Spring 19 dredging trip to Contrary Creek!
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Thread: Spring 19 dredging trip to Contrary Creek!

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  1. #1
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
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    650 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting

    Spring '19 dredging trip to Contrary Creek!

    Hi everyone! It's been a while (a few years, actually) since I've posted one of these trip reports, but I'm happy to say that my son and I are back at this wonderful gold dredging hobby of ours.
    Last weekend (Easter weekend) we joined friends Carl, Jeff and his son Tristan at Contrary Creek, VA for two days of dredging.
    I put together a 9 minute video summarizing the trip (link below), but for those of you who like to read here is the quick summary:
    - We dredged Friday and Saturday. (Jeff and Tristan could only dredge on Friday, but - Spoiler! - Jeff/Tristan found the best picker of the trip. Picture below.)
    - On Friday we got a "late" start (we were unloading at 8AM but Carl, Jeff and Tristan had already been dredging for 1 hour+ by then). It took us forever to get our gear down the river; I thought using a two-wheeled game (deer) cart would be a good idea. Wrong. It kept wanting to tip over and with only two wheels you spend half your energy balancing it (the other half moving it).
    - On Friday we probably only dredged for 3 hours because severe weather came through and by 1:00 we felt we needed to pack up and get off the river. (It turns out we probably could have stayed a few more hours, but big picture it was good to take shelter because by 7:30pm there was a tornado warning precisely in that area. See the video for screen grabs of the weather alert...and more details. [that's what they call a "tease"]).

    - Saturday was beautiful, we were making our way down the river by 7:30am and the water level was waaayyy up. Any of you who have been at Contrary Creek have to see how high it was (again a tease for the video!).
    - Carl couldn't get his tractor down river due to the high water, so he worked under the bridge. Sadly we didn't see him much that day, and it was just Andrew and me down river in Friday's location.
    - We dredged for probably 6 hours on Saturday. Andrew had more nozzle time than I did, and when I was ready to pack up after lunch he kept going! It was fantastic father-son time.

    - As you'd expect, our day 1 results were less than our day 2 results. No pickers but some nice flakes, chunky stuff and flour/flood gold.

    We had a great time with friends, I got to enjoy (precious) time with my son, and we can't wait to do it again!

    Our gold (Day 1 on left; Day 2 on right, which includes a little garnet I kept because I didn't see many garnets at all. Normally I've found tons of them)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Comparing four trips, from Left to Right:
    - New Hampshire June '16
    - Contrary Creek Aug '16
    - NH Sept. '16
    - this CC trip, Apr '19. Based on this comparison we had a great trip!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jeff and Tristan's cool picker with quartz attached:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Link to the video:
    Last edited by brianc053; Apr 29, 2019 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Nothing like a Father with Child trip, son or daughter! Those are memory making times, well done!!

    That is one interesting looking (lovely) picker with some special color to it!

    In all a superb trip, thank you for sharing!...........63bkpkr
    mendoAu and russau like this.
    Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm

  3. #3
    us
    Author of a book about finding gold in Colorado

    Jan 2012
    Summit County, Colorado
    Grizzly Goldtrap Explorer & Motherlode, Gold Cube with Banker on top, Bazooka Goldtrap sluices, Angus Mackirk Expedition, Gold-n-Sand Xtream Hand pump
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    Love this!
    russau likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    342
    650 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Hey everybody! My son and I had so much fun with our friends Jeff, Tristan and Carl in April that we went back to Contrary Creek last weekend (along with those guys), and we dredged all day Saturday.
    After about 8 hours we ended up with this gold. I think we did better in one day than we did the previous month in 1.5 days. The gold was certainly chunkier this time!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    RTR, russau, Gold & Blues and 4 others like this.

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    342
    650 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by brianc053 View Post
    Hey everybody! My son and I had so much fun with our friends Jeff, Tristan and Carl in April that we went back to Contrary Creek last weekend (along with those guys), and we dredged all day Saturday.
    After about 8 hours we ended up with this gold. I think we did better in one day than we did the previous month in 1.5 days. The gold was certainly chunkier this time!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    PS - quick story about the one flake that's by itself directly below the dime in the picture.
    I do most of the cleanup panning when we bring the concentrates home, but my son does help out, especially toward the end.
    After I finished my last pan my son said half-jokingly, "let's see how you did Dad. I'll pull a scoop from the panning tub and see if you missed any gold."

    Well, that flake - which we now call my "flake of shame" - was in that scoop, meaning I had let it escape my pan as I was going through the concentrates. Andrew managed to find four other tiny pieces of flour gold in the same scoop....

    I did my own test and only found one tiny flour speck, so not every scoop was as bad as the one he looked through. But - I did not catch all the gold the first time through.
    Well, I guess that's why we save our tailings! (We came home with half of a five-gallon bucket full of concentrates. I will probably not pan the whole 2.5 gallons again, but will instead run them through the sluice on my next trip up to New Hampshire. Why New Hampshire? Because we can park 50 yards from where we dredge, while down at Contrary Creek it's almost a half-mile downriver and I"m not hauling those heavy concentrates BACK down the river!).
    - Brian
    KevinInColorado, russau and arizau like this.

  6. #6
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
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    "Well, that flake - which we now call my "flake of shame" - was in that scoop, meaning I had let it escape my pan as I was going through the concentrates. Andrew managed to find four other tiny pieces of flour gold in the same scoop...." Did you not screen the concentrates to batches of like sized particles before panning for gold recovery? That step usually eliminates, or in worst case minimizes the chance for missing gold in the cleanup panning process.

    Good luck and have fun with your son.
    Last edited by arizau; May 26, 2019 at 11:24 PM.
    KevinInColorado and russau like this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    342
    650 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by arizau View Post
    "Well, that flake - which we now call my "flake of shame" - was in that scoop, meaning I had let it escape my pan as I was going through the concentrates. Andrew managed to find four other tiny pieces of flour gold in the same scoop...." Did you not screen the concentrates to batches of like sized particles before panning for gold recovery? That step usually eliminates, or in worst case minimizes the chance for missing gold in the cleanup panning process.

    Good luck and have fun with your son.
    I did classify at home using 8-mesh, 20-mesh, 50-mesh screens so I end up with four different sizes to pan.
    Here's a bit more to the story: at the river we quickly panned the top-mat material to see if we had any nice pickers, and we found most of the larger chunky pieces doing that (we panned into the tub which then went into the concentrates bucket, so zero chance of losing any gold during that first rough pan).

    The result of the prior rough pan was that at home the +20 concentrates were not producing much, other than the lead shot. For this reason I know that at times I got a little aggressive with my panning of the +20 stuff, because I was thinking there wouldn't be anything anyway. The Flake Of Shame is very thin, and my guess is that it washed away in the aggressive panning of the +20 stuff (If it had been in the -20/+50 stuff I'm pretty sure I would have found it since I was very careful in that 'zone' - that's where most of the gold was). And since I was catching lead shot even with the aggressive panning of the +20 I figured that if there was any good-sized gold I'd get it too.

    I don't know what to say about the -50 stuff that was slipping through, other than it's just hard to pan. I use a magnet and clean out all the black sand, but the -50 stuff from Contrary Creek is still full of heavy pyrite flour and it's not much lighter than the smallest pieces of gold.

    I should have made a video of the panning process...maybe I'll crank one of those out sometime soon.
    - Brian
    arizau likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Commercial Diving Company Owner

    Feb 2005
    Eastern PA
    Garrett At Pro, MX500 Proton Mag fisher gold bug, whites PI, Garrett gold scorpion
    247
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    Prospecting
    Nice Haul, looks like you are on the ramp down from the trail to the creek on the left side heading downstream, i think i have a pic of a tall guy in my pics that i posted on the other contrary creek thread from last year that was hand panning, he did pretty good in that area

    almost ran into you this time, my club was planning a trip there for the last weekend in April but cancelled due to too many members having conflicts with other plans and Christopher Run not having any cabins available for the old timers to stay in , or else i would have met you this time. we are trying to get a trip together for september sometime, next time you plan to head down, send me a PM, maybe we can get together. did you stay at Christoper run or camp at the creek?

  9. #9
    us
    Jan 2015
    Morris County, NJ
    Minelab Equinox 800 White's MXT
    342
    650 times
    Gold Prospecting + Metal Detecting
    Quote Originally Posted by njcommercialdiver View Post
    Nice Haul, looks like you are on the ramp down from the trail to the creek on the left side heading downstream, i think i have a pic of a tall guy in my pics that i posted on the other contrary creek thread from last year that was hand panning, he did pretty good in that area

    almost ran into you this time, my club was planning a trip there for the last weekend in April but cancelled due to too many members having conflicts with other plans and Christopher Run not having any cabins available for the old timers to stay in , or else i would have met you this time. we are trying to get a trip together for september sometime, next time you plan to head down, send me a PM, maybe we can get together. did you stay at Christoper run or camp at the creek?
    Sorry we didn't run into you! We stayed at Christopher Run; we tried for a cabin but like you found there were none available (2 weeks ahead of time!) so Andrew and I just slept in tents (but our site was right next to a party camper that kept its outdoor lights on until 1AM...ugh).
    Which club are you a part of? We can target another trip in September; I suspect my friends Jeff, Tristan and Carl would be up for that.
    Hope to see you down there!
    - Brian

  10. #10
    Charter Member

    Apr 2003
    Alberta
    Various Minelabs(5000, 2100, X-Terra 705, Equinox 800, Gold Monster), Falcon MD20, Tesoro Sand Shark, Gold Bug Pro, Makro Gold Racer.
    5,237
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    Prospecting
    Nothing better than spending time with the family!

    Love dredging, and I really miss it. Not much opportunity to do it any more due to changing regulations, so you're lucky to be in an area where it's still allowed.

    The best gold comes in the form of the memories of being with special people, the metal takes a second place, but a fun place nonetheless.

    Congratulations on the finds, and all the best,

    Lanny
    brianc053 likes this.
    Nothin' quite as fun as chasin' sassy nugget gold! http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/me...mysteries.html

 

 

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