Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

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Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:47 am

Hey Gold Adventurers...

I had a bad case of cabin fever, and the days here have been pretty nice in the afternoons, so I decided to hit the Arkansas River on a good friend’s claim and see IF I could maybe get in a little sluicing.

We had 12F for the low in the morning, but the day before got up into the 40s, and being sunny and clear, I hoped I’d get the same warming.  Luckily, I did and so about 11 AM I decided to hit the river...

Got to the parking area and nice to see I was the only one there (so far anyways) and the road down to the parking area was easily passable.  Went by several weeks back and the snow was like 2 feet deep and the county snow plows had pushed up the snow at the entrance over 3 feet.

Here’s my Jeep in parking:



Arriving down at the river’s edge with my equipment I could see the Ark was up some from last time by, suspecting these warmer days had some snow and ice melting, raising the river:




I waded across the main channel to the gravel bars and down the first bar to the bottom, hoping to sluice a spot I’d sample panned last Fall, but see for yourself.....the edge of the bank was mostly in the shade and iced over.  No way I was gonna be successful there:



So, I hopped over to the opposite side of the tail end of that big bar, into the sunny side and did 3 sample pans in 3 different spots.  Yeah, a little super fine color in each pan, but sure no bonanza.  Deciding I’d probably not get a better spot, I settled on a spot in front of a boulder, visible up on the left:



O.K.  Here’s my Le Trap sluice all setup, and me just starting to pitch cobbles/rocks and shovel direct any unfrozen material into my sluice.  Lots of black sand here, but that doesn’t ALWAYS mean great gold....it means great black sand.  Ha.



The Ark was flowing nicely, ice cold and fast.  Ice caps on most every big rock where water could splash on it.  Chunks of ice would go floating by me from time to time:



Here’s a pic of the real fine flood gold I got from 3 pans of material.  Fine as frog’s hair...  Ha.



Here’s a close up of my Le Trap sluice full of black sand cons.  I’d shovel up material, scrape off the bigger rocks, and just feed it thru my sluice.  The water would quickly tumble the rocks out and the black sand would slowly migrate along the bottom of the box, thru the drop riffles and eventually out the back:



Here’s a shot of me done, ready to cleanup and pack out back to the parking lot.  You can see the small area I was able to clear off, shovel and sluice in about 1 ½ hours total time.  I stopped for a snack as well, and did a short walk up the bar, looking for any other promising areas.  That hole is maybe 10 inches deep at the most.  Although it may not look like it, the bank, even in the sun, was frozen solid, like concrete!



A view of me almost back to parking of the spillway.  Just about completely zero flow right now.  During snow melt and max runoff, the water is all the way to the top of the concrete side, maybe 3 feet higher!


A closer view of the total water being released. A tiny trickle, probably just from leakage around the 3 big gates used to hold back the water:



Overall, a super 1 ½ hours on the Ark, even here in winter at 9,000 feet elevation.  Started out real nice, sunny, no wind.  By 1:15PM the clouds started to block the sun some, the wind started to blow downriver and the temp started to drop.  Here’s the first video I made:

Video 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWv77Tq7HBQ

Here’s my second video, just before I cleaned up the Le Trap and packed out back to my Jeep:

Video 2:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSX7m5DHpfY

Overall, a nice opportunity to get out of the house, sluice a little “dirt” and maybe get a little gold too.  

O.K. I just got my cons panned out... Came away with 2.7 grains or .17 grams of nice, clean flood gold:




No bonanza, BUT I didn't get skunked either! Wink

So, despite us still being in winter, Spring is beginning to Spring a little....lows still well below freezing, but some days warm, sunny and well above freezing.  Hoping you get out on a Gold Adventure of your own soon, come back and post a Trip Report for all of us to read, enjoy!

Randy  C-17A   Smile


Last edited by Admin on Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by OKJohn on Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:02 am

Look like a great way to spend a Saturday!  Jealous, as usual.  Thanks for taking us along.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:31 am

John,

I KNEW............more than anyone.............you'd appreciate a little High Kolorado "adventure"...  Wink You know the EXACT spot I was on. I tried to get in at Stone Cabin, but still too much snow there, too risky trying to get back to Bill's big bar and do some sample sluicing there... That was my day's goal. Couldn't happen.

I keep telling you.........put that day job on hold............move up here............become a full time gold prospector...  You can become the "Tony Beets" of the Arkansas River!

The NOAA and Weather Channel and Weather Underground types and other SPC guys can handle all the guessing about weather and so called "Climate Change" stuff...  

We need you here more, dredging for gold!  Wink

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by OKJohn on Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:38 am

I gotta win that lottery (that I never play) and start really livin' life. Very Happy

Oh I can visualize EXACTLY where you are. I can hear the river and smell the pines. Can't wait until the next time I'm out there.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:43 am

John,

Hope you can make that "next time" on 7, 8 and 9 April.... Wink

We got Bill's big bar to dredge and see IF it's worth a poop or just a lot of cobbles, gravel and black sand...

I have the dredge ready to load up, all your "stuff" in storage too......ready to go.

Tell me the name of your supervisor, I'll contact him/her for your immediate release for "sanity, health & welfare" reasons. If that doesn't fly, I'll push for the Family Leave 6 weeks off........considering your claim as your "baby". Ha. Wink

Remember, the weather will do whatever it wants...........with or WITHOUT you. That means you'd be better off here, dredging for gold!

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:37 am

Ive won that lottery (in my mind) over and over and bought everything a man could dream of (in my dreams)! Now all I need is someone to use it for me! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Chief05 on Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:46 am

Sir:

Glad you were finally able to get out and away from that sweltering man-cave which was way long overdue. That's twice in a single week you have been able to get out, Spring has to definitely be breaking in the Banana Belt. Successful fishing trip one day followed by a day of prospecting.

Sure looks fine, cool, calm, crisp and refreshing, I too can visualize exactly where you where and can hear the river and smell the pines even with out the wonderful pictures/video you provided. Can also picture a "Fine Ass Frog Hair Sand Farmer" hard at work....HA!

Come on Apr/Aug I too would like to be a Fine Ass Frog Hair Sand Farmer, occasionally harvesting a few nuggets of course......

Thanks for sharing......

Ron

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:21 am

Chief,

Thanks for checking in....

HOPE you are over that nasty bug, feeling even a little better???

Speaking of "nuggets"..........and frog's hair... I totally forgot to mention that about 1/2 way into my sluicing I turned to dump in another shovel load of gravel and saw a HUGE goldish object in the 7th riffle down...

I mean in the bright sunlight it REALLY looked like a nugget about 2 grams. Shocked

I looked at it over and over and said to myself, "well, IF it's real, it WILL stay there all day..." So, I just let it ride.... I did.

Just about the time I cleaned up I was running my crevice too thru the riffles one more time and it washed out! I could see it sitting on the black sand pile behind the sluice. I took my shovel, scooped it up.........just a round very yellow rock. Embarassed

I just knew that in that location, with the gold nano sized, the odds of a 2 gram nugget just popping into my sluice there was pure fantasy...

Still, it WAS pretty to look at in the sun/water and imagine it to be gold. Wink

Can't wait to see you early April, bring that Irish coffee makins and brauts and buns...

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:33 pm

Randy from looking at your pictures it looked like a good day to be dredging! You would need a water heater added to your dredge BUT it sure would feel nice in that time of year. EZ to make , and you would get a lot of use out of it! Very Happy

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by dickb on Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:19 am

That water does look cold, If it were easy everybody would be doing it.

Come on Spring.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:21 pm

Dickb,

Ha. Right you are...............IF it was easy, if gold just jumped into your pan or sluice...........then yep........everyone would be doing it.

Kinda funny how when gold ran up to around $1900 several years back you'd see everyone and their brother.........and grandpa and grandma out, about..........all lookin' to get rich quick.

Today? Ha. Not many of them left. Just the dedicated ones... Wink

Was gonna hit the Ark again today, try out a different spot, BUT........dang it............Kalifornia sent me more snow! Temps down to 20F, windy, snowing lightly outside. SO, just gotta stay indoors for a few more days.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:00 pm

Randy and don't forget them great grandpas! I B 1 of them!! Cool

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by dickb on Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:13 am

Me too Russ, but I'm not giving up yet.

Randy, we're raking leaves, cleaning flower beds and getting seedlings started for the garden. If the weather stay's dry for a while I'll have the lawn mower out and grinding up what's left. I already have flowers starting to pop out of the ground and it's going to be and early spring here in IA.

My suggestion... PATIENCE GRASSHOPPER. The gold will wait for you.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:47 am

Didkb,

Ha. Went out on Saturday.....sluiced a little on the Ark.

Gonna go out again today and try for a couple hours too. Today's sunny, by a lot colder. Only 29F out and gusty/windy. Hope it's not too bad on the river, but, usually is... IF there's any place the wind will blow, it's up or down the river channel!

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:13 pm

Dickb,

Well...............I got to the road, too much snow to safely 4-WD in, so I hiked into the Ark.

Well. 1 to 2 feet of hard packed snow on the walk in and the spot I wanted to try and sluice was 80% under water and the rest on top covered in ice. Ha! Well...............THAT wasn't gonna work for the day. Embarassed

Oh well, I hiked back to the Jeep. Saw 2 really plump and juicy Mule deer on the way. I told them I had a freezer in my garage that was warmer than their nights out in the cold and I could bed them down there... They weren't much amused. Ha. Wink

I saw another spot across the river. MAYBE tomorrow I'll make another attempt...

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by dickb on Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:48 am

Randy, now for another P word.

That's PERSISTENCE for sure. At least your out in the great American landscape and having fun.

Enjoy..... Spring is on the way.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:00 pm

My front yard is persistent !! I had to cut it today to keep the weeds even with the grass ! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:30 pm

Dickb, Russ,

I went back to the Ark this afternoon.... Real nice day. Sunny, light winds, up to 47F.

I sample panned around all over. Never really found a good spot to try and sluice...

Oh well, at least I got out of the house!! Wink

Randy C-17A Smile Very Happy
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I am also one of thoe grandpas. Sure wish I could get out

Post by Dave on Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:38 am

russau wrote:Randy and don't forget them great grandpas! I B 1 of them!! Cool

in the creek or the river, but while metro Denver is doable right now; I have a very sick wife. Until she gets better, I will not be able to do any gold panning and sluicing.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Sorry to hear about your wife's illness ! I hope she gets better soon!

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Dave on Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:12 pm

Thanks, russau. We are headed to Denver tomorrow to see a specialist at Jewish National Health; the leading pulmonary hospital in the US (or maybe it is Mayo, but still the tops). Hopefully, we find out why her oxygen in always in the 70-80% range. Mine this morning was 96 %; her's rarely is even 90 nowadays.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by russau on Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:48 pm

When ever Im admitted to the hospital for any length of stay, the nurses always get me to use that blowing machine that forces you to breath harder. they always come back to me sating, we may no let you out of here until you get your breathing O2 up more. I said to them, "hey you got me laying down staying all peacefull and NOW you want me to do what? if im laying down and on drugs Im NOT going to be breathing hard UNLESS... well we cant get into that right now! Rolling Eyes

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:30 pm

Dave,

Big bummer to hear about your sweet wife not doing well...

Hope the doctors can figure it out and come up with a fix! Wink

I was out again today.........huffing & puffing in this thin air here at 8,500 to 9,000 feet.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by jloyd on Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:45 pm

I would love to do it but the ticker wont let me do the altitude any more.

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

Post by Dave on Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:40 pm

russau wrote:When ever I'm  admitted  to  the hospital for any length of stay, the nurses always get me to use that blowing machine that forces you to breath harder. they always come back to me saying, we may no let you out of here until you get your breathing O2 up more. I said to them, "hey you got me laying down staying all peacefull and NOW you want me to do what? if im laying down and on drugs Im NOT going to be breathing hard UNLESS... well we cant get into that right now! Rolling Eyes

They made her do that also.  She hates it.  She is so short oxygen that the exercise totally exhausts her.

On the other hand, she is doing much better now, though it was touch and go when they found a small blood clot in the right side of her heart.  Hopefully, that is now dissolved (they will check next month to see if the heparin did its job) and they can start working on the underlying problems.

So, meanwhile, I cannot get out on the nice days and we had snow Saturday and are expecting 6-10 inches this Saturday, starting tomorrow evening.  Doesn't look like I'll be getting out this weekend either.  Sigh. Next week is the last week of classes followed by a week of finals.  Maybe, just maybe, I can get out the weekend of 13-14 May!  Meanwhile, my thanks to Randy for at least letting me scratch the itch some.

Dave

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Re: Colorado -- Sluicng the Arkansas River -- 4 Mar 2017

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