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Author Topic: Chasing the gold with Lanny  (Read 3985 times)

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Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #20 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

Offline JOE S (INDY)

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2019, 01:17:42 PM »
Lanny,

Not the heat so much as the exhaust gasses - which mimic a mammals' respiration.
Wiser Mining Through Endless Personal Mistakes

Offline sunshine

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #22 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.
See my YouTube channel for fun amateur video:
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Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #23 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

Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #24 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


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #25 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

Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #26 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

Offline mcbain

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #27 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.
I started out with nothing Istill have most of it.

Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #28 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

Offline DharmaSoldat

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #29 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

 


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