Bedrock Gold Analogies

 (It's all about bedrock...)

Ten years ago when I started Bedrock Dreams I decided on that title for a number of reasons, the main one I assume is readily apparent to all. But there are other analogies that coincide with the name of this blog, so let's talk about them a bit.

Your Best Bet

You old hands out there already know the significance of bedrock in terms of its gold deposition significance. For you newbies and greenhorns that significance may not be firmly rooted in your minds yet, so allow me to school you up in that regard. Bedrock is the underlying country rock that forms an impermeable barrier to the passage of gold as it moves its way ever downward in wet and dry placers. That country rock may be granite, schist, serpentine, green stone, shale or any number of solid barriers that lay beneath a gold locale's surface. Sometimes bedrock is exposed by erosion, stream water flow, or other natural forces and at other times it can lay buried beneath shallow or deep overburden (accumulated layers of dirt, rock, sand, and gravel). Clay and caliche (the so-called "desert cement") can also act as types of false bedrock that can prevent gold nuggets, flakes, and fines from dropping down any farther. And why does gold tend to sink ever lower until it can no longer move? Simply because of its extreme weight and density in relation to the other natural materials it shares a stream or wash with. That's why bedrock (or false bedrock) is ALWAYS your best bet for finding gold, good gold, bigger gold, and more gold. Bedrock is where the yellow accumulates over time. Old hat stuff, right?

Any Way You Slice It

So when bedrock is buried deep you're either gonna have to find a way to get at it or bypass it altogether. When its exposed or shallow then you're in business. I've seen all sorts of bedrock in my mining career (yep, once again nearly 40 years of scrabbling for gold), some of it way too deep and covered by massive amounts of overburden that a solitary small-scale guy like myself had no chance at. I've hand dug or dredged as much as 6-8 feet down to get at bedrock in my younger days and although that may not sound like much to some of you, it required intense effort and copious amounts of hard, hard work. I always liked shallow bedrock (six inches to about three feet down) because I always did better working it than exposed bedrock which has usually been pounded again and again by other miners. Any way you slice it, bedrock gold is what you should be shooting for when you're out in the field.

Be Willing to Dig Deep

The same is true for life in general. If you can't dig deep within yourself you'll never be the man or woman you were meant to be. You'll never realize your greatest good and fullest potential. If your search for gold is based only on scraping the surface then you'll end up superficial. Not unlike many of those folks we see in the movies or on TV, in politics, or anywhere else for that matter. I've always worked hard at digging deep with myself to change for the better, to admit my weaknesses and limitations, and to become a better person as well as a better gold miner. Am I perfect? Not by a long stretch, brothers and sisters, not by a long stretch. But the fact remains that I'm always willing to dig deep to get at the heart of the know...the bedrock. I find shallow people boring and annoying, and that includes their mindless chatter, their boasting and posturing, and their own ignorance when it comes to themselves. This doesn't mean you have to be rich, highly educated, or well-known. It simply means you have to be your true self, always digging for more of the gold that lies deep within. Be a good you, the best you. That's all it means.

Am I Richer?

The interesting thing here is that the more deeply you dig for that gold the more golden you become. You're happier, freer, and more satisfied. The analogy here is like digging down to bedrock and finding good gold scattered about or jammed in every crack or crevice. Big gold. Good gold. The kind that brings a smile to your face, that causes you to whoop for joy and slap your hat against your thigh. Like some people I've come across in my mining career, there are those who aren't willing to do the hard work it takes to get that bedrock gold. They're lazy, smug, or self-satisfied and content to scrape away a little bit of dirt here and there. Out in the field this translates into small gold recoveries and internally it means they'll never strike it rich as a person. Am I a richer person for having humped it like a Third World coolie in rivers, streams, creeks, and washes the past 40 years? I surely am. I wouldn't trade all those experiences (good, bad, or indifferent) for all the fame and riches in this temporal world and I mean that with every ounce of gold within my core. I never craved the adulation of others or to lord it over others...I just wanted the respect of those I respected myself. Nothing more really.

In many respects the world around us is crazier than ever. I can tell you it's a vastly different world than I grew up with in the 1950s and early 1960s. But like they say, "Gold is where you find it." And you'll always find the best gold by digging down to bedrock.


(c) Jim Rocha 2017

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Well sadly it's getting close to closing time,man does that conjure up past lives.I just want to thank you for doing this for all these years for us all,before my mind wanders and i forget to sign in during the holidays.I have visited 1000's of sites and videos and by far yours is the best source out there on so many levels.Not only do we get great knowledge about gold,we get someone saying what most of us think or have done but would rather not say in print.You openly share your good points and hard points from your heart,has been very much appreciated.I want to wish you the best,in what ever life has yet to disclose to you.I know you will persevere and find the gold in whatever it presents.I will miss this part of my adventure very much.Please Thank your wife for the time she lost with you, while you wrote this and answered email question for us.May God Bless and Keep You and Yours bill

  2. Thank you very much Bill. It means a lot to me!

  3. JR. I second what Bill said. You doing this for so long is quite a commitment. All too often it has gone unthanked. That is wrong all in it's self. You have helped folks you never knew about, or talked to. Folks you never even knew existed.....that is pretty amazing all in it's own! I'd like to say Thank You, not only from me, but from those folks that won't ever write. You have done a good thing here.
    Anyway.........I just got back today from guiding hunters in the mountains of Idaho....a dream job, right? Yes and no. This related perfectly to this post. The rich guy hunter was spoiled and a pain to be around. The other hunter was a retired cop and his son, a pleasure to be around. It all boils down to personality. Dig deep and be a good person, not like that shallow, self centered rich pain in the butt, Money ain't everything. It sure doesn't buy personality! Anyway....thanks again Jim, I truly mean that. Muskrat

  4. Well Gary, as you know I hold you in the highest regard as a person. They don't come any better and I don't say that about many. What I've done these past 10 years was made worthwhile by folks like you...and you others know who you are. And right you are doesn't mean shit if you're an asshole!


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