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Black Cat Mining Blog
Okay, so this isn't like the fancy blogs with all the bells and whistles, but we're going to try to log some of what we've been up to, so maybe it qualifies.

Metal Detecting - Oct 17, 2007

Lindsey swinging a detector As mentioned in our October newsletter, I've got a new metal detector. Here's Lindsey trying it out in the garden.

I'm a novice with a detector. I bought a used detector about two years ago after saving spare change for ages. I thought it was funny to buy a metal detector with change, so I could go look for more change. It's actually a gold detector (though I've used it for coins too), where the ACE 250 I just got is more of an all-purpose machine.

The other big difference between the two is that I still haven't totally figured out my older detector, while it took all of a day to get pretty proficient with the 250. I literally read the instructions while waiting for breakfast at a restaurant the first day I took it out, and while I've not found anything amazing, I am finding stuff and digging it without too much trouble.

Anyway, that first time out was only about 20-30 minutes in a small park that I believe had been searched. The next time out I went with a buddy of mine, first to a town called Sodaville and then to a couple schools.

Sodaville was once a rip-roaring little resort town, centered around a soda water spring that was apparently good for what ailed you. I had read descriptions of the hillside above town being dotted with tents as vacationers came from miles around, and thought "Hey, let's find that hillside!"

It turned out to be pretty much all private property, but we did do some detecting at city hall where we learned from the city administrator and former mayor, that someone had detected city hall the week before. She also gave us a brief history of Sodaville, told us where the hotels, jail and brothel stood, about the three times the town had been destroyed by fire and where to find the old foundation of the college - roughly where anyway. We didn't find it...

My friend had been using a borrowed detector and was having a really hard time finding much of anything. He then tried mine and liked it so much he asked if we still had any in stock. Yep! We left Sodaville, had lunch and stopped off to pick up his new detector before swinging by a highschool where we had reasonable luck around the football field and one of the baseball diamonds. Among some change, including some sitting on the surface under the bleachers, I also found an arrowhead from some past archery class. Trevor (my friend) was doing a bit better on the change front, but all in all I think we both decided that highschool aged kids eat way too many junk food items wrapped in foil, plus I think we were both excited to try as many diferent types of places as we could..

Next up was a gradeschool that had definitely been detected recently. The playground, woodchips, sand under the swings, etc were all pretty silent, but I headed over to the soccer field, found the marks on the grass where the goal usually sat and detected around the goal mouth. Within just a couple swings I was digging up dimes!

Lindsey and Oliver stopped by to snap a couple pictures. Oliver brought his detector to help with the soccer field. Meanwhile Trevor hit the other goal (and also started finding more coins). It was getting late so we headed home not long after their visit.

Here's a pile of rubbish and coins for the day:

The following Saturday Trevor and his brother Eric stopped by to pick me up. Eric had the same borrowed detector Trevor was trying to use the week before, so we took along another ACE 250 just in case and headed to Wendling.

Wendling was a mill town not far from where Marcola sits today (for those familiar with this part of Oregon). I had never heard of it, but Trevor knew where it was and wanted to try it. In reading up on it it sounded like a bit of a boomtown at one time. It even had it's own rail line into Eugene called the Wendling Bullet. You could make a round trip in a single day. They had slower bullets back then apparently...

Wendling has been mostly bulldozed under and a tree farm stands over much of it. Somebody had even set up a paintball battle area among the trees with bunkers made of old brick and bits of foundation from what might've been mill buildings, the bunkhouse or Wendling general store.

We didn't find anything amazing, but this picture shows a length of one of the old saw blades and a solid iron wheel of some sort that were both found in the same area.

We also visited the Oregon coast and hit the beach (yep, all in one day). Aside from the annoyance of all the melted bits of aluminum cans that seem to be the natural byproduct of beach bonfires, we had a good time. Eric was swinging a new ACE 250 by the time we hit the beach. I think I owe the owner of that loaner detector a few hearty "Thanks!" for lending out such a difficult machine to master.

The ACEs did well on the dry sand higher up from the water line, but were harder to use in the wet. I had the same problem with my Whites in Mexico. Unless made for the beach, saltwater gives detectors headaches. I'm going to have to double check the ACE manual for any saltwater advice, but like I said, the dry and even damp sand was no problem.

Best areas seemed to be around bonfire sites, but those were also the most riddled with nails and melted beer cans. I ran on all metal and used my sand scoop to quickly find targets, so didn't mind digging a little trash (except those elusive finish nails that slip out the holes of the sand scoop just to reposition the signal).

Didn't take any good beach pictures, but it was a gorgeous sunny day. Got in trouble for getting home late, but had a nice day all around.

Good luck on your detecting trips!


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