Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Ride to the Mt Crawford Fossicking area.

Late last year I bought a permit from the Forestry department that allows me to prospect on their land. I have been there a few time but thought that I had better make the effort to go again as the permit expires early November. It would be my last chance as I have other things planned for my days off up till the end of November.

I had a few chores to get done before I left so it was around 11am before I had the bike on the road and headed for Mt Crawford.

Mt Crawford seen a bit of a Gold rush about 130 years ago after a chap by the name of John Watts discovered gold there in 1884. Watts managed to keep the discovery quiet until the following year when the secret was out. once the news got out there was a bit of a major gold rush on. It wasn’t long before other discoveries near by were found. A second Gold rush occurred in 1930 when a 20oz nugget was found during planting of pine trees.

It would be difficult to gauge just how much gold has come from this area but it is certainly in the 1000’s of ounces.

The ride up there was nothing spectacular as I rode on the main access route to get there. Once there I decided to ride up into the pine plantation area. After finding what looked like a suitable area I parked the bike up.

Not really a sealed road.

Not really a sealed road.

Unpacked the gear ready to detect.

Unpacked the gear ready to detect.

I spent about 2 hours metal detecting and found the usual items. Bits of wire, pieces of metal and tin cans and even a beer can in the middle of nowhere. It worries me that some people think it is okay to throw their garbage out where ever they like.

I found the usual amount of gold and decided that there may be some water in a nearby creek. I had my sieves and gold pan with me and thought I would give that a go.

After packing all the gear back in the bike and readied to go I had a look about and realised I had not left myself with a lot of room to turn the bike around and I couldn’t keep going along the track as it went down into a bog hole.

No problems I will just do a 3 point turn. so I got the bike around as far as I could get it and I push it back so I could turn the remaining section. Problem was I could not get it back very far. Thought I would give it a try anyway. The center section of the track had become depressed and the front wheel rode up the side of the track about 8 inches high. Vstroms are quite high bikes and with the added height of the front wheel and (my biggest mistake) lack of forward movement meant my feet were dangling in air. Opp’s over I go. Bugger. Didn’t hurt myself apart from a small bruise on my left ankle but the impact snapped the end off my brake lever.

Never mind. Most of the damage was to my pride. At least it was away from the crowds. 🙂 . Okay off to the creek.

You can see the break lever broken. The end sitting on the handle.

You can see the break lever broken. The end sitting on the handle.

Unfilled hole.

Unfilled hole.

After arriving at the creek the first thing I see is a huge hole left by someone. Being on my bike, I didn’t have a shovel, just my $4.99 Big W lolly scoop that I use to fill my sieve. I would have filled it in but I would have taken me a hour or more. Anyway people should learn to fill there own holes in. I ended up just putting a branch in the hole so any small animals that may fall in have a chance to crawl out.

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My attempt at panning was fruitless and I decided to leave it for another day.

I enjoyed the ride home although the last 1/2 hour was starting to cool off quite a bit. It was a great day out even though my bike got tired and laid down for a a rest. Oh and still no Gold.

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A trip to Jupiter creek with a sting.

Decided to head off to Jupiter Creek again. Really starting to treat it more as just a day in the bush, an excuse for a ride, any excuse is a good one. I don’t think the Xterra 705 is to good in the ground at Jupiter Creek and maybe I should look at going to Mount Crawford or even further afield.

Anyhow the weather was great and it was going to be another look about up there. So I pack up my bike and off I went.

After I got to Jupiter creek it was again time to find something to prop my bike up on as the ground is quite soft this time of the year. So I nosed the bike into the railing that segregates the parking lot from the Diggings area.

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I readied my detecting gear and stowed my riding gear. I then strolled off down into the diggings area. I had my Gopro with me and took some footage while I was there but I need to edit it a fair amount and then work out how to put it on you tube. Once I do I will post a link.

I headed towards Whites Gully as Nenad had pointed me in that direction as it is kinder to VLF machines. I detected along the way. Unfortunately I was digging up the usual junk but then got a strong signal. After digging it I found it was a nipped off nail. Seem to find a lot of these. Not sure what they are from or used for, but will post a picture later. Perhaps someone can tell me.

Interesting signs along the way. learn a little of the history.

Interesting signs along the way. learn a little of the history.

Not to far away I put the detector over the side of a bank of some old diggings. I got a good signal and tried to manoeuvre into a better standing position. I put the detector down and scraped some of the surface leaf and rubbish away so I could get the coil to the ground. I picked up my detector and that is when I realised I had made a terrible mistake. I was about to be in a bit of pain. I had inadvertently stood on top of an Inch Ant nest! I had them coming up my trousers and they were in full attack mode! For those of you who don’t know what an Inch Ant is, they are an ant that is 25mm long or obviously an inch long. If disturbed they are very aggressive and give very painful stings. For a chap who is a bit overweight and in his 50s I made a fairly rapid retreat and in the process of removing them from myself was lucky to have only got nailed by them one on the thumb and twice on the belly. Yes they were inside my shirt and all.

Inch Ant image off the net

Inch Ant image off the net

I must admit it put a bit of a dampener on my day as I was then on the constant look out for Ants.

I finally made my way over to White gully and detected in the area for some time without success.

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I ended up deciding that I would be better of going for a ride and having some afternoon tea.

I headed back to Echunga and pulled up at a General Store in the main street that looked a likely spot to have coffee and a Ham and Cheese toasty.

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late lunch

late lunch

So after a very late lunch and a good cup of coffee, I made tracks to head home.

So after being nailed a few time by inch ants it was still a good day out, but still no Gold

Categories: General, Motorcycling | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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