. The only obstacle remaining was the sullen boulder clay.

At some point, you'd think the brain would revolt, refusing to power the muscles required for descent, especially after a such a brush with imminent extinction, all perpetrated by some ambitious idiot bent on chasing dirt! But no, the brain can always be overridden! I've located the master switch to disarm it. I've used it many times to stop logical thought, yet I have somehow survived to tell this tale. (This is proof that life is full of mysteries, ones not easily solved by rational thought.)

At any rate, about a dozen steps down, the clay, somewhat wet from a seep, remembered one of its admirable qualities, the slicker than greased Teflon quality, and off I went again. This time it was only a playful, sort of jarring bashing, with the odd bone-numbing wallop thrown in for variety. It lasted for a mere twenty or so feet, then I came to a feather-like stop on the gravel below, the contents of the bucket still intact.

Although amazed at the miraculous luck required to save such a valuable cargo, I took a break and picked a pan full of golf ball-sized gravel out of my mouth. Next I pushed several teeth back into their sockets, then replaced my left eyeball. After that, I checked to see what the crooked protrusion was that seemed to be attached to my head. Finding that it was my neck, and finding that it was still attached to my shoulders, I set off to the river to pan the dirt!

Three flakes, in five gallons. . . . You can't make this stuff up.

I guess there's a lesson to be learned here, but far be it from me to get preachy, or to force my hard-earned wisdom on any of you. I'll let you figure out the drug-induced dangers of gettin’ high while chasing placer diggin’s.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: tonofsteel on March 16, 2019, 12:28:47 PM
Lol great story, thanks for sharing!  Sounds like you have been on some adventures over the years.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: DirtHogg on March 16, 2019, 01:36:47 PM
Love hearing your stories chasing that sassy Gold! If you were to publish,i for one would be first in line.Thanks for joining and posting!

DirtHogg
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 16, 2019, 04:59:50 PM
Lol great story, thanks for sharing!  Sounds like you have been on some adventures over the years.

Yes, many adventures, some great, some not so great, but all were worth it, as on every trip where I make a mistake, it becomes a learning experience that might save my hide on some other outing.

Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the story, much appreciated, and all the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 16, 2019, 05:44:52 PM
Love hearing your stories chasing that sassy Gold! If you were to publish,i for one would be first in line.Thanks for joining and posting!

DirtHogg

Thanks for letting me know you like the stories, as I enjoy writing tales about chasing sassy gold. Mainly because Mother Nature sure did make it almost like a person,  sassy or flirty or mischievous when it comes to trying to track it down; all kinds of tricks up Nature's sleeve to keep that gold sassy indeed.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: kodibear on March 16, 2019, 06:32:04 PM
Great story, you didn't bother to mention the place where it took place but it sounds a lot like Manson Creek to me. I can picture a steep bank similar to the one you climbed on the Germansen River but then again maybe I just got a little feverish after reading your story.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on March 16, 2019, 07:11:46 PM
Hey Lanny great story. very much appriciated.Ever think of teaming up with some one like Robert Service.Hell you could retire on stories like that.Forget chasing gold and die in one piece.Luck Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 16, 2019, 10:38:53 PM
Great story, you didn't bother to mention the place where it took place but it sounds a lot like Manson Creek to me. I can picture a steep bank similar to the one you climbed on the Germansen River but then again maybe I just got a little feverish after reading your story.

I've been to the Germansen, and I got to look at one of the old hydraulic works where they also tunnelled to chase the gold (I also got to speak to one of the guys that worked in the tunnels at the base of the hydraulic pit, and he said it was not that safe, so he got out), as well, I saw other placering operations on the Germansen.
I've also made multiple trips to Manson Creek, and I was on the Manson river at Discovery Bar, if you know where that is, and that is where I climbed the bank to check out that high channel.

In addition, I met an Old-Timer there that told me about a tunnel that some earlier miners had cut into that ancient channel, and he said there used to be a cable ladder (two strands of cable, with boards at regular intervals) dropped down from the rimrock, as that's how they got up and back,  and he said he worked his way up there once (not by using the ladder as most of the boards had rotted away) and he got some very nice gold by digging around in the bedrock there. However, I heard that story about the ladder from him a couple of years after I made my bungled climb, so the information about the tunnel was too late for me by then, or I'd have done some more climbing to check that spot out! He also told me the guys that used to work that "cable mine" did very well as they had tunnelled in quite a ways to drift along the bedrock.

All the best, and thanks for the connection to Manson Creek, nice to know someone else has been there,

Lanny

Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 16, 2019, 10:50:51 PM
Hey Lanny great story. very much appriciated.Ever think of teaming up with some one like Robert Service.Hell you could retire on stories like that.Forget chasing gold and die in one piece.Luck Mcbain.

Many thanks Mcbain, such a nice compliment, much appreciated.

Robert Service was the real deal, and I just kind of mess around with writing stories when the mood hits me as it takes so much time, but thanks for your feedback in making such a kind comparison.

My problem is I love being in the Mountains, as a result, I'm sure I'll still be out chasing the gold for quite a while yet, so I guess what that means is I'll still find my share of trouble and still bruise my pride a few more times.

 Another reason I'll be stomping the gold-fields for sometime longer yet is that I've taken on the project of training my son how to nugget shoot with a variety of metal detectors, and as he's found a great catch of nuggets already, he might be a bit of a natural.

Many thanks for dropping in, and all the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 18, 2019, 09:39:39 AM
Dredging River Dance (or, how to almost die dredging).

(This rather lengthy flashback of a tale is about one of my dredging misadventures, experienced while I was investigating what I thought was promising bedrock. [I will offer these stories up for as long as my wounded pride allows.])

Well, here's a tale of summer's fun, more or less:

One glorious day, I tried to cross the swiftest part of a river, located in a deep gorge, to get to the other side. I like to think of it (my attempt) in terms of the world famous River Dance as there are common elements: both of them require rapid movement of the feet, careful planning, and lots of whirling of the body, with accompanying vocal or musical tones that may or may not be melodious (when it comes to dredging, in particular).

As I got suited up one pristine summer’s day to head into the dredge hole, I saw a cliff across the river at the base of a terrace of other cliffs, ones that marched up the mountain in a series of timbered steps, rising upwards for several hundred feet.

Cut into the bottom of this black bedrock, there’s a wicked pool of water where the river fires a significant portion of its water through a bedrock chute. Just upstream of the chute, the river slams into the bedrock wall, cuts back on itself in a foaming suction eddy, then whirls on, completing a right angle turn before diving to create a channel around eight feet deep, yet with a width of only a couple of yards.

To elaborate about the volume and velocity of water rushing through that chute, the rocks and boulders in that hole perpetually shimmy and shiver under the relentless thrumming of the stream.

Nevertheless, my giant brain had a feverish idea, a true inspirational melon buster of an idea (this often foreshadows some form of danger or disaster). I peeked across the river, and since I was already suited up for underwater gold hunting, my brain devised a way to get me safely to the other side to investigate.

Now, remember, there’s a cliff on the other side, so holding on to that far bank isn’t an option. However, with the weather nice and hot, and the river level dropping day by day, it seemed a good plan to saunter over to the chute to take a peek underwater to see if any nuggets were trapped in its cracks or crevices. After all, it should be a simple matter to peek around over there so as to have a shot at any visible coarse gold before the snipers cleaned it up later in the summer.

As mentioned earlier, I was geared-up for dredging which works great for sniping as well. In fact, I had on two wetsuits, a 5mm shorty, and my Farmer-John 7mm, with a cold-water hood; my mask, and snorkel; and my Hooka harness with my regulator slung over my shoulder. I was ready.

So, my pea-sized brain (notice how my brain shrunk from earlier on?) decided it would be a glorious idea to secure my arm around an anchor rope and then tiptoe across the river—all while keeping constant pressure on the line to maintain my balance in the stiff current. That was the idea . . .

I’d work my way to the far side of the chute, gently lower myself into the river, and then let the sixty pounds of lead I had strapped to me do what lead does best. While it sunk me, I'd casually examine the bedrock for orphaned chunks of golden children in need of adoption, so to speak.

That was the plan. That is not what happened.

While the dredge motor purred contentedly to fill the reserve air tank, I stepped away from the Keene model 4505PH four-inch, three-stage model to work my way over to the chute to snipe for gold. (I was so excited to get into the hunt, it reminded me of my younger years as a boy getting ready to hunt pheasants with my gun dog.)

Come to think of it, it’s too bad I didn’t have my hunting dog with me then, as he’d have absolutely refused to test the waters for the golden game I was after that day. Being a smart dog, he’d have looked at me like I was crazy, turned tail, shot back to the cab of the truck, hopping in with a smug look on his face as he bedded down for a safe snooze.

Upon reflection, there’s something about dogs being smarter than me that doesn’t sit well. Regardless, maybe some humble pie is in order, and I should wise up and pay dogs a consulting fee to save myself from future grief.

Pea-sized brains, dog brains, and canine wisdom aside, I decided I’d quickly cross that stream, and I immediately stepped on a slippery sheet of slate. Not to worry, I told myself, for in addition to my weight-belt around my waist, I had ankle weights that would quickly stabilize my feet.

Thinking back on it, there must be some science of river physics that my tiny brain hasn’t quite grasped. It must be a ratio or an equation that goes something like this: “river velocity times mass plus slippery rocks equals stupidity” all run out to the power of 10! And, if you divide that by a gold-fever dimwit factor in action that day, you get a predictable result. For, with every misstep in the stream, the river exerts an ever-increasing degree of control over the flailing foreign body that’s trying to stagger across it (NASA should consult me on bizarre test theories involving impossible encounters with physics when they get stumped!).

Well, the playful river started having fun almost immediately when my left foot, moving forward, slid down the slippery slate, the accompanying force mashing my big toe into a boulder, thus causing the formerly cheerful dredger (we’ll refer to this numb-skull in the third person, on and off, for the next while, to keep things simple . . .) to weave a tapestry of glorious, colourful words that blued the mountain air, said words accompanied by melodious tones (Well, all as melodious as a roaring boar grizzly sounds while attacking a cougar with newborn kittens is melodious, I guess.).

This verbal explosion of excited speech created a momentary lapse in sanity, causing said golden boy to move his right foot to avoid the hammering pain of his left foot's big toe. Furthermore, the river current promptly seized said bozo’s right leg at the exact moment when the right foot slid down a submerged incline.

This in turn caused the doomed dredger to twist his back, generating some sort of physics wonderland where the the dredger's broad back now acted like a garage door trying to navigate the river perpendicularly. Yet, the dredger resisted this irresistible force by trying to keep his body upright!

This exponential force utilized the might of untold millions of gallons of glacial melt water moving at roughly Mach III (this is only a rough estimate as I had no calibrated instruments for measuring water velocity with me that day). These enhanced forces took vengeance on the dimwit as he porpoised back and forth across the river (yet the same dimwit kept a death-grip on the safety line).

I must call a brief pause here to reflect on the annoyance of having a smug dredge buddy, one that watches you thrash about helplessly in the grasp of a raging river. It's not annoying that your buddy is watching. No. What's annoying is the jackal-like, high-pitched laugh that terrifies or frightens off any man or beast, within three miles, capable of helping in any way with a rescue.

But, not to worry, after several ballet-like corrections on pea-brain’s part, he righted himself with the safety line, nearly . . . For, pulling back hard on the safety line to come upright, his garage-door-like body, now played the part of a super-rudder and rocketed him back across the river, bouncing him playfully off the boulders as it launched him downstream toward the dredge. This frolic in the water started a barrel roll, spinning the attached twit around on the safety line like a tailless kite in a hurricane.

Oh, did I mention that his Hooka regulator was hanging across his shoulder as he artfully (more like really bad art than anything else) stepped into the stream? Well, with his regulator streaming straight behind him, and his snorkel acting like a water-main, he began his attempt to breathe the river dry.

Oh, desperate drinking it was! For, after his noggin plowed underwater furrows, he’d burst forth, shaking his hooded-head side to side, smacking his lips loudly as he bellowed unpronounceable syllables (ones likely banned from Viking drinking songs; ones sung after drinking steadily for two days!). Nevertheless, he soon floundered (both eyes looking as if they were the squashed and compressed eyes located on the distorted face of the flounder) his way up the safety line. He then stood waist-deep in the placid river, magnificently in control, feet firmly anchored once again.

Yes, rest from insane turmoil was finally his.

However, then came the shameful task of trying to explain his aquatic antics to his mining partner . . .

Nonetheless, after a witty explanation, the dope on a rope cautiously proceeded to the chute on the other side. Once there, he launched himself into the slack water behind a lip of protruding bedrock that guarded the head of the chute.

With regulator in place, he stuck his head under water only to see that the bedrock's surface was as smooth as a bathtub for most of its length . . . But there, just off to the right, was a small crevice, and in that crevice was a chunk of sassy yellow gold.

(Oh, it was magnificent and glorious, for the bright sunshine winked off it as it sparkled and shone.)

Therefore, the dauntless dredger once again ignored his ever-tinier brain and tried to reach the golden prize, forgetting all lessons learned as he then abandoned the shelter of the bedrock outcrop.

This unexplainable act launched him yet into another River Dance. Clearly, this performance was not in any way connected to the one that played on the world stage for years. No, this was a river dance accompanied by colourful and strangely explosive, yet disharmonious tones instead of the lively, upbeat music of the world-famous production.

At last, the soggy dredger, much refreshed after finishing his two auditions for the River Dance team, returned to his still purring dredge, stuffed his brains back in through the openings originally intended for his ears and nose, reoriented his eyeballs, popped his shoulder back in, and then quietly returned to a boring day of uneventful dredging.

River Dance, indeed.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: DirtHogg on March 18, 2019, 11:27:36 AM
Lanny i can just imagine in my minds eye.some of the very foolish situations i myself have found myself in too.Having the old  What's around that corner of the river bug myself.Just a little farther just to see whats around this next bend.Must be something us goldbugs have in common.Thank - You again for posting another great tale.You indeed have a gift as a writer! Im still smiling about the part about the dog knowing better and heading back to the truck if he was there.Ha Ha funny!! River Dance ha ha ,that's great too!River Dance Auditions too funny!!! Thanks For Posting you made my day!
DirtHogg

Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: bruno on March 18, 2019, 01:29:16 PM
Another great tale Lanny, I had tears in my eyes from laughing.   [email protected]*
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on March 18, 2019, 07:07:58 PM
Hi.Guys.Lannys stories are great and very much appreciated.These are the kinds of stories every buddy should be sdharing instead of being silent.We all make mistakes and some of us live to tell about it.So share your adventures good or bad everybody gets a chuckle and some of us learn a great deal from each other.It is these types of stories that keep a forum alive.Abig thanks to Lanny.Luck Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on March 19, 2019, 10:37:24 AM
What I love about all of Lanny's stories, besides being well-told adventures centered around remote gold ... is during each paragraph I say to myself "you've done that", "you too, Lanny?" and "I wish I were there".   Others have said Lanny should publish a book of his tales and I hope that he maybe someday takes their advice.  Now to comment of the first story in this thread.  I could not imagine hauling a heavy bucket down a cliff without letting it go.  Best I could do was substitute a can of beer for the bucket and try not to spill a drop.  And the reason bears don't have wings is so you can tell them apart from BC skitters.  The second story is a killer too.  Thanks for sharing Lanny.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 19, 2019, 02:48:02 PM
Lanny i can just imagine in my minds eye.some of the very foolish situations i myself have found myself in too.Having the old  What's around that corner of the river bug myself.Just a little farther just to see whats around this next bend.Must be something us goldbugs have in common.Thank - You again for posting another great tale.You indeed have a gift as a writer! Im still smiling about the part about the dog knowing better and heading back to the truck if he was there.Ha Ha funny!! River Dance ha ha ,that's great too!River Dance Auditions too funny!!! Thanks For Posting you made my day!
DirtHogg

Thanks so much for dropping in to leave your comments, much appreciated.

As for itching to know what's around the next bend, I'm so guilty of that, especially when it comes to either trout fishing or gold prospecting.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed your comments as well, truly.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 19, 2019, 02:49:22 PM
Another great tale Lanny, I had tears in my eyes from laughing.   [email protected]*

Bruno, many thanks for letting me know you had a good laugh, it's good to hear, and thanks for your kind comments.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 19, 2019, 02:51:30 PM
Hi.Guys.Lannys stories are great and very much appreciated.These are the kinds of stories every buddy should be sdharing instead of being silent.We all make mistakes and some of us live to tell about it.So share your adventures good or bad everybody gets a chuckle and some of us learn a great deal from each other.It is these types of stories that keep a forum alive.Abig thanks to Lanny.Luck Mcbain.

Thanks for the kindness and the encouragement; it means a lot, and I too wish others would share their stories, as I know there's all kinds of things I have yet to hear, to learn, and to enjoy.

Thanks again, and all the best,

Lanny

Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 19, 2019, 02:58:41 PM
What I love about all of Lanny's stories, besides being well-told adventures centered around remote gold ... is during each paragraph I say to myself "you've done that", "you too, Lanny?" and "I wish I were there".   Others have said Lanny should publish a book of his tales and I hope that he maybe someday takes their advice.  Now to comment of the first story in this thread.  I could not imagine hauling a heavy bucket down a cliff without letting it go.  Best I could do was substitute a can of beer for the bucket and try not to spill a drop.  And the reason bears don't have wings is so you can tell them apart from BC skitters.  The second story is a killer too.  Thanks for sharing Lanny.

You know, now that I'm a much more experienced prospector, I would let the bucket go right quick in any similar situation, but back then, I was convinced I'd discovered an undiscovered glory hole, so the fever wouldn't let me let go . . . (I'll blame it on the fever; it's easier to live with that way.)

As for relating to what I write, I'm glad you've made those connections, those links to similar experiences. As well, I'm glad you feel as if you were there with me, or would wish to be there; that's quite a compliment, so thanks.

Thanks as well for your kind compliment about me someday writing a book, and there is one somewhere, sometime in the future, when I hopefully find the opportunity.  (Time, time, time . . . )

All the best, and thanks for taking the time to leave your comments,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 22, 2019, 01:16:02 PM
Bugs, Blood and Gold: Tales from the North.

(This is prospecting humour, with mild fiction, but sadly, based in reality.)


I have to talk about a perplexing, maddening phenomenon that occurs ever year in the summertime: hundreds of prospectors line up to donate blood! On the surface, this appears to be quite humanitarian. However, this is no lineup at a medical facility to give blood, but a gathering that happens only in northern forests, far from the soft, cultured masses of pampered urban dwellers.

This annual, rather insane event must serve as a ritual cleansing, one rooted in superstition and myth, for it is part of the pilgrimage that gold-seekers make during the warmer months. The cost of the trek is not tallied in cash however, but it is paid in blood, donated so to speak to the winged vampires of the north.

In contrast to this savage blood-letting, try to imagine an area of consummate beauty, a peaceful, tranquil region where pine, cedar, tamarack, fir, birch, aspen and balsam trees flourish. Imagine as well a forest floor lush with the softness of mosses and undergrowth. In the mountain meadows try to see hummingbirds and butterflies flitting from flower to flower, try to hear a choir of songbirds singing their age-old symphonies. In addition, visualize a place where crystal streams run free and unhindered, where lakes teem with trout, grayling, and arctic char. Moreover, by gazing into the distance, try to comprehend the endless rolling carpet of mountain greenness that undulates until it blends with a perfect blue horizon.

Against this dreamy backdrop however, a dark, dizzying cloud forms the minute anyone exits their rugged 4x4’s. This previously pristine setting is marred by an evil cloud that hides the Great Northern Horde. (Gengis Kahn’s horde, by comparison, was a puny force.)

When I was a rookie, I often wondered about bugs. How bad could they be? Well, any northern prospector worth his salt has tangled with the “threshold vampire” (so named because it sounds like the buzz of your detector’s threshold), aka, the mosquito. And what prospector has never had an encounter with a galloping horse fly, or a prancing deer fly? Or, how about getting bit by the teeth that fly? (No-see-ums, nothing but flying teeth) Yes, bugs indeed . . .

Well, I stepped forth into just such a cloud of bugs, but luckily my survival instinct overrode my dim brain. Without thinking, my arms began a furious wind-milling action as I carelessly launched my detector through the air, the astronomical price I’d paid, an insignificant, annoying memory. As I ran back to open the truck door to escape the winged-bullies, I was horrified to find my partner had locked the vehicle! Moreover, he had the only can of bug spray outside of the truck. (Later, he swore up and down that he never used the stuff, didn’t even need it that day he said. Then he carried on with some nonsense about how a real man would never fear such tiny creatures, some back-handed comment to me about insect repellent being a wussy cop-out, something not worthy of the northern prospector’s stripe.)

So there I was, stranded, and somewhat bug-eyed (no pun intended). Frantically, I pressed my sweaty face against the glass, hoping perhaps the other door was unlocked, but defeated, I then saw what I’d left on the seat, my first line of defense, my ultimate weapon: the potent, DEET-laced concoction known as Bug Dope! Impotent rage filled me as I ineffectively swatted and slashed at my attackers.

Then, relentless panic filled every cell of my entire organism, accompanied by merciless, shredding terror. The panic’s sheer volume widened into a chasm of unspeakable horror. Sensing disaster, while icy fingers of doom clawed the back of my neck, I turned to face my agonizing fate, a living cloud forming a rising black wall of the famished, northern horde.

Instantly, I was engulfed by a buzzing, hissing mass of wings and slashing teeth, ones perfectly adapted for blood-letting. (Vampires, by comparison, are thousands of years behind on the evolutionary scale.) Next, I conquered some of my tormentors by cleverly breathing in an entire squadron. (Or, was that simply a reflexive gasp of stricken terror?)

Nevertheless, by reducing their numbers, I’d dealt the beggars a costly blow. (I wish!) Next, some of the stealthier bug ascended my pant legs, on the inside where their malicious intent was hidden. This, assault was led by the black demons from some cursed other-world. They were indeed the dreaded blackfly, casually referred to in Webster’s dictionary as “any of various small dark-colored insects; esp.: any of a family of bloodsucking dipteran flies”. Dipteran?! (What a gentle misnomer for such incarnate evil.)

Updating their tactics of savagery, some blackflies even practice camouflage now, by dressing in orange, yellow and red. Moreover, they’re getting bigger now. For example, I saw a cloud the other day packing intravenous poles for easier blood transfusion as they assaulted and overwhelmed some wretch trying to bathe in the river!! Am I using hyperbole, a form of extreme exaggeration? Well, in all honesty, I am exaggerating as the person had only gone to the river for a drink, and when he saw the horde, he dove head-first into the river. So, yes, guilty of exaggeration as he was never there for a bath at all.

So, what happened to me, the dope caught without his bug dope? (Which reminds me, I’ve often pondered on that puzzling name given for that powerful spray, but the answer came to me with lightning clarity as the name refers to the idiot that leaves his locked in the truck! [Any resemblance to the story’s protagonist, or to myself, is purely coincidental.])

(To digress a bit, the blackflies’ march up my pant-legs would not be discovered that day, for they carry anesthetic in their toothy kit of devilry. I discovered the bites later that night, while trying to sleep, but, sleep never came, as the bites itched longer than it took the dinosaurs to go extinct. Moreover, scratching the bites was much like taking a sharp knife to my throat, because after I’d scratched them, I wished I’d had a sharp knife to take to my throat for being such a jack-wagon to scratch them in the first place!)

To return to my tale of being bitten by the horde, my ears started to itch, but not on the outside, no, deep down on the eardrum. Some of the little beggars do not follow the rules of war (The Marquess of Queensberry rules of engagement for war? Why, they only revere him as a possible blood donor!). Moreover, the flying sadists have the power to attack in unmentionable places, enough said!

To digress a bit more, I referred to horseflies earlier, and on that trip I went after some of them with a rope, but not to try to drive them off. I wanted to try my hand at lassoing them as some of the resident sourdoughs had bragged to me of saddling the smaller ones, then using them in their bizarre northern rodeos. These rodeos consist of letting the mosquitoes out of a cattle shoot, hazing them with the horsefly, then hog-tying them to try for the fastest time. (On a different note, not related to rodeo at all, some of those blowhards tried to trick me into believing I could shoot the mosquitoes up there with a shotgun. This is absolute nonsense! A shotgun will absolutely not bring them down. However, a lucky burst from a 20mm cannon has been known to blow off a wing, or part of a leg now and again.)

Regardless of my digression, in my mad dash from the bugs, I finally saw my friend. He was leisurely swinging his detector over a patch of exposed graphite-schist. However, my friend’s head suddenly snapped up when he heard a low moan, followed by a screeching sound, followed by yet another low moan. Perhaps he thought I was hunting with an external speaker and had stumbled on a good target?

However, imagine his shock when he realized the sound was coming from me, his partner, squealing and moaning as I burst forth from the swarming wall of insatiable northern vampires.

With the flies in deadly pursuit, I raced toward my partner, but slowing before I reached him, the cloud-like wall outstripped me. (On a side note, that was one thick wall of bugs. How thick? Well, I took out my Bowie knife and cut a square hole right through those bugs to be able to see my partner.) After my Bowie knife tactic, and with a wild, glazed look in my eye, I dove through the hole, knife outstretched. By way of reflection, I think my partner thought I’d lunged straight for his throat with my knife. However, I only wanted to shred the pocket of his jacket, to quickly get at the Bug Dope. Then, I disappeared into the trees.

Now, this whole tale may seem farfetched, perhaps light-hearted, and somewhat unbelievable. Indeed, I confess to having invented more than a few details. However, I assure you, it was quite a serious matter, most stressing in fact.

But, what happened to the protagonist of this tale after he fled the scene with the can of bug spray? Why, it’s rumored he’s still holed up somewhere deep in an abandoned placer mine, a location that is dark and cold. A place far too cold for bugs, but not too cold for dopes.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on March 22, 2019, 07:07:38 PM
Hi.Lanny not much of a exageration really.I have been inthose northern swamps and almost killed myself trying to avoid those nasty vampires.About 5000 mg of vitaminC and about 400lbs of raw garlic for breakfast will detur them a bit as long as you are sweating hard.But that does not help your eyes.Eyeballs do not sweat and that is where they will attack.When they were clearing for lake Williston.the cat and skidder operators had too wear bee hive suits.The bugs were so bad they would destroy a airfilter on a D9 cat in about in 30 mins. I stil remember seeing the machines draped in as much gause as possiple.They did something back in those days that would get one throen in jail these days.They went for hundreds of miles and threw used oil in all the stagnant water pools and swamps.It helped 100%.Was being flooded anyway.Speaking of Jail I can not think of a better place to to send our criminal types.Bet a thousand bucks we would not see many repeat offenders.Just a thought,Luck Macbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 23, 2019, 07:48:54 AM
Hi.Lanny not much of a exageration really.I have been inthose northern swamps and almost killed myself trying to avoid those nasty vampires.About 5000 mg of vitaminC and about 400lbs of raw garlic for breakfast will detur them a bit as long as you are sweating hard.But that does not help your eyes.Eyeballs do not sweat and that is where they will attack.When they were clearing for lake Williston.the cat and skidder operators had too wear bee hive suits.The bugs were so bad they would destroy a airfilter on a D9 cat in about in 30 mins. I stil remember seeing the machines draped in as much gause as possiple.They did something back in those days that would get one throen in jail these days.They went for hundreds of miles and threw used oil in all the stagnant water pools and swamps.It helped 100%.Was being flooded anyway.Speaking of Jail I can not think of a better place to to send our criminal types.Bet a thousand bucks we would not see many repeat offenders.Just a thought,Luck Macbain.

I know just how terrible the bugs are, and I understand how awful their nastiness is and why your encounters were almost fatal.
As for the vitamin C and the garlic, I haven't tried that combination yet, but my buddy that wouldn't try the bug spray (until he got chewed up real good by the black flies), and thought it was only for soft, too civilized people, couldn't use enough of it once he found out how bad the bugs really were.

I've seen horses completely covered by the hordes, and I really like horses, so that was hard for me to watch.

Because of the huge clouds of bugs, and because the bugs would have been attracted to the heat of the Cat, I get why the air filters were clogged so quickly. The bee suits make sense, as does covering as much as possible elsewhere.

If people have never visited the northern regions where the bugs gather in such huge numbers, they'll never understand, but I can tell you certainly do.

All the best, and thanks for dropping in,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on March 23, 2019, 01:17:42 PM
Lanny,

Not the heat so much as the exhaust gasses - which mimic a mammals' respiration.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on March 23, 2019, 04:11:42 PM
A few things I have learned about the winged demons of the north:
1) Skitters are attracted to dark objects, so wear light coloured clothing.  Camo is not light coloured.  My poor dog is a chocolate lab.
2) Blackflies bite less when you are lying on the ground.  It is pretty much impossible to metal detect when lying down.
3) Blackflies will not bite in an enclosed space such as a tent or cab of a truck.  Skitters will.  In fact, they like to wait until nighttime and attack individually all night like fighter planes going after a bomber. 
4) Deer flies go for your head.  Horse flies for your legs.  You can confuse a deer fly by adding a big feather to the top of your your hat (or a fern if you forgot a feather).   Also, there are deer fly stickers that you can add to the back of a dark coloured hat which will catch deer flies by the dozens.  You need to replace the sticker when full. 
5) All of these flying critters are attracted to movement.  Another reason to slow down your metal detecting swing.  More important, they will descend onto your buddy if he is constantly swatting and faning them away. 
6) A smudge fire works a little bit.  It is not a reason to start smoking, but if you got 'em, burn 'em.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 24, 2019, 09:25:46 PM
Lanny,

Not the heat so much as the exhaust gasses - which mimic a mammals' respiration.

Good to know Joe, thanks.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 24, 2019, 09:29:31 PM
A few things I have learned about the winged demons of the north:
1) Skitters are attracted to dark objects, so wear light coloured clothing.  Camo is not light coloured.  My poor dog is a chocolate lab.
2) Blackflies bite less when you are lying on the ground.  It is pretty much impossible to metal detect when lying down.
3) Blackflies will not bite in an enclosed space such as a tent or cab of a truck.  Skitters will.  In fact, they like to wait until nighttime and attack individually all night like fighter planes going after a bomber. 
4) Deer flies go for your head.  Horse flies for your legs.  You can confuse a deer fly by adding a big feather to the top of your your hat (or a fern if you forgot a feather).   Also, there are deer fly stickers that you can add to the back of a dark coloured hat which will catch deer flies by the dozens.  You need to replace the sticker when full. 
5) All of these flying critters are attracted to movement.  Another reason to slow down your metal detecting swing.  More important, they will descend onto your buddy if he is constantly swatting and faning them away. 
6) A smudge fire works a little bit.  It is not a reason to start smoking, but if you got 'em, burn 'em.

You've learned a lot about the winged denizens of the north, good tips, and the one for the deer flies is a new one to me, so thanks.

Always looking for new ideas and tips to make life easier in the bush.

All the best,

Lanny

Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 24, 2019, 10:44:14 PM
Flashback Series: Tales From The Flat, Part 1

Oh, the things we discover when we camp with someone for the first time . . .

In the 1990’s, I used to chase the gold a long, long ways north and west of where I currently live, and the last section of the journey was a series of rough logging roads that was hard on vehicles and on nerves (if you’ve ever almost been killed by a logging truck, you know of what I speak).

After our arduous journey, we selected a spot where some of the original gold rush miners from the 1870’s had camped. It was a nice level spot with a creek on one side and the river on the other, the river about 30 feet down on the left, the creek located in a gentle draw on the right.

We went through the tiring process of unloading everything from the back of the truck, so that we could set up the outfitter’s wall tent. Once we’d put together a portion of the steel inner-frame, we hauled the white canvas up over the sidewall and roof supports. Next, I ran inside to lift up the remaining sidewall struts and poles, in order to set up, adjust, and stabilize the wall legs while my partner steadied the tent. After our canvas home was up, we covered the whole thing with a massive silver tarp as extra protection from the sudden downpours that frequently occur in those remote mountains. Then, we secured the tarp and the tent walls with ropes and stakes, and lastly, set up our mattresses, bedding, and the wood-burning stove my partner had manufactured himself (he used to supply the GPAA with stoves for their Alaska trips).

We set up our base-camp on the flat treed area of older growth spruce, fur, white-barked birch, aspen, complimented by (along the banks of the bordering creek) thick stands of green-leafed willows and alders. Nestled amongst the trees, here and there, were several old log cabins, none of them inhabited, and an abandoned Hudson’s Bay store. However, all possessed great character. Likely each structure had many tales to tell, being located in such a rich, storied goldfield, one where the Argonauts had chased the gold for well over a hundred and twenty years. On a related note, the old road we had journeyed in on ran right through our camping flat, and was still in use by the locals to get to the upper lakes for fishing, and to get upstream to their mining claims.

With the camp set up, I finally felt how truly hammered I was from lack of sleep, adrenaline drop, and road exhaustion, brought on by sixteen straight hours of night and day travel on terrible roads, plus near-death encounters with logging trucks! As the long summer night was beginning to wane, all I wanted to do was crawl into my sleeping bag and drift off to blissful sleep. That is what I wanted, but that is not what happened . . .

A long, restful sleep was not to be that first night. Even though I fell asleep easily, I was soon jarred from my dreams to discover something shocking about my partner: his snoring alternated somewhere between the noise of a fully-revved chainsaw, to that of a fully engaged Jake-Brake (engine retarder brake) on a semi-trailer! I tried pushing on his air mattress to interrupt his screeching midnight symphony, but he only snorted, made puckering and slurping sounds, and then hurried on to compose whole new measures to his masterpiece.

Mercifully, my brain came to my rescue: I remembered hearing somewhere that a sudden, loud noise could jar a person from their deep-sleep snoring, leaving them in a lighter state of sleep with no snoring. In desperation, I whistled as loud as I could. (I can perform a loud, ear-splitting whistle on command, call my horses in from half a mile) My partner shot bolt upright in his sleeping bag, wildly scanning every corner of the tent, completely unaware of what had torn him from his sleep. I lay there as quiet and motionless as death, eyes closed, the perfect picture of an unconscious tent mate. As nothing was amiss in the tent, he quickly settled down to drift off to a soundless sleep.

For about fifteen minutes . . .

After that short reprieve, he launched into a whole new musical composition whose noise surpassed his former cruel and unnatural level! I genuinely felt he would wake the long-dead miners in the historic cemetery two blocks away. So, I whistled again, with a renewed, desperate effort. Once more, he sat bolt upright, and again, I remained motionless and silent. This time, the snoring ceased for the night, and I slept like the dead in the cemetery two blocks distant.

Upon waking the next morning, my partner was in a reflective mood. It took him a bit of time to come out and state what was perplexing him so deeply. After fidgeting a bit, he said, “Do you realize you whistle in your sleep? You woke me up last night, and I just couldn’t get back to sleep!”

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 25, 2019, 04:30:36 PM
Flashback Series: Tales From The Flat, Part 2

Things that go “snort” in the night.


After our largely sleepless night, the next day we set about cutting firewood, and we went off in search of drinking water (we even located a local spring of pure water whose taste finished with a little buzz on the tongue, great stuff indeed).

Returning to camp and firing up the stove to get rid of the chill in the tent (there was ice on the fire bucket water in the corner), and after cooking grub on the stove, we ate a hearty breakfast, layered ourselves with bug-dope, then took the quad for a ride to wind our way along the twisting, bumpy road that headed up the canyon. The day was calm, the sky a pristine blue. Yellow and purple flowers grew thickly along the sides of the road. Lazy bumblebees went from flower to flower performing their unpredictable aerobatics. Butterflies and humming birds busily fed among the same blossoms. In addition, the ageless melodies of colourful songbirds filled the crisp mountain air. As a punctuation mark to all of this, the invigorating smell of new-growth pine was everywhere.

Steadily climbing in elevation, we worked our way toward the upstream placer workings, ancient and modern. When we saw a current site, we took the time to introduce ourselves to the miners. In this way, we discovered two operations just off the main logging road, with a total of eight crew members working at each. Both operations exposed old drift mines from the 1800’s and the 1930’s, revealing a fascinating series of dark tunnels and  opened rooms.

The larger of the two placer operations struck pay running six grams of gold to the yard, with that amount increasing to eight grams to the yard on bedrock (the old rule about gold being on bedrock held true at these operations). The gold was coarse, nuggets in the half ounce to ounce and a half range were retrieved. Being bumpy and rough, the gold had lots of character, and with the channel material removed, it was bedded in graphite schist or slate formations.

The other operation was a bit smaller, their equipment was older, so they spent a lot of time repairing their equipment we were told. However, they were located where several ancient channels intertwined and intersected, and this formation produced gorgeous gold from their mine as well. They were very friendly and even shut down their wash-plant and excavation machinery to chat with us (not a lot of visitors in that remote area).

Both mining ventures invited us to detect their claims whenever we wished! What a shock, but a good one. We only had to inform them of our finds, and if we honoured their show-and-tell request, they didn't want any of the gold, very nice neighbors indeed! (We went home with fantastic, chunky nuggets from that trip thanks to them.)

Later, on a branch leading off from the main logging road, we came across a fellow in his late 70’s patiently working a small-scale operation. The old-timer was working a pay zone, dark gray in colour, six feet thick above a lighter-coloured layer of dirt resting on the bedrock (Strangely there was no gold on the bedrock whatsoever!). However, the gold he was getting was magnificent; some of it was crystalline, and all of it was coarse.

We learned quickly in that new region that the pay-layers had to be found and worked where they were, not where we thought they should be. We had to forget some of our previous learning, open our minds, and accept new inputs, strategies, and gold-deposition thinking. The old notion that the best gold was found on bedrock only was tossed out, and new facts were accepted.

That night before closing our eyes, my partner, probably still suffering from post-traumatic whistle-shock, told me, “You know, my wife always makes me turn on my side when I snore at home. She says it stops me cold.” And, with that, he turned on his side. (I did wonder why he’d kept this from me the night before.) With all quiet, I drifted peacefully off to sleep . . .

Later however, my conscious mind alerted my ever-alert subconscious that all was not right with the world. Something was once more amiss. Listening carefully, I noted that my partner was still as quiet as a sleeping newborn. Because of this, I was somewhat puzzled as to why I was awake. Thinking perhaps my subconscious was a bit overactive from the previous night’s debacle, I was just drifting off when I clearly heard what my subconscious had heard.

“Snort—snuffle!”

Icy fingers skittered up my spine; my body began to contract itself into its smallest form. Visions of Timothy Treadwell danced in my head. (Tent walls offer no protection from large, apex predators.) Then something big struck one of the tent’s guy ropes, and it reverberated with a loud twang. This contact with the rope produced an alarmed snort, followed quickly by several others. My brain’s alert level shot to the top of the scale, as we were in remote country filled with blacks and grizzlies. To complicate matters, it was certain there were multiple somethings out there in the dark.

To be continued:

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on March 25, 2019, 08:45:50 PM
Hi.Lanny.Was sat on by a big old boar grizz in the middle of the night.My dfad had shot a moose and it was loaded in  the river boat.We were all settled in for the night me in one of those old stupid one man pup tents and the old man rolled up in his moose hide.he refused to sleep in a tent.Any way a hell of a wind storm came up.It was a real howler and I was worried about trees coming down.All of a sudden I was pinned could breath or get my hands on my 45-70 that was in my sleeping bag.Seemed like hours was probably only seconds but I thought I was pinned by a tree.all of a sudden the weight was gone and I scrampled out and woke up the old man.Wee kicked the fire back together and dad told me to back to sleep.I never did that night.Wee got up at daylight and Dad asked what happened to your tent?Isaid a tree fell on me,But there was no tree.We went and checked the boat that was only about 75 ft away.The moose what was left of it was torn to shreds and covered in (bad stuff)Wee looked a little closer and sure as shit the grizz tracts were rtight beside the fire pit next to my tent.that old grizz was not out to hurt any body he simply ate is fill and moved on.Luck Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 26, 2019, 10:52:05 PM
Hi.Lanny.Was sat on by a big old boar grizz in the middle of the night.My dfad had shot a moose and it was loaded in  the river boat.We were all settled in for the night me in one of those old stupid one man pup tents and the old man rolled up in his moose hide.he refused to sleep in a tent.Any way a hell of a wind storm came up.It was a real howler and I was worried about trees coming down.All of a sudden I was pinned could breath or get my hands on my 45-70 that was in my sleeping bag.Seemed like hours was probably only seconds but I thought I was pinned by a tree.all of a sudden the weight was gone and I scrampled out and woke up the old man.Wee kicked the fire back together and dad told me to back to sleep.I never did that night.Wee got up at daylight and Dad asked what happened to your tent?Isaid a tree fell on me,But there was no tree.We went and checked the boat that was only about 75 ft away.The moose what was left of it was torn to shreds and covered in (bad stuff)Wee looked a little closer and sure as shit the grizz tracts were rtight beside the fire pit next to my tent.that old grizz was not out to hurt any body he simply ate is fill and moved on.Luck Mcbain.

This is the kind of story I love to read, and that 45-70 packs  a lot of bang. Did it have the octagonal barrel as well?

I have some bear stories as well, but I've never been sat on by one! I can see why you couldn't get back to sleep.

I came across a griz one day burying a fresh deer kill. I was amazed at his strength, how easily he moved that deer, dug the hole, and buried that buck, incredible thing to see.

I'm sure you have other stories, and I'd love to hear some more.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: DharmaSoldat on March 27, 2019, 07:37:56 AM
Hay... why am I seeing google ads in your post, Lanny?

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 7.36.36 AM.png
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 27, 2019, 09:55:42 AM
As far as Google Ads go, I have no idea why they would be attached. Maybe the moderator could have a look?

I certainly don't see any on my posts.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 27, 2019, 09:56:50 AM
Flashback Series: Tales From The Flat, Part 3

Confronting the terror.

During this paralytic horror, my only comfort was the assailants were on the same side of the tent as my dozing partner. However, my shameless security in using my partner as a human shield vanished when one of the snorting monsters shifted itself to the back of the tent (right where our heads were) as it began to tear at the grass! I was no longer safe. A two-pronged attack is always harder to defend against. Imagine my heightened distress when another one started ripping up grass at the front of the tent! These attackers were definitely not browsing deer. The weight of these assassins caused the ground to shudder as they moved. Whatever they were, they were huge.

Having nothing to lose now, I reached over and shook my partner. He came awake with a slurping gurgle, and he asked me if he’d been snoring again. I shook my head, but at the sound of his voice, the snorting, snuffling, and tearing of grass immediately halted. The night was deathly still. Using agitated hand signs, I relayed my concerns.

From under my pillow, I flicked on a tiny penlight, then made my way to the front of the tent where I kept a large, halogen flashlight. As I picked it up, the snorting, snuffling and tearing started again. Turning around to check on my partner’s progress, my light lit his panicked, bulging eyes. His hair stood on end! (It didn’t matter it always looked that way; it was perfect for the mood at that moment.) Rushing past me, he flew to the foot of the bed and yanked his 30-30 from its scabbard. The new noises he made caused the outside noises to stop once more.

Gathering all of my courage, then nodding to each other to be ready, I unzipped the front of the tent, and we stepped outside.

I quickly panned my bright halogen beam left and right. Multiple, malevolent eyes were instantly lit in the darkness. I was thunderstruck by their number. We were besieged by an invasion force; evil eyes blazed hotly in the boreal darkness. And then, those demonic eyes, in those huge heads, jerked up from the ground. Massive blasts of exhaled, steamy breath, fogged, and then filled the air.

Regardless of the horror, and somehow finding a reserve of inner strength, I continued moving the light and fully illuminated that host of bodies. I watched in transformed terror as the nocturnal beasts’ claws turned to hooves, their imagined humps to manes, until as one, with a great blowing and snorting, off they all ran.

I have never been so terrified by a herd of wild horses.

We found out the next day that throughout the summer there was a herd that worked its way up and down the connected series of canyons above and below where we were camped.

Of course we both had a good laugh (a hysterical, counterfeit kind of a laugh for sure), and we both uttered macho statements about how silly it was to get all worked up about bears, when in reality it was only horses after all. Clearly, it was the kind of jittery conversation that accompanies the complete and utter loss of every shred of manly dignity.

Oh, the everlasting shame . . .

All the best,

Lanny

(P.S. In the last instalment of this “Tales From The Flats” series, I will relate another disturbing black and midnight event that plagued our seemingly cursed sleep.)
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on March 27, 2019, 12:47:53 PM
I have had deer, bear, moose and flying squirrels visit my camp in the night.  By far the most spooky was the squirrels.  The darn things would climb a nearby tree and sail down onto the tent and slide to the ground and then repeat.   It was difficult to figure out what was going on and the mind plays terrible tricks.  Never had a bear use me as a pillow like McBain.  Never seen any wild horses, which would have been very cool.  Heard plenty of buddies snoring and have been told that I sometimes "saw wood" too (I don't believe it).   Great story Lanny!
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on March 27, 2019, 02:25:54 PM
YIKES!

Sometimes something happens that just makes you say bad things.  This was almost one of those.   <-sealed_>

When I click on Lanny's post I do not (and have not) seen any of those advertisements.  They just are not there but now that I see the screen shot from Dharma Soldat I fully understand his concern over the mysteriously appearing adverts. 

So, here and now I am fully admitting that I just don't know any of the "Whys" of all this.   ^#!

Are there any other members who see adverts in the post from Lanny?  If so, would you fire me off a quick PM to let me know? 

For a guy who does OK shoveling into a highbanker I sometimes just come up empty on some things that have to do with Cyber Magic.    <-dont~know->

Joe
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 28, 2019, 06:14:06 AM
I have had deer, bear, moose and flying squirrels visit my camp in the night.  By far the most spooky was the squirrels.  The darn things would climb a nearby tree and sail down onto the tent and slide to the ground and then repeat.   It was difficult to figure out what was going on and the mind plays terrible tricks.  Never had a bear use me as a pillow like McBain.  Never seen any wild horses, which would have been very cool.  Heard plenty of buddies snoring and have been told that I sometimes "saw wood" too (I don't believe it).   Great story Lanny!

Wow! You've sure had quite the range of strange visitors, and I loved the story about the flying squirrels; that's a different one that would really spook the brain.

Thanks for dropping in, and all the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 28, 2019, 06:15:26 AM
(Alder Gulch, Virginia City Montana is where I first got bit! I wrote these lines in memory of that fateful day.)


The Alder Gulch Virus, or, Why I Chase The Gold

In days gone by, when just a lad
My sister’s spouse did somethin’ bad
A ghostly town we went to see,
That lit a fire within me . . .

Virginia City’s driving force
Was mining gold. You knew of course
That Henry Plummer ruled that town
‘Til vigilantes brought him down.

But his demise is not my goal,
A bug bit me to take its toll.
It bred a fever inside me,
Away down south, in Montanny.

What plague is that, you’ll likely say,
That sickened me that fateful day?
A golden fever, spread in me
And since that day, I ain’t been free.

The bug that bit that special day,
Infected me in every way.
Just let me say, there ain’t no pill,
To cure that sassy fever’s ill.

I’ve tried to lick it, ain’t no fun
That potent fever’s always won.
It’s driven me around the bend,
Up mountain streams, to canyon’s end.

It’s made me search in arctic climes
And in the desert many times.
But nothin’ ever seems to kill
My golden fever’s iron will.

But should I cure it? What the heck?
There’s tougher ways to stretch one’s neck!
There’s booze and parties, speed and weed;
There’s lust and pride. There’s crime and greed.

But blast it all, it seems to me
It ain’t the gold that’s drivin’ me.
The lookin’ for it’s got me hooked
That’s why my fevered brain is cooked.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 28, 2019, 06:31:44 AM
Flashback Series: Tales From The Flat, Finale

Well, I know it’s hard to believe, but it took us a while to get back to sleep after the wild horse encounter. So, we bucked up our spirits by telling far less scary stories about real bear encounters, most-likely due to shock, and eventually we went back to sleep.

We awoke the next morning to a beautiful, clear day.

After breakfast, we went to the truck and took out our metal detectors. We connected the batteries and then walked a few steps away to conduct some tests. My machine worked flawlessly. So, I tossed me test nugget on the ground (glued to an old Golden Nugget poker chip) and got a nice low-high-low sound.

All at once I heard the most awful screeching. I figured my partner passed his coil too close to the truck, all of that metal overloading his circuits, the noise blasting from his speaker . . . However, as I turned to look, I saw a blur disappear into the tent. Nope, not the detector at all, my partner simply forgot his bug spray.

Well, we went out that day and dug all kinds of square nails (factory ones and hand-made ones too), bits of lead, pieces of tin, iron wire, copper wire, shell casings, bullet lead, but no nuggets. We came home dog-tired and ready for bed. Up north, it’s possible to get in fourteen or more hours of detecting in a day if the weather’s good, and we’d put in lots of hours of swinging the coils that day.

I actually fell asleep before my partner that night, as he was updating his little spiral-bound notebook he always carries in his front pocket (a hold-over from his ranching days). Anyway, around midnight (I sleep with my watch on), something woke me. At first, all I heard was a faint scuffing noise, off in the distance, accompanied by a human voice, and then the words started to sink in.

Someone approaching from downstream was weaving a tapestry of obscenity unlike anything I’d ever heard. He was a true master of the art. As he got closer, his cussing intensified, but then he sped past the tent. Swearing like a sailor the entire time, he faded away in the distance to be heard no more.

My partner slept through the entire event, blissfully unaware of the fine performance he’d missed. On the other hand, I was quite astounded by the profane sermon, but eventually I fell asleep.

Several hours later, I woke again to familiar sounds in the darkness.

The same scuffing noise, the same colorful language returned from the opposite direction! The volume increased until the midnight cusser sped by the tent, the words drifting off in the distance. Other than being annoyed at losing some sleep, I was ready to write it off as an odd, once-in-a-lifetime performance.

It was not!

(The next morning, I could clearly see bicycle tracks in the dust on the road. That explained the hurried arrival and departure speed of our midnight caller.)

The next night, at the same time, the northern preacher repeated his sermon in all its glory. Hearing his approach, I woke my buddy so he could witness the event. Several hours later, I woke my partner to enjoy the return soliloquy. (However, he seemed a bit cranky I’d woke him up.)

The next night, I was sound asleep, yet my partner woke me to listen to those midnight verses. (I wonder why he did that?) Moreover, for the return performance, my partner woke me yet again. (Karma? Or, was it only revenge?)

The next morning, we followed the preacher’s bicycle tracks for miles up the road until they crossed a bridge over a stream. We quit following them at that point, as it was obvious he traveled extensively at night, spreading his wilderness sermon far and wide.

That night, he returned again, with renewed energy and volume in his delivery, but I was ready to do something about it.

(Remember that halogen flashlight, the one that could turn bears into horses? Well, I devised a plan to use its blazing white light to full advantage.)

As he approached, I quietly unzipped the front of the tent, and when he was alongside the tent, I gave him the full halogen blast! He jerked on his bike as if he’d been pole-axed!! His head snapped up, his one hand clawed the air to fend off the impending blindness, but it was too late.

Losing control as he raised his hand, the gravel hooked his front tire, and off he shot at right angles to the road, launching gloriously into the crisp night air, shooting down the embankment, flying through a dense thicket of alders, to plunge into the knee deep water of the creek.

My partner wondered if the bicyclist might need some help. However, I assured him that anyone that could swear like that didn’t need any help with their cussing . . .

To prove my point, we heard some strangled cries, some renewed cussing that surpassed anything we’d heard to date, followed by a great deal of splashing water, the sound of many branches breaking, and then, by the halogen beam, we spotted him emerging from the gloom. Mounting his metallic steed, and with many squishy sounds, he rode off down the road, utterly speechless, but likely thoughtful.

We crawled back under the blankets, and were not awakened by a return performance later that night, or any other night.

Somehow, I’d found a solution to those midnight sermons.

Somehow, indeed.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on March 28, 2019, 12:07:38 PM
I wonder if the midnight rambler was simply making noise to warn bears of his approach?  I wonder where he was going and why?  I wonder what story he told about his adventure afterwards?   

My imagination gets the best of me sometimes.  LOL  Here is my explanation based on some the characters that I have crossed paths in the mountains.  He had a spot to collect gold that legally belonged to someone else or wanted to keep secret.  He would get enough gold to use at the local bar and would return for more when required.  However, on his last midnight trip, he had a close encounter of the third kind.  Unexplained bright light, transported from the trail and dropped into the creek.   Instant sore butt because everyone knows aliens like to probe their captives.   
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 28, 2019, 09:55:57 PM
I wonder if the midnight rambler was simply making noise to warn bears of his approach?  I wonder where he was going and why?  I wonder what story he told about his adventure afterwards?   

My imagination gets the best of me sometimes.  LOL  Here is my explanation based on some the characters that I have crossed paths in the mountains.  He had a spot to collect gold that legally belonged to someone else or wanted to keep secret.  He would get enough gold to use at the local bar and would return for more when required.  However, on his last midnight trip, he had a close encounter of the third kind.  Unexplained bright light, transported from the trail and dropped into the creek.   Instant sore butt because everyone knows aliens like to probe their captives.   

You really have a way of getting the imagination moving to make interesting stories. Sounds like you should write a book. {-applause-}

Thanks for giving me a laugh, needed one today.

All the best, and good to hear from you again,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on March 29, 2019, 12:09:39 PM
Sorry to hijack your wonderful thread, but I thought I would explain "the rest of the story":  My little what-if is the combination of three separate incidences:

My brother was camping with a buddy under the stars in Northern Ontario.  Both snug in their sleeping bags after a nightcap and staring at the sky.   All of a sudden, their campsite filled with lights so bright that they couldn't look up. The ground was shaking along with an indescribable, unbelievably loud noise.  Then all returned to "normal" as quickly as it had started.  They didn't say  a word to each other for a long time, lost in their thoughts as to what they had just experienced.  Another nightcap or two was of course in order.  Later,they learned it was a low level US bomber exercise and not a visit from aliens. 

When I had a claim in the Cariboo on upper Antler Creek, we would camp just off the mining road above the stream.  There was a young fellow with his skinny little buddy, who were paid to babysit equipment at a placer mine above us where they lived in a 16' hardtop trailer.  Every afternoon, they would drive by  in an old Trans Am that probably only had about 3" of ground clearance.  You could hear them coming from the damaged exhaust and every rock on the trail that they hit.   They would return long after we were asleep.   Only saw them one season - the next spring was a "hundred year" flood.   I found their ravaged, crumpled camper had been moved downstream by the water.  Interesting, the same flood moved gold from marginal areas and concentrated some into the same spots that the old timers had previously cleaned out.  Anyway, what I learned later is that Trans Am (everybody gets a nickname) had found an old adit.  Skinny would crawl into it (Trans Am was too big to fit), whenever they needed bar money (everyday) with a brush and dustpan to clean up the floor of the adit and extract whatever gold they could accumulate.  Then off for another night on the town in Wells.   

On one of my solo trips into the Yukon, I wanted to find a remote creek known for nuggets.  About an hour into my walkabout, I climbed a rockslide to see if it was natural or tailings.  From the top was a beautiful view of the surrounding area.  I sat down to enjoy a few moments and up the trail heard Gaelic singing.   To me, the best sound to reverberate up a lake or thru mountains is bagpipes.  I learned this day that female Gaelic singing is a very close second.     It was two Scottish women making as much noise as possible, so not to surprise a grizzly.  They were also wearing little bear bells and bear spray on their hips.  As they walked past, I was wondering how to say hello without spooking them (so a loud growl...considered and discarded...was out of the question).  Instead, I quietly stared up with one of the only two Gaelic songs that I know - - Sgt. Mackenzie from  "We were Soldiers" movie  (the other song being Old Anzine, which did not seem appropriate).  Freaked them out anyway.  They told me that they could only hear some of the words in the wind and were both thinking "ghost". 

If you cannot immediately explain it, it must be supernatural.  LOL
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 29, 2019, 09:25:42 PM
Sorry to hijack your wonderful thread, but I thought I would explain "the rest of the story":  My little what-if is the combination of three separate incidences:

My brother was camping with a buddy under the stars in Northern Ontario.  Both snug in their sleeping bags after a nightcap and staring at the sky.   All of a sudden, their campsite filled with lights so bright that they couldn't look up. The ground was shaking along with an indescribable, unbelievably loud noise.  Then all returned to "normal" as quickly as it had started.  They didn't say  a word to each other for a long time, lost in their thoughts as to what they had just experienced.  Another nightcap or two was of course in order.  Later,they learned it was a low level US bomber exercise and not a visit from aliens. 

When I had a claim in the Cariboo on upper Antler Creek, we would camp just off the mining road above the stream.  There was a young fellow with his skinny little buddy, who were paid to babysit equipment at a placer mine above us where they lived in a 16' hardtop trailer.  Every afternoon, they would drive by  in an old Trans Am that probably only had about 3" of ground clearance.  You could hear them coming from the damaged exhaust and every rock on the trail that they hit.   They would return long after we were asleep.   Only saw them one season - the next spring was a "hundred year" flood.   I found their ravaged, crumpled camper had been moved downstream by the water.  Interesting, the same flood moved gold from marginal areas and concentrated some into the same spots that the old timers had previously cleaned out.  Anyway, what I learned later is that Trans Am (everybody gets a nickname) had found an old adit.  Skinny would crawl into it (Trans Am was too big to fit), whenever they needed bar money (everyday) with a brush and dustpan to clean up the floor of the adit and extract whatever gold they could accumulate.  Then off for another night on the town in Wells.   

On one of my solo trips into the Yukon, I wanted to find a remote creek known for nuggets.  About an hour into my walkabout, I climbed a rockslide to see if it was natural or tailings.  From the top was a beautiful view of the surrounding area.  I sat down to enjoy a few moments and up the trail heard Gaelic singing.   To me, the best sound to reverberate up a lake or thru mountains is bagpipes.  I learned this day that female Gaelic singing is a very close second.     It was two Scottish women making as much noise as possible, so not to surprise a grizzly.  They were also wearing little bear bells and bear spray on their hips.  As they walked past, I was wondering how to say hello without spooking them (so a loud growl...considered and discarded...was out of the question).  Instead, I quietly stared up with one of the only two Gaelic songs that I know - - Sgt. Mackenzie from  "We were Soldiers" movie  (the other song being Old Anzine, which did not seem appropriate).  Freaked them out anyway.  They told me that they could only hear some of the words in the wind and were both thinking "ghost". 

If you cannot immediately explain it, it must be supernatural.  LOL

Never worry about jumping in with stories to tell. As you've probably figured, I really enjoy stories, so the more stories that are shared, the better as far as I'm concerned.

Those three little excerpts are great tales, and you wrote them up well, keeping it interesting the whole time.

I hope others jump in with stories of their own as well.

Thanks for your contributions, much appreciated and enjoyed.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: ykplacer on March 30, 2019, 08:41:58 AM
Some of the best gold in the bush ,isn't always the gold.
I'll never come across  another one like this,i'm willing to bet.

Everyone i know and met sleeps with eyes both closed,until i met this fella in the bush.This guy slept with his eyes wide open,for real and not because he wanted too either(he had a rare eye condition).Needless to say he used  a lot of eyes drops.

One of the most freaky things i seen "so far"

Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on March 30, 2019, 02:00:05 PM
Some of the best gold in the bush ,isn't always the gold.
I'll never come across  another one like this,i'm willing to bet.

Everyone i know and met sleeps with eyes both closed,until i met this fella in the bush.This guy slept with his eyes wide open,for real and not because he wanted too either(he had a rare eye condition).Needless to say he used  a lot of eyes drops.

One of the most freaky things i seen "so far"

That is freaky.

I knew a guy that could sleep with one eye shut, but never both, quite the story that proves life is stranger than fiction.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on March 30, 2019, 07:43:42 PM
Beware of Count Dracula.he only closes his eyes to the daylight.Some folks have wierd sleep functions but that would scrare me silly.Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on April 03, 2019, 08:43:03 AM
As a kid, I used to fish on a long pier on Lake Simcoe (Ontario).  Down the road was a retirement home.  There was one old fellow who would wander up to see the action.  We became friends and when fishing was over, I would walk with him (slowly) back to his residence.  Long story short, he had some kind of medical condition that he could not sleep sitting or lying down.  Instead, he had a homemade device against the wall that he would lean into and go to sleep on his feet.  It was the strangest thing to a youngster like me.  It is no fun getting old. 
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on April 03, 2019, 07:02:04 PM
Hey Sunshine some folks enjoy old age.Unlike myself just turned 65 a few days ago.Feel like I should be over a hundred. the way I am crippled up.One of my old time customers came to visit me the other day.He usually comes by riding a electricscooter.And most times could not get off the thing.The other day he walks in fitas a fiddle and about 100lbs lighter.He was all excited.He says Mark I got to tell you something.He layed off the beer 6 months back and divoriced his wife.He sold off his property and decided to retire.He bought a 1 ton 4x4, motor home and agood claim he worked years ago on the Tulemeen.He says I can not wait to start mining again.I kind of scratched my head and asked.Isaid Jerry how old are you?His reply was 84  and I can not wait to start living the dream again.It is going to be so much fun digging again.Well to say the least i was baffled.I wish him the best of luck.Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on April 05, 2019, 01:07:25 AM
Chasing the Gold is an Elixir of Perpetual Youth.   <-yahoo_> <-yahoo_>

 {cool^sign} <-party-> [!!DANCE!!] [&whistle#]
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 19, 2019, 09:30:12 AM
Chasing the Gold is an Elixir of Perpetual Youth.   <-yahoo_> <-yahoo_>

 {cool^sign} <-party-> [!!DANCE!!] [&whistle#]

The elixir I'll soon be uncorking thanks to the return of the milder weather.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 19, 2019, 01:02:28 PM
Can you smell the rice cooking?

I recall being far to the north in a historic gold field, and I had the opportunity to have a chat with a Sourdough (a seasoned miner from the area) about his claim. He took me to a spot one day and told me a most interesting tale.

However, before I relate his story, I’ll describe its location. It was far down in the bottom of a secluded valley. Steep, black-walled mountains rose on either side, and courageous growths of spruce and fur clung to the steep slopes, with birch, poplar and aspen peppering the evergreens lower down. Dark draws inhabited by deeper areas of gloom gave birth to swiftly flowing streams that emptied into the valley. From these gulches, the icy, ghostly breath of unseen currents of air rushed forth to randomly lift the hair, before chilling the neck and spine. Indeed, an eerie atmosphere pervaded that sullen spot of murky shadows where the long dead miners of some 150-years past had chased the gold to make their fortunes, or to lose their lives.

On a gentle slop above long rows and piles of cobble stacks, the remnants of a massive hand-workings, the miner’s cabin was situated. It was an ancient cabin, one in continual use since the original gold rush, the cabin perpetually maintained and rebuilt until it was later used by a member of the North West Mounted police as a retirement refuge. Later, it was acquired by the miner. Heavy logs formed the base of the walls, with smaller logs progressing up the sides, and there were only two windows, one big enough to allow light to enter, and one small one which served as a lookout. The log ends were all beautifully axe cut to fit and lock together, and there was an addition on the back of the main cabin that housed a food storage and washing area. The doors were heavy and sturdily built as grizzly and black bears frequently visited the area. (I have a story somewhere about the attack on his cabin by an enraged grizzly, quite the hair-raising tale he told me of his experience that truly made my blood run cold.)

A path led down from the slope to a long draw that then led to a bedrock rise, with the draw, or gulch, continuing upward. On the other side of the bedrock rise a fast-flowing creek could be heard. The bedrock rise continued to climb as it joined the shoulder of the mountain. There was a trail that led up the non-creek side of that shoulder, and I headed off on foot to look the area over.

The first thing I noticed, as I looked down into the draw from the trail, were the sunken places. There were five large areas where the earth had slumped, with smaller areas running perpendicular to the gulch that were still at the original level. This of course spiked my curiosity.

When I returned from my hike, the miner was at his cabin, and we had a chat.

He started in with a bit of history of the area. That the place had been extensively hand-mined I had already seen; that it was shallow to bedrock in many places was also obvious. What he filled me in on was that the early miners were after the easy, shallow gold, and they had done very well, with many ounces of coarse gold quickly gathered from the shallow diggings. But, as was the common case in the 1800’s, there was always the news of new gold rush farther to the north where the gold was equally shallow, easier to get to, so the miners that loved the quick gold soon left to chase other strikes. That left the deeper gold that required organized groups of people with the necessary capital to start up larger operations.

Then, he told me about the arrival of the Chinese miners in the area. They followed the gold rushes and came in after the other miners had had creamed the shallow gold and had either abandoned their claims or were looking to sell cheaply. The Chinese, he said, were not afraid of hard work, and moreover, many of them did not have a choice of whether they liked hard work or not due to being indentured labourers, a form of slavery so to speak, until they had paid off the Tong for their debt to the organization. The miner then went on to explain how the Chinese used a lot of opium during their miserable existence, and he told me of bottle hunters that had come a few years before my arrival and of their efforts in trash dumps to recover the precious little bottles. He also told me of the tiny log huts the miners lived in, short-walled on purpose as they were easier to heat during the brutal winters. In addition, he told me of the superstitions the Chinese were bound to, mysterious ones that propelled their efforts.

Then, he took me on a walk.

The bedrock rise that I’ve already mentioned was where he took me, but he walked me over closer to the face where there was a bit of a fold, and that fold hid from view the entrance to a tunnel, but one that he had caved in with is heavy equipment as it led to a large area of unsafe underground workings, ones the Chinese had excavated by hand. I then told him about my upslope hike, and of seeing the collapsed areas, and he confirmed that all of that long draw was a continuation of the original Chinese workings. He elaborated that the Chinese had struck an ancient channel by cutting below it through the solid rock so they could hit the base of the channel where the coarse gold was trapped. A lot of trapped water had flowed when they punched through the last of the bedrock, but they had cut the tunnel on purpose so it would drain the ancient water down and away before they went to work.

The gold was coarse, and they took out a lot of good gold over several years, but then one day the horrific happened, the roof of the tunnel, off on one side excavation of the gulch, collapsed, killing several Chinese. They left the area . . . (This is not an isolated incident, and I have read about this in other gold rush accounts, bad Josh/Joss [bad luck] was something they didn’t mess with, and the area was forever cursed to them.)

When the miner first acquired the claim, he had gone into the tunnel mouth, and he’d taken samples from the floor of the tunnel. The buckets of dirt he’d recovered were full of pickers! To prove this, he gave a jar of the dirt for later panning, and it was indeed loaded with gold!!

So, his interesting tale had answered my questions about the sunken areas I’d seen on my walk, and I could see just how extensive the underground workings were that the Chinese had driven up that gulch from the size of the collapsed areas. Those determined miners had really got the job done, regardless of their motivations.

As we were leaving the tunnel mouth, the miner turned to me and said, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

I said, “What?”

He said again, “Can you smell the rice cooking?”

I answered, “No, can you?”

He then told me that on certain days, when the wind was just right, he could smell the scent of rice cooking as it drifted down to the cabin from the gulch. He didn’t smile or joke in any way, and the gloomy setting of the area, with its accompanying tragedy, put nothing but a large punctuation mark on his story.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: DirtHogg on April 19, 2019, 03:43:50 PM
Great Story Writing EXCELLENT.And YES i can smell he rice cooking even reading this on my ph.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 19, 2019, 04:19:24 PM
Great Story Writing EXCELLENT.And YES i can smell he rice cooking even reading this on my ph.

Glad you enjoyed the story, and thanks for leaving such kind words.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on April 20, 2019, 07:13:05 AM
Oh boy.  One of your best tales yet.  I felt like I was there from the glorious descriptions and similar experiences. 

When I first started prospecting, I was on a BC creek with my brother that had Chinese miner history.  It had also been worked over by the whites in sections, handmining first and later by a bucket dredge and other spots with hydraulic monitors.  You could tell where the Chinese had mined, by the perfect stacks of cobbles lining the sides.  My brother was fascinated by their diligence.  Where the Chinese had been, one would have trouble finding a spec of gold in a pan.  In one gulch (pup) that had obviously been worked by the Chinese, my brother's comment about the cobble walls was "all you have to do is put a roof on this and you would have house that would last another hundred years".  When he came back out of the short gulch, he said that he had gotten spooked because he had smelled fish cooking and heard voices in the water.  Funny, a few years later, my wife also said that she clearly heard voices in the stream ( I only heard the water). 

A little further upriver was a huge flat slide rock of the edge of the creek.  We were able to get 3-5 flax seed sized flakes from every pan on the upstream side of this rock (below this spot were only specs).  I later learned that the Chinese had an accident when a rock that they floated had crushed two men.  When whites encountered a big rock, they would blast it with dynamite.  However, the Chinese would dig under to bedrock and then "float" it by placing some small rocks underneath.  Sometimes, the current would move such a rock and it would roll down on whoever happened to be unlucky.  I later learned that the Chinese packed up camp that night and and moved over the mountain to a completely different creek.  The area has since been under claim, but I keep thinking about it.  I bet we found "the rock" and the ground right there is probably virgin.   
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 20, 2019, 08:59:25 AM
Oh boy.  One of your best tales yet.  I felt like I was there from the glorious descriptions and similar experiences. 

When I first started prospecting, I was on a BC creek with my brother that had Chinese miner history.  It had also been worked over by the whites in sections, handmining first and later by a bucket dredge and other spots with hydraulic monitors.  You could tell where the Chinese had mined, by the perfect stacks of cobbles lining the sides.  My brother was fascinated by their diligence.  Where the Chinese had been, one would have trouble finding a spec of gold in a pan.  In one gulch (pup) that had obviously been worked by the Chinese, my brother's comment about the cobble walls was "all you have to do is put a roof on this and you would have house that would last another hundred years".  When he came back out of the short gulch, he said that he had gotten spooked because he had smelled fish cooking and heard voices in the water.  Funny, a few years later, my wife also said that she clearly heard voices in the stream ( I only heard the water). 

A little further upriver was a huge flat slide rock of the edge of the creek.  We were able to get 3-5 flax seed sized flakes from every pan on the upstream side of this rock (below this spot were only specs).  I later learned that the Chinese had an accident when a rock that they floated had crushed two men.  When whites encountered a big rock, they would blast it with dynamite.  However, the Chinese would dig under to bedrock and then "float" it by placing some small rocks underneath.  Sometimes, the current would move such a rock and it would roll down on whoever happened to be unlucky.  I later learned that the Chinese packed up camp that night and and moved over the mountain to a completely different creek.  The area has since been under claim, but I keep thinking about it.  I bet we found "the rock" and the ground right there is probably virgin.

Now, that's a great little story. I haven't had a Saturday morning read that was that interesting in a long time, nicely done, and thanks for sharing it.

Interesting details about the cooking fish and the voices. I just read a response on a different forum written about a remote area where the writer  kept hearing  voices on the water, then a loud shout, from an area located surrounded by  many old workings . . .

Thanks for your story, as I truly love reading prospecting tales, and thanks for taking the time to write it,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on April 20, 2019, 10:43:51 PM
I guess that is why they call it "a babbling brook".   

I never heard the voices in the stream that my wife did.  However, I did hear a grizzly cross the creek one night when we were having an adult beverage, that she never heard (but she smelled it and I didn't).   Neither of us saw it  I had a flashlight and rifle up pretty darn quick.   Its track was less than 20 yards away.   Kinda killed the mood that evening.  ;-)
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: graeme1955 on April 21, 2019, 11:03:17 AM
thanks for the great stories
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: bruno on April 21, 2019, 11:37:04 AM
Yes thanks as well for the great stories. I have spent many of the past years prospecting around babbling streams and have heard voices and smelled smoke, and sometimes there are actually people there that I end up talking with.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on April 21, 2019, 11:52:05 AM
Almost 40 years ago I was a single, young(er), strapping regional sales manager and in the course of a company provided move to a new region I bought a "fixer upper" house. 

With a background in construction I began to renovate the small house in my (weekend) free time.  A long process but I had time. 

After a week of travel and a Saturday filled with renovation work I was pretty tired, and since I was just using a radio for entertainment and it was really late and I was really tired I decided to hit the sack. 

The house was on the edge of town and it was a very quiet place during the summers and so it didn't take long for sleep to almost overtake me --- when I heard voices.  Soft, indistinct voices, both men's and women's voices

It was late at night and there should be no one out at that time of night - but - I could just, just hear the soft voices without making out the words.  5 minutes later I thought I would just check to make sure that the radio had been turned off - and it had.  5 minutes later I heard voices again so I got up once more, got dressed and decided to find out where the soft talking was coming from --- since it must be coming from outside.  Possibly a late party's sounds traveling on the light wind but certainly somewhere nearby.

Of course, there was nobody out on that warm, late summer night - so I shook my head and went back to bed again.  Just before nodding off I heard the whispered voices again - and again I could hear something but I just couldn't make out even one recognizable word. 

At that point the realization hit - it was the absolute quiet.  My subconscious had 'filled in' the lack of sound with 'white noise' and that white noise was simply random 'remembered' voices from somewhere and sometime in the past few weeks.

So, when I hear about hearing voices in the night I chuckle and remember that time when ...............
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 21, 2019, 08:19:00 PM
I guess that is why they call it "a babbling brook".   

I never heard the voices in the stream that my wife did.  However, I did hear a grizzly cross the creek one night when we were having an adult beverage, that she never heard (but she smelled it and I didn't).   Neither of us saw it  I had a flashlight and rifle up pretty darn quick.   Its track was less than 20 yards away.   Kinda killed the mood that evening.  ;-)

Thanks for this little, entertaining story, had a couple of chuckles until you found the grizzly track so close! Yikes!!

All the  best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 21, 2019, 08:20:01 PM
thanks for the great stories

Graeme, thanks, and I appreciate you leaving your kind compliment.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 21, 2019, 08:22:26 PM
Yes thanks as well for the great stories. I have spent many of the past years prospecting around babbling streams and have heard voices and smelled smoke, and sometimes there are actually people there that I end up talking with.

Thanks for dropping in to leave a nice compliment, and I'm glad to hear that sometimes there really are real people around. But, what about the other times? Lol

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 21, 2019, 08:26:15 PM
Almost 40 years ago I was a single, young(er), strapping regional sales manager and in the course of a company provided move to a new region I bought a "fixer upper" house. 

With a background in construction I began to renovate the small house in my (weekend) free time.  A long process but I had time. 

After a week of travel and a Saturday filled with renovation work I was pretty tired, and since I was just using a radio for entertainment and it was really late and I was really tired I decided to hit the sack. 

The house was on the edge of town and it was a very quiet place during the summers and so it didn't take long for sleep to almost overtake me --- when I heard voices.  Soft, indistinct voices, both men's and women's voices

It was late at night and there should be no one out at that time of night - but - I could just, just hear the soft voices without making out the words.  5 minutes later I thought I would just check to make sure that the radio had been turned off - and it had.  5 minutes later I heard voices again so I got up once more, got dressed and decided to find out where the soft talking was coming from --- since it must be coming from outside.  Possibly a late party's sounds traveling on the light wind but certainly somewhere nearby.

Of course, there was nobody out on that warm, late summer night - so I shook my head and went back to bed again.  Just before nodding off I heard the whispered voices again - and again I could hear something but I just couldn't make out even one recognizable word. 

At that point the realization hit - it was the absolute quiet.  My subconscious had 'filled in' the lack of sound with 'white noise' and that white noise was simply 'remembered' voices from somewhere in the past few weeks.

So, when I hear about hearing voices in the night I chuckle and remember that time when ...............

Thanks for the story Joe, and just when you were starting to weird me out, your subconscious solved the mystery, interesting result to what was getting rather freaky.

Shakespeare truly understood that what we can imagine is far worse than reality . . .

All the best, and thanks for adding to this story thread,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on April 21, 2019, 08:41:43 PM
Hey Lanny was going to tell you a story about the meanest Devils out there but my hands are having trouble on the key booard.Had any fun with the WOLVERINE?Tasmania Devils are tame compared to this guy.Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 23, 2019, 08:51:34 AM
Hey Lanny was going to tell you a story about the meanest Devils out there but my hands are having trouble on the key booard.Had any fun with the WOLVERINE?Tasmania Devils are tame compared to this guy.Mcbain.

When the hands get steadier, give it a shot.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on April 23, 2019, 11:17:35 AM
Ahhh - Lanny,

I think that mcbain 's hands aren'y trembling from the excitement over the upcoming mining season - but rather some of that excitement  he alluded to over an encounter with that evil guy   <~ShOcK~>  <~ShOcK~> <~ShOcK~>.  Probably the ghost of the miner from a couple of generations in the past ownership of his mining spot.   <-dont~know->

Looking forward to your mining story, Mark!
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on April 23, 2019, 08:35:15 PM
This story is not about any encounters I have had personally while mining.But many a prospector has and I have heard the stories.Told many times up in the peace river country.Wolverines generally leave you be unless you set down a pack full of food.They mostly go after a minors cabin where the winter grub is stored.They will chew a hole threw a 10 inch log just to get a snack while the old prospector be a sleeping.They will destroy every thing in that cabin and never bother the old guy sleeping.They will pack of his food,chew the stock of his gun and never bother the old guy sleeping.Many a minor or trapper have set traps to catch them to no avail.When caught in a trap they simply chew of the foot that is caught in the trap and carry on.They can tear a Grizzly to shreds when confronted.They are pure evil and feel no pain.We cornered one one time.We chased it out of a shack.My brother chased it shooting on the run.Shooting and reloading as he chased the demon.We fired 28 shots in all from a small 25-35 winchester.The demon finally dropped.We skinned that demon out and only found 55 holes,should have bee 56.We came to the conclusion that the last shot went threw the brain and out the mouth and that is what stopped it.The whole point I am trying to make here is that these are the toughest critters known to man.Place called Meziadian jct.where semies pull over.There is abig old guy  that attacks the semies tires even while moving and the drivers will not stop to get out and have a pee.If they stop this old boy will leave them no tires.Just saying.Luck ,Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 24, 2019, 08:55:36 PM
This story is not about any encounters I have had personally while mining.But many a prospector has and I have heard the stories.Told many times up in the peace river country.Wolverines generally leave you be unless you set down a pack full of food.They mostly go after a minors cabin where the winter grub is stored.They will chew a hole threw a 10 inch log just to get a snack while the old prospector be a sleeping.They will destroy every thing in that cabin and never bother the old guy sleeping.They will pack of his food,chew the stock of his gun and never bother the old guy sleeping.Many a minor or trapper have set traps to catch them to no avail.When caught in a trap they simply chew of the foot that is caught in the trap and carry on.They can tear a Grizzly to shreds when confronted.They are pure evil and feel no pain.We cornered one one time.We chased it out of a shack.My brother chased it shooting on the run.Shooting and reloading as he chased the demon.We fired 28 shots in all from a small 25-35 winchester.The demon finally dropped.We skinned that demon out and only found 55 holes,should have bee 56.We came to the conclusion that the last shot went threw the brain and out the mouth and that is what stopped it.The whole point I am trying to make here is that these are the toughest critters known to man.Place called Meziadian jct.where semies pull over.There is abig old guy  that attacks the semies tires even while moving and the drivers will not stop to get out and have a pee.If they stop this old boy will leave them no tires.Just saying.Luck ,Mcbain.

McBain, never had an encounter with a wolverine, but it sounds like I never want to either. Thanks for posting the story about your encounter and the reflections from others.

When I was chasing the gold in the Omineca, that's the only time I ever saw a wolverine, and he was crossing the road, minding his own business. After reading  your post, glad I've never had the opportunity to tangle with a cranky one.

All the best, and keep sharing those stories you've got stored in your head please,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on April 25, 2019, 10:48:00 AM
I have never seen a live wolverine (outside of a zoo), but have encountered a few badgers and they were bad enough.  One quick story (of course): 

My summer job was electronically testing for oil near the border in Sask.  We had to drill inline holes, deep enough to hit moisture, for 10' electrodes at 50M and 500M on either side of the test truck (a 1 ton with a "doghouse" on the back stuffed with gear).  However, if any hole was still dry after 15', we could dump 20-30 gallons of water into it to make our own moist environment.   

Towards the end of one long hot day which consisted of dilling, running out wire and placing electrodes, testing, picking up the wire (75 lbs) and electrodes and then moving 1 KM to do it all over again.....Mike, the clever fellow running the drill, noticed a badger hole exactly where he needed a hole.  You can tell it is badger, because the holes are big and they go straight down as far as you can see.  On the other hand, a bunny hole goes sideways and would be useless for our purpose.   

Now, a smarter man would look for footprints in the excavated dirt to confirm the hole was unoccupied.  However, our hero (not me - I was rolling out wire for the next hole) casually opened the tap for the required gush of water out a fat rubber hose.   Everything was going perfectly to plan.   He could see, as he peered over the edge into the abyss, that the hole was holding water.  For at least a minute, there was a nice calm surface reflecting in the afternoon sun. 

The next second, the water disappeared, like a huge flushing toilet.   A beast from the bowels of the earth scrambled upwards like a rocket with solid booster fuel.   Just like a cartoon, it didn't stop climbing until it was about 5' over Mike's head, whereby it crashed to earth a gravity took over.   Critter growling.  Driller screaming.  The rest of us laughing and cheering in amusement.  Mr Badger hit the ground with such force, that it would have killed a lessor creature.  I can honestly say, nothing is uglier than a huge, wet and angry badger.  Teeth bared, water arching into the sky and no clear route to escape.  At the same time, Mike was jumping backwards with both feet solidly together, as if he was on a pogo stick, towards the open door and safety of the truck.   

However, the badger had a different idea, ran in a tight circle around Mike and into the cab of his truck.  Minutes later, the radio on our vests squacked "Ah, Mike, you are going to have to get that thing out of there".  No doubt, there was some glee in the crew chief's voice.  At this point, wishing for a camera we were all entertained as we watched poor Mike, with great hesitation and talking in his most reasonable voice begged Mr. Badger to please leave.  Nothing.  He poked around and under the bench seat with the electrode.  Nothing.   To be honest, none of us saw the badger leave and I am not sure we would have told him anyway.  It made for a fun drive back to our hotel, constantly  suggesting to Mike over the radio of all the possible places that he forgot to look. 
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: poncho on April 25, 2019, 03:50:59 PM
Thanks Lanny  sunshine  Mark and Joe  for all theses enjoyable tales
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 29, 2019, 09:19:39 PM
I have never seen a live wolverine (outside of a zoo), but have encountered a few badgers and they were bad enough.  One quick story (of course): 

My summer job was electronically testing for oil near the border in Sask.  We had to drill inline holes, deep enough to hit moisture, for 10' electrodes at 50M and 500M on either side of the test truck (a 1 ton with a "doghouse" on the back stuffed with gear).  However, if any hole was still dry after 15', we could dump 20-30 gallons of water into it to make our own moist environment.   

Towards the end of one long hot day which consisted of dilling, running out wire and placing electrodes, testing, picking up the wire (75 lbs) and electrodes and then moving 1 KM to do it all over again.....Mike, the clever fellow running the drill, noticed a badger hole exactly where he needed a hole.  You can tell it is badger, because the holes are big and they go straight down as far as you can see.  On the other hand, a bunny hole goes sideways and would be useless for our purpose.   

Now, a smarter man would look for footprints in the excavated dirt to confirm the hole was unoccupied.  However, our hero (not me - I was rolling out wire for the next hole) casually opened the tap for the required gush of water out a fat rubber hose.   Everything was going perfectly to plan.   He could see, as he peered over the edge into the abyss, that the hole was holding water.  For at least a minute, there was a nice calm surface reflecting in the afternoon sun. 

The next second, the water disappeared, like a huge flushing toilet.   A beast from the bowels of the earth scrambled upwards like a rocket with solid booster fuel.   Just like a cartoon, it didn't stop climbing until it was about 5' over Mike's head, whereby it crashed to earth a gravity took over.   Critter growling.  Driller screaming.  The rest of us laughing and cheering in amusement.  Mr Badger hit the ground with such force, that it would have killed a lessor creature.  I can honestly say, nothing is uglier than a huge, wet and angry badger.  Teeth bared, water arching into the sky and no clear route to escape.  At the same time, Mike was jumping backwards with both feet solidly together, as if he was on a pogo stick, towards the open door and safety of the truck.   

However, the badger had a different idea, ran in a tight circle around Mike and into the cab of his truck.  Minutes later, the radio on our vests squacked "Ah, Mike, you are going to have to get that thing out of there".  No doubt, there was some glee in the crew chief's voice.  At this point, wishing for a camera we were all entertained as we watched poor Mike, with great hesitation and talking in his most reasonable voice begged Mr. Badger to please leave.  Nothing.  He poked around and under the bench seat with the electrode.  Nothing.   To be honest, none of us saw the badger leave and I am not sure we would have told him anyway.  It made for a fun drive back to our hotel, constantly  suggesting to Mike over the radio of all the possible places that he forgot to look.

Loved the story about the badger, fierce and fearless creatures.

I tried to chase one on my horse one day.  The horse was way smarter than I was. He threw me off on my head and went back home and left me to face the angry badger. Lucky for me we'd just taken all the wire off a section of fence so I was able to dodge in and out of fenceposts for a long stretch and the badger gave up the chase, but talk about snapping and snarling as he chased me. Lesson learned.

Thanks for the story, and all the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on April 29, 2019, 09:20:31 PM
Thanks Lanny  sunshine  Mark and Joe  for all theses enjoyable tales

Thanks for dropping in to leave a note, much appreciated.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on April 30, 2019, 08:49:58 PM
Hi.Guys a lot of us are Hunters and want that great big moose.Never get in his way when they are rutting.I was a kid back then but still remember this like it was a movie.I will use (Wofl gang for a name).We were out on a bit of a boat trip.Wolfgang wanted to tag a long and packed his canoe on top of his VW bug.We had a great day but never seen any moose.We were back at the road and Wolfgang was packing out his canoe.he was cursing and swearing a lot and banging into trees as he hiked threw the swamp,Al of a sudden their was another sound, a lot of snorting and crashing and bush breaking.Dad yelled at Wolf gang Drop that canoe and get out of there.He looked back dropped the canoe and dived under his VW bug.Wolfgang was a good 300lbs but he dove under that bug.just as the moose rammed his antlers threw the  side and tossed that VW like it was a plastic bag.Dad as cool as a cucumber blew the brains out of that moose.He gutted it and quarted it up and loaded it in the truck.Wolfgang was still lying on the ground and muttering a whole lot of gibberish I did not understand and he smelled real bad.Dad walked over and said to him hey wolfie moose stakes at our place to night.Do not remember a lot but wolfgang did not come to dinner that night.Do not think he ever went in the woods again.Luck,Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 01, 2019, 11:23:49 PM
Hi.Guys a lot of us are Hunters and want that great big moose.Never get in his way when they are rutting.I was a kid back then but still remember this like it was a movie.I will use (Wofl gang for a name).We were out on a bit of a boat trip.Wolfgang wanted to tag a long and packed his canoe on top of his VW bug.We had a great day but never seen any moose.We were back at the road and Wolfgang was packing out his canoe.he was cursing and swearing a lot and banging into trees as he hiked threw the swamp,Al of a sudden their was another sound, a lot of snorting and crashing and bush breaking.Dad yelled at Wolf gang Drop that canoe and get out of there.He looked back dropped the canoe and dived under his VW bug.Wolfgang was a good 300lbs but he dove under that bug.just as the moose rammed his antlers threw the  side and tossed that VW like it was a plastic bag.Dad as cool as a cucumber blew the brains out of that moose.He gutted it and quarted it up and loaded it in the truck.Wolfgang was still lying on the ground and muttering a whole lot of gibberish I did not understand and he smelled real bad.Dad walked over and said to him hey wolfie moose stakes at our place to night.Do not remember a lot but wolfgang did not come to dinner that night.Do not think he ever went in the woods again.Luck,Mcbain.

Moose are indeed bad news. Someday I'll write about the story one of my prospecting buddies told me of his near-death experience with a cow moose that had new twin calves with her, scary stuff indeed.

All the best, and thanks for your story,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on May 02, 2019, 07:11:20 PM
Try getting between a sow grizzley and her cubs.Back inthe early 70sw I was running a large tree planting project. north of Babine lake.we had skid trails all over the bush.I was moving a 10 man crew from one site to another.As most folks know a skid trail is  slow going and hard on a 4x4.Can not go very fast.I had 10 planters sitting in the box when I caught a movement off to the side.2 bear cubs playing.It only took a second to realize,Where the  {-censored-} is momma.Ihit the gas and started grabbing gears but we were in some ugly clay and I was not gaining speed.About that time the guys in the back were screaming for there lives.I looked in the mirror and sure enough Momma Grizz was trying to tear the box of that truck.To this day I do not know what saved us.We may have gained some speed or simply got far enough away from those cubs but that pickup box was completely destroyed.All the tree planters went home and never returned???? just a day in the woods.Luck,Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on May 03, 2019, 10:32:33 AM
Ah McBain, she was only giving you a warning.  If that Momma was truly angry (or hungry), you would have lost more than just the tailgate, no matter how fast that skidder could go.  ;-)
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on May 03, 2019, 06:26:16 PM
Hi.Sunshine you are so right.But I had to go back to the same place the next day.I was a little smarter this time.I took the old Nodwell.Fully enclosed track machine.Rifle beside me.That machine could blast threw any thing.No Momma Grizz she simply moved on never to be seen again that summer.Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 05, 2019, 09:15:57 PM
Hi.Sunshine you are so right.But I had to go back to the same place the next day.I was a little smarter this time.I took the old Nodwell.Fully enclosed track machine.Rifle beside me.That machine could blast threw any thing.No Momma Grizz she simply moved on never to be seen again that summer.Mcbain.

I've had enough run-ins with cranky bears to truly respect their ferocious strength and ability.

Most of the bears turn tail and run, but then there's the undeterred few that decide to advance . . .

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 15, 2019, 11:23:38 AM
Gold Monster Outing

Went to the gold camp in the Rocky Mountains last week. The weather was gorgeous, all kinds of songbirds back, plus the flowers of the mountain meadows are in full bloom, purple crocus and shooting stars, yellow buttercups, multi-coloured Johnny Jump-ups, etc., etc.

At the camp as I was checking over the living quarters (camper and two travel trailers), a humming bird buzzed straight past my right ear! That snappy racket from those wings going a million miles an hour is unmistakable. So, we set out the humming bird feeders hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful and dazzling red to orange coloured throat of the Roufus variety before they head farther north, and we’ll keep an eye out for the beautiful iridescent green of the more common ones that sticks around all season.

My wife unpacked her shiny new Minelab Gold Monster, and for those of you familiar with the machine, there’s not much reading to do, but I watched a whack of user videos before we hit the mountains so I could give my little darlin’ some tips and guidelines as she set out to learn how to use it.

I picked a spot for her to try her luck on, an old fairly level place in a valley where some placer miners once had their wash-plant. The claim is now abandoned, last worked by some modern-day Chinese miners, but they left the area under a gloomy cloud, and I doubt they’ll ever be back.

I gave my June Bride some general instructions on how to run the Gold Monster (I’d never used one before, but the YouTube and other user-posted videos were a great help. Furthermore, I’d like to give a shout-out to Bill Southern for his wonderful educational efforts.). But, we figured the Monster out quite quickly, and that’s why I’m grateful to Steve Herschbach for recommending I get my sweetheart one due to its ease of use, and kudos to Steve and Jonathan Porter for their write-ups on the machine which helped me quickly get a handle on the basics; their input was invaluable.

By eye-balling the old site, I could tell pretty close to where the Chinese had pulled out their wash-plant, so I used that information to gauge where I’d have my wife start to detect as there are always some “spill” areas that offer a better shot at finding a nugget or two. Having said that, it was easy to see they had bladed and bucketed the area carefully after they were done to gather any spilled material; those miners were no greenhorns.

I blocked off in a rough rectangle an area I thought might pay, and right away, my wife was hitting targets, but they were almost all ferrous, so she kept experimenting toggling back and forth between discriminate and all iron, learning the different sounds, learning how to make it easier to ID targets (to get them to sound off louder), learning how to read the little bar graph when it gave its indication of non-ferrous more than ferrous, as well as getting used to the sounds of shallow vs. deeper targets, and learning how to use the magnet wand to save time while sorting trash signals. (To elaborate, she’s a great panner, but a green, green rookie when it comes to nugget shooting.)

The thing about detecting an old wash-plant set-up is that it gets very easy to quickly tell where the repairs (welds, patches, etc.) took place, and the numerous bits of welding rod sure make for some interesting sounds, and curious readings on the graph! Having said that, the Monster’s discriminator sure came in handy, and yes, depth was lost, but by using the small round coil, target separation was much better, and I was impressed at how my wife was able to move slowly from target to target, separating their locations, as she dug out signals.

While she was test-driving the Monster, I was going for a comfortable cruise with my Gold Bug Pro. That is one hot machine, at least mine is. (I’ve heard detecting folklore that some machines leave the factory “hotter” than others, and I have no idea it that’s true or not, but the one I have is a firecracker for sure, super sensitive, and a true gold hound for sniffing out gold from tiny flakes to meaty nuggets.)

I started to hit non-ferrous targets in one slice of her search area, so I marked a few so she could check them out. Well, those miners had liked their cigarettes, and there were plenty of crumpled bits of foil from the wrappers as well as some other kind of lead foil with a gold-coloured outer covering that made for some increased heartbeat, but only turned out to be a bust.

After having dug some of those duds, she called me over. “Hey, what do you think of this signal?”. She was getting a great reading on the Monster, and it sounded sweet too. She worked the ground for a bit chasing the target around with her scoop (when a target runs from the scoop, it’s usually something heavy, as most ferrous trash seems to hop quickly into the scoop). Dropping the dirt from the scoop onto the coil, she moved things around and there sat a pretty little picker, about a quarter of a gram! Man, was she pumped!!

So, she kept on working that rectangle while I ranged farther afield with the Bug Pro, and I too found all kinds of cigarette foil, and that maddening, thick lead foil with gold coloring--craziest stuff I’ve ever seen, and I have no idea what it originally contained. I recovered a small aluminum parts tag, several electrical connectors, bits of lead, and pieces of broken brass likely from a bushing of some kind.

My wife gave another shout, and over I went. Her meter was pinning consistently in the sweet zone, the signal sound nice and crisp. Capturing the target, she threw the dirt in a gold pan. Next, she then used the Garret Carrot to chase the signal around the pan. She moved some dirt then cried out, “Look at this. Is this gold?” At first, it was hard to tell what it was due to a covering of grey clay, but using a bit of water soon revealed a sassy nugget! If I’d thought she was excited about her first find, it was nothing compared to her reaction on that one!

I can only come to this conclusion: The Minelab Gold Monster is a sweet machine that sure produces sweet results, because it’s so easy to use, and it makes my sweetheart happy (couldn’t resist punning on sweet, forgive me).

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: bruno on May 15, 2019, 01:21:00 PM
Great story Lanny, I bet your wife can't wait to get out and use that detector again. I just recently bought a Gold Bug Pro, they are getting hard to find seeing
that Fisher quit making them, and there are Chinese copies on Amazon. Only a few places that still sell the ones made in the US. I hope to get out soon
and learn how to use it properly. <-yes_>
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on May 15, 2019, 07:46:12 PM
Hi.Lanny loving it.A couple more trips and she will have it down pat.But never ignore the bad signals.There is more than gold to found.One of the best signals I got with my garret AT was apiece of gum wrapper.My claim is loaded with iron rocks but this spot was just dirt.I had to dig 2 ft.to find it.And that still has me scratching my head.Last fall we buried a 5.7g nugget at about 6 inches in the same kind of dirt no rocks.The signal was so faint,I could not believe it.Do I chalk it up to a fualty tool or just a stupid operator?Me thinks the operator.Luck,Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 17, 2019, 10:45:56 AM
Great story Lanny, I bet your wife can't wait to get out and use that detector again. I just recently bought a Gold Bug Pro, they are getting hard to find seeing
that Fisher quit making them, and there are Chinese copies on Amazon. Only a few places that still sell the ones made in the US. I hope to get out soon
and learn how to use it properly. <-yes_>

Bruno, thanks for dropping in and for leaving  your nice comments.

As for my Bug Pro, made in the U.S.A. and hotter than a bandit's pistol on gold, came hot from the factory, and I love it. That detector has paid for itself so many times over that I stopped counting long ago . . .

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 17, 2019, 10:49:15 AM
Hi.Lanny loving it.A couple more trips and she will have it down pat.But never ignore the bad signals.There is more than gold to found.One of the best signals I got with my garret AT was apiece of gum wrapper.My claim is loaded with iron rocks but this spot was just dirt.I had to dig 2 ft.to find it.And that still has me scratching my head.Last fall we buried a 5.7g nugget at about 6 inches in the same kind of dirt no rocks.The signal was so faint,I could not believe it.Do I chalk it up to a fualty tool or just a stupid operator?Me thinks the operator.Luck,Mcbain.

Mcbain, as always, thanks for your comments, and thanks for the advice about the bad signals as I've found some really bizarre things that way, and some downright interesting things as well.

When it comes to chasing aluminum foil, the decay rate of the signal is longer than gold, and that's why it always sounds so good, but never is.

I usually find that when the detector is acting strange, it's usually something to do with me as well . . .

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on May 17, 2019, 08:11:07 PM
One thing I was told about detectors is they do not Lie.The signal readings can be wrong but the detector is picking up something and it does just not be what we want.I have watched many vids where a  dedector rights it off to a bottle cap and some one else that puts a little more work into digging gets a damn good find..Just saying Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 18, 2019, 02:48:20 PM
One thing I was told about detectors is they do not Lie.The signal readings can be wrong but the detector is picking up something and it does just not be what we want.I have watched many vids where a  dedector rights it off to a bottle cap and some one else that puts a little more work into digging gets a damn good find..Just saying Mcbain.

You're sure on the money with your idea.

For instance, while nugget shooting I'll often get a reading that says iron as well as non-ferrous, and that's because of the ironstone that lays in the bedrock with the gold on top of it, beside it, underneath it, etc.  That's why I dig those questionable targets too.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 26, 2019, 11:29:17 PM
Hydraulic Pit Gold

(I wrote this story a long time ago, but for the rookies, there might be a tip or two . . . )

I was detecting in a hydraulic pit one day, way back when I was using the Minelab 2100 full-time (still a solid gold-finding machine!).

I was finding little brass boot nails, copper wire, blasting caps, old square nails (of all sizes), mine tunnel rail spikes, dozer-blade shavings, cigarette package foil, bits of old tin can (AKA, can-slaw) . . . I was hitting everything but gold!

I wandered over to a rise on the side of the pit where there were some white-barked quaking aspens. It was a sizzling summer day with the patented cobalt blue sky of the Rockies, and that shade in the aspens looked mighty inviting.

From upslope, a cool breeze brought the fragrant scent of fresh, mountain pine.

Having been given the perfect recipe for some relaxation, I sat down and pondered what I'd been up to. The pit was huge, and I'd been hammering the exposed bedrock, and any places where there was any clay deposited tight on the bedrock. (I guess it was good that I'd been finding the junk, as it proved the area wasn't totally hunted out, but I wanted some gold, and I was tired of hitting only junk.)

As I sat in the shade and took a break, I suddenly noticed lots of river rock around the base of the trees, a thing I'd failed to notice before. I looked at the rise above the aspens,  and I saw where river rocks were poking from the slope as well. Freshly inspired, I took my shovel and peeled off the surface material to expose even more water-rounded rock.

I fired up the detector and passed it over the rocks and worked my way along the edge of the rise. To my amazement, I got a signal! Of course, I automatically assumed it was another nail, as most of that hydraulic pit could have been refiled on a claim map as a nail mine!

(To elaborate a bit about old nails, I've been fooled by the small tips of square nails before, sometimes they sound just like a nugget. )

Anyway, I dug down and cleared away some of that river rock. The dirt looked like original deposit, undisturbed virgin ground. Furthermore,  as I looked at the rise, it made sense. Where I was digging was obviously a small hump of intact old channel, a piece left by the hydraulic miners.  The only clue as to why it had been left was that perhaps due to all of the nails at the base of the hump, there must have been some sort of building there that they didn't want to take out with the water cannons.

At any rate, I kept digging, and the signal got stronger. Pretty soon, about eight inches down, I saw bedrock. I passed the coil over the spot and the sound was nice and sweet.

This was shale bedrock, with lots of fractures packed with clay, and lots of small river stones tight on as well as jammed down into it. I pinpointed the signal and carefully scraped down through the clay and small stones. There on the bedrock was a sassy nugget! It was very flat, but shaped just  like the sole of a shoe, about the size of a Barbie Doll boot, only thicker, and somewhat larger.

Naturally, I decided to detect the area more, but I got blanked.

But then came the thing that can stop a nugget hunter cold, the battle over whether to strip more overburden to expose the bedrock. (Was this a lone nugget, or could there be some pals somewhere?)

I've faced this decision many times while throwing off hundreds of pounds of annoying rock, only to find nothing. But, the place had a good feel to it, plus the shade was a nice bonus, so I decided to tear into it.

(As a side note, my buddy invented a slick rock fork that I had with me that day. He took a manure-fork and heated the tines and bent them about halfway down their length at a right angle. Then he cut the sharp tips off, leaving safe, blunt ends. This is a dream tool for raking off river rock from hillsides and bedrock, the long handle making the work easier. Plus, any heavies like gold will fall through the tines and stay put.)

Using the repurposed fork, I found that the overburden varied from about six inches to a foot, and the rocks varied from cobbles to watermelon-sized boulders.

At last I'd cleared an area about the size of two half-ton truck beds. It took a lot of work, but I'd produced a nice patch of exposed bedrock that had the same covering of clay and small river stone as the previous spot that had given up a nugget.

I ran the coil over the area and got no signal at all! I slowed down and ran it perpendicular to the way I'd detected it the first time. This time I got a whisper. I hauled out some sniping tools, went to work, and the signal was slightly louder.

I used a stiff-bristled brush and scrubbed the bedrock. I detected the spot again, and the signal was nice and repeatable. I got out a bent, slot screwdriver (end bent at 90 degrees), and I worked that bedrock hard. It started to break off in flakes, and small sheets,  and my efforts exposed a crevice! I dug down deeper and the crevice got a bit wider, then little stones packed in a wet, dark-stained sandy clay started popping out; this can be a very good sign, even with a crevice being narrow.

I ran the edge of the coil along the crevice and the sound was definitely crisper. I took out a small sledge from my pack and a wide, thin rock chisel. I cut down on either side of the signal in that bedrock crevice, then I slanted back toward the heart of the crevice itself, breaking out the rock and exposing the contents of the little pocket. I scraped all of the material out of the crevice and put it in a plastic scoop. I ran it under the coil and was rewarded with a nice smooth, crisp sound.

I sorted the scoop's material under the coil to reveal a flat nugget, its body still wedged in between two pieces of bedrock. Moreover, because that little rascal had been standing on its edge, that was why it had been so stealthy in the crevice!

I cleaned along the rest of the crevice and found two more nuggets, smaller than the first and second nuggets, but nice to have nonetheless.

I went back to the same spot a couple of weeks later and really cleared off a large section of that hump. You'd have been proud to see the rocks fly that day; nonetheless, I found no more gold.

Isn't that the way it goes?

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on May 28, 2019, 08:25:21 AM
I am still scratching my head trying to picture the nugget that was slightly larger than a "barbie doll boot", and I have a young daughter.  LOL  Great story.   I felt like I was standing beside you while you were detecting. 
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on May 28, 2019, 08:05:49 PM
Hmmmm.The Barbie was pretty small.Still a damn good nugget.I am guessing close to 2 g :). been fourty years since I seen barbie.Luck,Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on May 29, 2019, 11:23:14 AM
HMmm - my ex was named Barbara.  She had regular sized feet.  One heck of a big nugget.   <-hypnotized->
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 29, 2019, 01:57:46 PM
I am still scratching my head trying to picture the nugget that was slightly larger than a "barbie doll boot", and I have a young daughter.  LOL  Great story.   I felt like I was standing beside you while you were detecting.

It was the only size comparison I could come up with at the time, and it had thickness too which made it even better. (Maybe Barbie wasn't such a good idea . . ., but a better comparison than comparing it to the foot of a snail.  ;)

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 29, 2019, 01:59:26 PM
Hmmmm.The Barbie was pretty small.Still a damn good nugget.I am guessing close to 2 g :). been fourty years since I seen barbie.Luck,Mcbain.

Looks like I've opened the Barbie floodgates, and yes that is close to what the nugget weighed, good guess.

All the best, and it's been a long time since I've seen Barbie too (maybe she's my good luck charm?),

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on May 29, 2019, 02:00:31 PM
HMmm - my ex was named Barbara.  She had regular sized feet.  One heck of a big nugget.   <-hypnotized->

Send her over, and I'll measure her feet, and we'll see how close the match is . . .  <-thinking->

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on June 13, 2019, 11:29:45 AM
(NOTICE: No gold found on this outing. Read on only if you enjoy the adventure.)

Deep Canyon Ghost Camp

We’d heard rumours, but we’d never followed up on the information . . .

We were told to head down the logging road until we saw a large area off to the left side that had a designated winter pull-out for vehicle parking. After we’d found the spot, we were supposed to check the forest behind the pull-out for an old trail, and by following the trail, it would lead us down the mountain into a steep canyon where the Old Timers had taken out lots of chunky gold, and all of their work was done by hand as the gold was shallow to bedrock; shallow diggings, the Old Timer’s bread, butter, and cream. Furthermore, there was supposed to be an old cabin where a highly successful miner had been found dead. His body was discovered during the deep winter snows, and only located weeks after he’d died, but his cache had never been found. So, it seemed like a good spot to investigate.

We grabbed a couple of detectors, some bear spray, a flare gun with bear bangers, some sniping tools, a couple of pans, and off we went.

Not far into the trees we found an old cabin, but it wasn’t quite old enough for the stories we’d been told, but it did have some cool items in it; however, there were no other structures, and we’d been told there were “cabins”.

We carried on, picking up the thread of the trail, but we got crossed by some deadfall. Working our way through, we were soon on our way downslope. In short order, the steep trail dropped in pitch even more, and the surrounding forest was extremely quiet, which was unexpected.

We were in an area of dense growth, but no buildings were visible anywhere. As we rounded a bend in the trail, we saw a collapsed roof, and under the roof, the drooping remains of a log structure. Off to the right at about a 45-degree angle, there was a building that had obviously been a workshop at one time, as lots of cast off materials and machinery parts surrounded it.

In front of us, right off the trail to our left, was an old root cellar, and someone had been digging behind it, throwing out all of the old cans and bottles. To our immediate right was a building and part of the roof was beginning to collapse. What was interesting is that under an intact portion, there were still many cords of cut firewood.

As the steepness of the descent increased, we came upon a large, long log building, one that had been re-roofed in more modern times. To elaborate a bit, the cuts of the logs where they were fitted at the ends had been beautifully done by some master builder in the past. Those logs were securely locked; it was built to weather any kind of severe force. To the left of the long building, there was a house, the roof over the porch collapsing, and when we went inside for a peek, someone had done a lot of work to cover the rooms in every ceiling with tin, and that was curious.

After poking around the surrounding buildings for a while, and after snapping some pictures, we worked our way along the edge of the cliffs to get down to the creek.

One of the first things we noticed was a hand-stacked rock wall on the opposite side, one expertly crafted on the bedrock of the creek to rise up to then intersect the cliff face. Someone went to a lot of work to stabilize that spot.

Visible above the rock wall and the cliff were countless hand-stacks of cobbles, evidence of the gold rush where the miners were working the shallow diggings to get to the easy placer. (Later on, we met a modern-day miner, and he told us there were lots of nuggets recovered in the two to three-ounce range!) As the canyon was so steep, and due to the shallow deposits, it had never been worked by mechanized mining.

My son fired up his detector and set off to see what he could find.

While he was hunting for targets, I set up to provide over-watch: we were after all in the land of the grizzly and the black, as well as the territory of the cougar.

As luck would have it, there were no encounters with apex predators, and it was a beautiful afternoon with the forest lit by golden shafts of soft sunlight that filtered down from high overhead. However, the normal symphony of mountain songbirds was absent, as were any signs of hummingbirds or butterflies, all my normal companions while chasing placer. In addition, no mountain flowers were present, reflecting the scanty soil conditions of the canyon.

As I kept watch, I moved around and noticed that every place there was any kind of a gut or a draw the miners had tossed out the cobbles to reach the bedrock bottom. In fact, I couldn’t find one place where they hadn’t excavated any likely-looking spot. Furthermore, as I looped above the area where my son was working, I came across numerous trash pits with all kinds of interesting old cans and containers, rusted evidence of either former food or fuel needs.

My son called me down to the creek where he’d isolated a target underwater, but it turned out to be a small part of an old square nail, which for whatever reason always sounds off like a good find on the pulse machine. He kept digging the rest of the afternoon and recovered countless trash targets: square nail tips and sections; intact square nails of various sizes; bits of can-slaw; a chunk of punch-plate; various pieces of wire of differing compositions; as well as chunks of lead, etc.

What he didn’t find was any gold, but that’s the way it goes in the nugget hunting game; buckets of trash get dug before the gold gets found. In retrospect, I don’t even know how many buckets of trash I dug before I found my first nugget, and I think that’s what kills most beginning nugget shooters. They give up after the first palm-full of trash or sooner. Nugget hunting requires serious dedication and patience, but when that first sassy nugget is finally in the palm, there’s nothing like it, nothing.

We gathered up our gear, took a few more pictures of the cabins and buildings on our way out, and then hit the switchbacks as we slogged our way up out of that silent canyon.

We will go back, but with a different focus this time. We’ll move some hand-stacks from some likely looking spots to give the underlying, undetected bedrock a sniff. I mean, two to three-ounce nuggets? Something had to have been missed in a crack somewhere . . .

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on June 13, 2019, 08:14:03 PM
Hi.Lanny Great story.We all know the fishing stories.I would be concentrating on any thing over a gram.Soundfs more like one of Walter Browns tall tails,Like finding Slumachs mine and the walnut sized nuggets just laying around for the taking.Funny thing ,How all that gold just dissapeared <-dont~know-> <-dont~know-> <-dont~know->.Luck Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on June 17, 2019, 10:36:14 PM
Hi.Lanny Great story.We all know the fishing stories.I would be concentrating on any thing over a gram.Soundfs more like one of Walter Browns tall tails,Like finding Slumachs mine and the walnut sized nuggets just laying around for the taking.Funny thing ,How all that gold just dissapeared <-dont~know-> <-dont~know-> <-dont~know->.Luck Mcbain.

Yes, I always take the stories with either a grain or a pound of salt, depending on the teller. On a side note, I did drop in on some miners just down the valley a bit that recovered a two-ounce nugget, so it is possible .  . .

I know that whatever I do, it will require a lot of work as I'll have to move a lot of hand-stacked cobble to get a peek at the bedrock to see if it's the right kind for holding trapped gold, and then I'll hunt the margins to see what the old-timer's missed, could be interesting.

All the best, and thanks for your comments,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 27, 2019, 08:43:29 AM
A big end of summer hello to everyone.

Sad to say, but I've been tied up with family items all summer long (not that family is a bad thing, a great thing actually), but it's kept me from chasing the gold. However, now that the cooler weather will soon be on its way, and now that the stream levels are dropping lower, there should be some sassy gold exposed on some sweet bedrock that will need a new home, and I'm more than willing to adopt it!

The large placer outfit I've been working with for the past few years got off the gold, then ran into some serious mining challenges due to Mother Nature, so maybe they'll stay in the area, and maybe they won't, but I sure had a great time working virgin bedrock with my detectors over the years that they were around, nothing better than hunting ancient channel bedrock with a detector for fun.

Glad to see so many posts on the forum recently, and I'll be hitting the goldfields this week, at last . . .

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: sunshine on August 27, 2019, 08:51:45 AM
Hope you adopt some nuggets in need of a new home soon.  Good luck out there.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 27, 2019, 08:57:29 AM
Sunshine, great to hear from you as always, and I do hope to get deeply involved in the golden adoption cause.

On a different note, as I've been cruising the forum posts of late, I've noticed that some people like to lurk and learn a few things and don't comment on the forum as they have no real experience with chasing the gold (live too far away from good gold, etc., etc.), so I'm going to post an article I wrote a long time ago that I wrote for any rookies that were new to learning how to work bedrock, as sniping bedrock is about the easiest way to find some gold that has size vs. panning buckets of material that may or may not hold any gold.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 27, 2019, 09:15:09 AM
To The Rookies:

Now, for a few things I've learned about working bedrock.

When checking bedrock, always look very closely at the surface. This means that you have to clear ALL of the material off of it first. Moreover, any clay, and associated material, that is sticking close to the bedrock, carefully save it, so you can pan it out. This means that you'll need some sniping tools to clean out all the VISIBLE cracks and crevices as well.

Go to a wholesale supply store or a good hardware store, a place that sells lots of various hardware/automotive items, to get some things. Several screwdrivers of various sizes is one place to start. Take a slot screwdriver and put it in a vice and bend a couple of inches of the end into an "L". This will make the screwdriver into a little digging/scraping tool: very handy for cleaning out crevices. You might buy an awl as well so you can poke down in cracks to work material out. Also, if you're in the right type of  automotive/industrial supply store, you can buy dental-like instruments--they come in all kinds of hook and scraping conformations--excellent for getting into very narrow crevices, and they're made of stainless steel so they won't rust, and they're quite tough too.

In addition, it helps to buy several sizes of wire brushes, from the small, almost toothbrush sized ones to the larger ones that you'd scrape a wall or fence down to get it ready to paint. You'll need a variety of chisel sizes as well to break open crevices--the good gold goes down deep, and even if the crevice is narrow, it likely wasn't always that way. I've taken nice nuggets out of crevices that, in their current configuration, were far too narrow at the top to let in the size of gold nuggets they held.

This crevice and crack mystery opens up all kinds of theories as to how the nuggets got there, but the key point here to remember is that they ARE there, and who cares how or why they got there. Bust open those crevices until you're sure you're at the bottom, and then really rip up the bottom until you're in solid bedrock--a note on this later.

You can buy tiny little chisels at hobby/automotive stores. You'll need a variety of sizes. You might want to have a few larger chisels as well, and you can buy ones that have a protective shield on them so you don't smash you hands and fingers (been there, done that). So, you'll also need a small sledge--buy a fibreglass handled one--they're much tougher than the wooden handled ones, and the water doesn't affect them (no wood to swell). As well, paint all of your sniping tools fluorescent orange--trust me, you'll leave things lying around, especially when you find some good gold and get a little excited, and it's much easier to spot those tools later when you come back to reality.

You'll need a variety of brushes, from stiff bristles to softer ones as well. Also, you'll need something to sweep your sniping concentrates into. Those little plastic shovels that kids take to the beach work well for tight places, and plastic dust pans work great in larger spaces. A plastic gardening/planting scoop works wonders too. It's also a good idea to have to have a steel one as well--a lot tougher for digging.

Stainless steel spoons of various sizes are handy for digging and for collecting material worked from crevices, and sometimes a tough, small plastic spoon can get you into an otherwise inaccessible spot.

An important point, one I alluded to earlier, and this has to do with the bedrock itself, is that after you've cleared all the visible cracks and crevices, and cleared/washed the bedrock, take a very close look at the bedrock to see if you can notice any subtle differences. Also, watch out for a purple stain with any adhering clay--for whatever the reason, this purple colour sometimes indicates hidden crevices and gold.

Moreover, watching for subtle differences in the bedrock is critical. The reason for this is that sometimes, eons ago, the stream was running little bits of material the exact same colour as the bedrock. This material, in combination with binding minerals, formed a matrix that cemented in cracks and crevices, and often, gold was already trapped in those crevices. Why bother to look for this? The cemented material makes the crevices virtually invisible, but if you look very closely, and if you chip away at any suspicious looking spots, you may discover a hidden crevice that hold some nice goodies. Furthermore, any cemented material from cracks and crevices should be carefully crushed and panned. I've found a lot of nice gold this way.

Now, the best way to find these obscure crevices is with a dedicated gold detector, that is, if the nuggets are big enough. I've found many a sassy nugget completely hidden in a totally invisible crevice--one cemented so tightly, and invisibly, that I could not tell with my eye that it was there. In other words, mother nature did a perfect job of hiding that ancient crevice. Not only that, but the matrix is as strong as the host bedrock, and the bedrock will break off with the matrix as you chisel the nuggets out. Always work well to the sides, above or below, the target signal, so you don't damage the nugget as you chisel it out.

This is where it's critical that you have the right detector for the temperature of the bedrock--by temperature I mean that a cool temperature would be a low mineralized portion of bedrock that a VLF would run smoothly on; and by hot (or red hot) I mean bedrock that only a premium Pulse or later generation combinations machine (like the Minelab GPZ) will operate on. If your detector just screams and gives up, go borrow rent or buy one that will run on that bad bedrock as there may be some pretty little nuggets trapped in those invisible crevices.

If you find yourself on a sheet of old, dry bedrock, and you don't have a clue where the cracks are, take along a sledge hammer and smack the surface in various places and watch for little dust plumes as they emerge from the cracks and crevices you couldn't see at a glance.

Moreover, if any of you have further tips on sniping, I'd love to hear them as well. I know there's always more I need to and would love to learn.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 27, 2019, 02:22:07 PM
More for the Rookies

Snooping Around Rock Piles and Old Diggin's

I ran into a guy from the Yukon two years ago that was running a big placer operation up there. He told me that they always pushed off the piles of hand stacked rocks and checked out the bedrock underneath. Not only were there nuggets the old-timers had missed, there were sometimes virgin strips of ground that he said were incredibly rich, as in the rush to mine the bedrock, the old-timers had stacked their rocks on pieces of ground and then got too busy, or who knows why, and never got back to the virgin dirt they'd buried in the first place.

I know of a nugget shooter where I currently hunt that found an incredibly rich patch the old-timers missed, one located in a narrow strip of ground. He took out hundreds of small nuggets, and some nice fat ones too, and the strip was only about three feet at its widest point!

This makes me think of tales old-timers up in north-central British Columbia told me about how mining companies were in a hurry to get to the bedrock, and to quickly get the gold--kind of like skimming thick cream off of milk and not wanting the underlying milk--and that some of those companies were very sloppy in their recovery. As well, there were always other rushes going on that lured the placer miners away to "better" diggin's on shallow bedrock.

There are countless piles of hand-stacked rocks where I'm working, and I'm going to closely investigate some of them for sure this summer. In fact, for years nugget shooters have been winching the boulders off the bedrock, and they've recovered a lot of nice nuggets.

There's one thing I'd like to highlight here: the old-timers DEFINITELY did not get all the gold. I've seen too many rookie prospectors give up in proven gold country when they see all the stacks of rocks, and all the old workings because they figure the old-timers  somehow were perfect in their recovery techniques--they weren't! Plus, some of them were lazy, some were disillusioned, some were just sloppy, some were homesick, some were physically sick, some were starving, some were panicked by possible attacks from hostile parties, and none of them had the technology we have today to find gold within the bedrock. (I think this post paints a bit of the picture as to why they absolutely did not get all of the gold, and trust me, there's still gold there to be found where the old-timers worked so hard.)

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Xplore on August 27, 2019, 07:34:58 PM
Great stories and wisdom - thanks for sharing Lanny!
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: mcbain on August 27, 2019, 09:03:22 PM
Hi.Lanny very great tales and very true.I see folks making the same mistakes today.Example when I am workin a trench or hole I always set aside the first material from the hole.Once i am happy with the hole all my waste goes back in the hole.I am talking Hibanking. of course but it applys to every thing.As I dig further away al the waste goes back in the hole. that was already dug.No rocks or classified mater sitting on top of undug ground.I see so many folks  trough out the waste on top of virgin ground and walk away.Drives me nuts becuase now I got to remove all that waste.I try too get folks to toss the waste un what has already been dug but most just do not get it.Luck Mcbain.
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 28, 2019, 01:07:42 AM
Great stories and wisdom - thanks for sharing Lanny!

Thanks for your kind comments, much appreciated.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 28, 2019, 01:15:20 AM
Hi.Lanny very great tales and very true.I see folks making the same mistakes today.Example when I am workin a trench or hole I always set aside the first material from the hole.Once i am happy with the hole all my waste goes back in the hole.I am talking Hibanking. of course but it applys to every thing.As I dig further away al the waste goes back in the hole. that was already dug.No rocks or classified mater sitting on top of undug ground.I see so many folks  trough out the waste on top of virgin ground and walk away.Drives me nuts becuase now I got to remove all that waste.I try too get folks to toss the waste un what has already been dug but most just do not get it.Luck Mcbain.

Thanks for leaving such nice feedback, and what you say makes a lot of sense, and more people really could benefit from following your advice.

Some of what you've described about careless people reminds me of a miner I met one day that had uncovered a narrow slice of forgotten virgin ground between two piles of worked ground, virgin ground revealed by removing the tossed out material that covered the area between the two worked spots, and he found himself a little bonanza in that narrow stretch that had been buried long ago by the old-timers that were in a hurry to get to the shallow bedrock and were not careful where they threw the overburden.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 29, 2019, 10:04:29 AM
Nuggets Stuck To Sticky Bedrock.

Have any of you have ever worked with or hit a sticky, black bedrock while prospecting a river? I ran into this situation one summer where the bedrock had lots of graphite in it, lots of pyrite imbedded in it, and lots of quartz stringers running throughout it, but that black bedrock was sticky, like gooey cheese. Because of that, it sure did hold the nuggets!

They were stuck to it like flies to fly paper, like bugs to a bumper in summertime. That black mess was terrible to pan, and the graphite was murder--my hands were black for days, and the green gold pans looked like you'd used them to change oil.

But, that bedrock sure worked like the perfect gold trap, in fact, as the water dropped in the river over the next few days, I spotted a nugget just by eyeing the bedrock, no detector or pan needed. The nugget was stuck fast to the surface, the first sun-baker I'd ever found.

Anyway, there's more to this story, but I'm interested in input from others, if you've ever run into this stuff before, or anything like it.

Thanks,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on August 29, 2019, 10:12:22 AM
Since I'm asking questions, I'll post this little story as well:

Upright Sheets of Bedrock Hold Nuggets!

Say, anyone ever seen this?

One summer,  I saw a guy deep down in a hydraulic pit, and he was metal detecting for nuggets. Thing was, he was detecting vertical sheets of slate! He'd run his detector down the sheets of slate, and then across the sheets, and that kind of detecting is mighty hard on the arm, doing everything perpendicular like that,  if you're using a full-sized detector. However, for those of you that have never seen sheets of slate like I'm so poorly trying to describe, imagine sheets of thin plywood standing vertical, the tops at rather jumbled angles to each other, and that's kind of what this feature looked like--also imagine bits of dirt and small river run in between those standing sheets. Obviously the rock was thrust up at a 90 degree angle to the way it was put down by mother nature, and at a 90 degree angle to the flow of the ancient stream bed,  but in its upthrust state, it worked like an excellent sluice box, what with all the jagged ends, and the available spaces between the sheets. Whew!! Quite the explanation--my apologies!

Anyway, he was working his way along these sheets, and I thought he was a little out of it, sort of like "What the heck are you thinking buddy?!", as there was exposed bedrock all over the place in the pit that was lying flat on the ground, stuff that looked much more promising.

So, I was relentlessly hammering that more easily accessible ground-hugging bedrock with my heavy pulse machine. Imagine my surprise when he started to peel off one of those big sheets with a long bar, and then started to carefully scan the small amount of material that fell out from between the sheets. Well, to make a long story short, I looked over to see a  great big grin on his face as he held up a nice, very flat, two gram nugget!!

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: Lanny on October 16, 2019, 12:43:55 AM
Actually made it out to chase some gold with the detector.

I'll have to post some pictures later and maybe a bit of a story.

All the best,

Lanny
Title: Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
Post by: JOE S (INDY) on October 16, 2019, 12:33:38 PM
Vertical sheets today started out horizontal back long ago before ground movement, folding and twisting.

Whatever the case, somewhere along the way ...............   <-hypnotized->

Joe