Wow, what a wild year last year was.

 

Work got in the way of a lot of things. Which is how things go in this industry and job field, but it still manages to drag you down a little no matter how much you expect it.

 

This year has started off pretty well.  I have made it out a few times already and have kept myself busy on my time away from work.

 

So some quick updates.  In September of last year, I was this close >< to buying a XT1200Z Super Tenere. In fact, I went home, slept on it, woke up ready to go to the dealership and purchase it.

 

I jumped online, and started to look at all the accessories (luggage, skid plate, crash bars, etc) to outfit it with, and figured up the overall cost after tax and licensing for the bike.
It astonished me… In fact, it outright scared me at the thought of what would be wrapped up into it, so instead I decided that I should look at replacing my trusty Nissan Frontier that I’ve owned since new for 12 years, and nearly 200,000 miles.

 

I started to search around for certified used, and new pickups. I finally found a pretty good deal (Actually, a really good deal!) on a new 2011 Toyota Tundra.

 

This time around, I wanted to get a full size pickup again. I missed having the extra space in the bed that my F-250 had, so with that I went to the dealership and began the process of seeing how far I could talk them down.
In the end, I ended up buying a New Tundra double cab. I talked them down a good portion, in fact, I ended up paying less for the Tundra, than I did on my Frontier 12 years ago. It not only has more power, but it really does get better fuel mileage. I’m averaging about nearly 3 miles better a gallon, than my Frontier did.

 

I did not however get rid of the Nissan. I decided to keep it at least through the winter as I have a nice set of snow tires for it, and figured I would just get rid of it in the spring. Further into the fall/early winter, I realized I really like the compactness of the Frontier, and have decided to keep it and retire it to exploration/winter duty.

 

Moving on…

 

The start of this year has gone pretty well. In fact, I think I’ve managed to get out into the mountains more this year already, than I did all of last year.

 

Most of this is my focus on a hobby I mentioned last year at some point that I got into with a couple of friends, which is recreational prospecting.

 

It’s a great way to get out, and spend time getting wet, cold, and dirty.  I know that may not sound like a lot of fun to some, but I enjoy it. Spending time with some buddies on the river bs’ing and having a good time is a great way to spend a weekend.

 

This year I want to spend a bit more time involved in this hobby. Mainly cause I want to see if I can’t get enough gold at least to make some kind of trinket.

 

Because of this, I’ve spent some time gathering up some equipment, both purchased and built.

 

I’m going to throw up some video’s of each one so you can see them in action and get an idea of what I am talking about.

 

I bought a blue bowl concentrator back in January. It seems to work well.

Because I live in a small apartment complex (and thankfully on the first floor) I needed to come up with a portable, easy to disassemble water capture and recirculation setup. So you also see the outcome of that, which was two PVC buckets, a couple ABS drain fittings, and a piece of pipe.

 

The main reason I did it like this, is to allow the water to “settle” a bit (as there is a bit of fine material in it) and keeps the water from getting cloudy. This actually works very well, and I’m happy with the outcome.

 

The other thing I did recently, is I built a mini-highbanker out of my mini-sluice.  This allows me to bring back material when I don’t have “great” conditions to run the sluice in a river/creek by itself and do the concentrating.  This was a very fun project, and I’m extremely happy with the final outcome of this, as it works how I hoped it would, and that’s about all I can be thankful for!

 

And then I built myself a Miller Table, which is an ongoing project as I try to find the right “texture” to capture the fine gold. Right now, it slows it down about half as much as the rest of the material, which does help in sucking it up with a snuffer bottle.
A miller table is really another way of capturing the fine gold like what the blue bowl is used for. I built it because it seemed like a fun project. And well, it was.

 

Basically the idea here is to put your fine concentrate on the “table” and the water helps carry the lighter material away, while the heavier material stays behind. As I said, it is a work in progress.

Well, that’s about all I really have to update you with! I did make it out snowshoeing earlier this year as well, but then the area I like to go to got shut down.  I’ll try to get some of the few photo’s I took posted up.

 

Keep an eye on my youtube channel http://youtube.com/micsadventure and my facebook page http://facebook.com/micsadventure for updates! I haven’t been using the facebook page much recently (apparently since October!) but as I get back into the groove of things over the next couple months, getting my butt in gear, I plan to use it a bit more.

 

Well, until next time!

(Oh and here’s a photo stitch of a day out on the Mountain Loop Highway!)

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