Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

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Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:04 am

Hey Gold Adventurers...

Finally catching up a little from prospecting, car repairs and daily duties to post a Trip Report about 2 days of dredging on the Arkansas River, North of Buena Vista, on a friend's claim...

I recently completed a big sluice box mod on my Keene 4-inch Ultra Mini suction dredge...........where I removed the prior mod...........that worked great...........and went back to my "Long Tom" 7 foot box with now Gold Hog matting inside... Doc ay GH sent me some sample matting several years back (thanks Doc!) and so I FINALLY decided to cut & install it, hoping for even more fine, fine flood gold and less loss out he back.

Since John, the claim owner, was to be in Alaska in a family cruise in August, he decided to drop by on 27 & 28 July for 2 days of dredging ops to get wet, inspect the claim, get a little flood gold and help me "test" this new mod and see IF it was a success or failure. His daughter Megan & son-in-law Pasha came to help us as well...

Day 1: Wednesday, 27 July -- Bill & I met about 8:30AM and unloaded the dredge, carried it in pieces down the bank to the river and assembled it. We just got it running and sucking up material when John & family arrived. Since the Ark was running pretty high, fast & cold we decided to sample pan and dredge along the bank in slow water.............so we could just long arm it and NOT have to use a mask/snorkel or air and regulator ops.

Our first dredge spot:



A view down river to show how nice the day was:



John got Pasha on to the nozzle and away he went............first ever dredging experience in progress. Megan his daughter supervised, read a book, cheered us on...




The plan was to run 1 hour on the nozzle, do a cleanup to see how the GH matting was working...

Overall, the Long Tom box seemed O.K. I slid the entire sluice box assembly as far forward as the frame would allow and used 2 Bungee cords to hold a small foam flat under the tail, just for a little more "lift" in the back and it ran basically level, cleared well...

My dredge with the "Long Tom" box mod in action:





Every cleanup showed some decent fine, fine specks & nano flakes. The areas we were dredging in weren't as rich as some other spots we'd dredged further up the claim in the past, but heck............with the water as high & fast as it was, it was all we could do safely, easily. Wink Interesting too was after shutdown we basically couldn't see any gold in the matting, in the ribs.........but, after washing the matting out, it showed up...

Here's one short video I made of the dredge running, as it unfortunately ran out of gas, to show our little operation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNSVqCSgMTs&feature=em-upload_owner

My early afternoon we'd run about 3 1/2 hours of nozzle time, did 4 separate cleanups and decided to beach the dredge, call it a day. Rolling up almost 7 feet of GH matting all taped together, weighing 19.4 lbs, was always a bit of a challenge, then carefully washing it out in a big tub, but we successfully did it over and over...

I took the cons bucket home, ran them in my Gold Cube, kept the top & bottom tray cons separate in Ziplock bags for John to Miller Table back at his home. I could see generous amounts of very fine gold in the top tray and thru the Ziplock bag. Nice! Smile

Day 2: Thursday, 28 July -- Bill & I met at 8 AM and fired up the dredge and got to running. Another sunny, clear and going to be mid-80s hot day in store. John & Pasha showed up about 8:30AM and we were off to dredging again...

My dredge gettin' some fine, fine flood gold:



We worked down the river bank, on the inside bend further, looking for decent material to work. Yep, another fun and beautiful day on the Ark. My about 11 AM we'd basically worked all the spots we thought looked good and rather than drag the dredge up river, we decided to call it quits, pack the dredge up the bank and load it into my Honda Pilot and call the GH matting & Long Tom sluice box mod a big success. We sampled the tailings running out of the Long Tom several times and each time basically no gold was being lost... So, either we were in basically gold poor material OR the GH matting was getting it all...

Here's John running the nozzle:




Maneuvering the dredge around some boulders caused my Bungee cords & floatation board to escape, wash down river in the FAST water. So, we dredged the rest of the day without its help and the box seemed to stay just as level and run just as well, so next time out I won't even hassle it with trying to put extra floatation under the tail.

We won't know what John got out of the cons for our 3 1/2 hrs on Day 1 & 3 hrs on Day 2 of dredging....until he gets back home and has time to Miller Table them.......but, when he does, I'll update the Trip Report here with a "gold take" report...

So, other than me losing some skin on my left hand little finger knuckle, nobody got hurt, we apparently proved my new 7 foot "Long Tom" sluice box mod worked just fine................ready for more dredging ops in late August. Wink

Hope you enjoyed the Trip Report. Hope you get out on a Gold Adventure of your own soon too!

God bless,

Randy C-17A Smile

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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by cobill on Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:00 am

Randy, great report on our gold adventure and we all had a good time on the beautiful Arkansas river. Looking forward to our big trip in August. Very Happy

Bill

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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by dickb on Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:42 am

Hi Randy:

Nice report and I'm glad to hear that the sluice mod worked out well. Looks like it clears real well and it's great the hear you say your catching all the fines as well. Hope the gold take really is good also. I have yet to hear anyone say anything bad about the Gold hog mat.

More hard fun to come.

Dickb
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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by russau on Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:47 pm

Good report Randy!!

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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:24 am

Hey Russ,

Thanks for looking......commenting... Wink

Now, with ALL that dredging & prospecting equipment you're getting from Leonard...........you'll soon be able to make and post a BUNCH of gold prospecting Trip Reports and show us all lots and lots of gold pics.

Can't wait!

Randy C-17A Smile
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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

Post by russau on Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:17 pm

Me either! Arrow

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Re: Colorado -- Dredging the Arkansas River -- 27 & 28 July 2016

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