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 Friday, January 31, 2020

Mayhem in the Desert!

by Dominic Ricci

Mayhem in the Desert!
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By Dominic Ricci


In the Arizona desert

Stands a giant of earth and stone

Mighty Weaver (Rich Hill) district

With its mystery and its gold

Miners out prospecting

Finding the gold of Rich Hill

Just plain fun in the Arizona desert

The Dutchman’s Gold!


(The “poem” is modified from Walter Brennan’s, “Dutchman’s Gold”)


Digger, the LDMA’s official mascot, is creating havoc and chaos. An absolute uproar as a small group of gold miners are rioting gold out of the vast desert in the Weaver Gold Mining District of Arizona.


Do you have what it takes to gear up and take charge?


Most people think of creeks and rivers when they are looking for a place to go gold prospecting. The fact is that many rich gold bearing areas do not have the water necessary for panning, sluicing, or dredging.

Many areas in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Southern California have limited water, yet excellent gold can still be found there. There are two primary ways that the small-scale prospector can look for gold in these areas; metal detecting and dry washing.


Dry washers are devices that are used to separate gold from lighter material without the use of water. They do this by using a regulated air flow, which blows off lighter material and allows the gold to settle.


Due to its design, it is critically important that the material that is fed into the machine be extremely dry so that the vibration will allow it to break apart and gold to be able to separate naturally out of the mix.


What is Digger’s Expedition – Desert Mayhem?

Have you been dreaming about mining for some serious gold? Using BIG equipment to run more material? Here is your chance! Get ready for a week-long gold adventure (or do multiple weeks) with experienced gold prospectors to guide you to wild unearthed riches. The Expedition is set in the heart of an Arizona Motherlode. The desert area is rich in gold and beauty.


All the gold recovered will be split equally! No one has ever been skunked on a Motherload Expedition. How much gold will you find? Who can say? The gold is found in pockets and streaks - but the gold is there. And there's always the possibility of making that BIG STRIKE!



LDMA has secured access to a private claim, posted a bond with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), so we can utilize the claim owners “Notice of Intent to Mine.” This is where the big equipment comes in . . . and digs deep down and “creates Mayhem when the Gold Bearing material hits the Gold Catching equipment!”


Earth moving heavy equipment will come in and create “havoc” in the desert as it pushes the overburden out of the way. Shove the gold bearing material in an area where Keene Kong and Goldzilla will actually work together to snatch the gold from the dirt.


What is “Keene Kong” and “Goldzilla?”

The drywashers we use and they are on serious steroids and permitted to play. They can chomp through enormous amounts of PayDirt and capture the Gold. We may have to use dirt conveyor belts to keep them fed.


We will strategically place small (regular) size drywasher, paired with high volume shop vacs to do the final clean-up off the caliche to capture the last of the hidden Gold.



The claim has been tested to deliver the right amount of chaos (the gold is there), just waiting for us to come and gather it up. We want to move a lot of gold bearing material. It will take a lot of muscle, and we have the diggin’ power to do it!


Choices, choices, choices! What is the best choice to “create chaos? Dozer, excavator, backhoe loader or hydraulic mining shovel, they’re all great earth moving machines.


“We’ve got a job to do. It’s a big job. We don’t need some wimpy piece of equipment,” John Mathis (LDMA Stanton Camp Caretaker) shares. “Dominic (LDMA Executive Director of Operations and Party Planner) said he wanted to go big! I believe Desert Mayhem is going BIG!”


As we process material, we will reclaim the dig site, this will make the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) happy, but the participants even happier as we keep the Gold recovered.



How will this work? Each morning after we fuel up with a hefty breakfast, “Mayhemers” (participants) will pack up and head on out to the “battle site” (approximately 3 miles from camp). There we will rage in causing dust and getting the GOLD!


We will stay out on the Battle Site all day, breaking for a catered lunch. The Gold Recovery Clean-Up Station will be processing all the clean-ups and showing off the GOLD!


In the early afternoon, after a full days battle, we will pack it up and head back to camp. As we caravan back to camp, I’m sure as tired as everyone will be, they will all be singing . . .


Oh, no, they say he can chew it up

Go, go, Goldzilla (yeah)

Oh, no, there goes Rich Hill

Go, go, Goldzilla (yeah)


We do the Keene Kong song, won't you sing along
Listen to the music and it couldn't go wrong
We do the Keene Kong song, gotta sing along
Can't you hear the beating of the blower grunting along
Listen to the rhythm of the Keene Kong song




As our founder, George “Buzzard” Massie would always say, “If you want to find more gold, you’re going to have to work for it!” He went on to say, “Work together as a team, put a few more hours in and watch your vials fill up faster.”


Digger doesn’t want anyone to overdo it, so do what you can and work at your own pace. We will keep you hydrated and the drywashers purring . . . purring out gold that is. After all, we have heavy equipment that can feed the “beasts” while you take a break!



Can YOU handle it?

Space is limited to a maximum of 25 participants per week, so don’t wait too long to sign up!


Make no mistake, this is a battle in the desert to find gold! An adventure of a lifetime and memories to talk about around the campfire for years to come.


GPAA-LDMA Digger’s Expeditions are open to anyone. We encourage you to invite other family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to come participate with you. All they need to do is call 800-551-9707 to join in a Expedition.


You will move some serious volume of dirt and go home with gold!


For more information on, or to sign-up for this, or any of our LDMA-GPAA events, please call 800-551-9707. You can also follow all our events on Facebook ( - click on the “Events” tab on the left side) to see what will be happening at a Dirt Party, Swing Dancing Detector Hunt and even Digger’s Expedition.


Hope to see you In-The-Dirt at Desert Mayhem, and around a campfire real soon!


Dominic Ricci is the Executive Director of Operations for GPAA/LDMA and can be reached at 800-551-9707 extension 163 or by email:



More Details

Digger’s Expedition – Desert Mayhem


Digger’s Expedition:

Desert Mayhem – Hosted at LDMA Stanton Camp

Week #1 – May 16 -23

Week #2 – May 23 -30



Basic Schedule:


Arrive on Saturday and set-up your camp (Hosted at LDMA Stanton Camp)


Saturday evening there is a “Welcome Dinner”


Basic Schedule: Sunday thru Friday – Breakfast, Gold Gitt’N Battle, Lunch, Gold Gitt’N Battle, Dinner, Campfire & Social


Mandatory curfew is 7:08 pm – just kidding!


*Evenings are the perfect time to relax and enjoy time with your fellow participants. If you have an instrument that you’d like to bring and play, please do. If you’d like to demonstrate a process or piece of equipment, please let us know.


Saturday – Gold Split - Done by 9am



Cost: LDMA Members $750    Non-LDMA Members $950    Non-Participant $350   Discounts Available!


(Includes Site Fees, Meals, and Equipment)




RV, trailer, tent, etc. Full Hook-Ups and Dry Camping is available. You must be prepared to be self-contained. (Site Fees are Included)


There are showers, restrooms, clubhouse, laundry, water and a dump station.


Desert Mayhem Dig Site:

We will caravan to the “Mayhem” site at 7:30am so we can be feeding PayDirt into the hoppers by 8:00am.


There will be porta-potties, a wash station, and covered area for meeting, eating, and taking a hydration break.


What MUST you bring?


Camping Equipment:

Folding chair



Mosquito repellant / Benadryl



Clothing for all types of weather                    


Personal hygiene



Personal Snacks        


Mining Equipment:







ATV/UTV is not necessary, there will be a few where you can get a ride if needed. *You will need an Arizona/Oregon ATV/UTV Permit if driving from Camp to Dig Site


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