So here is my quick review of the claims in the Mojave Desert near Goler Gulch. This is for others who are new to metal detecting to hopefully use to scale their expectations.
Spent a total of about 12 hours in two days, working various areas with my metal detector with another GPAA member (who was also detecting with the Mine Lab Eureka Gold). We tried many areas, tailing piles, digging to expose bedrock and just walking the surface. We found no gold. We met some people, one of which had success in the past, pulling large nuggets out of the PCSC claim nearby (which I am a member of as well) with his Mine Lab GPX 4000. He had no luck in the time we were out there with him either. We tested our detectors several times with flakes my partner had found in the past and they sounded off clear as day. Only other times we had hits similar to that was when we were finding trash.
But two women we met who were using Gold Bugs did have some luck finding very fine gold flakes. Flakes which unless lying on or very close to the surface I don't think my Mine Lab 705 would have picked up. Then again maybe I missed the signal. Lots of hot rocks caused some issue. I did find shell casings, rusted staples, nails, small pieces of metal.
One of the women said that when her club first got the claim, the first weekend many of them came out and they detected the new claim. She came out in one day with 40 small nuggets. She said most of the rest were finding the same. I am a member of her club as well so we tried that area and had no luck there either. I believe those types of situations are rare and the areas get worked over very well soon after.
To sum up, it was fun, very hot (100+) but in the end came away without any gold. Not giving up, my local club has a new claim in the nearby mountains so planning to try there.
But got to say it's a little disheartening with all the effort and sweat involved.
Good luck all