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Need Advice on Creek Issues...Mud..etc

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I could use some advice on traversing rough ground ? The creek I need to go check out in a few weeks,if the dry weather holds, has numerous mudholes and vertical banks up to 10 feet straight up with either water or knee deep mud at the bottom. The one side creek, I used to go down the bank on a knotted rope and had steps carved in the dirt but this creek bank is now 10 feet high and too dangerous to go up and down I think, especially by myself. Where it feeds into the bigger creek, is alternating mudholes and gravel bars and tons of hotrocks. I just found out last week, this area was almost an iron mine back in 1890 which would account for the hotrocks and red bedrock river bottom in spots and blasted out craters in the limestone ridges beside the creek.

  

I never ran any gravel here in a sluice or did any serious panning or get rock samples, all of which I need to do this time, plus photos and detecting. Years ago, when i was here last, I even found a cone shaped tailings pile of mud and bits of limestone in the creek and an artificial looking white cobble gravel bar where i wanted to gold hunt. I am betting the iron miners were sluicing here before me altho I don't know why they would be sluicing for iron? The history book did not mention anything about gold in the account.

 

Should I wear hip waders or my leather boots? That creek water is gonna be cold.Just hope the nettles and poison ivy are down by now,Nov 2014? I have to get up and down a couple steep hills and that muddy creek bottom via deer paths or making my own path about a mile in from the nearest road.Wonder if I should wear blaze orange as it may be deer season for bow hunters?

 

Thanks,

 

-Tom V.

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...too dangerous to go up and down I think, especially by myself.

 

-Tom V.

Sounds like you need a buddy. And you may want to ask yourself "is this worth the risk to life and limb?"

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I'm with Steve on this Tom, it may not be worth it.

 

I don't know the area you will be in but it's probably a little late in the year for archery hunters. The blaze orange might be good for locating you in an emergency if necessary. At a minimum, I'd be sure a responsible person knows where you are going and a definite time frame in which you should return.

 

Good luck,

Mike

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I've managed to drag along a lightweight aluminum ladder but it doesn't sound very practical in your case.  What about making rope ladders?  Plenty of free ladder making advice found via Google and they'd be fairly easy to pack in.   A buddy is definitely in order, but finding someone capable, trustworthy and willing and able to get off the couch isn't always simple.

 

I'd go for the waders, leather boots will just fill up with water and become a soggy mess.

 

I say go for it, if you stay home and play it safe you may get hit by lightning or run over by a truck.  Don't recall his name but a geologist working at the Ruby Mine in California gave a talk to one of our local clubs last year. One of his statements was "If you want to find gold you have to be willing to die for it!"  His quote, not mine!

 

- Bob

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Depending on the consistency and type of mud, knee deep mud can and will wear you out very fast, and can be very hard to get out of if it gets a good suction on your feet and legs, if you get stuck don't struggle, you'll only sink deeper, best bet is to "swim" out of the mud, but then you will be all wet and risk hypothermia, if you're determined to do this outing use your head and make sure you have a partner and or a way to contact someone if you need help.

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Tom; Sounds like a normal day of prospecting to me. You might start  your exploration of this area in your local library and museum and Recorders office. If there is any gold to be found there you should be able to find some history of it.

  Be careful and have a good time.

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I chickened out  this past weekend altho I did get me a 3 foot wood plank and attached a 4 foot rope to one end to get over soft spots.I can pull up the plank with the rope handle after crossing a spot.  Its hard to find a fellow prospector who doesn't have to get his wife's permission to go out with yours truly...I had a buddy go with me a time or 2 but he would bring his brothers along and I didn't care for the added company or their cigarrettes , so now its just me.

 

  I did find one website that makes a mud boot that does NOT sink in but they are darn expensive, $150  shipped. Has anybody used a pair of these and how well do they work? Maybe I better invest in a signal flare gun like boaters use ,since I don't yet have a cell phone. Next year.I will get a decent phone...I did invest in a used Canon SX50 camera with 50x zoom and wired remote control ,mainly for critter shots.

 

   The last time I was out here alone , some years back,I had a scary experience. I was digging on a hillside, heard a BIG crash a ways west of me and figgered it was a tree branch falling. Went back to digging. A minute later ,another BIG crash, and another Big crash, then silence from that same area. Thought it kinda strange as tree branches only make 1 crash when they fall. Shortly after that, I felt thuds hitting the ground near me,like somebody was throwing rocks at me? At first it was random, then I noticed the thuds were getting closer and closer to where I was digging !!!  I have been around nut trees where the tree was shedding nuts but they always come down randomly. At that point, with nite coming on and I was a ways from my car, I stood up and hollered..ok,ok, I am leaving, gimme a minute...to nobody I could see..I picked up my MXT and ran back up and down steep hills, crossed the mud creek .Got back to the car just as a dark black nite settled in. I've had a hard time getting up the nerve to go back there again needlesss to say. I don't think whatever was throwing them rocks was another person as people don't jump out of trees with huge crashing sounds. Plus, I had a pistol pack on me. Who would be fool enough to throw rocks at a person with a possible pistol in his pack? Makes me a bit shaky just to write this narrative...The only critters I ever saw in these woods were white tailed deers and they can't throw rocks...maybe it was a bigfoot?  I never did see what it was or anything moving in the woods..

 

http://www.mudderboot.com/

 

-T

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I got brave and went back to the creek this past weekend. I was expecting low water since we have had such a dry fall and the weatherman is always wrong. Well, I get out there and its raining and the locals tell me 5 inches of snow due next day, and I didn't even have a poncho,I asked around for the nearest Walmart and was told I'd have to drive 30 miles !!!  Guess I must be in the sticks ..? So, I got the last poncho that Shopco had. I drive over to my spot, and the creeks are all Flooded ?? How can this be?

But I set out to take photos of the creek and surrounding hillsides anyway .I used my new Canon SX50

camera. Got about 40 shots. The creek was too fast and deep to even attempt any test panning.

So, all was reasonably well, until I noticed somebody pulled over on the side of the road by my car. As I get back up there, a man hollers at me about it being muzzle loader season for deers and did I know that? He was also irritated as I was so near his tree stand. I confessed to not knowing it was still deer season and told him I was gold panning. Had my gold pan in full view but not wearing an orange hat, stupid me...Guess he thought my shovel was a gun? He refused to give me his name after hearing I had permission to be on the land where his tree stand was. Just wished I'd had a written note, but it was a verbal permission . He suggested I not gold pan in the area except in summer to avoid the local deer hunters. Also, I picked up an important tip.He said the creek had a large watershed and if it was raining even a little bit, the creek came up FAST.

  Well, at least I quit procrastinating and got off my lazy rear end to do this trip finally. Will go again in early summer 2015. Can't do any real exploring in the old armchair after all... 

 

-T

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