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?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Product Release: SandAway black sand/gold separator

The SandAway TM Gold/Black Sand Separator was developed as a simple economical tool to remove placer gold particles from heavy black sand concentrates quickly and efficiently at a significantly lower cost than competitive systems.

The SandAway TM Double Decker Gold Recovery System features two adjustable levels and two types of ribbed mat gold recovery, PLUS built in riffles under the matting for additional recovery of elusive ultra fine gold.

Simple to operate, fast setup, easy cleanup and quick teardown.

Hinged design folds up instantly for easy transport or storage.

Both levels (upper and lower deck angles) are fully adjustable for finding the best flow angles for your specific type of blacksand concentrates or classified material.

Unique design- The upper deck is tapered inward (converging) forcing all of the black sand/gold material inward down the middle of the riffles, while the lower level is tapered outward (diverging) which spreads out remaining material and separates any remaining gold particles that get that far, allowing them to collect in the lower deck ribbed mat.

(NOTE: Most Gold will stay in the top 5-10 riffles of the upper deck mat!)

The waterflow head has a screw-type finely adjustable valve (not std ball valve) for a much more controlled adjustment of volume/flow for your specific black sand or classified material.

The 'waterfall' between the upper and lower levels helps separate any stubborn gold from blacksand particles before entering the 'reverse direction' lower deck.

Two types of removable ribbed mats (course and fine ribbed) are included for varying types of black sand-gold concentrate material.

The SandAway TM Gold Recovery System fits on any two standard 5 gal buckets (not included) and includes a 110v recirculating pump.

Waterflow head also connects to std garden hose fitting if desired.

*Optional 12v pump for creekside gold recovery is available for an additinal $49.00 (not included in std pkg).

The complete SandAway TM Double Decker Gold Recovery System is only $149.95 plus shipping and handling. Compare with units priced at over twice the cost.

Std Pkg Comes complete, with everything you need (except the gold of course)

1- SandAway Double decker 48" mini-sluice

1- reversable double sided Fine ribbed/ new combo ribbed mat

1- reversable double sided Wide ribbed / diamond pattern mat

1- Waterflow Head

1- Screw-type valve

1- 110v AC pump

1- recirculation hose

1- gold sucker bottle

1- gold display bottle

Visit the SandAway website for more pics and info.

Washing Rocks and Cleaning the Creeks

Many times when we are out prospecting and running our sluice, people will walk by and stop for a minute and then ask... "so, what are you doing"?

Sometimes I just reply "washing rocks", which is basically true when we are in a bad location for gold. But one thing we do every time out is to remove all of the trash we find and we find a lot.

Broken glass is by far the most common, sometimes running down as deep as a few feet in the gravel, then there are the tin cans, sharp pieces of metal objects, chunks of rubber, plastic, even parts of sinks and toilets.

The important thing here is that whenever I speak with a city official regarding gold prospecting in a creek running through their town, they immidiately try to imply that gold panning, sluicing etc. is somehow damaging their pristine clear rocky mountain spring water (lol).

Are you kidding me?

Sections of Ralston creek for example are a trash pit, a garbage pile, a sewer lateral system, a depository for junk and crap... but it does have gold in it.

So, when you go out gold panning and mining and prospecting, please do your part to clean up our greatest natural resources and always leave every area you work cleaner than you found it.

I want people generations from now to say we did a good job.

Keep on "washing rocks".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience

If you are planning a trip to the Denver area or live in the area and want to create a wonderful lasting memory, go on one of the Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience adventures.

RD and son RJ provide guests with a half-day or full-day guided creekside gold mining experience which includes snacks, drinks and even a creekside lunch and YOU keep all the gold from the day in a free glass vial. Using Goldstrike's latest technology equipment and training you will recover beautiful placer gold at historic locations within minutes of downtown Denver and take home a free gold pan too!

Visit their website Goldstrike Colorado Gold Experience and schedule your own Goldstrike Colorado gold experience... it's an experience you will never forget!

Gold Strike Colorado Prospecting Blog

A blog dedicated to Colorado gold prospecting sites, history, methods, equipment, results and the people we meet.
We will be posting about locations to go gold prospecting, new equipment to recover gold and anything else we think is interesting in the world of placer gold mining.

Stay tuned, we promise NOT to be like every other gold prospecting site.