Hey GPAA Gold Prospectors...
Had to let the paint on my master bedroom walls dry a day, so I hit Cache Creek to get out of the house and prospect for some GOLD...
My plan today was to try and find a new dig & sluice spot, as my favorite spot has been hit real hard in the past year by anyone and everyone trying to do the same thing...........find some gold. With the feeder creek by the placering area parking lot all but cut off, it's forced many a gold seeker out into the valley and many happen on the spot I and a gent from Denver found/started last year.
NOTE: Surprisingly, the feeder creek by the parking lot has started to flow a little water because of the excessive snow melt going on now.....just enough flow after about noon, as the sun gets the ice & snow to melt.....to pan and sluice. SO, the little creek is technically running for now. No idea how many days it can and will flow water due to natural runoff. IF you want to sluice that feeder creek to Cache Creek proper, best get up there ASAP!
Beautiful Quail Mountain, 13,461 feet, still covered in snow, giving us the runoff we need to pan & sluice:
O.K. I signed in with Randy the CPOC camp host, so they can track numbers for BLM and loaded up and started my hike over to the extreme Southwest corner of the BLM property. I spied a spot 2 guys were diggin' in and sluicing last fall when I spent an entire day running around Cache Creek metal detecting for nuggets. I found nothing but iron junk, lead bullets, nails...
Took about 25 minutes to get me and all my stuff to that spot and boy, had it been worked since I saw it last! The hole they had going was now a big pit of sorts in the shade of some tall pine trees. O.K. Maybe some good gold, given all that diggin'? We'd see.... I set up my Le Trap sluice right beside the pit and with Cache Creek just a gushing, it was no problem getting good flow.
I started sample panning all the different colors, layers, spots and textures. Pan after pan just showed a speck or two. I did at least2 or 3 pans of each. Bummer.... I was hoping for layers and layers of nuggets, pickers and enough fines in each pan to blind me in the bright Colorado sunshine that was beaming down on me. :?
Here's the pit:
Well, the material in the middle of the pit seemed to have the most specks, so I ran that material thru my sluice. After about an hour I could see just a tiny amount of gold in my sluice and decided to clean up, pack out and look for a new, better spot.
My sluice setup:
My first gold at this spot, not much for 2 hours:
Walking down the creek on the extreme Southern boundary where the old timers stopped their mining I found several spots, pits, diggings where others had been working.....but all my sample pans turned up nothing or just a few tiny specks. So, further down the creek I went... After a while I was approaching an area I worked last Fall and noticed once again, that what was a small hole in this huge berm was now a BIG hole. I sample panned 1 pan and did find some fine color, but another prospector had his bucket beside it, and might return, so I moved on down the creek.
I eventually arrived at my old favorite spot about noon and saw another prospector was working there, but not in sight, as he had his sluice and buckets there... I setup my Le Trap sluice close by and started diggin' the same old wet, orangish clay material, soaking it, slurrying it and sluicing it. Not long to wait, the prospector appeared from somewhere out in the park, out in the sun and trees carrying 2 heavy 2 1/2 gal pails of material to sluice. I introduced myself to Dave and we chatted about the day, creek, material and Cache Creek gold.
My usual Le Trap sluice setup. The creek was even higher & faster than a few days before!
My dig spot for my clayish material:
Dave's Angus MacKirk sluice:
Dave was a Colorado local from up North a ways, down for just the day. His big MacKirk sluice was full of heavy black sand and he said he'd been finding some fine gold in material he was diggin' from a ditch way out in the open area. I showed him where I was diggin' the clayish material. We both seemed to be finding a little, just not enough! :wink:
So, for the next 5 or so hours we talked, had lunch, sample panned, dug and washed dirt... The day was really great, sunny, about 72 degrees, light breeze, no bugs, no humidity and the water was cold on my feet.
About 5 PM or so we had enough fun, cleaned up, packed out and walked back to the parking lot. We said out goodbyes and headed out. On the way home I stopped by the Arkansas River to check out the current water level. Yep... Up even higher than even a few days previous....just gushing fast & furious! Hope it's depositing a LOT of new flood gold for me to get later this Fall.
Dave cleaning up his cons:
I made 2 short videos, posted on my YouTube Channel. This one is of my first dig spot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TayNr0N8wNE&feature=youtu.be
This one after moving back to my usual location and prospecting with Dave for the rest of the afternoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9BDJmlcqBQ&feature=youtu.be
Here's my final gold cleanup/take... 5.6 grains or .36 grams of nice, bright, Cache Creek Colorado gold. Even got one small picker. Not a lot for the day, but I spent sooooooo much time hiking, sample panning and such and not just running endless buckets of material that I was happy with what I got nonetheless.
Hope you get out soon, create your own "Gold Adventure"....make some new prospecting friends too.
Randy "C-17A" http://www.goldadventures.biz