Sunday, February 18, 2018

Cheating the Grim Reaper

I guess it's finally time to post an update. After suffering a stroke prior to my cancer treatment back in August 2015, my stroke induced double vision finally went away after 5 months. I went through my cancer treatment with great success. I thought I had clear sailing ahead until August of last year when I suffered another damn stroke. This one damaged the occipital  lobe of my brain which took away all vision left of center in each eye.(left peripheral).I had an Angiogram (no fun) and the doctor told me I had cheated the grim reaper based on the blockage of my carotid artery. He also told me my 2015 stroke was a Warning Shot. There is no medical treatment but I now take all the right meds to prevent another stroke. I do exercise my brain reading my collection of Tom Clancy novels and doing "word seek" puzzles. Since I now live along side the 18th fairway of the Lewiston Country Club, I thought I may take up Golf. If someone asks me what's my handicap?...I'd have to say TWO STROKES. I hope to get back to gold country again this summer even if it's just to visit my mining friends and watch them pull the gold off the bedrock. Next update will hopefully be 100% gold related.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ready - Willing - Almost able

Did a little exploring in a section of river I had never found access to until this weekend. A steep trail up and around a gated area put me on some unfamiliar ground.
I found a likely looking spot and proceeded to scratch around until I found what I always hope to find...BEDROCK.
As you've seen in my past blog posts, I always use a viewing box to get a good look at the river bottom. In my opinion, it's the only way to really see the character of a stream bed. In this situation, the cracks in the bedrock were running with the flow of the river so I really didn't hold out much hope of scoring anything meaningful. After an afternoon of scraping, picking, prying and panning, I did manage a little bit of color.
I had intentions of working this spot for a couple of days, but one afternoon of work really took it's toll. I may be ready and willing, but I'm barely able to hit it like I used to prior to the fall of 2015. I guess a little more testosterone would really do me some good but until that happens, I've got to pace myself. I just feel lucky I'm able to do what little I can to put some color in the pan. I've got a new Grizzly Gold Trap sluice box ordered and as soon as they finish manufacturing their first batch, I'll return to gold country and hopefully find another spot that will give up a little more color.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Almost ready

Mining tools are out of storage and secured in our new place here in Lewiston. Picked up the new ATV and outfitted it with a drop basket, ATV TEK Arch Bag and front tool holders. Took it to mining country last week to look at access into a few spots I want to prospect. Only a few of the spots I wanted to explore were open to entry. We spent most of the day just riding around getting used to the new ATV and annotated the spots on my map we could access next week.

The water level is ideal in the larger creeks (below) but the remote seasonal creeks I want to explore are going to be just a trickle if I don't get on them soon.
Can't wait to get into the water because the air temperature around here has three digits ! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Year - New Me - New Gold

It's been a long haul since my cancer diagnosis and subsequent stroke, but I feel like a new man.
I went through two radiation treatments -one internal and one external. Lot's of fun...NOT.
My PSA numbers are .4 (point 4) and my testosterone is up to normal male levels.
Wife and I have spent the last year getting our house ready for sale and after only 12 days on the market, we sold it at full asking price. We'll be moving to the big city (Lewiston) where we won't have to deal with all the snow here in the high country.
Once we get settled into our new place and move all my mining gear out of the storage facility, my first move will be to the Can-Am ATV dealership to pick up a 2017 Can-Am Outlander Max 570 XT.

I've got half a dozen new prospects to check out and we plan on touring the back country in style.
I'm really looking forward to a fun and leisurely 2017 mining season.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A brief outing at MNS.

I found some basalt bedrock at the water's edge with cracks large enough to drive my 12 lb pinch point bar into. After removing the bedrock chunks, I would sweep the pay material into the lowest portion of the cavity and use my homemade sucker tube to draw out every last bit of pay dirt.
My first sample pan appears below. 

 I had to grab a picture as this sample pan was the best I've seen come from Mother Nature's Sluicebox. This is also the first time that I've worked the water's edge. 
 I pulled a half dozen more pieces of bedrock and worked about 6 more pans before calling it quits for the day.
I'm gaining my Testosterone back but it's still slow going in the physical exercise department, so I felt I did pretty well for my first Autumn outing at Mother Nature's Sluicebox.
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

She's BACK

Mother Nature's Sluicebox has reappeared for another fall / winter season of gold mining on the Clearwater River. I spent a few hours checking things out the other day and discovered some interesting looking basalt bedrock at the water's edge. Next trip will have me hauling a 5' bar and other crack jacking tools.
Twisted my ankle coming out so instead of wearing rubber barn boots, I'll have to start wearing leather boots with some good ankle support. Ok John and Phil...time to HIT IT and GIT IT.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Back in late February I had my radioactive seed implant surgery. The first week of recovery was a little rough but tolerable. The second week of April, I started my 5 day a week - 5 week external beam radiation treatment. No big deal for the first three weeks, then came the side effects they warned me about. I won't go into detail but the February surgery recovery was pleasant compared to the radiation's effect on my internal plumbing. This is my first week without having to travel over an hour one way to sit through 15 minutes of radiation and then traveling over an hour back home again. I'm also so glad not to have any more hormone shots to drop my testosterone  levels to zero.  A man's got to have his testosterone in order to maintain muscle and I am one weak SOB right now. I've also gained over 25 pounds since surgery. I have been walking every day from 1 mile to 3 miles just to prevent any more weight gain. My only obligation is to have a blood test in a few weeks to establish my baseline PSA number and then quarterly blood tests to monitor any changes in PSA. Feels good to know that I don't have to worry about prostate cancer any more!

A few months ago, I bent up the last piece of aluminum I had in the shop to form up a 12" x 36" sluice box.
It's got 14" of slick plate, 6" of ribbed rubber and then 16" of ¾" raised expanded over carpet. My buddy was running a similar sluice last year in some fairly low flow current and he was doing pretty good.(see pic)

I know I won't have the strength to wrestle with large slabs of bedrock so my wife and I will be spending some time swinging our metal detectors over the numerous tailing piles in the area. She's got a Fisher Gold Bug (digital) with the optional 5"x10" DD coil and I swapped out my Tesoro Lobo SuperTraq for a Nokta FORS Gold+ with a 5"x10" DD coil and the optional 5" DD sniper coil. Her machine and my FORS Gold+ both run at 19khz so we'll have to maintain a little distance between us in order to avoid the machines from suffering 'cross talk', where one machine effects the other. I hope to regain some muscle mass and lose that extra 25 pounds  so we can get back to doing what we love to do...CHASE GOLD.
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