Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Visiting Cluden - October 18th

En route to Cluden - Looking across Lake Dunstan
Note the high terraces
I got back from Central Otago today. I had an excellent visit with Mark and Dhana. On Tuesday we went up to Cluden up near Lindis Pass (just over an hours drive from Alex) where Mark's family has (over many years) established a small camp. His brother had dropped three giant willows, and our task was to cut them up and deal with the consequent tree mess. After a hard days work everything was organized so that another brother could go and burn the small stuff and relocate/pile and split the rest of the wood. Afterwards Mark went fishing and Dhana and I went to take a look at some Maori petroglyphs on some nearby rocks.

Before (well, not quite - you can see
the pile resulting from work already
Cluden - almost done

Maori petroglyphs near Cluden

On Wednesday Dhana and I went to explore some old gold diggings - I had a particular task in mind. I got very interested in the erosional and depositional history, and I wanted to look for evidence of erosion by moving water prior to deposition of the gravels. We went along the south / west side of the Clutha and snuck onto some land there are some old gold workings.

View across Clutha River towards Graveyard Gully. It
looked menacing all day but never rained.

Then we went further down the Clutha River and went up a small creek to another old mine / working (Ketts Mine). Always amazing how much work they did. We poked around there looking at stuff for an hour or so.

Old workings at Ketts Mine - note all the schist
piled along the walls of the tail-race

In the afternoon we went just across the Manuherikea river so I could collect some good conglomerate samples for the SCSU teaching collection  - BUT it is also a conglomerate that contains gold in the basal unit. so we spent quite a while collecting samples. When we got back, we crushed the samples, and then panned them - I got a few flecks of gold, but no nuggets. Rats.

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