Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 5)
(Crevicing dry placer bedrock locations can prove more challenging than you may think.)
Exposed or shallow bedrock is the single-most important aspect of crevicing or "sniping" for gold in running streams or dry washes or arroyos. That said, crevicing in dry gold placer areas has its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages that'll quickly become readily apparent to all you aspiring "desert rats" out there.
5. The Dry Placer Factor
The main advantage of crevicing for gold in dry placer bedrock areas should be perfectly obvious to one and all: accessibility. With no standing or running water to contend with, just about any dry placer bedrock area can be reached and worked...no small advantage when it comes to all things crevicing.
Gold Panning Kits
Still, as I've mentioned before in other "Bedrock Dreams" posts, dry placer gold deposition factors can be pretty spotty at times. The reason for this is that any gold entrained in a given dry wash or arroyo is subject to infrequent water flows that are usually associated with seasonal rainfall in the form of thunderstorm downfalls that, while intense, are typically brief.
Here's the Kicker
Granted, in other parts of the world monsoonal type rains can assault dry placers for fairly prolonged periods of time before things dry out again. In most parts of the American West and Southwest, however, dry placer locations usually only receive these heavy rainfall during the summer months when isolated thunderstorms crop up.
In flash flood events like these, placer gold can be lifted, stirred, pushed, carried, buried, and swept downstream with such force and velocity that even heavy pieces of gold (including nuggets) are moved around quite easily. Here's the kicker though: despite their ability to stir things up, these localized high water events rarely last long in U.S. dry placer locations and the gold being carried merrily along will "stop and drop" wherever it's located once the water flow abruptly ceases.
"Hit or Miss" Proposition
Now this can work in your favor and it can also work against you. Sometimes very good gold is brought to the surface and left atop bedrock surfaces or pushed into all those juicy looking cracks, crannies, and crevices.
(The force and speed of a desert flash flood can easily move even the heaviest pieces of dry placer gold.)
On the flip side, at times those crevices you think are going to contain good gold will be barren. In other words, crevicing dry placer bedrock can be a "hit or miss" proposition that can leave you scratching your head in consternation or angrily hurling your gold pan like a frisbee at the nearest target of opportunity. It's all part of the game and the challenge.
Rising to the Challenge
To rise to the challenges that dry placer bedrock crevicing can pose, you need to develop or expand three key personal characteristics:
1) The ability to think "outside the box."
2) Using your "x-ray" vision to "see" that wash or arroyo in full flood stage.
3) Practicing J.R.'s three "Ps" of mining success: patience, persistence, and perseverance.
Sadly, most of the literature, videos, and online sites devoted to small-scale gold prospecting and mining out there tend to give dry placer crevicing short shrift. I'm here to change that so expect more on this important topic to come.
In mean time, hang in there and don't let the bastards grind you down.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Crevicing Still Remains One of Your Best Gold Recovery Methods (Part 1)"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org