Odds and Ends

I thought I'd throw a few odds and ends your way that may prove revealing or at least newsworthy to some degree or another. Therein lies the heart of this post.

Repetition Gets Old

You may (or may not) have noticed that I've been drifting slowly away from the "how to" aspects of small-scale gold mining here in Bedrock Dreams and focusing a bit more on the historical aspects of it all as well as throwing you a bit of philosophical musing and general information pertaining to mining. There's a couple of reasons for this. First, I've said about all I can say about the "what to look for," "where to look for it," and "how to do it" aspects of small-scale gold mining as I know it and have experienced it for 40 years. Secondly, I've found myself repeating myself over and over again or rehashing and updating old posts. Repetition gets old. That isn't fun for me and it certainly adds nothing to your knowledge or expertise. So I won't be writing very many posts with those themes moving forward. If you want this sort of ongoing information please refer to the Bedrock Dreams Archives or visit one of the many other websites or YouTube channels out there devoted to all aspects of gold mining, panning, etc. There's a ton of other info out there so feel free to throw yourself into it. In essence, I've shot my wad with the "how to" stuff. I'd rather devote more time here in the future to other themes about small-scale prospecting and gold mining, especially the historical framework that brought it all about in the first place. Also, you know me...I like to get on my soapbox periodically and preach or rant and rave! So you'll probably see more posts devoted to these issues as time passes. However, I will always bring forward to your attention anything new and worthy of your time concerning the "how to" aspects of small-scale gold mining. Enough said on that point.

"Muskrat Outdoors"

I've said before that my friend Gary Thomas ("Muskrat") is a Renaissance kinda guy. He prospects and mines, he guides, he hunts and traps wild critters, he's a talented artist in creating saddles and other leather goods, and he's one of those people who's just a savvy outdoors guy with a love for the natural world and the history of the Old West...mining and otherwise. A top-notch person if you get my drift...as most (if not all) of my readers are. For some time now Gary has been publishing his own YouTube channel titled "Muskrat Outdoors." I strongly suggest you take a gander at Gary's outdoor videos, give them a thumbs up, and subscribe to his channel. I've done so and enjoy "Muskrat Outdoors" immensely. So will you. Of course, I've run across many fine people during the 10-plus years I've been at this Bedrock Dreams thing. And that includes you. Some of you remain in steady contact while others have drifted away which is the nature of the beast I reckon. But I appreciate all of you and the donations you've given to help keep things going here.


Almost Criminal

One thing that really gets my goat these days is the ongoing closures or "off limits" aspects of decent small-scale mining areas. I know I've harped on this issue before but it still gets under my not-so-thick skin. Every day I walk outside onto my acreage here 12 miles or so from the self-absorbed and over-hyped city of Santa Fe and look to the south where the Ortiz Mountains lie. There was a big placer and lode gold strike there way back in the late 1820s and I was fortunate enough to be able to prospect that area known as the "Old Placers" for many years. You'd be pleasantly surprised at how much good gold still remains in the washes and arroyos there and I was able to recover a fair share of that gold until people intervened and turned one of the best gold areas around these parts into housing tracts and a nature conservancy. What a shame. In fact, it's almost criminal from my perspective. And I mean this with all my heart. Money talks and bullshit (and the "little" guys and gals) walk. To those money grubbing developers and local politicos who turned a pristine gold area into just another shee-shee development for those who could pay upwards of 200 grand for acreage in certain instances, I say screw you and the "my little ponies" you rode in on. You f'd up a good thing and not just for me...you messed up a great piece of mining history. Thanks assholes. And now each day I have to turn my head away from looking in the direction of the "Old Placers" because it's too painful to see what they've done to the place and to my memories of it. Sigh...

(Once a great place for gold.)

"Hell on Wheels"

On a more positive note I'm fixing to do a bit of water hunting with my Garrett AT Pro. It's been a while since I last swung that machine and after another summer of mostly "honey do's," I'm, itching to get back in the swing of things (pun intended). Back in the day I can safely say that I was "hell on wheels" when it came to recovering goodies from beach sands and the water. ( A legend in my own mind?) I may not be quite up to that standard any longer physically, but I'll give it my best shot and hope I'll turn up some gold and silver. We shall see.

Take care out there and, as always, don't let the bastards grind ya down out there.

(c) Jim Rocha 2018

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. Jim, I hear ya. I'm sorry we didn't get together this spring like I wanted to. Then it got too hot, etc. Now that it's cooling off the offer still stands and we'll go to the hills near you. I'll email you.
    Rattlesnake Jim

    1. No need for apologies Jim. I've been retired nearly two years and have hardly been out to mine or TH. I hold no expectations...you're a long way off and have much to do there as well. So I'm good and hold you in the highest regard my friend.

  2. What? Hey, THAT'S ME! Dang it Jim, now I'm blushing! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
    It's been busy here, and I just got a chance to look at this. What a nice surprise!
    The Fair is over now and things are starting to slow down. I would sure like to get out after gold one more time before it snows! If nothing more, I want to go look at that mine shaft I found.
    Thank you again, you are a great friend!

    1. Well deserved praise Gary. Let's see if you get a few new subscribers as well.


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