Colorado -- Panning the Arkansas River -- 16 Feb 2016

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Colorado -- Panning the Arkansas River -- 16 Feb 2016

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:34 pm

Hey Gold Adventurers...

FINALLY a bit of a prolonged warm spell, sunny & windy days here.  That's meant a lot of the snow has melted in and some areas, especially in the sun are clear.

So, wanting to get out of the house for an hour or so I took a drive, went by a friend's claim on the Ark to check things out.....check the monuments, signs and pick up any trash left behind by campers.

Arriving the wind was sure howling out of the North, right down the river channel, but seeing it was maybe a good 45 degrees, it wasn't too bad.

Still lots of snow & ice on the West side of the river, in the shaded areas.  A couple views upriver and downriver:





I spotted some darker, orangish material that normally means old Cache Creek glacial clay, and so I started diggin' there.  Bummer, I somehow forgot my yellow steel pry bar, so once you got a couple inches down the material was rock hard frozen, like concrete.  My first dig spot:





Got a first pan of material and panned it.  Well, not much.....just a few ultra tiny 100 mesh specks.  Squint real hard, maybe you can see them:



I decided to dig closer to the cold, flowing water.............maybe find some unfrozen gravels I could more easily dig.  Got a good pan of mixed gravels, black sand & some Cache Creek clay.  Much better:




Looking at the line along the water's edge I moved about 4 feet up and dug a second sample pan.  Pretty much the same fine flood gold. No big flakes at all:




I walked up the river about 20 feet, did a sample of instream gravels...  Lots of coarse black sand, but MAYBE 1 speck of gold.

I walked down river about 75 feet and dug another pan of good looking instream gravels.  Again, basically nothing.  O.K.  Once again, the best fine flood gold is usually associated with the orangish or reddish Cache Creek glacial clays washed in/down from Granite, CO, upriver where they hydrauliced the valley there from 1860 until 1912.

So, that was my little bit of prospecting fun for the day.  Been REALLY windy/gusty the last few days....making time on the river less than fun.  Will probably go back some day soon and try sluicing for a couple hours, if we don't get more snow.

FWIW, I had a fun time.   Wink   Hope "you all" get out soon too, get some gold!

Randy  C-17A    Smile
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