Detecting Canyon Bedrock in The Sierras
September 2018 by Ray Mills
My plan was to go up the canyon along a ridge and then drop into the canyon whenever I came across a spot that might give me reasonable access.
So let’s dive in and see what I can do to convince you that this is the year you should be out staking your own claims.
I had my heart set on finding a large nugget on this trip, and it seemed to me that pounding known patches was not likely to turn up a monster. Inevitably I would spend at least half my day wandering off...
The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.
There were iron stains all over and even a few places where I could see iron trash sticking out of the bedrock. These would be ideal spots to start with as the gold travels with the iron and lead.
Prospectors have many reasons why they might want to break rocks. These include dividing up a specimen too large to carry.
Looking for nugget laden bedrock in forested mountain regions, you first need to explore the banks of the gold-bearing streams and look for the bedrock that is exposed as this is your starting point.
Sampling other people's stockpiles or dumps has some inherent risks that sampling undisturbed ground does not have.
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