Monday, August 31, 2009

Review of Tin Pan Prospecting in Fairplay

We had the opportunity to stop in at Tin Pan Prospector/Outfitter, the new panning/prospecting pay for use area located west of the highway 285 bridge, just south of the light, in Fairplay this weekend. The operator, Chad, was informative, pleasant, and really knew his stuff.

We tried out the panning ‘tub’ and were surprised at the amount and size of the gold we found. Panning is 10 bucks a day per person, and from what we saw, it is one of the best values around that we have seen lately, as you can see above.
That's your host, Chad. Great guy!

Tin Pan Prospecting is located south of the light at Fairplay on highway 285 on the west side of the bridge that crosses over the South Platte River.

Gravel is brought in from off the property, for panning, so we decided to try out the highbanking area for a couple of hours. We had two shoveling and one classifying, and came away with roughly a gram of gold for our efforts, which we all thought was a pretty good deal.

Most of the gold was nice sized flakes right out of the moraine bank, and Chad told us we had brought back more than what had been showing in that area. He proceeded to take material from our bank back to the panning area. Highbanking runs around $30.00 a day with your own equipment, and there is equipment for rent on site starting at $30.00, too. Sluicing, dredging, and metal detecting are available, but dredging is closed on the river for this season.

This pan shows what we got out of the $25.00 can o dirt. They also carry $10, $15 and $50 cans.

Chad tells us that the company will be adding several new properties next year to those already available to prospectors. You can even purchase a season pass that gives you access to all the properties. They will be looking at the possibility offering weekly or monthly rates next year. For the money, it looks to me like this is a good deal, and you will have access to patented and private property claims. We were impressed with the areas they are looking at having available for next years’ season. I know where we will be spending more of our own prospecting season next year. Heck, I know where we will be spending some of THIS years’ season that is left to us. LOL!

Their website is located at , but the prices quoted there are higher than they are presently charging. Chad says he will be open daily until after Labor Day weekend, and then you will need to call during the week to use the property. He will stay open to the public on weekends until the season winds down and snow is falling.

So, what do I think? I liked the atmosphere, the property, how it was managed and most of all the gold. Pictures prove my point. I also purchased one of the $25.00 cans o dirt and weighed out ½ a gram (7.5 grains) of nice sized flake.
Looks good in the pan above, doesn’t it? Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will find that much, but at least you can see what I got. They offer $10.00, $15.00, $25.00 and $50.00 cans o dirt, but they are out of the 10 and 15 dollars cans right now. Nice gift idea for that prospector you know for Christmas or a drawing at a club meeting.

If you are looking for a good place to spend some time panning, this is one to try out and lessons are included with the price. If you are looking for where you want to play in the dirt next year, consider Tin Pan Prospecting's season pass. Remeber, you will have access to all their properties for the season. Good people to work with, and a lot of really good gold. They also work with groups and offer a variety of outfitter prospecting experiences, including BBQ and camping arrangements. Stop by their spot just south of the light in Fairplay on highway 285. You won’t be sorry!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gold Prospecting and Golden Yellow Leaves

We came back to B.V. from spending 6 days at home, to beautiful azure blue skies, whispy clouds and high 70's temps......this is August. August, when temps should be in the mid 80's and we should be needing the fan on all night long and still sweat.

Prospecting for gold has been hit and miss all summer, what with hosting Cache Creek more than we intended, and having major problems crop up there, too. However, we still have, what, 6 weeks to find gold. I think we have had time to pick up a whole 4 grams of placer gold and under half an ounce metal detecting. We are hopeful the rest of the season will be better gold wise. :>D

Trees are turning yellow already, and frost has been around each night above 9,000 ft. Looks like fall is coming in early, but fall is my favorite time of year. Warm days and cool nights. AND no work to go to each day. AAHHHH!

We took a trip yesterday east of Salida to try and find a peridot field we could hunt. No luck in finding the field, but the weather was wonderful, and we saw country we had never seen before. Placid ranches with lush grass and fat cows. What hasn't gotten frosted and turned yellow is still green like it was spring. Trees looks well watered, and perhaps they can begin to resist the pine beetle that is decimating the forests in Colorado.

Circumstances at Cache Creek have quieted down and things seem to running more smoothly than in July. The place looks like it has been bombed out and holes are really big. The parking lot is still full every day and there are large groups who come in on the weekends. Plan accordingly if you are coming there. Good luck to you in your search for gold, and may you find enough gold to make your experience worth all your effort. I know finding gold is only one of the aspects of prospecting for gold. Having the opportunity to be in the out of doors with a purpose, or not, is certainly worth getting up in the morning for. I hope you feel the same way. :>D

Good Prospecting to You,

Thursday, August 06, 2009

'09 Colorado State Gold Panning Championships

Colorado State Gold Panning Championships '09

Yes, that's the 'get up' I wear to 'official' events. I think I'll post it on FB, too! :>D

Colorado State Gold Panning Championships in Breckenridge last weekend were hectic, but we were able to get through everything before close on Sunday.

Rain (and snow above 11,000 feet) greeted us on Friday morning and made it difficult to get started on time. Junior events had to be postponed until later in the weekend so that Old Timers and National Style could get completed on Friday.

Saturday morning we found ice on the truck windshield, but clear skies and sunshine at breakfast time. We squeezed one of the Jrs. events in the morning, and had a very full field of teams, women's and men's events, which left us with no time to finish men's on Saturday. Sunshine abounded, though, and everyone was in good spirits with good competition and camaraderie. Cleaning enough sand became a problem with equipment that kept breaking down, which also slowed everything down. Fortunately, we had a back up system that could be run to help get the sand cleaned of gold for competition.

Sunday morning also was sunny but without ice on the windshield, and we started the day squeezing in the last Jrs. competition and then finishing men's before moving on to State in the afternoon. There were 25 competitors signed up and I dropped to judge so we could run dry and speed simultaneously, which helps to speed things along. This gave us just enough time afterward to run World's Dry before we had to begin tearing everything down to go home.

This had to be one of the toughest years to get everything in with rain, equipment, and the large number of competitors, but everyone had a great time and most of the weather was very good. More pictures will get posted in the next week as I get them resized, as well as announcements of the winners, hopefully tomorrow as I go through and find them all. We have video to post as well, as soon as Larry gets it put together. Have you ever seen anyone pan for gold blindfolded? Well, we did a panoff blindfolded. It was really something to see! Lots of fun. Had to have two competitors that were evenly matched to do it, and they both did a good job.

Good Prospecting to You,

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Colorado State Gold Panning Championships National Style Champions

'09 National Style Champions
Left to right, Gary Beaderstadt 2nd, Eric Vesterby 1st, Stacey Smith 3rd, Sue Drewes 3rd. Congratulations to the first of our Colorado State Gold Panning Champions for '09.
Weather in Breckenridge was wet and cold, but we managed to find enough dry skies to get the competitions started. Weather today should be better as we start today with Teams and move on to Jrs, Women's, and Men's. Come on out and join us! Weather is predicted to be sunny and in the 70's. See you there.
Good Prospecting to You,