I wish I had a picture to go along with the awful ride we had on Saturday to B.V. from Elbert, Colorado! We got waylaid for three hours in Colorado Springs after fighting 60+ mph winds for two hours towing the UTV from its storage place at a friend's home. We broke a tie down strap and almost ruined the doors before we stopped to take them off and tie them down, and then stopped at another friend's house to wait out the wind.
We pulled into camp about 7:45 p.m. and still had to do the basic unpacking before we could fall into bed and tackle the rest of the unpacking the next morning. After we had accomplished that, we took a rest and headed down to GPOC's Prospector III for some river time with the gold pans.
There were several other members there dredging, sluicing and panning for gold as the river has not come up all the way yet. Snow is still locked up in the mountains and the water is under ice on the lakes, but with this wind and the dirt being blown in from the desert, it will soon melt ice on the lakes enough to open the reservoir gates and send water down to Pueblo. When that happens, the run off will begin on the Arkansas River and it could rise 2 feet rather suddenly.
We decided to make our trip home today as the weather is still windy and the temps are falling, too. Not much we can (or want to) do in all this wind! Since I missed the Gazette deadline, I thought I would send you a report today while I have some time.
The gate at Cache Creek should be open this weekend, if not sooner, and the area below Prospector III has been designated as an area for panning and sluicing only by the BLM. One dredger has already been sited for violations in this area this spring, so if you think there isn't anyone watching, you would be wrong.
Tin Pan Prospector Outfitters has decided to open the pay for use public panning area at a spot north of Alma on highway 9 on the east side of the road. (I'll get you a mile marker later this week when I know what it is. It will be located about a mile north of Alma, though.) Anyone who is interested in additional gold panning, sluicing, highbanking or dredging will be directed from there. There will be a building, signs and parking, as well as your friendly gold prospector to greet you. You will be able to giver 'er a try starting Memorial Day weekend.
All in all, we are looking forward to a GREAT gold prospecting season here in Colorado. Hopefully, we will see some of you here this summer, and remember to be careful around the water until July with all the water coming down out of the mountains. Those streams are sometimes deeper than you think and the currents are strong and swift along their downhill race to the sea.
Also be mindful of the altitude you will be at if you are coming from much lower elevations. Altitude sickness can put you flat on your back if you aren't careful with alcohol and salt intake. A couple of easy days is always recommended until you get acclimated. Have fun out there, obey the rules and regulations, fill in your holes, and be respectful of all others. And above all, remember this is MY home! Take care of it!
Good Prospecting to You,