Members of the Gold Prospectors of the Rockies, a Denver
Colorado recreational prospecting club met at a members property at Alma Colorado for a
day of dredging. Present were 4 dredges ranging in size from 1-1/2" to a Keene
5" triple sluice.
October at 11,000 feet elevation means cold mornings and snow on the mountain tops. This also means cold water. This day the water measured 36 degrees. Wet suits and panners gloves were the uniform of the day.
First task of the day was unloading and carrying the dredges to the waters edge. This wasn't too bad as we could drive within about 50 feet of the water. Then assembly of the equipment could begin. A large dredge looks like a large jigsaw puzzle when it is broken down into it's small parts.
Some of the assembly has to be done under the water. Here the power jet is being installed on the sluicebox header assembly. Much of this assembly is a two person job. One to "watch" or more usefully, hold the dredge steady, and one to do the actual work. This part of the work is cold as the initial move into the water is a real shock and the assembly is difficult when wearing gloves. After a little time, the cold water inside the wet suit will warm up.
Club outings are a family affair. This usually means both adults and
children will have fun and play in the water. In small streams like this, there is little
chance that the children will be in any danger.
Alma outing (continued)
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