Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Fees Increase for the Fairplay Beach Gold Panning Area

In case you have not heard, we had epic flooding and high water in Colorado this Spring. The water is down enough, now, to have people back around the rivers and creeks, although they are still very high for this time of year.

Highway 285 was closed for over a week as CDot watched a 100 year old bridge, fearing it might fail with all the traffic going over it. The South Fork of the Platte River flowed far out of its banks, around the supports, and just under the pavement.

With things settling down, we ran into Fairplay to pick up this year's panning permit for the Fairplay Beach, only to find the fees have changed, again.  Not sure you can read the print in the picture, but they are now charging $5.00 for a week of prospecting and you must designate which week you will be using the area.  The charge for April til October is $35.00.  I would assume there is no panning/sluicing allowed from October til April, as there is no charge during that time frame.

Have a happy 4th of July, and as always,

Good Prospecting to you,
Hooked On Gold

Saturday, June 27, 2015

No water in the diversion ditch at Cache Creek June 26th, 2015

                                                         Cache Creek 6-26-2015

It has been a long dry spell for me and the blog. Too much to explain, so I will simply pick up today with information we saw yesterday.

We are afield for the summer and thought we would try our luck with the fishing poles at Four Bay near Twin Lakes, and then hop into Cache Creek to see what was going on there.  Not many people in the parking lot and no camp host. We had a family ask if we knew the area and where to do some panning. Of, course, we told them there should be plenty of water in the diversion creek just beyond the parking lot, and sent them off with instructions that the creek came back around below the catch pond.

We had come in to explore a bit and were shocked to find the diversion creek completely dry as you can see in the photo above.  With all the water flowing in streams, rivers and creeks in Colorado this year, there should have been an over abundance of water, here. You could see where it had been running way our of its' banks earlier. Still muddy, too, so it wasn't that long ago.

We suspect the people above had just come in and had completely dammed up the overflow from the diversion, so no water. Kinda ruins one of the best spots to dig a little, find a little and commune with nature. We did find a tiny amount of gold, but it was a mile walk. Lots of cars down at the cemetery....

No matter what we do, no matter how things are arranged, it seems we lose more of our public places to prospect for gold. Cache is our latest victim.

Good Prospecting to you,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

September came and went. Looks like October did too! It is two days until HALLOWEEN and 5 days until Daylight Savings time ends, and we are back to the sun leaving our western sky earlier than we want it too. sigh. Time does fly when you are having fun and then there is way too much work to be done. 

Gold prices are not fairing so well this quarter, but are ranging in the $1350 least until the Feds meeting is over later this week.  I am hearing more about a pull back, and then more about a surge forward.  Sounds like we will see gold in the range of $700 to $2000 in the near future.....maybe both!

Closing down the claim at Vista Mining Adventures was a chore and then some.  We had pontoons fill with water on the centrifuge which made it very difficult to get out of the water and up the hill.  Ended up being a 9 hour haul + the drive to and from to get it all where it needed to be.  VERY long day.  Big thanks to 'Earl' who had dropped by to pan and ended up helping us to get everything out of the water. 

 We found a lot of nice, fine gold this summer on those claims.  It was a lot of fun, and work, and we met a lot of nice people, too.  It has always been our favorite place to find gold in Colorado.

In case you aren't aware, the new season of the Prospectors on the Weather Channel started last Sunday 9/8c, 7mtn.  I saw the Hoffman's are back on, too.  You probably know more about that one than I do.  Can't stand to watch the incompetence.

News in the mining world is dismal.  Oregon has now banned motorized small mining in the whole state.  California is sticking to their guns, too, saying that none of the prospetors were really out to do enough to make money, and so they are within their rights to restrict any 'recreational' use of federal (public) lands. In the mean time, they are issuing warnings about a rise in the mercury levels in fish in many areas that suction dredging was going on.  Ironic.

Holidays are around the corner. I hope you are getting that wish list for Santa ready.  If not, you might want to think about what you would like to get instead of waiting for Santa to put something aside for you that wasn't on your list.  Sometimes he does his shopping REAL early.  LOL!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of you!  As Always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau



Friday, August 30, 2013

                       Moving the Dredging Equipment at Vista Mining Adventures

Labor Day weekend is upon us! I cannot believe the summer is nearly at an end, and I need to tell you about the water situation at Cache Creek. The diversion has been shut off and has been most of the summer.  Everyone is having to use Cache Creek for water, so be aware of that if you are planning on spending any time in there.

We are blissfully mining the summer away at Vista Mining Adventures with old friends and mining buddies. A lot of the people we know have been in there this summer, and we hope more will join us next summer. There is still time for some fun on the river prospecting for gold in Colorado til the end of September, though. The river gold is small but plentiful, the company good, and the demeanor peaceful.

We have also found out that the area bulldozed near Win Mar cabins is owned by Dennis O'Neal, but no one seems to know much about what is going on in there.  The big equipment is still behind the gate.  The weekend crowd was already arriving yesterday at the camping area off the highway.  I only know this little bit of information from friends who had stayed at the cabins this past week.

I see gold is still hovering in the $1400.00 area. but silver is in the $23.00 range, up from around $19. Percentage wise, silver is doing much better.

Aspen are starting to change colors in the high country. Nightime temperatures above 9,000 feet have been at or near freezing for more than a week. We have, also, had lots of rain, so come prepared. At least the days have been warm.

Have a great weekend, and get out there and find some gold! As always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dredging on the Arkansas River/Prospecting for Gold in Colorado

Dredging season is in full swing here, and we are spending long days in the river finding gold in Colorado. Monsoon rains continue, which is good, and gives us a day here and there for rest and even time for a blog post. We should see some sunnier weather this next week, which will be good as we have been rained on a lot lately.

You can see how much it was making the water hop around. We even had some small hail! Of course, we are still dredging at Phil Martinez's claims at Vista Mining Adventures. Really great to be back in the water with old friends! Give him a call and join us for a day or a week.  Look them up on Facebook for more pictures and information about what we are doing.

I have a piece to write, soon, about the Neffco Centrifuge we are using on the river.  Vista Mining Adventures is the local dealer for this amazing separator for concentrates.

Since we had a day off from the river, we mozied into Fairplay in the afternoon (between rain showers) to catch the end of Burro Days, AKA 'Get Yur Ass Up the Pass'. Stopped to pick out something from my favorite jewelry designer, Shelly Birch, Stone, and saw that GPOC was conspicuously absent from the center of the park.....apparently someone forgot to inform Burro Days organizers that they were NOT coming this  year. Also had to buy the giant bag of kettle corn, and stopped and talked with folks we know. Also had to get a box of chocolates from the Chocolate Bordello.  They make chocolates named and fashioned after some of the famous ladies of the evening from Colorado's past. Always fun to attend this event.

I have a link to an interesting article that also follows the same thoughts I have about finding or buying a claim.

I see today that gold had a bit of an uptick last week, and that mining stocks are up a bit as well. Good news for all those companies and good news for gold in general. 

That about does it for now. We will try to grill dinner before it rains again.  LOL!  As Always

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Water is Finally Down and Now We Must Dredge

                       Dredging on the Arkansas River with Vista Mining Adventures

Mid July and run off is slowing down, so we can put our 2 1/2 inch highbanker/dredge combo in the water to find some gold in Colorado.  Above, you see the firsts for one day....not bad.  It is good to be back in the water!  If you are looking for a place to dredge, sluice, pan or use your highbanker in the water, check out Vista Mining Adventures website and give Phil Sr. a call.  He is in the water almost daily, so leave a message and he will get back to you.

I came across an article on the largest gold specimen ever found.  It was interesting to read about it again, so I am giving you the link to read it for yourself.

Gold has been staying down this summer, so far.  China is still a big buyer, but India has slowed way down due to the new tax that was imposed on imported gold in May.  However, the monsoon is going nicely, and farmers may have more money to spend on gold this Fall, so, between these factors and others, gold may get a bump at the end of the year...or these predictions can only be guessed at with what is known.  

We have been running the wheels off the truck this year, between Salida and our gem hunting friends, and BV and our gold hunting friends.  The summer is racing by, but we will finally begin pulling out this year's gold finds.  We have dredging planned as well as some time at Cache Creek and some exploration east of camp.  Spending the summers in the Colorado High Country has been a blast the last few years!

                              Here is Larry putting a small hole in the river.

Here I am taking a turn at the nozzle in the shallow water.  I fell in the river when I sat on an undercut rock that rolled. (It is directly behind my left leg in this picture) Naturally, I stuck the nozzle into that hole and sucked out all the gold that was under that rock! LOL! I guess I will have to start wearing my neoprenes.

Hope all of you are having fun finding gold this summer.  As Always.... 

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau (copy and paste this into your email server. It isn't linked as I am getting tons of spam from this link)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cache Creek Update Summer 2013

I have been in camp for three days, now, while Larry is in Cripple Creek at the Colorado State Gold Panning Championships. It has been a nice time for some much needed rest and decompression.  The only thing slightly in the way and of annoyance is the fact that the water main broke two days ago and I have been without water since then.

Now, ordinarily, one would hop in the vehicle and go to the nearest town to pick up 5 gallons, but, remember, Larry is in Cripple Creek for the weekend.... with the truck.  That means whatever water I have here is all I have.  As luck would have it, I was planning on catching up with dishes just before the main blew and had filled bowls and pans with water for a soak before I heated up the water to get them washed.  Hence, I was fortunate to have had about three gallons of grey water for toilet uses, etc. 

On top of that, a friend stopped by and left me a gallon of fresh water for coffee this morning, and as it is looking, possibly tomorrow as well.  Under other circumstances, I would be hiking to the stream or the lake to get more grey water tomorrow, but Larry and the truck will be back some time this evening.  Always fun at my house.  

I started this post yesterday before the water issue came up, about what is happening at Cache Creek this summer.  We were in there earlier this last week and I got some pictures of the road and the water flow, along with the big hole that the BLM filled up.  Almost all the trees are now marked with orange and you are supposed to stay 10 feet away from them.  As you would expect, everyone is complying....NOT.  I have pictures to prove it, too.  They were also told, but did not even stop digging to reply much of anything. 

Here is what the road in looks like now with the by-passed bog.  They left the road going down in there so you can still use the camping spots, but the other side has been bulldozed shut and marked.

Stream flow right now is reasonably good, but the new owner above is threatening to shut off the diversion.

Here is one side of the big hole, and the rest of it looks the same. I had to stand too far away to get the whole thing in, and then you could not tell what it was.  The BLM was not pleased with the type of work done in there this winter/early spring. Several 6 foot tunnels had been excavated, that they did away with. 

Here are three more shots of the big hole area.  The guy in the first shot with the yellow buckets is undermining the trees, while the other man had just talked to him about staying away from them.  It's depressing how little some people care about whether this area stays open or not.  We stayed for a bit and did some panning.  Brought out a nice little string for a couple of hours work.  

We have had some rain in the last few days, which is good for the fires still burning in Colorado and for the forests in general.  The West Fork complex in southwestern Colorado is expected to burn for another couple of months.

Gold is up a bit right now at $1235.50, and silver as well at $19.67.  Everyone is pretty much bearish on gold for now, which means we are near a bottom for it.  I expect a rally by October.  The announcement by the Feds last week did exactly what they wanted it to do....make everyone take a deep breath and hold it for a while.  LOL!  Check out and talk with Phil Sr. if you are looking for a place to play in the water on the Arkansas River between BV and Leadville, learning how to pan for gold or do a little dredging, so you can find some of that Colorado Gold.  As always......

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau