A Lil' piece of El Dorado

by Sherry Spalding

Let me start off by telling you that getting out and seeing the sites is only part of the adventure. Learning new thing and keeping your mind open for the impossible will keep you young forever.

Everyone in the treasure world has heard of the mythical or shall we say the legendary Lost City of Gold or the Holy Grail or in this case, El Dorado. There are many stories out there, some with facts and others with, well, they're more campfire stories than anything. What I am about to share with you is no campfire story, well soon it will be.

This spring I went on a family outing with my parents, my husband, and my two children. Our destination was deep into the Nevada desert. Our goal was simple relaxation, exploration, and in the case of my father and husband, playing with their metal detectors. The first day we setup camp and discussed a plan for the following day. The next day surprised us with a snow storm. I along with my mother and my kids decided to stay in the trailer and play games. My father and husband had other thoughts. No rain, sleet, or snow was going to keep them in the trailer. They grabbed up there metal detectors and they flew up the mountain.

Around noon my father and my husband came back to camp. They both came in with a disappointed look on their faces. But not for long, my husband couldn't keep it in any longer and immediately produced a 1/4 ounce gold nugget. My husband has been metal detecting for around 7 years and this was his first nugget he has found with a metal detector. He found it with his Tesoro Cortes which is a coin machine. As quick as they came into camp, they were gone again.

The snow stopped, but it was still bitter cold outside. While visiting inside the trailer I continued looking out the window. My mother, like all mothers, could see the depression in my eyes. She asked me if I wanted to go metal detect with the boys, and I told her I was fine, besides I didn't have a detector. Mother's doing what mothers do, produced her brand new Tesoro Lobo Super Traq and said go play. I told her I didn't know the first about metal detecting. She said nonsense and gave me a crash course on it. I was amazed at how easy it was to use. I bundled up my son and we headed for a draw.

Almost immediately we started finding targets. I found square nail, boot tacks, and rusty cans, nothing to write home about, but we were having fun. About a quarter mile up the draw, the Super Traq made a loud whining noise. I started digging expecting to find a rusty can. I dug down about four inches and ran the Super Traq back over the hole. The signal was still there, so I dug another four inches. This time it was gone. I ran the detector over the dirt I took out of the hole and I found the target again. I searched through the pile and couldn't find the rusty piece of metal. I then started running handfuls of dirt over the coil while throwing the rocks off to the side. I went through the entire pile and nothing. I remembered my husband talking about ghost target and I figured that must be it.

As I started to stand up I set the Super Traq of to the side, near the rocks I had been throwing off to the side, and it whined. I was a little bewildered. I then started running each individual rock over the coil until I found it. The rock was a muddy white rock. I started rubbing of the mud and to my surprise, the rock had viens of yellow running throughout it. I let out a scream and my son said is that gold and I said I think so. I never ran so fast in my life. We ran all the way back to camp.

My husband and father just beat us to camp and they just stood there while I ran screaming to them. When I got to my husband I handed him the rock and said is this what I think it is. You should have seen the disbelief in his eyes when I handed him the 10.55 ounce quartz rock, I had just found laced in gold. He looked at me as if, how can a person that doesn't even know how to turn on the machine, find something like this.

Well I will tell you, Tesoro. That is all that needs to be said. When a novice explorer, that doesn't even know what she is doing, finds something that has been sought after since time began, that's something, that's Tesoro.

Did I mention up until a couple of hours prior my husband had found the biggest nugget my father had seen in that area. Well at least he got to gloat for that amount of time. And did I mention my father has been in these hills for six years searching for this little stone with one of those three thousand dollar machines. Even though I still do not own a metal detector, I hope that someday I will. That is if my husband will allow me to go with him again. Get out there and explore. You will never know what you will find until you do, and just maybe you can bring home a Lil' piece of El Dorado of your own.

* - Reprinted with permission from Tesoro, "Metal Detector Information" - 22nd Edition