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Oregon_Jim
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My adventure has begun... ( 20:00:58 SatMay 11 2013 )



After what felt like an eternity I was at last able to make a short visit to the K-15 claim to test the waters and to gain some experience. I believe I was there ten days and was able to get into the water for five or six of those days. The water was near 60 degrees, making it pretty comfortable to dive in, but the visibilty was still poor because of the snowmelt.

For a couple of days I timidly worked my 2" suction nozzle around in the small cove sheltered from the main stream of the river, slipping on rocks, tieing myself up in hoses, and making all of the expected rookie mistakes, but eventually my comfort level and "expertise" allowed me to move out into cleaner, faster waters in one of the small rapids below the K-15 camping area. By this time the river level had dropped several inches and the clarity was much improved, bringing into my view my first glimpse of that magnificent river bottom I have imagined for so long with its clean coarse sands and gravels. I guess I just lost myself in the beauty of it all down there. I think I was down almost two hours when I realized that something was wrong with my air supply. I assumed I'd run out of gas, but found the drive pulley for my T-80 compressor had come apart.

There were no pulleys in the 49er shop, so Myrna somewhere found two old compressors and I was able to scavange a pulley from one of them. THANK YOU Myrna!!

Before I could get back into the river there was a bunch of thunderstorm activity which caused more snowmelt, so the river quickly rose and clouded up again and I returned home for a short time.

I was able to recover about ten grains of gold in various attempts with hose-in-bucket ideas, but generally speaking all my efforts were terribly lacking. It's back to the drawing board for me. At this stage in my "education" I think some variation of the bazooka idea is the most sensible of those I have heard.

I also enjoyed the tremendous wildlife, seeing a bear and cub, lots of deer, wildfowl, and even a very old and large turtle, perhap 16-18" across its shell. It was another great visit to the area. I will return very soon for another week or so.


  
riverwatcher
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 23:29:37 SatMay 11 2013 )

enjoyed the write up Sir, and a bit jealious even for those odd experiences that make us rethink our ablities and I know you still would do it all again just to be able to be there . good prospecting to you and be safe.
hope one day to get back up there.:doublethumbsup:

  
LipCa
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 14:58:02 SunMay 12 2013 )

Yep, Jim, something wasn't working or you weren't in the gold.
$30 for 10 days don't buy beans....

But, you had a good time.

Best advice I have for this method you "non-dredgers" are using would be selective on your material. There is no way you can even come close to moving and processing the same material you would if you were really dredging.

A couple of buckets of selective material is going to pay more per day. (unless you like processing "gravel")

  
Oregon_Jim
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 17:03:59 SunMay 12 2013 )

I completely agree that my gold recovery was pathetically small for the time and effort I put into the trip, but please keep in mind that this is my initiation to the world of underwater prospecting. I am as green as springtime grass and I am working completely on my own without assistance or instruction, plus I am spending much of my time under the water as a tourist admiring this incredible world. Add to that the less than wonderful conditions in the river and suddenly that tiny ten grains doesn't feel all that puny. I am rather proud of my accomplishments so far. We all measure success in different ways.

The concept of collecting small quantities of just the best materials sounds very easy, but one must first be able to recognize that material. This was the first opportunity I have had to see the river bottom, and the poor visibility limited my view dramatically. It will take some time before my ability to understand how the river bottom is composed. There is a big learning curve ahead of me.

I arrived at the river with a few ideas on how to collect materials with my 2" suction nozzle, but with no real knowledge. My work was not a failure. I proved beyond a doubt that my prior ideas would not work, so now I can proceed to different ideas. It's all about learning and discovering new things for me.

Maybe next visit I'll get $40 worth in my ten days...:doublethumbsup:

You have to keep a positive attitude to enjoy life fully!
[1 edits; Last edit by Oregon_Jim at 17:05:46 Sun May 12 2013]

  
salmongold2013
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 17:27:20 SunMay 12 2013 )

Jim...Your the type of guy that every prospector needs as a partner. Your positive outlook and attitude. ..fully encompasses the picture of success. As a semi greenback with only one season behind me...I hope I can get the opportunity to work with you this season. With my determination and your outstanding attitude....fun and successis a guarantee
John B
Salmon Prospecting :doublethumbsup:

  
LipCa
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 20:54:23 SunMay 12 2013 )

Jim,

I wasn't trying to belittle what you were doing. Don't take it that way. I was just saying that you haven't "got it" yet and that 10 grains is not what you are looking for.
When you get the hang of it, you'll be panning 10 grains from the crevices every hour!

As a suggestion, take one of those crevices that you had in that little video, if it has gold above the water, follow in in the water too. remove all the rocks and gravel that you can by hand before you start sucking. the gold will be at the bottom. you'll find more gold that way than going out in the current right now. when you learn what to strip, then go there if you want.

  
Oregon_Jim
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 22:05:09 SunMay 12 2013 )

No offense was taken...

The river conditions will be far better very soon and I will be able to expand my horizons in a big way. I may return within a week or so to try some new ideas. I expect to see many folks out on the river soon, so assistance and guidance will also be within easy reach and my confidence level is way up high. There will be much fun on the river this summer!

  
Jersey_Girls
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 12:34:02 FriMay 17 2013 )

Jim, you have the perfect attitude toward gold mining. For us, yes we want to find gold but just as importantly we absolutely love being in nature and all the magic that comes with it.

Everyone should have your approach to prospecting because they would enjoy the experience so much more. It's not just about the gold for us, but finding it makes the effort sweeter.

Looking forward to meeting you in Happy Camp.

Lori and Deb

  
Oregon_Jim
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Re: My adventure has begun... ( 15:57:00 FriMay 17 2013 )

I thank you all for your kind words.

I am not really gold mining. I am vacationing and enjoying what is to me a grand adventure. Certainly I have strong desires to find gold, but even in my wildest dreams I cannot imagine finding enough to be of great importance, so there is no pressure to drive me except the joy of discovery.

I have several personal goals. I want to see gold glistening on the river bottom as Dave has described it, with thousands of tiny specs and pieces. It doesn't need to be a large amount or big pieces. It just needs to inspire that moment of discovery excitement. That moment will make my adventure complete. I want to be there to see the excitement in someone else's face when he or she makes a great find. I want to end each day with a feeling of accomplishment and a happy view of the world. Who could ask for more???

  

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