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Author Topic: Chasing the gold with Lanny  (Read 8754 times)

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Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #100 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,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #101 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,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #102 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.



Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #103 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,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #104 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,


Offline JOE S (INDY)

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #105 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->

Wiser Mining Through Endless Personal Mistakes

Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #106 on: November 23, 2019, 07:11:01 PM »
Catch and Release Gold:

Did something the end of the summer season I haven't done before.

I went to visit a friend of mine that runs a large placer operation.They had made a cut 70 feet deep to bedrock, and they'd piled the dirt up near their huge washplant to be processed. After the large run was finished, there was a small pile of pay left on the big area they'd scraped to push up the remainder of the piled paydirt.

My friend told me to take my detector over to the pile to have a bit of fun. I was shocked by his offer, but of course, I giddy-upped to the site and started swinging my detector. Within minutes I had my first repeatable good signal that was pinning at 40 on the Bug Pro. Using my Garrett Carrot, I'd soon pinpointed a nice, flat nugget in the pile.

I kept working my way around the pile, up and over the pile, and worked my way carefully all the way around the bottom of the pay-pile. In this way, I recovered 5 sassy nuggets, which was much like shooting fish in a barrel, but way more fun.

However, my gold fever brain kept nudging me to try to the scraped area around the pile, a much larger undertaking, so I headed out into the wilderness of flatness . . .

About ten feet out from the pile, I got a good signal under a rock about twice the size of my fist. At least, that's what I thought. But, when I levered the rock out (which was a hot rock), the signal was more to the front of the rock (as it faced the direction of the pay pile). The hot rock had been distorting the signal.

I scanned the hole again where the rock had been, and sure enough, the signal was coming from the area described above, and its signal was pinning in the 60 range on the digital display of the Bug Pro. I used the Garrett Carrot to pinpoint the signal, and it sure came back nice and loud! Moreover, I could see the edge of the nugget.

I reached down at the tip of the Carrot and pulled out a flat and sassy nugget of just under six grams! (The flatness was likely why it read so high on the digital meter.)

I kept working the scraped area and recovered another three nuggets, so by the time the rain hit to stop the party, I'd pulled out nine sweet nuggets in total, weighing in at over a third of an ounce.

It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours.

Of course there were lots of bits of steel blade and track shavings, but the gold was consistent due to the loaded nature of the area I was working.

I made my way over to my friend's truck to show him what I'd found, and he was surprised that I'd found the biggest nuggets in the scraped area, and he assured me they would sure scrape deep before they were finished with the pay-pile area.

I decided to give him all nine of the nuggets, even though he wanted me to keep some of them, as he's been great to me over the years to let me detect on his claims wherever and whenever.

Fun, fun catch and release day.

All the best,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #107 on: December 30, 2019, 04:46:27 PM »
Warning! Annual prospecting poetry!!

The Ballad of Shifty Eye and Curly Sue:

A handsome thing, named Shifty Eye,
Just never worked, nor would he try.
Yet he was always flush with dough.
Well, this set folks to wonder so

Just where that Shifty got his cash.
Was Shifty doin’ something brash?
Like robbin’ sluices in the dark?
At night the dogs would often bark . . .

Some clean-ups seemed a little thin.
Was this ol' Shifty’s sure-fire win?
So, guards was set at every claim
To see if this were Shifty’s aim.

In spite of this, they never found
If Shifty had been sniffin’ ‘round
That sluiced up gold of Montanny,
Fer Shifty, he was right canny.

All dressed in black on darkest night,
He’d rob a sluice and do it right.
He never took the total take,
As that would be a huge mistake.

A bit from here, a pinch from there,
He’d do his shopping everywhere!
Yes, equal opportunity
Described his actions perfectly.

He wasn’t dumb, nor was he thick
His brain was rather quick and slick
It helped him tune his robber’s game,
That is, till trouble one night came.

T’was New Year’s Eve, when he got caught,
Plumb lucky that he wasn’t shot.
A doe-eyed gal named Curly Sue
Drew down on Shifty, froze him true.

But Sue was lookin’ for some fun,
‘Cause shootin’ someone with a gun
Creates a sort of end to things,
And Sue was thinkin’ wedding rings!

She’d loved that Shifty from the start;
The love got rooted in her heart
When first she’d spied him on the street.
Since then, Sue’d thought him mighty sweet.

She yelled fer Pa up in their shack
A ten-gauge shotgun he did pack!
“Now look-ee here” her pa declared,
“A sluice box robber, mighty scared.”

A miner’s court was called right quick
With Shifty lookin’ mighty sick.
They had that Shifty dead to rights
Fer robbin’ sluices all those nights.

A necktie party soon would be
The thing to stop his robbery.
But Sue declared, she loved the sot
The miner’s court devised a plot . . .

A shotgun wedding was the plan,
They all agreed, down to a man,
To hold a spree that New Year’s Eve.
(They had no will fer Sue to grieve.)

A priest was brung—some duds was found.
The miners gathered all around
While Shifty married up with Sue,
On New Year’s Eve of ’62.

A handsome thing named Shifty Eye
Learned how to work and even try.
And Curly Sue was plumb happy
She’d found a way to wed Shifty.

Happy New Year, and all the best,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #108 on: January 01, 2020, 12:37:11 PM »
The New Year’s Shift

Now Blackjack Bill rode the outlaw trail
But he somehow dodged the marshal’s jail.

He’d rustle cows when his poke was slim,
Then rob a stage if the mood hit him.

He tried his hand at the minin’ game
Then dreamt up ways to improve his claim!

He’d salt it hard, and he’d salt it good.
Just to fleece big shots because he could.

But Blackjack Bill wasn’t rotten through
Deep down inside were his good points too.

With lines right clear in his brain defined,
They formed a gulf from his outlaw mind.

Now women folks was a point in case,
He’d see no harm nor cause disgrace.

Well, killin’ folks was a big no, no.
Would he rob the poor? That weren’t a go.

The rotten rich and the proud were game,
And anyone else of haughty fame.


In the minin’ camp one winter’s day,
A gang of scum cast their lot to stay.

Some deeds were done in the dark of night
And the camp soon knew an awful plight.

A widowed gal who had lost her man
Got her nest egg stole from her coffee can!

A peg-legged man with a humble store
Had the windows smashed on his new front door.

The camp’s new church, with its copper spire
Was set ablaze by an arson’s fire.

Two guards was shot, at the mine payroll,
That gang of trash took a fearsome toll.

They roughshod rode every night and day;
The marshal shot when he made his play.

So, Blackjack Bill of the outlaw breed
Renounced his past with a brand-new deed.

The shiny star which the marshal’d wore,
Was pinned on Bill ‘cause he was sore!

With Bill as Boss, he could choose his crew,
At the mines he’d find the right type too.

His posse new was the perfect thing
To rout that gang, and to make them swing.

On New Year’s Eve, with his worthy men
He cleaned them out at their bandit den.

Well, Blackjack’s shift was a thing to stay.
It stayed with him to his dyin’ day.

All the best,


Offline Lanny

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Re: Chasing the gold with Lanny
« Reply #109 on: January 14, 2020, 06:02:59 PM »
Discouraged at not finding a nugget?

I've been doing some reflecting lately on the topic of finding that first nugget.

I've read many posts on this forum over the years of people that buy a nugget machine, but then they're quickly discouraged after a few trips to the gold fields, and then they get discouraged and either sell their machines or let them die a slow death in a dark, claustrophobic space somewhere.

I keenly remember how many targets I dug before I ever found my first nugget.

I started off chasing gold nuggets with a Garret Scorpion Gold Stinger way back when, and I actually got some good signals on a river bank way up north one day, but all I recovered were square nails. Now, the reason I bring this up is that the next year, I went back to the same spot, but Mother Nature had torn up that bank and exposed nuggets and square nails a plenty!

If I'd have stuck with the Stinger, I'd have likely found the nuggets among the square nails from the 1800's, but I simply got discouraged with digging so many square nails. However, now that I reflect back on that river bank, many things make a lot of sense today that made no sense then.

For instance, the square nails were there because they were heavies that were being drawn out of the current by a big suction eddy, the bedrock on that bank being shallow underneath the river run. The abundance of nails should have been my first clue that I should have slowed down and investigated throughly, but I didn't do so as I was a green rookie. Nevertheless, the next year when I returned, I was running a sluice and running the bank material through it, and that's when I hit the nuggets (along with lots of square nails). In fact, that bedrock was such a good trap, I actually found nuggets by eyeballing them as I cleared off the overburden!

However, I've wandered from my original topic, and I'll now address it by telling about all of the junk I dug before I ever found a nugget with my detector. That second year, as mentioned above, I went back to the gold country with a shiny new Minelab SD 2100. (The previous year, my prospecting buddy had found nuggets with his Minelab 1700 while all I found was trash. I actually put the trash I found in 4-litre ice cream pails, so I had a record of what I was recovering.)

In the pails I've mentioned, I had bits of copper wire, spent rifle and pistol cartridges (which always sound sweet), musket balls of various calibers (which also sound sweet), pistol rounds of various calibers (lead sure makes a sweet sound!), bits of blasting caps, many ends of square nails, lots of intact square nails of various sizes, lead sealing portions from tinned food, lead keys from meat tins, bits of rusted tin cans, steel wire of various gauges, lids from small tinned goods, bottle caps going back to the birth of bottled goods, bits of harmonica reeds, gears and parts of old watches, shotgun bb's and cartridge ends of various calibers and sizes, wire mesh bits, boot tacks (steel and non-ferrous), bits of aluminum, chunks of copper sheeting, as well as other junk I can't recall right now. The point is, I kept on digging and collecting because there was no discrimination on the SD 2100, so I dug everything, but with detectors that had discrimination (my buddy had the Gold Bug, the Minelab 1700, a friend had a Whites with discrimination), they would not handle the extreme mineralization where the best gold was. Therefore, I had to slug it out with the 2100 day after day.

The buckets kept filling up, but no nuggets . . . .

That is, until one day, when I'd been detecting a spot with lots of hand-mining test holes from the 1930's, my fortunes changed. As the spot was littered with round nails, I'd been digging a lot of them that day, plus I was recovering lots of bits of rusted tin from cans as well as bits of wire and screen. Nevertheless, on the rim of a test pit, I hit signals all the way around the top and sides of the excavation. I recovered round nail, round nail, round nail, round nail, but then something heavy hit my palm that was just under the moss. It didn't feel like a nail at all. It was my first nugget and a multi-pennyweight/multi-gram beauty. I still have it and will likely always have it for sentimental reasons as it represented when the dam broke, so to speak.

For after that find, on the same trip, I recovered a slew of multi-pennyweight/multi-gram nuggets. It was like there was some kind of invisible barrier that I'd finally breached, and the nuggets have kept on coming ever since.

So, to those of you that are discouraged, that are thinking of hanging up or banishing your detector after a few outings, you have the right to do so, but there seems to be an up-front price to pay for nugget hunting, one that can't be substituted with any other option.

On a related note, my son has found many nuggets, but right now he's been tuning his brain for finding coins and rings, and he's doing very well. I gave him a detector and told him to put in at least 200 hours to learn his detector, and he's done so, and is now finding silver and gold rings. For any of you that hunt rings, you know how challenging that can be, but the reason he really knows his detector is because he's invested the time, along with good techniques, to go find the kind of targets he wants to keep. Does he still find trash? Yes, lots. Do I still find trash, of course, all kinds.

The message I'm broadcasting is to go put in the time, to use proper techniques, to go to the places where gold has been found, and eventually you'll get your coil over a nugget.

Point in case, I have a nephew that's chased the gold for a few years with a detector I gave him. He's found a lot of trash, but he'd never found a nugget, that is, until last winter down in Arizona. He finally got his coil over a beauty. He's off to Arizona again to try his luck this winter, and I'm betting he'll get his coil over some gold again . . . .

All the best,



Gear Pan
Gold Rat