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Dry Washing the Sonoran Desert


adam

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With temperatures expected to break records over Fathers day weekend, boulder dash and I decided that this would be a great time to go dry washing in the Sonoran desert region. Situated around 3000 ft, we expected the spot we had in mind to be at least one degree cooler than Phoenix :tisk-tisk::D .....

The temperature peaked on Saturday the 20th at 110 degrees under one of the three shade canopies we brought. We literally had hundreds of wasps, hornets, and the occasional bee hanging out with us the entire time. Boulder dash and I each earned one sting a piece during the weekend. Not bad, considering .....

Two full days , sat & sun we worked hard , and managed to run 176 buckets through the boulder dash`s 151 for a grand total of 17.66 Grams of gold.

IMG_6148_zpsgknqornu.jpg

we worked about 90 feet of bedrock and hardpan.

Heres a before shot on one section...

IMG_6143_zpswkhvkc5p.jpg

And the after shot . Note the the fines piles in the fore & back ground...

IMG_6167_zpsvjth2zji.jpg

A shot before the peak heat of the day Saturday in the shade ..later that night , a pack rat made off with the sensor to the thermometer.

IMG_6154_zpsf4wt92si.jpg

Edited by adam
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Heres a shot of one of many clean outs ...

IMG_6161_zpswhhsgw0v.jpg

And the pile of gold recovered for the weekend ... :droolin:

Chunky%20Gold_zpslehpkkju.jpg

Saturday evening We decided to follow a trail we noticed , it went for quite a distance. The trail ended near a ravine which of course peaked our interest...

Heres what we found down in the remote little gully......Some awesome handstacks !!! These handstacks were quite extensive, and we assumed that some had washed away too. Guess we have a gully to explore some other time :black_knight_standing:

IMG_6155_zpswm1stqhr.jpg

Edited by adam
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Darn, I wish I had one half the gumption you guys have. Looks like you had your mule bring in all that gear. Much too much to tote in by hand or foot. You had two great productive days in God's country give thanks boys. Thank you for posting Adam.

Old Tom

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Man! That's a nice pile of gold :)
WTG :yesss:

Seriously though...I think the heat has melted you guys brains to be out there right now :nutty:

You guys earned every speck of it.

Come one BD....dry washer cloth aint that expensive! :)

Tom H.

Edited by TomH
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You two guys are legends in your own time ... and your own minds too if there is anything left between the ears that isn't fried! :4chsmu1:

Congrats on the persistence and perseverance! Oh ... and the pile of gold is pretty nice too! :thumbsupanim:old:

Mike F

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Ok -- I have a couple questions for either Adam or BD:

Cleaning that much bedrock I assume it's a bit more than a wisk broom, straw & dust pan..

Are y'all using a "store bought" vac or something you built..?

Also, would you normally crack open any fissures and didn't this time because of the heat

or do y'all just drag a sharpie through 'em and let it go at that..?

Thanks,

SA

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I prefer to use a electric wet dry vac run by generator. I break up some of the bedrock but I usually want to just get the easy stuff and move on. Breaking every piece of bedrock is like painting, so miserable and time consuming.

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Thanks BD -- never even thought about that..

If ya can get there by FWD or ATV, this makes great sense..!

More power + more volume per canister = "easier" work @ greater potential recovery..

Nice..!

SA

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Hey guys nice thread, great photo's. you guys got it down. I have to tell ya when I see hand stacks like that I get excited. good luck on that area too. AzNuggetBob

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Thanks everyone , it really wasnt to bad when you have canopies lined up , and can spend most of the time in the shade.

Thanks BD -- never even thought about that..

If ya can get there by FWD or ATV, this makes great sense..!

SA

SA, we have used pack frames to carry in what we need on many occasions. You can load them down with all kinds of gear including generators,, dywashers or whatever you need.....In this spot, it wasnt necessary , but almost. The electric vacuum is the way to go if you can.

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Mark, handstacked rocks alongside drywashes show that in the past someone cleaned out the area by first removing the larger rocks that were strew about the wash then cleaned out as best they could or Drywasher the remaining sands and gravels.

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Who's your chiropractor Adam? :old: Here's my rookie question. (I could guess, but I'll learn more by listening) What's the significance of hand stacks?

AZMark,

The handstack section pictured also had a purpose. Whomever it was that made them , used the walls to hold their overburden behind them. Obvious in this particular spot. It was clear they wanted to get right to the bedrock, and not mess with the overburden. Typically in a narrow ravine you need a place to put the material you dont want to run so it wont fall back into the gully,and building a wall served such a purpose. That method is also in use today , by the savvy prospector.

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Thanks everybody. I have run into that dilema. where to toss the overburden. Now I have a time tested solution. In my quest to get to bedrock I often wonder what I'm tossing aside. Found a couple pickers just under a boulder, dug into a crack directly below, about 8 inches, and found nothing. Now i hear about nuggets just sitting a few inches below the dirt.

:tisk-tisk:

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