Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

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Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:22 pm

Greetings Gold Adventurers...

Here's my BIG Trip Report on a 5 day suction dredging opportunity on a friend's claim on the beautiful Arkansas River, a number of miles North of Buena Vista:

25 August -- Pre dredging prospecting.  Walked this section fo the claim, did about 10 sample pans of different materials..........gravels, clays, rock stuff.  Mostly fine to super fine gold.  No bigger flakes.  Access down the bank from the road would be O.K.  Would be a great test for my sluice box reconfigured with nothing but 6 1/2 feet of Gold Hog matting...

Here's some pics of the area I planned to dredge:







28 August -- Day 1.  Got to the claim about 9 AM, got the dredge down the bank in pieces, all my equipment too.  Assembled and up and running at 10:15 AM.  Thanks Matt for the help!  Worked first behind a big rock, then down bank to a big boulder.  Only did 2 cleanups that day.  One after 1 hour after I discovered the matting had slipped back in the sluice box.  I saw some decent fine gold in my cleanup tub.  Used a bungee cord to wrap around the box to hole the matting in place.  Did a second cleanup after lunch, again nothing but REALLY fine gold to be seen.  Stopped about 3 PM and beached/locked up my dredge.

I made one short video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqTPOMbbP3M

Here's several pics of my highly modified Keene Ultra Mini 4-incher and my dredging ops:






29 August -- Day 2.  Picked up where I left off dredging at that big boulder, only today I worked below it and behind it.  Found decent orangish colored Cache Creek clays I like to work.  Did 2 cleanups again this day as well.  Again, nothing but fine to super fine gold seen in my cleanup tub.

Here's 2 pics of where I worked behind that big boulder, under the tree....out of the rian:




30 August -- Day 3.  Got an early start at 8:30AM as I had to stop at 1 PM today.  Decided to put on my upper scuba suit w/hood, use my mask & snorkel and spend about 1 hour quickly re-dredging my 2 tailing piles from the 2 days previous.  I sample panned them and could see a little fine lost gold.  Figured I'd give that GH matting a second chance to get any lost gold.  Brrr...........that water was cold on my face for that hour!  Re-dredging those 2 tailing piles went fast, as the material was already loosed up, water washed and sized for my nozzle, as I run a restrictor bar across the opening, allowing anything below 2 1/2 inches.   Did a quick cleanup and yep........got back maybe 1/3rd to 1/2 a gram in lost gold.  I suspect most was probably locked up in clay balls, as I dredged up a lot of clay the 2 previous days.

Here's one quick video of me getting ready to re-dredge my tailing piles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d37b3_Z89M

Here's a video showing my gold I got after 1 hour re-dredging my tailing piles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIvITlPX8eA

A couple pics of me re-dredging my 2 tailing piles and my recovered gold:





I pulled the dredge the up river and worked several hours where I left off on Day 1, now dredging upriver from that first big rock:





31  August -- Day 4.  Had a prospecting buddy Gary come over and help me dredge.............by diggin', pitchin', rollin' rocks and splashing buckets of water to help me run more material.  We did a cleanup at noon after 3 hours.  Got about 1/2 a gram of gold.  I gave it to Gary.  He had to leave and so I kept dredging that area until about 2:30PM, quit as I was pooped out.

Here's some pics of Gary, our ops and the gold we got for Gary:








1 September -- Day 5.  Decided to pull the dredge out today.  Cleanups had been less than I'd hoped for and all fine to super fine gold.  Takes a LOT of that gold to add up.  Gary came back and so we pulled the dredge upriver to a spot behind a big rock and tried to dredge some really sticky/gooey Cache Creek clay material I'd discovered sample panning.  Wasn't working well, as the clay refused to dissolve.  Then, we worked the bank a little lower, top material only to about 6 inches.  Ran out of material and places to dredge after another hour.  I was fast water & boulder bound both at the upper and lower ends of the section of river I was at...............so, we were done.

A few pics of our dredging spots after Gary & I spend a good amount of time "reclaiming" the worked areas....  We filled in with rocks, rolled rocks, pitched rocks and generally covered up the open bank sections and made it all look "rocky" and normal.  Once the annual snow melt flooding comes next Spring, that whole area will be filled in with gravel, sand, clay and will look like nobody's ever dredged that area before.   Wink   :






We cleaned up the sluice box, broke most the dredge down and hauled it up the bank and stuffed it into my Jeep.  Dredging for 2016 was at an end.  Thanks Matt for helping me get my dredge in pieces, up that bank!   Wink

I went downriver to see how my dredge buddies, Bill & Matt were doing.  Here's a short video of them working a spot at the bottom of the claim:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rkuoq-jaedw

Here's a pic of Matt running the nozzle on Bill's dredge and Bill panning out some cons:




Here's my gold take by day:  

Day 1 -- 27.6 grains or 1.79 grams.
Day 2 -- 25.1 grains or 1.63 grams.
Day 3 -- 7.5 grains or .49 grams.  Remember, that was an early quit at 1 PM.
Day 4 -- 9.8 grains or .64 grams.  Gary's split that day was about 1/2 a gram as well...
Day 5 -- 7.6 grains or .49 grams.  Only 2 hrs of nozzle time.
When I Gold Cubed my cons I washed all 2nd tray cons into 1 consolidated tub.  That yielded another 1.3 grains or .084 grams.
The surprise of the whole dredging adventure was on Day 1 I got a picker!  That was 1.0 grains or .065 grams.

My Grand Total was 79.9 grains or 5.18 Grams of fine to super fine flood gold and 1 small picker.  Smile

Pics of the gold here, by day.........1 thru 5, and the Cube Lower Tray (LT) and the little picker:










Again, the Gold Cube amazes me...........99% of all this fine gold was caught in the upper tray. Only 1.3 grains was found in the second tray, and that the total of 5 runs! Shocked

So, a shorter dredge season this year..............4 days & 2 hrs only on the 5th...................normally I get in 8 or 9 days dredging in a 2 week period.  Can't wait until next year!!!

Looking forward to see what Bill & Matt got.....

Randy  C-17A    Smile
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Re: Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

Post by dickb on Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:35 am

Hi Randy:

Glad to see your having some "HARD FUN" and getting some gold for your efforts. The dredge seems to be finding the fine stuff and what more can you ask for, Yea I know 1 ounce pickers. HA. You have a great trip and stay away from the fires. Always great to get together with the family.

Dickb
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Re: Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

Post by russau on Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:40 am

Nice results Randy! And thankyou for saying about your reclamation of the dredged holes! Id like to see everyone (including myself) posting that on the different websites.

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Re: Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

Post by Admin on Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:59 am

Russ,

Well...............back from Kalifornia now. Good to be home to High Kolorado. WAY too much traffic and noise and people out there!

Yep... We always reclaim even our river dredge spots by rolling/pitching rocks. Got to make it all look "pretty" for BLM and others...........never mind the next big flood will wash it well, fill it all back in with rocks, gravel, sand, silt...

I have looked at spots we dredged last year, let alone 2 years back and one can't tell we ever dredged those areas...

Randy C-17A Smile
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Re: Colorado -- Randy Dredging the Arkansas River Trip Report -- Aug/Sep 2016

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