Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Colorado GPAA Gold Prospecting Show & Swap Meet!

January 14th Colorado Denver Chapter GPAA Gold Prospecting Show and Swap Meet!

You are invited, bring the entire family!

January-14-2012, 10:00 am

The Denver Metro chapter of the Gold Prospectors Association of America will be having a Gold Prospecting show and demonstrations of all types of prospecting and gem collecting techniques, lots of opportunities to learn and share as well as pick up a golden deal on some gold panning equipment!

Help support responsible prospecting!

Come show/swap/sell your stuff , it’s FREE to vend and FREE to attend!

FREE demonstrations of prospecting equipment and a FREE Prospecting Equipment swap meet at the Bennett VFW Post 8449 the 14th of January 2012. Come take a look at new prospecting gear and bring your old Sluice boxes, Metal detectors, High Bankers, Dredges and Dry washers to barter or sell.

Goldstrike Adventures will be on hand to offer specials on our guided gold adventures and will also have our popular Goldstrike historic paydirt 3lb bags available along with demonstrating the new GOLD CUBE and Gold N Sand Hand Dredging systems.

P.O.C. is Joe Wolter at or 303-644-4025

No Admission fee.

Tri Valley VFW Post 8449 is located at 115 Palmer Ave, Bennett, Co. 80102

Snow/Alternate date: 1-21-12

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Two New Products From Goldstrike Adventures

The Goldstrike BAG 'O THE MONTH Club starts at just $ You'll receive a 3lb bag of Goldstrike Paydirt each month from a different location and other surprizes along the way!

The new GOLDSTRIKE cap from Panther has multiple led lighting built into the bill of this great looking adjustable cap, perfect for seeing all the gold in your pan no matter the lighting conditions!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Make Money Panning Paydirt at Home !

One question I get asked a lot regarding our Goldstrike paydirt is "...will I get my money's worth?".

While I won't go into the long drawn out details of my answer to this rather obvious question, I did meet someone who has made thousands from buying paydirt, panning out the gold and then selling it.

This guy... we'll call him "Jimmy", started buying paydirt by mailorder back in 1981 or so when gold was about $300-$400/oz, to pan out after he retired from his office job. He bought over 450lbs during a 15 year period and saved it all until he retired in the late 1990's. He began panning when gold had nearly tripled in value compared to when he had purchased the paydirt. Eureka!

"I remember when Felix Paydirt put over 2 grams of gold in a $12 bag, now the cheapest bag is nearly $150 and averages about a gram of gold in it."

Jimmy began selling it a little bit at a time here and there after it reached $1600/ounce.

He has acquired nearly enough to pay cash for a brand new loaded 2012 Chevy Tahoe.... and he still has over 40lbs yet to be panned!

So, yes... you can get your money's worth buying paydirt online and panning out the gold, providing you are as smart as Jimmy is.

Friday, December 2, 2011

GU Hosting TU For "Prospecting Day" Gold Experience

Gold Unlimited will be hosting a "Hands-on Gold Experience Day"for Colorado Trout Unlimited State Directors as well as management from Jeffco Open Space, Adams County Open Space and other municipalities and government agencies. The tentative date is Saturday December 17th 11:00am -3pm at an undisclosed location.

TU and invited guests will be able to experience the full spectrum of recreational gold prospecting first hand beginning with learning how to "read" a stream, panning techniques, where and how to dig and classify material, prospectors code of ethics, basic sluice-box setup and operation, battery powered highbanking, gas powered motorized highbanking, how to operate a motorized floating 2" suction dredge and even final cleanup of concentrates to reveal the gold from the day!

In addition, we will be removing all of the trash, lead, metal, glass and other debris that we find, from the river.

Our belief is that through education and first-hand experience comes perspective and eventually perhaps a change of perception.

Natural Water Pollution in Colorado More Widespread than Expected

"It turns out that mining is not responsible for for much of the water contamination issues here in Colorado, nor should cleanup of streams include making the water cleaner than is started out in the first place."

Listen to this great interview which may change the way you think about those orange stained rocks, water quality, fish and yes... gold mining.

Colorado Public Radio Audio

-With thanks to 'Red'

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

GU Meets With TU, Launches New Relationship

Anglers and prospectors don't have much of a reputation for working together, in fact they have been more at odds and in competition with each other than cooperative in the past.

Emphasis on "the past".

A couple of weeks ago that all changed when State Director David Nickum and other high ranking members of Trout Unlimited met with Gold Unlimited a newly formed non-profit founded by a group of prospectors including myself and Steve "Red" Wilcox.

Yes, there were some disagreements and yes there were some preconceived prejudices, but the result was that the two groups are moving forward to work together for the same purpose which is the preservation of our waterways for recreational purposes.

Our next meeting will actually be on the creek for a day learning all about prospecting hosted by Gold Unlimited. Trout Unlimited members along with Jeffco Open Space and Adams County Open Space management will be among the guests.

Stay tuned for more on this powerful alliance that is sure to impact future prospecting sites and access to existing locations.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Launch of Goldstrike Paydirt dot com !


We have finally opened our new online store for our Goldstrike Paydirt which is selling like... gold hotcakes on ebay.

Now you can order all 10 historic Goldstrike Paydirt locations plus our Nugget in Every bag special AND our new Goldstrike Santa's Nuggets Paydirt loaded with gold and genuine placer gold nuggets!

Plan your Thanksgiving and Christmas parties around gold panning this year and you'll be the hit of the holidays!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vic's Gold Panning PAYDIRT Now Available from Goldstrike

Photo used with permission from Jesse Peterson
If you have ever panned for gold in Colorado, the chances are you have panned at Vic's Gold Panning on HWY 119 just below BlackHawk at some point.

However, unless you went up the canyon to Vic's place, you couldn't get the gold from there. Right?

Until now.

We are proud to announce that Goldstrike is the exclusive outlet for genuine authentic Vic's Gold Panning Paydirt.

I spent the day with Jesse Peterson who owns Vic's Gold Panning and got quite a history lesson along with some great coffee and conversation. The old mine shaft behind his modest home goes back into the mountain some 2/3rds of a mile and Jesse also showed me how he recovered over $60,000.00 worth of gold from one hole... and that was well before gold was worth what it is today.

Jesse has managed to hang on to his property and his business in spite of constant pressure from a variety of sources to do otherwise for several decades. He is a throwback to another time and way of life, but at the same time a model for hard work and dedication.

At one point after I had shown him some gold I had found down on the flatlands, he took out a small bag that once was white but now more of a golden brown color and removed a nugget which was about 2 inches by 3 inches by a half inch thick and must have weighed at least 6 ounces or more and handed it to me.... I gasped and without thinking said the one thing you can't ask a miner... "Jesse, WHERE did you get THIS?" Jesse smiled without even blinking and said softly.... "outta' that little white bag".

You can go up to visit Jesse at Vic's Gold Panning and take his upcoming new tour, then pan for gold for only $8 per bucket or so, or you can take one of our Goldstrike X-Stream adventures up to Vic's and use our highbankers and/or dredge or now you can order Paydirt from Jesse's secret honey hole to pan out in the comfort of your home, only from Goldstrike Adventures.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Is that a Skunk I Smell?

Well today we got skunked, as in shut-out, struck out... got no gold.

Anyone who thinks it's easy to just go up there in the mountains where all the gold is, and actually get gold, has another think coming. It's not easy.

We went up with our friend "Red" of Gold N Sand fame to test a couple of new spots. While I won't disclose where we were, the pic is from earlier scouting trips when the water was much to high to access.

Both spots look great and undoubtedly have gold there, but this one we have been waiting since spring to get back in there because it has a beautiful looking ancient alluvial gravel deposit along the opposite shoreline on an inside bend in the stream. The gravel deposits appear to be quite old and are very hard packed and difficult to chip away much less dig. The color of the material was that orange rust color dirt that usually means good gold, it also had streaks of very black dense sand along it.

After crossing a smaller tributary stream and then climbing a steep incline tying a rope off to a handy tree, then repelling down a snow covered steep incline to the ledge in the pic above. I slowly chipped out 4 buckets of nothing from there by tying another smaller rope to the handle on the bucket (with a lid on it) and throwing it out in the river for Ryan and Red to "reel" in and test. I pulled one more bucket from behind a large boulder at the edge of the stream in the same spot before retreating back to the car to warm up and get some lunch at a nearby eatery.

With our tails tucked, we decided to make a last minute quick stop at the confluence of the S Platte River and Clear Creek on the way home and ran another 4 buckets through the Gold Cube and ... eureka - gold!

When we take guests out on gold adventures up in the mountains, they always find gold... good gold, sometimes nuggets from our proven spots. However, finding new proven spots is never easy I guess, but darnit I sure don't like to get skunked!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Montana City: Ghost Town Gold or Bust?

I received an email from one of our Goldstrike Adventure customers (thank you Kevin) asking about the ghost town of Montana City as a possible location to include for our gold adventures. I had heard of Montana City and I had also researched the gold strikes at the confluence of Little Dry Creek and the South Platte River with some success, but had never put the two together... till now.

From Wiki-
"Montana City was the first settlement in what was later to become Denver, Colorado. It was established during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush on the east bank of the South Platte River, just north of the confluence with Little Dry Creek, in 1858. At the time, the site was in the Kansas Territory.

The site selected because it was adjacent to placer gold diggings along the South Platte River. However, the gold diggings at Montana City proved disappointing, and the site was soon abandoned in favor of the settlement of Auraria, a few miles downstream.

The Montana City site is now Grant-Frontier Park and includes mining equipment and a log cabin replica."

Two main groups of gold-seekers came to Colorado in the summer of 1858. The "Russell" group from Georgia founded Auraria while the "Lawrence" group from Lawrence, Kansas laid out Montana City near where present West Evans Avenue crosses the Platte River in Denver.

The "City" was abandoned by the winter and the group laid out the St. Charles townsite on the East bank of Cherry Creek. This letter was sent by a member of the Lawrence group.

"Here I am in the Gold Mines (so called) & I guess it is properly named, for I have seen the gold...There is quite a rush here to the mines, as there are within a few miles of this place over 500 persons. There were only about 30 or 40 when we arrived."

So, Kevin and I are going out on Friday to do some "testing" at Montana City together... hopefully you will see it added to our growing list of locations to choose your next gold adventure from.

UPDATE: Friday Oct 14th 10:30pm - Montana City is no bust!

Met with fellow Goldstriker Kevin and also a guy named Ron who has been coming down to the Montana City site for a few years now, emailed me about today and I now know why Montana City is his favorite place to pan.

First, what a beautiful place, once you get down into the river itself you are completely unable to see any sign whatsoever of a building or city... even though you are in the middle of one of the oldest industrial and business parks in Denver, the trees and riverbank shield the view. Simply beautiful I must say.

Oh yeah, about the gold. The clay false bedrock is down only a few feet at the most and in some cases is exposed. We found good amounts of fairly decent sized (12-20mesh) gold with lots of 100-400 mesh stuff underneath lots of dense black sands.

We have immediately added Montana City to our list of Goldstrike Adventure Locations. Call us if you'd like to try your luck at Montana City with our state of the art equipment.

As Kevin said today.... "Wow, you have all the toys".

"At your service", I added!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Betsy, A Story of Prospecting and "Progress"

Betsy kept to herself, busy panning one pan after another the entire day while we ran our high-tech equipment nearby. At the end of the day, we were hauling all our equipment up to the worlds biggest blackest dually van, when I saw Betsy coming down the Clear Creek bike path carrying her pan, bucket and a bag with her trash from the day in it. She stopped about every 50 or 100 feet to take a little rest break before moving along toward the parking lot where I was sitting.

I managed to get my legs to work so I hurried down and helped her carry her things the final few hundred yards to her pickup truck. We sat and talked a minute or two and she told me that she started coming down to this spot over 25 years ago when she retired, she is 85 now. She also told me that she has collected about 7 ounces of gold in that 25 years, one pan at a time. I had to smile, here is a little gal, 85 years old who comes down there by herself and has a wonderful time, bothers no-one and got over 7 ounces of gold in the process.

Now there are those who want to outright ban gold panning at this spot and other locations without any regard for people like Betsy, or the history of our state or the rights of prospectors. Jeffco and Adams County are both considering plans that would significantly impact the rights of prospectors and panners.

Betsy is a special person, like so many who have been prospecting along Clear Creek and other streams long before the highways, bridges and sewer treatment plants came along and pushed them and now us out of the way.... for the sake of "progress".
I am sorry I didn't think to get a quick picture of her, next time I see her I will ask if that would be okay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gold Unlimited Statement on Possible Destruction of TU Fish Habitat

During conversations with various organizations regarding the formation of the new GOLD UNLIMITED non-profit, I heard some very disturbing news today which requires a public response, even if not true.

Those of us at Gold Unlimited are working very hard to develop a positive relationship between gold prospectors and other groups like Trout Unlimited, the Cities of Golden and Arvada and other related organizations.
However, I was informed by a reliable source at a water resource agency that gold prospectors were moving boulders that were just set in place by Trout Unlimited and Jeffco Open Space people to create fish habitat on upper Clear Creek near Mayhem Gulch on HWY 6.

Really, are you kidding me?
So, as many of us are working to begin to undo the couple hundred years of irresponsible mining and bad press, local recreational gold prospectors are tearing up areas of Clear Creek which were only created by TU as fish habitat the week before. Unacceptable.

C'mon guys... and gals, fellow prospectors, if we don't start digging and mining responsibly, then there will not be anywhere left to dig in a very short period of time. Seriously.
Cities like Boulder and Wheat Ridge have already banned gold prospecting and now possibly even Adams County is doing the same... unofficially of course, but the landscape for prospecting is shrinking rapidly and it's time to start reversing that process.

Gold Unlimited seeks to preserve the past by educating and informing, creating pride in our heritage while securing the future by taking the steps to make certain our great great grandchildren will still have the right and the ability to pan for gold should they desire to do so.

Only by policing ourselves, prospecting responsibly and educating the public can this be achieved.

Therefore, Gold Unlimited publicly condemns any action by anyone which destroys public or private property, damages fish habitat or our waterways in any way. We are actively soliciting responsible gold prospectors in Colorado and across the globe to join us in our efforts to preserve the past and secure the future.

We must work together to protect our rights to pursue our favorite recreational activity, whatever that may be, in these streams, creeks, rivers and waterways. Take care of it or lose it completely, that is our choice.

Please take the time to research the location(s) you are considering prospecting to make sure you are not doing more damage than you think, take time to care. If you see someone prospecting irresponsibly, please take the time to educate them yourself or simply call me and I will get in "Bertha" the worlds biggest black Ford dually van, drive over there and "educate" them myself.

Prospect responsibly, respect private property signs as well as fish habitats and please, leave no trace!

RD Finley
Vice President
Gold Unlimited Association of America
Arvada, CO

cell- 405-464-3782

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Clear Creek: Dredging, Highbanking and the Gold Cube

Ryan and I went out this morning and spent the entire day on upper Clear Creek setting up and using a 2" suction pontoon dredge, a monster self powered highbanker that you can shovel material right into without classifying as fast as you can dig, a new Gold N Sand battery powered mini-highbanker on wheels, the new GOLD CUBE and oh yeah, ...a shovel and pan.

It was quite a site and also quite an experience and a little bit overwhelming at first, but Red from Gold N Sand was there to get us going in the right direction and keep everything running smoothly.

If you have never had the opportunity to run a dredge system it is quite fun but not easy by any means. Keeping the nozzle from clogging is an art form and getting the big rocks out of the hole is a never ending process but holy cow it does a fantastic job of sucking up the gold.

Working behind big boulders is dangerous and should NOT be taken lightly, with the constant force of the stream behind it, only a small hole dug in the wrong spot can entice a boulder to move very quickly. Done properly, you can make the boulder go where you want it to go... if it goes anywhere at all.

The new big highbanker is just a gravel eating monster, feed it as fast as you can dig with big rocks mixed in with the fine sand- whatever, no problem.

The new Gold N Sand mini-highbanker on wheels is the slickest, most compact and user friendly highbanker on the market period... and I'm sorry but it is just plain cute and I mean that in a good way. We are taking it out on a gold adventure tomorrow morning for an eleven year old birthday-boy and his younger brother and dad... I know they will love it.

Our new GOLD CUBE is amazing. Once you've classified the material to 1/8th inch you can feed the gold cube with a small shovel as fast as you like and it catches ALL of the gold. After 16 buckets of gravel you will end up with about a cup of black sand and gold super concentrate.

If you are interested in a gold adventure where YOU get to use the biggest and baddest and best equipment possible, including a floating dredge system, then contact us at GOLDSTRIKE Colorado Gold Adventures and we will hook you up!
REMEMBER, Only dredge where dredging is allowed!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Meteorites Delivered Gold To Earth

Originally published by Leila Battison BBC News

Scientists have shown that the Earth's surface became enriched with precious metals by impacting meteorites.

The Earth's crust and mantle has considerably more gold than expected from favoured models of planetary formation.

A study from the University of Bristol looked at some of the oldest rocks on Earth, demonstrating that gold was delivered by meteorites long after their formation.

Their results are published in Nature.

While the Earth was forming, iron sank to the centre of the planet, forming the core.

Any precious metals in the planetary mix would have gone with this iron and concentrated in the core, leaving the mantle devoid of elements such as gold, platinum, and osmium.

But this is not what we observe. In fact, the silicate mantle has up to 1,000 times more gold than anticipated.

Several reasons for this enrichment were proposed in the past, including delivery by meteorites, although until now it has not been possible to prove.

By measuring isotopes in rocks that are nearly four billion years old from Greenland, the team has managed to date the gold delivery, and to relate it to an event known as the "terminal bombardment".

Impact theory
Earth formed by a snowball-effect known as accretion 4.55 billion years ago. The iron core with its accompanying mixture of precious metals formed very soon after that, within just a few million years.

A final impact of a Mars sized body with the Earth formed the Moon and finalised our planet's formation. By this time all gold would be locked up in the core.

A final burst of meteorite impacts around 3.9 billion years ago is known as the "terminal bombardment" and caused the cratering that we still see on the Moon.

"The proportions of gold and other precious metals are difficult to measure because they concentrate into nuggets, and we need to analyse a lot of rocks to get meaningful data." said lead researcher Dr Matthias Willbold.

They have therefore developed a way of telling this remarkable story of gold's extraterrestrial origin using a completely different element - tungsten.

Tungsten acts very similarly to precious metals like gold, but importantly it comes in different forms, or isotopes.The team have looked at the proportions of the different isotopes in modern rocks and in the most ancient rocks in Greenland.

They found a small but significant difference in the proportions, indicating that the modern rocks had received a dose of tungsten, and therefore also gold, from meteorites.

The Greenland rocks showed no such enrichment, giving a date to the input of gold. This date corresponds to the time of the terminal bombardment around 3.9 billion years ago.

During this time, the Earth would have been hit with 20 billion billion tonnes of asteroid material, although "it is not clear whether this would have come in the form of many small impacts, or just two or three mega-impacts", Dr Willbold said.

The research group at the University of Bristol are the first to successfully make such high-quality measurements of tungsten in ancient rocks, but so far have only analysed samples from Greenland.

"We hope to find more," said Dr Willbold, "and look at a time sequence for one billion years after the Greenland rocks, to see how the tungsten anomaly develops."

Related Stories...
Life origins clue from meteorite 28 FEBRUARY 2011, SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT
Life-from-asteroid idea bolstered 26 JANUARY 2011, SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT

Saturday, September 17, 2011

GOLD CUBE - New Technology Gold Recovery For Todays Prospector

If you haven't had a chance to see the revolutionary new GOLD CUBE in action then you need to check it out. (video below)

The beautifully simple yet high-tech design will change the way you think about gold recovery.

Imagine a compact portable multi-level device that can handle 16- 5gal buckets of 1/8th inch classified material PER HOUR! That equals about 1,000lbs of material per hour folks.... try that with your sluice-box or portable highbanker. Ideal for the person who needs to maximize the time they have and get the most gold possible.

The truly amazing thing about the GOLD CUBE is that it takes 16 buckets (1,000lbs) of gravel and turns it into about a half cup of super-concentrates in that hour. The exclusive patent pending design along with new vortex matting assures recovery of even the finest gold.

We had the pleasure of meeting with "Red" the owner and co-inventor of the GOLD CUBE at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show this weekend, where they had a Gold Cube running right in their booth and folks lined up to see it work.

After a couple hundred years of prospecting and mining with the same technology repackaged, it's time to step into the 21st century and join the new revolution in prospecting.

When you get serious about getting serious gold, get the Gold Cube...

With anything else, you might as well just be panning by hand.

The video-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goldstrike Launches Panning Kits, Paydirt and "Adventures To Go"

Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience is now offering Historic Gold Adventures for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

Included are historic home panning kits, historic paydirt and even full Colorado Goldstrike historic full-on "Adventure To Go" packages.

Goldstrike Home Adventure Panning kits come complete with a 2lb bag of Goldstrike Historic raw paydirt classified to 1/8th inch from your selected location, a printed history about that location, a 10" gold pan, snuffer bottle and glass vial to display your gold.

Goldstrike Historic raw Paydirt is classified to 1/8th inch and comes in 2lb or 3lb sealed plastic bags packaged inside a rustic burlap bag with a classic drawstring at the top and a complete printed history of your Goldstrike Paydirt location.

The Goldstrike "Adventure To Go" Package is available in either half-day or full-day packages just like the real Goldstrike historic gold adventures. The 'half day Adventure to Go' includes 8- 5gal buckets of raw material run through our state of the art equipment then bagged "as-is" straight out of the Keene A52 sluice. The full Day Adventure to Go includes all of the concentrated material from up to 16- 5gal buckets of raw gravel!

Every speck, spot, flake, picker and nugget that is collected during your 4hr or 8 hr adventure goes in your "Adventure To Go" bag with the concentrates from the entire adventure for you to pan out at home.

Also included in the Goldstrike "Adventure To Go" Package is a photo dvd accounting of the entire process of digging, classifying, sluicing and bagging your specific Goldstrike material, a printed history of your Goldstrike location, a 10" gold pan, snuffer bottle and pennyweight glass vial to display your gold.

Now available for your panning pleasure at Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience or save money on ebay.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming Soon: "GOLD UNLIMITED" - A New Generation of Prospecting

A new non-profit organization is being formed, based here in Denver, CO with the mission of creating a new presence and a new identity for recreational gold prospecting, while protecting the rights of recreational gold prospectors that hopefully will parallel the great work of "Trout Unlimited" and what they have done for sport fishing.

Gold Unlimited will actively and legally protect existing recreational gold prospecting sites and locations while working to develop new sites.

Gold Unlimited will take the lead in forging a new image for gold prospectors as ecological conservationists leaving behind waterways that are cleaner, more inhabitable for fish and wildlife as well as being more enjoyable for future generations of prospectors.

Gold Unlimited will lead a new generation of gold prospectors seeking to leave behind a legacy of responsible mining for future recreational prospectors to follow.

Gold Unlimited is planning, in cooperation with the City of Arvada, it's flagship project, which will be the cleanup, restoration and preservation of Ralston Creek from it's headwaters, all the way downstream to it's confluence with Clear Creek at Gold Strike Park.

Ralston Creek is historically known as being the first gold discovery in Colorado. Unfortunately it is now known as being uninhabitable by fish and dangerous for recreation because of the buildup of broken glass, trash, sewage and debris in the streambed. In September 2011, Gold Unlimited will launch a systematic section-by-section cleanup of Ralston Creek, working with Trout Unlimited and the City of Arvada, calling on members and non-member prospectors to volunteer their time and equipment for the massive 5+ mile cleanup.

Gold Unlimited is also laying the foundation to challenge the cities of Boulder and Wheat Ridge on what many believe to be their unconstitutional ban on gold panning, rock collecting etc.

Watch for the official Opening Day launch in the next few weeks of the biggest thing to hit gold prospecting since..... gold itself. And become a proud member of the new generation of prospectors dedicated to leaving behind a stream more healthy and in better shape than we found it!

Coming soon....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Challenging Spots for Gold Panning - "Cherry Creek"

From the Colorado Geological Survey, Department of Natural Resources, Denver, CO 2009

Challenging Spots for Gold Prospecting and Panning in Colorado

The Cherry Creek Divide Area
Araphahoe, Denver, Douglas and Elbert Counti

This area boasts the locations of the significant gold strikes of 1858 by William Greeneberry Russell and his party, which led to the "Pikes Peak or Bust" gold rush of the following year.

The first worthwhile goldstrike was on the South Platte River, in Denver County, near Overland Park between 8th Ave and Jewell. The most productive deposits found were on Big Dry Creek, Newlin and Russellville Gulches in the Cherry Creek drainage in Douglas County and on Ronk (now called Gold Creek) and Gold Run gulches to the east of Russellville gulch in Elbert County.

These placers were abandoned by the end of 1859, as the miners left for the richer goldstrikes at higher elevations such as Idaho Springs, Central City and elsewhere that same year.

However there has been both gulch and drift mining in the Cherry Creek drainage from time to time since, especially individual and small-scale operations during the depression and at other times as well.

The gulches in which the placers lie drain the Cherry Creek Divide, which is capped by the Oligocene Castle Rock conglomerate. This formation forms "Castle Rock" overlooking the town of the same name. To the NE of Castle Rock town the conglomerate has been eroded by streams and now is represented only by remnants capping buttes along the divide. Many hillslopes have residual pebbles and cobbles on them derived from the erosion of the conglomerate.

These are terraces or benches at many places along the streams. Along the S Platte the terraces are 40 feet above the level of the river. These benches extend into Cherry Creek and its tributaries, their height diminishing upstream.

Gold has been found in the terraces and in the stream beds. Testing has shown that gold in the bench placers lies on or near bedrock but gold in the stream beds is nearer the surface.

The Castle Rock conglomerate contains gold at numerous locations in this area.

In upper Newlin gulch near the forks, the lens shaped beds of gravel were found to contain up to one ounce of gold per ton in individual samples. These lens shaped deposits were 5-40 feet above modern stream levels, near the base of the Castle Rock formation itself.

The gold in the Castle Rock formation/Cherry Creek drainage placers was typically fine-grained - 10 to 50 colors per milligram. Miners described it as almost flour gold and complained of the difficulty of its recovery from the clayey gravel matrix. Even so, colors up to one-sixteenth inch diameter were found. The Castle Rock formation gold is among the purest placer gold on earth, characteristically about .990 fine!

The source of the stream and terrace placer gold is the Castle Rock conglomerate and fossil stream placers in it. That the source is fossil stream channels explains the erratic distribution of gold among the gulches and also the erratic distribution within each of the gulches.

Access is difficult because of the extensive development in the area. There is little water and the gravels must be packed out.

Remember to always get permission before entering any property, backfill all holes and leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fairplay- Middle Fork of the South Platte River Report

We met up with a most wonderful and fun couple near Fairplay on Saturday along the Middle Fork of the South Platte River for a Goldstrike gold adventure.

This area was dredged by one of the largest dredges ever used in North America and left giant tailings piles as tall as a two story house, twice as wide and miles long, beside the river.

Working down in the river bed itself for flood gold was not very productive as the material is super compacted and yielded very little gold down to a depth of over two feet, even in the sandbars!

There are very few large boulders (if any) left in the river after the dredge went through, so working behind big boulders is not an option.

However the high bench above the river is a different story altogether. We had to carry the gold bearing material quite a distance to get to the river, but the results were satisfactory considering the possibility of finding a large nugget or two. At the end of the day, we had rounded up a nice catch in the pan and everyone was pleased with the results of the day.

Be careful and respectful of private property, we were able to obtain permission to utilize a spot just in-between prior dredging areas.

We also tested our new Gold N Sand hand dredge and it works beautifully.

No more losing gold off of the shovel, thanks Red !

Special thanks to Johnny Walker and Rocky Mountain Travel !

Contact Goldstrike Gold Experience to book your own Fairplay or other gold adventure at 405-464-3782!

North Fork of Clear Creek Prospecting Report

Image of Russell Gulch late 1800's -

We went up HWY 119 along and above the North Fork of Clear Creek on Friday and tested 4 locations.

Just below Rollinsville off S Boulder Creek is Moon Gulch which is lined with private property although we did find one spot where we could get access to the creek. Very hard compacted material with a steep canyon wall on one side and private property on the other. We did find color of the speck and spot variety but digging is very difficult.

Just below Moon Gulch is Gamble Gulch which again shows color but is almost all private property on the lower road.

Moving on down, we stopped off at a spot one of our Goldstrike clients researched and asked us about for an upcoming gold adventure. If you are considering Smith Hill Road and Smith Hill Gulch to the north off 119 below Blackhawk, forget about it... there are signs that state very clearly that any use of that area OTHER than hunting by state permit is strictly prohibited.

Moving on down the North Fork of Clear Creek, we stopped at a spot down near the confluence with Clear Creek and found decent although very fine color in holes already started by previous prospectors. Working in the streambed proved to be less than successful, finding benches and gravel banks above the stream is much more productive, but extremely difficult due to steep canyon walls and difficult terrain.

If you are planning a prospecting trip up the N Fork of Clear Creek, be prepared for tough going and spotty gold but also a most beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Promoting Responsible Prospecting

Here is a sneak preview of some of the signs a few of us are considering constructing and putting up along Clear Creek and other waterways in order to preserve not only the beauty of our creeks, streams and rivers but to preserve our right to continue to prospect in numerous locations... responsibly.

If you have an idea for a clever sign to promote responsible prospecting, please post a comment!

Below are a few more to get you thinking-

"If ...You Packed It In,

Then ...You Pack it out." - Please Prospect Responsibly

"Let's Help Keep Colorful Colorado 'Color'-full"

- Prospect Responsibly


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The State Capitol Dome

(updated 08-16-2011 see bottom of post for update) - RD

The beautiful Colorado State Capitol building in downtown Denver in many ways symbolizes the lack of awareness and complete disrespect for Colorado's gold mining heritage.

From the state of Colorado website:
"Rising 272 feet, the distinctive gold dome has become an eternal symbol of our state's rich heritage. Originally the dome was covered in copper. Since copper was not a native alloy or resilient to the elements, the dome soon became tarnished and many citizens became displeased. The persistent Otto Mears convinced the Colorado Mining Association to donate 200 ounces of 24-karat leaf toward the gold dome project, and soon his dream became a reality. The Board of Capitol Managers spent $14,680 for the project and hired the company of F.T. Adam & George Murphy to gild the copper dome in 1908.

By 1948 the gold on the dome had begun to wear thin, and reporter Bert Hanna pushed the Colorado citizens to stand behind their symbolic monument. By 1949 the Colorado Mining Association was able to donate the gold needed, and the state paid the $25,000 necessary to restore the dome to its previous luster. The dome was also regilded in 1980 and 1991."

What the government website fails to mention is that it is now 'guilded' with not one flake of Colorado gold but instead with Italian Florentine gold.... SAY WHAT?

That's right, not Colorado gold or California gold or even Alaska gold... fine imported Corinthian leather... err gold.

Ask the average person in Colorado on what and why the state was founded and the most likely reply will be "uh tourism?"

So I guess it should be no surprise that the gold on top of the Capitol building of a state founded on gold is imported from a country that produced a fraction of the gold Colorado has.

I read somewhere that during the great depression, folks panned underneath the rain gutters around the Capitol building for enough money to eat.

I would like to call on all recreational prospectors and gold prospecting clubs in Colorado to join together with us here at Gold Strike and plan a state-wide gold collecting day where we all go to our favorite spot and collect gold for an entire day and donate it to the state treasurer for the expressed purpose of replacing that cheap imported gold for the real thing, as it was originally intended by the states founding fathers.

We might even convince some of the larger operations such as ARGO and Phoenix and even Cripple Creek to donate enough to get it done.

C'mon Colorado ..... imported gold on the state capitol, I mean really.... how embarrassing.

Contact us here if you are interested in such a combined effort to impact our state in a positive way.

UPDATE: 08/16/2011 - I just spoke with the project manager for the re-guilding of the dome for the State of Colorado. Ashante Mining Company (CC & V) Cripple Creek/Victor CO has donated the 60+ ounces of Colorado Gold to re-guild the dome with genuine Colorado gold.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Clear Creek Upstream Testing

We sampled and tested 7 new locations yesterday for the Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience. I forget sometimes how slow and how much work and hassle panning for gold is compared to running the sluice or a highbanker.

At any rate, we started at 8am upstream from Idaho springs near Georgetown and worked our down stream to Trail Creek, sampled Trail Creek near the Phoenix Mine and then on downstream to Chicago Creek where we went up Chicago Creek and took a couple of samples, then stopped at the confluence of Chicago Creek and Clear Creek in Idaho Springs.

It is very tough going with the water as high as it is now, but our tests revealed quite a bit of information for the Goldstrike gold adventures operation.

We then made a couple of quick stops along HWY 6 on Clear Creek between tunnel #1 and the HWY119 split before stopping by one of our favorite places, Arapahoe City and the Arapahoe bar (even though it is very close to Coors, it's not that kind of bar) before heading home at 8pm.

Long day, sore hands and fingers and back and feet... well worth it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The 'Lost' Arapahoe Bar and City of Arapahoe

April 28th 1946 Monument dedication of Arapahoe City on left is Charles L Palmer the first known white child born and on the right is Souix Chief Big Snake. Courtesy Colorado Historical Society.

Located just east of the Table Mountains along the northern banks of Clear Creek west of today’s McIntyre Street, it was the fourth town established in northern Colorado, after only Auraria, Montana City and Denver. Arapahoe City was established by gold seekers adjoining their mining claims on Arapahoe Bar, the gold-laden placer bar of Clear Creek at this spot.

Although not long lived in and of itself, Arapahoe City would play an important role in the future of Jefferson County and Colorado. The story of Arapahoe City begins much earlier than its sesquicentennial of this year. In September of 1858 the Doniphan Party of gold prospectors, including Marshall Cook, arrived in Colorado and proceeded to prospect in the area of Vasquez Fork, as the river had come to be known. They were there to see what leads could be found, and upon investigation of Ralston Creek they were satisfied of the potential to find gold, having found float gold of a fine, flat and scaly character there. They proceeded to prospect upon the Vasquez at the eastern base of the Table Mountains. There, according to Cook, they encountered a mysterious sight:

"We found upon measurement and staking that the bar had been staked on some previous occasions but by who or when no record was left only that of the three to five boulders that marked the corner, being nearly half buryed (sic) in the earth denoting that many years had elapsed since being placed in their respective position marking the meets and bounds of former prospectors as well as our future wealth. The above mentioned boulders were about the size of a mans fist and larger, placed on the brink of the bar at regular intervals of one hundred feet apart lineal measurement, by the side of the ancient landmarks we placed our stakes with the no. of the claim marked there upon it."

As he would later discover, Cook had encountered the remains of the mining claims of the Estes Party, which had preceded his arrival there by 24 years. They had originally laid out their claims there in 1834. The new mining district of Arapahoe Bar had again located and confirmed the bounds of what was possibly the oldest mining claim in northern Colorado, laid out many years before the first widely noted gold discoveries in the region took place. Of the Estes Party, Cook wrote in the 1880s:

"Prospected along the eastern base of the mountains to head of the Platte not finding any paying prospects...they reached Vasques fork of the Platte where just below the two table mountains that the stream flowed between, on the bank of the Creek that is now known as Arapahoe Bar. Here they staked the bar into one hundred feet front measurement running across the width of the bar. The old corner I found in the winter of 1858 marked with from three to five boulders of regular intervals of one hundred feet apart and corresponded with the measurement made by Arapahoe Town company that relocated the same bar in the winter of ‘58. The Estes party mined in and along the creek banks until the water raised from the melting of snow then they tried the bar which did not pay with the Georgia rocker. From here the party worked their way north along the base of the mountains until they reached the Black Hill, where the party spent the next winter and did considerable mining that paid them the largest of any mining operation that they had been engaged in while out. The Indians became menacing and the miners through prudence the better part of valor, hid their tools where they worked last and returned to Mo... "

On November 29, 1858 the Arapahoe Town Company was organized and elected Marshall Cook as president, George B. Allen Secretary and Thomas L. Golden, Treasurer. The Arapahoe Town Company was very generous, allowing every settler a lot free of charge, with members of the town company required to build a cabin or home in a specified period of time. According to Golden, in writing to the Missouri Republican newspaper, the town received its name along some rather colorful reasoning:

"Indians are thick here. We apprehend danger from them. They have sent us word by some of their chiefs to quit their country, but we think we can stand them a rub, as we have 700 white men here. We have laid out a town by the name of Arapahoe City after the aborigenes."

According to old Jefferson County property records Arapahoe City appears to have been laid out in the standard grid system of the time and surveyed into blocks and lots. One direction of the town’s streets were lettered, such as A Street, B Street, etc. at least up to G Street, while streets in the other direction were numbered, at least up to 2nd Street. The townsite was laid out by George B. Allen. Arapahoe City initially served in part as shelter from the elements for gold seekers in the winter of 1858-59, which was very harsh. It also was like a base camp for miners to go and prospect in the mountains. Among these were two who had arrived, apparently individually, from prospecting on the Laramie toward the end of 1858, named George Andrew Jackson and John Hamilton Gregory. At Arapahoe City Jackson built himself a cabin and intended to remain there the balance of the winter. There he befriended Tom Golden, and continued to keep an eye out for gold. After prospecting on Clear Creek he was convinced he could find good amounts of coarse gold further into the mountains, and impatiently tried to find it but was stymied by the depth of snow on several attempts. However, his perseverance finally paid off when on January 8, 1859 he wrote in his diary:

“Well, Tom old boy, I’ve got the diggins at last…Dug and panned today until my belt-knife was worn out, so I will have to quit or use my skinning knife. I have about 1/2 oz. gold so will quit and try to get back in the Spring.”

Gregory, meanwhile, had also ventured into the mountains, eventually making it to the future site of Black Hawk. He found indications of gold; however, a snowstorm forced him to retreat to Arapahoe City. Both remained in town until spring. With whom he would entrust the secret men would kill for, Jackson wrote “Tom Golden is the only man who knows I found gold on the head of the creek, and as his mouth is as tight as a No. 4 Beaver trap, I am not uneasy.” Gregory told his secret to a few people, among whom was David K. Wall, who was starting out in farming in the Golden valley, who agreed to grubstake Gregory to provide him food for further prospecting efforts. Jackson and Gregory returned to and confirmed their discoveries, which proved to be among the most important in Colorado history. Also during that spring there was the first building boom in Jefferson County history in Arapahoe City, where around 20 buildings were built. Comprising most of the town’s construction to that time, they were not built close to the river where the mining district was, but upon the bluff overlooking it. Arapahoe City’s buildings were made up of log and frame structures, the largest known over time being a two-story frame commercial building with a false front. Also in 1859 the Casto-Kendall Company became the town’s first transportation firm. The first to take a wagon to the Gregory Diggings in May 1859, they had hauled the goods of the Gregory party themselves including only the front wheels of the wagons as no roads existed at the time. As a matter of fact, they went straight up the faces of the mountains, with the Gregory members walking alongside.

By the end of 1859 Arapahoe City had around 200 inhabitants. This was enough to warrant its getting the honor of having the first post office in Jefferson County, of which Asa Smith was postmaster, in 1860. During 1859 year Arapahoe inhabitants had numbered one-fifth of the number of delegates at the first Jefferson Territorial convention. At the constitutional convention held in Denver that August Arapahoe City sent the same number of delegates as the new upstart town of Golden City (7), including Marshall Cook, George B. Allen, Samuel S. Curtis, M. Chilcott, J.R. Gould, Asa Smith and W.L. Crocker.

Golden City was a new settlement just upstream which was named after Tom Golden at Jackson’s suggestion in June of 1859. It proved to be quite a competitor to Arapahoe City. Initially, late in 1859, the Jefferson Territorial legislature selected Arapahoe to be the first county seat of Jefferson County, on the 9th ballot. However, this decision was apparently deferrable to a popular vote of the people. Arapahoe City in early 1860 was a candidate to become the county seat of the newly created Jefferson County, but its votes were far outnumbered by the larger populace of Golden City. On January 2, 1860, Golden City was elected the Jefferson County seat with 401 votes to 288 for Arapahoe City and 22 for the paper town of Baden. In the July 1860 election to become the permanent seat of Jefferson County, Golden City won by a majority of 337 votes.

By the close of 1860, Arapahoe City had downsized to 21 buildings, and a total of 80 inhabitants. In time it faded away, with gold mined intermittently from its historic placer bar including hydraulic and dredge mining. The last Arapahoe City building at its site, the early home of the family of Jonas E. Wannemaker, burned to the ground in 1913. However, it is possible Arapahoe City buildings have survived elsewhere, as noted Colorado historian Jerome Smiley wrote “There were fifty or sixty cabins erected on the site. The rise and prosperity of Golden caused the decline and fall of Arapahoe. Many moved their log buildings to Golden.” Over time the townsite itself vanished. On April 28, 1946, the Colorado Historical Society placed a bronze marker on the site of Arapahoe City, and its general area, now known as Fairmount, remains today among the longest continuously settled places in Colorado.

gold was first discovered in Jefferson County, in 1834 at the placer sandbar of Clear Creek where Arapahoe City would stand. The Estes Party laid out our first mining claims with rocks and got gold using a Georgia Rocker until rising spring waters forced them out. 24 years later when the Doniphan Party arrived they found gold and realized the meaning of the now half-buried claim stones and laid the claims of Jeffco’s first mining district alongside them, from which Arapahoe City rose. People of Arapahoe wanted to find out where in the mountains the mother lode was where these daughter deposits in the sand bar washed down from.

John Hamilton Gregory came to Arapahoe City in January 1859. While finding mountain gold snow forced him back, and David K. Wall gave him food to follow up his find. On May 6, 1859 Gregory found the vein that revealed the great gold riches of today’s Gilpin County. Gregory’s and Jackson’s discoveries confirmed the faith of the miners and put the Gold Rush into full boom. After $21,000 made Gregory returned east and was never heard from again.

George Andrew Jackson came to Arapahoe City in late December 1858. With his partner, Thomas L. Golden, he went from Arapahoe and his camp in the Golden valley and explored for gold in the mountains. He struck the rich find of today’s Idaho Springs on January 7, 1859, sharing his secret only with Golden. Jackson’s and Gregory’s discoveries, putting the Gold Rush into high gear, were pivotal to creating Colorado. Jackson lived here the rest of his life until dying at Ouray in 1897.

Courtesey Colorado Historical Society and Frank Hall's History of Colorado,

Today, whatever remains of the Arapahoe bar itself is on Coors property and the all that remains of Aprapahoe City is the monument on McIntyre St (pictued above).

Finally, The Secret Free Gold Panning Spots in Colorado List

We see people searching all over the Internet looking for good places to go gold prospecting only to find that local gold clubs, forums and websites pretty much all simply cut and pasted the same 15 or 20 year old list of one free location and two or three pay/fee (not free) spots to find gold.

The only free location on "the" list is the section of Clear Creek West of Golden in Jefferson County on HWY 6 between the first tunnel and the split to Blackhawk/N. Fork Clear Creek which is partially open for prospecting, but it is steep and deep, parking is tricky at best and the gold is spotty.

NOTE: 6/2012- Mayhem Gulch area is CLOSED to gold prospecting within 100' of any trout habitiat there.
So with that in mind, here is the list that all the people in the clubs and groups and forums know about, and talk about, and go to, ...but don't bother telling you about. Probably because they are more interested in selling memberships than helping recreational prospectors.

Looking at google maps, start by searching Commerce City, zoom in and focus on Clear Creek. You will find gold the entire length of the Clear Creek from it's confluence with the South Platte River in North Denver/Commerce City all the way upstream to the town of Golden. Access is the tricky part.

Here are the locations along HWY 76 which follows Clear Creek from I-70 and Wadsworth to it's confluence with the South Platte.

NOTE: 6/22/2012- DREDGING and gas powered equipment is prohibited at ALL of the following locations according to Jefferson County Open Space, Adams County, City and County of Denver. DREDGE ONLY WHERE DREDGING IS ALLOWED!

Confluence Park on E 74th street west of HWY 85 (on the south side of 74th) is one of the first locations gold was found in the region by early prospectors and has good color in all sandbars and gravel banks along both Clear Creek AND the South Platte. During the great depression, the South Platte was line with gold panners. As the name implies, there is parking there.

At 70th and Gilpin there is a very nice park on the south side of the street (just west of the NAPA store) with tables, grills, shade trees and... oh yeah, reliable gold in the sandbars and gravel banks on both sides of the bridge.

Continuing west on 70th street, to Washington St, go south to the first parking lot on the right (west side). This is private property so you will need to ask permission. Go into Tymkovich Meats and ask, they will give you permission. Check out their quality meats and products while there and make sure you fill your holes and leave your site cleaner than you found it.

Continuing upstream, one of our favorite spots is at about 68th and Broadway. 4-2012-YOU CAN NO LONGER park at the back (SE corner) of the Clear Creek Business Park parking lot which has parking for trail access there. YOU WILL BE TICKETED and/or TOWED for parking in this lot.
The sandbars and streambed has good consistent gold of the small, medium and pretty good sized variety when the water is low enough to allow access.

I'm told that you can get down under the HWY 36 overpass also to prospect in Clear Creek there but I have not checked out the access or parking personally.

Goldstrike Park is at the confluence of Ralston Creek and Clear Creek. Both streams have a good supply of placer gold working its way downstream. This location is a little tricky to get down to the water during the monsoon season.

Wheat Ridge - WARNING, DANGER: Don't even think about it, gold prospecting was banned, even at Prospect Park, they will take your shovel and make a bowtie out of it for you. People are working to encourage the city to develop and implement a permitting system for gold panning and such, much like a fishing license.

Wheat Ridge has plans to annex Clear Creek from I-70 and Youngfield west one mile to Indiana street, as of this writing (Aug 2011) it is legal to prospect West of the I-70 Overpass.

NOTE: The Arapahoe Bar/Arapahoe City site is a very Sensitive area and is at risk:

If you do go there, please be respectful of the south side creek bank, grass and bushes along the shoreline as these prevent erosion of the Clear Creek bike path and trail above, therefore avoid any digging above the natural waterline at all these locations.

Practice responsible prospecting so we can keep this area open for future generations to enjoy. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate to neighboring Wheatridge that prospectors are as responsible as every other sportsman and have just as much right to access to the river and recreation.

Clear Creek History Park - Golden, CO. Take the Washington St exit off of HWY 58 going into Golden. Go south on Washington to 11th then go west to Arapahoe st. Parking on the left behind the Ball fields. Watch out for kayakers in your sluice box, but otherwise a beautiful and fulfilling location.

Clear Creek above Golden on HWY 6 - This is the area that virtually every website and gold prospecting club in Colorado tells you about. Yes, you can pan and even sluice upstream from Tunnel #1 to Tunnel 3, however there is a claim upstream from tunnel 3 to Elk Creek.

North Fork of Clear Creek HWY 119- To Blackhawk. You can get access just downstream from the convenience store which is about 2 miles upstream of the split from HWY 6. There are some holes already started which will deliver some fine gold in spots. Trying to work in the streambed on N Fork is futile at best. The soil is heavy clay material with tons of silt from the old mine tailings. There is also a small piece of BLM land marked by a roadside emergency phone upstream about 2 miles below Blackhawk which has produced some fine gold from the banks and benches up above the stream itself.

Now, going all the way back down to Ralston Creek, in Arvada, both Memorial Park and Hoskinson Parks have decent size gold, but this creek is littered with broken glass and trash, so beware and wear gloves/boots in it and bring a trash bag to remove any trash you come across. There is good parking along the street at both parks, watch out for flying discs at Memorial Park, (do NOT pick one up to throw it back) as this is a frisbee golf course.

South of Denver at the confluence of Dry Creek and the South Platte in Littleton, sandbars and gravel banks contain gold. Access is difficult, consult google maps before heading out.

Further southeast, Cherry Creek has fine gold south of Parker near Franktown and Castlewood Canyon (as well as Cottonwood creek) at the headwaters of Castlewood Canyon all the way downstream to downtown Denver's confluence park with the S Platte. This is a very challenging area with fine gold, private property and limited access to the benches and deposits above the stream.

Cottonwood park is just west of Parker road off of Jordan road at the north side of the town of Parker. There is good parking and access to Cherry Creek. Fine gold down fairly deep.

Hope this helps any new prospectors out there.

If not, at least the other prospecting websites have something new to cut n paste.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Clear Creek Sluicing: Beware of Yakkers or Yakkers Beware

So I took my wife up to prospect on Clear Creek in History Park near downtown Golden, this morning to check out that location and have some fun. It is a very pretty spot with shade, a place where the flow is nice, a big park and ball fields, a museum and oh yeah, rafters and yakkers.

Listen, I thought bicycle riders were rude and overbearing to pedestrians on the Clear Creek bike path... but they've got nothing on those kayakers (yakkers to me).

The sluice is setup about a foot and a half from the shoreline in about 4" of water where I had to use some big rocks to set up a little dam to control the water through the sluice box.

My wife is feeding the classified gravel into sluice and is sitting in a folding nylon chair with the back legs of the chair on dry land, the front legs in the water beside the sluice.

I go upstream about 25 yards and am digging under a boulder the size of a VW when I hear hear my wife yell ...HEY!

I look up and there is a yakker with the nose of his kayak headed straight for my wife and the sluice, he hits the rocks knocking them downstream that I had set up in front of the sluice for water control, and looks at her bewildered and says... "oh.... did I interfere with your... gold?" then took off downstream like a happy little yakker.

After that, there were a couple of other instances where I noticed a complete lack of respect or even acknowledgement of our being there and requiring our own space.

For the few hours we were there, group after group would just move in right on top of us, walk around in front of the sluice (a party foul for sure) and otherwise just kinda take over our space, meanwhile there is 20 miles of unoccupied shoreline in both directions.

So, if you go up to Historic Park in Golden on Clear Creek to prospect, I suggest taking a couple of rods and reels with a couple of bobbers... (no hooks) and put one out on each side of your sluice box and just let the bobbers hang out in the creek out there.

I'll betcha you won't have one single yakker try and drive his little plastic tub down your sluicebox like it was an obstacle course.

The fear of getting tangled in fishing line and the shear possibility that there might be a sharp hook dangling around out there will keep the Yakkers away, I promise.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Peoples Republic of Boulder and Wheatridge

Doing some research on places to go recreational gold panning in the Denver area led me to something quite disturbing and even shocking. In a state that was literally founded only because of gold panning and mining, we now find that apparently the state and most specifically a couple of small thinking towns not only are embarrassed by the states heritage, but have outright banned their own heritage.

The Peoples Republic of Boulder and Wheatridge in fact banned their own heritage. That's right, it is illegal to pan for gold in Boulder (the entire county in fact) and also within the City limits of Wheatridge (I know it's Wheat Ridge, but nobody says it as two words) which is now attempting to annex Clear Creek all the way to the Golden city limits. Wheatridge banned prospectors in a park named "Prospectors Park". Absurd? You betcha.

You can fish in Clear Creek in Wheatridge, lose sharp hooks and lead sinkers and plastic bobbers and nylon line in the stream and catch and kill the wildlife there, you can kick rocks around while wading and disturb the stream bed all you want if you are a kayaker or fisherman (I have nothing against kayaking or fishing, in fact I enjoy fishing myself, but lets keep it real, shall we?) You can dump your trash in the stream (as evidenced by all of the trash in the streams) but don't you DARE even thinking about removing any gold.

No sir. not here is a larger issue at stake here. The right of a city or county or private individual to "claim ownership" of what the Colorado Constitution says is owned by the citizens of the state of Colorado (the public).

It seems to me, that Boulder and Wheatridge believe for some reason that they can "opt out" of the Colorado State Constitution.

Public Trust Doctrine-
Section 5 of article XVI of the constitution of the state of Colorado: (summary, emphasis mine)

"(1) The water of every natural stream within the state of Colorado is hereby declared to be the property of the public, and the same is dedicated to the use of the people of the state, subject to appropriation as herinafter provided.

(2) This Colorado Public Trust Doctrine is adopted, and implemented, by the people of the state of Colorado to protect the public's interests in the water of natural streams and to instruct the state of Colorado to DEFEND the public's water ownership rights of use and PUBLIC ENJOYMENT.

(3) This Colorado Public Trust Doctrine provides that the public's estate in water in Colorado has a legal authority superior to rules and terms of contracts or property law.

(4) The Public confers the right to the use of its water, and the diversion of the water under section 6 of this article, to an appropriator for the beneficial use as a grant from the people of Colorado to the appropriator for the common good.

(5) (A) Access by the public along, and on, the wetted natural parameter of a stream bank of a water course of any natural stream in Colorado is a right of the public to the use of its own water in concert with provisions of this Colorado Public Trust Doctrine.

(B) The right of the public to use of the water in a natural stream and to the lands of the banks of the streams within Colorado shall extend to the naturally-wetted high water mark of the stream and is impressed with navigation servitude for commerce and public use as recognized in this Colorado Public Doctrine.

(C) The water of a natural stream and its streambed, and the naturally-wetted lands of the shores of the stream, shall not be subject to the law of trespass as the water of natural streams and the banks of their stream courses are public highways for commerce and public use.
(D) Public use of water, recognized as a right in this Colorado Public Trust Doctrine, shall not be controlled in law as a usufruct but shall be a right of the public to protect and ENJOY its own water.

(6) Enforcement and implementation of provisions contained within this Colorado Public Trust Doctrine to protect the public's rights and interests in water is mandated to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of Colorado State government to act as stewards to protect the public's interest in its water estate. ANY citizen of the state of Colorado shall have standing in judicial actions seeking to enforce the provisions of this section.

(7) Provisions of this section are self-enacting and self-executing."

It seems pretty clear that we (the citizens of Colorado) own the water and the streambed and the naturally wetted land up to the high water mark in fact.

It seems pretty clear that Boulder and Wheatridge believes otherwise, that THEY (the city of) own the land the water and the sky above and we (gold prospectors) are mere annoyances, to be banned and outlawed and run out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered to make room for the environmentally friendly kayakers, fishermen, rafters and such. You know, the activities this state was founded and built upon. (lol)

I think it was in 1845 or maybe '46 that the first kaykers and bicyclers discovered Colorado and the kayak bicycle boom was on, by 1859 over a million kayakers from back east had populated the area and built Denver to be the city we know and love today. Thank God for kayaks and bicycles.

What a disgrace that Colorado has shunned it's own heritage, led by the likes of the Peoples Republic of Boulder and now Wheatridge.
Ask the average Okie what a sooner is and every single one of them can give you a detailed description with great pride of how that state was formed by a bunch of cheaters basically (hey I'm originally from there so I can say that, besides it's true) the point is they know their states history.

Ask the average Coloradoan where the first gold strike was or where gold is found or anything about gold and you will most likely get a blank stare... followed by a lecture on the evils of gold mining.

Where is our state government as ordered to do in the above articles, in protecting our right to our waterways?

Wake up Colorado, your rights are being stripped away while you pretend to care about the state, the heritage and our streams.

Write or call the state attorney generals office and ask them why Boulder and Wheatridge get to opt out of the articles of our state constitution Public Trust Doctrine and take away our rights?