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Excellent weekend in time past...


adam

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I'm guessing that's how they find the bedrock to vacuum in the first place. At least that's the way I would go about it. Of course good eyes and good sampling goes along ways also in determining if it's worth spending your time digging and drywashing. Seems like the trip Adam is referencing proved to be somewhat of a decent money maker. Personally, I'm looking for ground that can pay me at least a gram an hour. I may be looking for a long time, but who the heck knows. :idunno:

Me thinks you're doing alright for being a newbie. You're way further along in the game than I am. I haven't even found my first nugget yet. :cry2:

The reason I ask is because some of the bedrock I have vacuumed looks cleaned off good then I start scraping around and find little pockets of hard dirt that looked like bedrock.Perfect hiding places for nuggets.

I dont think these guys have always previously detected the bedrock before drywashing. But maybe...

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I dont think these guys have always previously detected the bedrock before drywashing. But maybe...

I don't know how Adam and BD go about finding their gold, but speaking for myself, I would run a detector, pinpointer, and take a few samples of any bedrock I think might be harboring gold before I would just start digging and dry washing for the helluva it. I've read way too many stories of people spending weeks digging for .10¢ an hour. I'm not one of those people and you shouldn't be either. You have all the tools… use them. You also have enough virgin gold bearing ground in your neck of the woods to last you for the rest of your life. What's funny is one of the most prolific and experienced gold dectectorists (Steve Herschbach) was elated as all get out that he actually researched, prospected, and then found some nice gold in an area that was relatively untouched. You would think with all the smarts and experience guys like Steve have, they would stay the hell away from all the well known pounded patches, and devote their time and energy to finding newer more productive ones. :idunno:

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I think sampling is way over rated. I can't tell you how many times Ive seen guys pull up, take a bucket down to the creek and take a "sample" from the top foot of the creek and then never come back because there "sample" didn't show anything. I've also seen stretches of bedrock in one wash that have zero or very little gold in one spot and ten or twenty feet down the same wash you might clean out a bunch of gold with nothing but tweezers and a straw. You can get into a wash and run ten buckets in a dry washer and not see much color at all. It's discouraging, but in my experience ( which is limited to this area I live in) if you stay in that same area and run 75 buckets you will have a decent pile of gold. Granted there are some spots within the gold bearing areas where you just won't find much. If you want to know what is in a particular creek or area you have got to run ATLEAST a yard of material (IMO anyway). Better yet, run a hundred buckets. Then if you don't see any significant gold find another spot. A small sample is only going to tell you what is in the dirt you sampled. It is extremely unlikely that all the dirt in that area is going to have the same amount of gold as that one tiny sample. No offense blackbird but you sound like a guy who does a lot more talking about prospecting than actually doing it. A prospector much wiser than myself once told me "the recipe for gold is sweat and dirt". From what I've seen its true, and it's also the reason most guys never get any gold, there just not willing to put the time and energy in.

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No offense blackbird but you sound like a guy who does a lot more talking about prospecting than actually doing it. A prospector much wiser than myself once told me "the recipe for gold is sweat and dirt". From what I've seen its true, and it's also the reason most guys never get any gold, there just not willing to put the time and energy in.

You're not offending me… I'm still a newbie. I haven't even gotten serious about prospecting yet. I doubt if I've even got 24 hours (total time spent prospecting) on the clock. Most of my time so far has been spent dicking around reading everything I can get my hands on, and doing research on the areas I really want to prospect. Most of my actual "boots on the ground" time so far has been playing with my toys to find out which methods are the most cost and time effective to get the gold. When I get serious about something, I go for it full bore and don't look back. Yeah… so at this point in time, I'm more talk than action… this season I'll be getting a little more serious. :112:

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Ok good deal, glad to hear it man. One thing I noticed after reading a bunch of stuff online and then getting out to the gold ground. All that stuff about checking behind boulders and in the turns and bends of the washes doesn't seem to apply to desert areas. I have rolled some monster rocks off of a creek bottom only to find I was getting more gold in the dirt that was up above that tiny bit wedged under the rock. I have taken a few friends out with me who haven't done it much and they will see a big Boulder or a twist in a wash and they just lose it. They are 100% convinced the mother load is right there under that rock or in that bend. Any body who ive met out here that's asked me where to find the gold. I just tell them the best bet is to set up the dry washer and start running dirt. As much as you can. You might find a nice crack or two in bedrock every now and then but I still think the guy who sets up with the intention of running as much dirt as possible is going to do better in the long run than someone who is out hunting for a patch or pocket. Over a period of months or years, maybe the patch hunter will do better. I have not put enough time into hunting for concentrated spots to be sure. Of course there's guys with detectors that might think I'm a fool. I don't have the patience required to master the detector but I am hell bent on putting some hours behind a detector at some point.

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Everybody has their own methods. With the equipment I have, and from what I've researched, me thinks I'll be concentrating my time and efforts on prospecting for residual deposits. Whether it's on the hillsides, mountain tops, or on bedrock, that's where I'll be looking. That's just me though… it sounds to me that you like to move a lot of dirt in the gullies and gulches. No biggie… that's your game. Personally, I'm not going to go out and dig just dig for the sake of digging. I have way too many cool tools that the old timers didn't have that can tell me if I'm on the gold or not… you can darn well bet I'll be using them to my full advantage? :4chsmu1:

Edited by azblackbird
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Well said Chris, you and I think the same. Its so simple he who moves the most buckets wins. Azblackbird good luck on finding your 1 gram hour gold. I think you should set smaller goals first than go from there. Such as 3 tenths a gram per hour. You have to earn experience first then rewards later. Shortcuts make people look like those goofball Hoffmans from Gold Rush. There are many times when I hit gram per hour gold but I work them out as fast as I can. Alwaysdirty I do very often check my vaccumed areas with the detector.

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Im with bd and chris. I dont have a big pile of gold yet but every productive day ive had was done by humpin buckets through the drywasher. When I sample an area I usually run ten buckets through from different spots and stick with the spot that looked the best that way the drywasher is running all day even if I'm moving around a bit. I do go out after small samples when its too hot to shovel all day though and just bag em up and bring em home, but that's more or less to keep gold fever down in the summer.

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Thanks Bd and Ahorton, yea I feel like I'm spinning my wheels when I get too complicated. I see these guys with there 40 foot trailers and Polaris UTVs that cost more than my car. I've got a shovel with duct tape around the handle, and a tiny one man dry washer. My vacuum is a bucket lid glued to the intake of my blower and a shop vac hose stuck in the side of the bucket. Took all of ten minutes to make it. I'd say nine times out of ten I'm going home with way more gold than them. There have been days when I was just sick of dry washing and then I will walk around with the crevicing kit and look for a new wash, or poke around the old veins with a loupe. If I run a few loads and don't see any gold sometimes I get disgusted and just call it quits for the day. But on the rare occasion I see a bunch of color behind the riffles, man I cannot be stopped. I will shovel from sun up to sun down, Ill run dirt until the drywasher is burying itself and the tailing pile is so big it'll wear you out just to run up it with a bucket in hand, dump the tray as quick as I can, move the drywasher and just keep shoveling.

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Its so simple he who moves the most buckets wins.

Yep I agree BD… but you can darn sure bet that I'll be doing everything I possibly can to make sure those buckets are productive. I will not dig just for the sake of digging! Maybe a gram an hour is too lofty of a goal for a beginner, but I've never been one to set the bar low. :112:

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I have a spot that I could consistently get a gram an hour if I had a 151, I can back my 2wd truck right up to it too. Currently I get .6 gm per yard and it seems to be the same all over the fairly large wash. Funny thing is, I kinda lost interest in the spot, I guess because its the thrill of the chase and im trying to get the hang of detecting. There are nuggets there but the over burden is too deep to beep em.

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Ahorton, yea I could also do some serious damage with a bigger drywasher. But my little unit is still sturdy and it has excellent recovery so I'm not ready to upgrade yet. Plus no one ever wants to help me dig so I would be scrambling to keep up with a 151. I have never used one, I don't even know if I could keep it fed with enough material. My favorite spot has good gold that is in several layers throughout the creek material and not just concentrated on the bottom. It is de concentrated throughout all the material so You have to run a lot of dirt but at the end of the day it is so worth it. I will work it like crazy for a couple weeks at a time and then I'll take a few days off. Then after poking around looking in other areas at some point it'll dawn on me, "why am I messing around here when I allready know where there's good gold?! Then I scramble back to my spot and dig until the gold fever goes down a few degrees. I guess sometimes you just gotta explore new spots for variety and to keep things interesting.

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Im not sure I could keep up either, and my "helpers" are not often available. I always keep my eyes open for a deal on one though. I like the idea of concentrating efforts into getting a huge pile of pay dirt together with a couple guys and being able to run it all in a couple hours rather than digging and feeding simultaneously. With my little drywasher I need to keep it running all day to process several yards and the leaf blowers start to protest especially when it starts getting hot.

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Man, I had a sweet routine going this summer for about a month and a half every day. You should try it sometime! I would go out just for about 3 or 4 hours everyday because by 1 or 2 o clock it was a 100 degrees and not a cloud or shade tree anywhere in site. I would just take a pick and shovel down to the creek and start hacking at the dirt and loosen it up. Every few minutes I would stop and "cobble it off" by picking out every rock that was two inches or bigger and chucking it out of the creek. Also, I saw BD and Adam doing hand stacking in their posts and man it is pretty fun to use the big rocks to make a wall on the creek bank next to the dig. Gives you an extra sense of accomplishment. I would use the shovel to keep tossing/scraping the loose dirt into an anthill like pile so I could get as deep as possible down to the bedrock or clay. Keep doing that until you have a massive pile and you are about to keel over from exhaustion! Then go home for the day. The next day just bring the drywasher out and shovel that whole pile through the dry washer. That routine worked great for me, I ended up processing a lot more dirt because there was less switching between tools and stopping the machine to loosen more dirt. Also, it works different muscles so you kind of get a break and each morning I'd tell myself " well all I have to do today is worry about preparing material, no toting buckets, yay!" Then the next morning I'd tell myself " hey all I have to do today is focus on running my whole pile of dirt, don't have to swing a pick or roll any boulders!"

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