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Trying again tomorrow


Dizzy

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I'm heading back to a local river named Jackman Creek tomorrow, and this time with a different game plan than the previous visit there. I've been told by locals that there has been gold found in the creek, meaning I should be able to find some, too! Just because I struck out before doesn't mean the same things gonna happen again tomorrow.

No big secrets here, so here is a Google topo of where I am headed:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Concrete,+Skagit,+Washington&ll=48.524279,-121.708088&spn=0.013472,0.043945&t=p&z=15

The Skagit is the large river shown, and Jackman creek heads off to the NE, which is where I'll be hiking in tomorrow. I've learned that even the fine gold in the creek bed is probably pretty much out of reach where I dug the material I ran through the sluice on my previous visit, so this trip I am hiking upriver and taking only the basics.

Packed my favorite large gravity trap pan, a Garrett 1/2" classifier that has construction cloth wired over the grid making it a 1/4" classifier, my leather grip vintage rock pick, narrow trowel and small scoop. I also made up some really cool crevice scraping tools out of an old set of BBQ tongs. They'll let me reach, scoop and scrape to about 12" depth. :D

Once the creek gets up in the narrower canyon, I'll be looking for any crevices in exposed bedrock in the creek bed and on the hillsides as well. You can see in the topo that the creek goes quite a ways back into the canyon, but I'm not in shape to try hiking in too far just yet. Hopefully there will be some opportunities in the first mile or so.

Scraping out some small crevice might be more tedious to some folks compared to hogging out some big 'ol hole and running material through a sluice all day, but if it produces me some color...well, I don't mind tedious one little bit. beer.gif

Here's a pic looking up Jackman Creek in the direction I'll be hiking in:

JackmanCreekandSluice030411001.jpg

What makes this a bit more challenging is my lack of balance. The name "Dizzy" is all too accurate, as I deal with this SOB of an illness known as Meniere's Disease. In Jan. of '09, I had all the inner ear parts surgically removed from my right ear in order to stop the severe vertigo attacks that came without warning. As part of that, the doc had to cut the vestibular (balance) nerve. The ear no longer functions (decoration only) and it took me a week just to learn how to walk again. I still stagger a bit, but do pretty dang good for the most part other than on uneven terrain. One nice thing about being in your 50's is you don't feel the need to be in a big rush any more, so, I'll take my time and smell the Spring air along the way.

Hoping I can find at least one nice crevice to dig out. Either way, it's gonna be a fun day. I'll take a few pics if I can.

Mike

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More power to you Mike...I have the same questions that hammer has...I hate cold except with beer...it seems to me you would

have a better chance with the water and weather a bit warmer...the guys in Alaska have gloves that go all the way up to their

arm pits and their hooked together by a strap that goes behind your head and their insulated against cold water...some insulated

rubber hip boots with three pairs of insulated socks....it seems to me the longer you can stay comfortable the better your

chances of success would be....good luck...

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Hammer: Haven't tried in Summer yet, but the creek has had a few days to drop after the last rain, so water level should be fairly low still. In Summer there is all the snow-melt to contend with, but it could be that in late Sept. the creek does get lower.

Temps today are expected to be near 50*F., and that's almost T-shirt weather" for here.. :grin: And you're right Garimpo, I use a pair of industrial gauntlet gloves when panning, as the water is just too cold for bare hands. Even in the warm months, the water is still super-cold due to all the snow melt running in the river. A check of an on-line USGS sensor array tells me the water is 4ºC (about 40ºF), so the gloves will most definitely be used!

Since this spot is only about 10 min. from home, plan is to wait till about Noon to head up the canyon as that way I'll get to spend the warmest part of the day. First day of Spring, and it's actually.... sunny! (we don't get much of that here..lol)

Don't know if I'll find much, but it'll be fun trying. Pics and report later.

Mike

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Today was another of those "Prospecting was great, finding was lousy" days. Any day spent in the outdoors is a good day, and my out of shape carcass could certainly use the exercise..:rolleyes:

In the image posted above of Jackman creek, look as far as you can down the right hand bank, and then imagine turning the corner. When I did that today, this is what I ran into:

post-25173-0-30949100-1300691371_thumb.j

Seems the last big storm made a bit of a mess. Come late Summer I'll be able to get though there, and saw no reason to take the risk today. Too many city people die up here every year due making bad choices, and it makes all us locals look bad if one of us drowns ourselves, as we should know better :inocent:

Did see a cool rock on the riverbank; I stink at my rock ID's but I think that's some heavy quartz bands in there:

post-25173-0-62641900-1300691365_thumb.j

I did run a couple test pans from some material I dug where I had to turn around, and came up empty. No worries, as I had a backup plan (or 2).

Hiked back to the truck and drove a mile down the road, then went up a logging road for about 5 miles, hoping to find some creeks crossing where I could get access. Found a couple nice looking spots, but unfortunately my test pans came up empty. This one was certainly a place to remember for later in the Spring/Summer:

post-25173-0-73841500-1300691383_thumb.j

Ran a couple of quick pans with no result, so as I was driving back to the highway I called my neighbor up and told him to get off the couch cause I was taking him along scouting. I had to go past the house on my way to "Plan C", and Phil's lived his whole life here in the Upper Skagit Valley, and these hills and creeks were his playgrounds. We headed up on the old Finney Ridge road, and the area is loaded with nice creeks that flow year around.

While up there We had a great view of Sauk Mtn, across the valley from us:

post-25173-0-26713500-1300691387_thumb.j

Did find a number of creeks that I'm looking forward to checking out next weekend, or, if we get a nice day during the week I can go for a couple hrs. in the evening. This area is about a 20 min. drive from home to the area. Here's Phil checking out a water fall we found off the beaten track. We can't dig in the wetted perimeter here, but if that waterfall dries up in Summer would the base be good place to check out?

post-25173-0-50834300-1300691360_thumb.j

Mike

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Today was another of those "Prospecting was great, finding was lousy" days. Any day spent in the outdoors is a good day, and my out of shape carcass could certainly use the exercise..:rolleyes:

In the image posted above of Jackman creek, look as far as you can down the right hand bank, and then imagine turning the corner. When I did that today, this is what I ran into:

post-25173-0-30949100-1300691371_thumb.j

Seems the last big storm made a bit of a mess. Come late Summer I'll be able to get though there, and saw no reason to take the risk today. Too many city people die up here every year due making bad choices, and it makes all us locals look bad if one of us drowns ourselves, as we should know better :inocent:

Did see a cool rock on the riverbank; I stink at my rock ID's but I think that's some heavy quartz bands in there:

post-25173-0-62641900-1300691365_thumb.j

I did run a couple test pans from some material I dug where I had to turn around, and came up empty. No worries, as I had a backup plan (or 2).

Hiked back to the truck and drove a mile down the road, then went up a logging road for about 5 miles, hoping to find some creeks crossing where I could get access. Found a couple nice looking spots, but unfortunately my test pans came up empty. This one was certainly a place to remember for later in the Spring/Summer:

post-25173-0-73841500-1300691383_thumb.j

Ran a couple of quick pans with no result, so as I was driving back to the highway I called my neighbor up and told him to get off the couch cause I was taking him along scouting. I had to go past the house on my way to "Plan C", and Phil's lived his whole life here in the Upper Skagit Valley, and these hills and creeks were his playgrounds. We headed up on the old Finney Ridge road, and the area is loaded with nice creeks that flow year around.

While up there We had a great view of Sauk Mtn, across the valley from us:

post-25173-0-26713500-1300691387_thumb.j

Did find a number of creeks that I'm looking forward to checking out next weekend, or, if we get a nice day during the week I can go for a couple hrs. in the evening. This area is about a 20 min. drive from home to the area. Here's Phil checking out a water fall we found off the beaten track. We can't dig in the wetted perimeter here, but if that waterfall dries up in Summer would the base be good place to check out?

post-25173-0-50834300-1300691360_thumb.j

Mike

Might have some color but your going to have to move a lot of rocks to get down to the good stuff...

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Might have some color but your going to have to move a lot of rocks to get down to the good stuff...

That seems to be the case anywhere I look in this valley. There is so much overburden, and it keeps gets washed through every time there is a flood (which is generally once a year). Seems like any gold is so far down it's pretty much out of reach.

Time to re-think how I'm going about this.

Mike

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