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About HardPack

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  • Location:
    Sierra Nevada
  • Interests:
    Prospecting, Coin & Nugget Detecting
  • Gear Used:
    TDI SL, Xterra 705, Gold Racer, AT Pro, Gold Hog Mats

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  1. I run two bilge pumps which draw a combined 15 amps per hour, water is pumped through two separate 1 1/4 inch hoses to each side of the header box of a small God Hog highbanker. I use one 100 amp hour AGM deep cycle marine battery while solar charging a second 100 amp hour AGM battery with one 100 watt portable solar panel equipped with a battery charge controller. You do not want to discharge AGM or Gel batteries more than 50 percent so after three hours exchange batteries. Another technique is to stockpile select material in the morning while charging a single battery then run material in the afternoon. Renogy Solar as a good online selection of batteries, portable folding solar panels and sections on basic solar, battery types and connections. Zamp Solar are also offers portable solar panels. You can also use a 120vac to 12vdc converter to use this 12vdc setup to process sample material off site at a shop with 120vac power. Just keep in mind that marine deep cycle batteries may provide quiet operation but they are also very heavy.
  2. The water is on the way for all you "gold seekers". Plus the lower Sierra foothills have been receiving an occasional flash flood the last couple of years. Removing old mine tailings and exposing new stream bedrock. The 2018/19 Sierra winter snow pack was from 150 to 200 percent of normal. Since June 5, 2019 the warmer weather has been sending lots of water down slope. Snowfall started on the night of November 21, 2018 and continues into late May 2019. Since we can no longer use motorized mining equipment within 100 yards of any California stream I pick up a Gold Hog stream sluice. I have been successfully using GH mats in my high banker for awhile. Here are a couple of reference photos of the snowfall at 7040 feet above sea level on the Sierra west slope. The shack roof eves are 10 feet and the roof ridge is 17 feet above ground level. There are some old mountain pack trails to the east side mines within hiking distance on that shack. Stay Dry Good Prospecting
  3. Tn Coinage was in short supply during the California gold rush, some French & Spanish cut into bits. Been finding hand cast lead balls around 25 caliper. Found a three ring lead bullet , no jacket, around 30 caliper. Any thoughts on the fire arms the old miners may have been using before the civil war. Have a Merri Christmas
  4. Found this a few years back. I had been working some old tailing piles during the morning. Around noon I sat down for some coffee along the upper ditch dug for the workings. I got up to do a little more detecting after noticing a moss covered rock ring next to my sitting spot. The mining site was In the Southern Mother Lode Country of the Sierra Nevada. It is an 1854 Seated Liberty Dime without a mint stamp. Turned out I sat right on it; wasn't more than four inches deep. You figure that old fire pit had been used to boil coffee in the past?
  5. "Orogenic Gold Deposits" by geology films 2014 (on YouTube) covers mountain building, high pressure fluids, faults, earthquakes, pulses and gold deposition. One item of interest was regarding the precipitation of gold after crossing a wall rock containing "carbon". The carbon (C) combined with hydrogen (H) to form methane (CH4). Methane (gas) interacted with the quartz solution causing the gold to drop out of solution is the green schist zone. The Tuolumne County pocket mines were associated with "diorite dikes" and secondary quartz crossings passed through a "black mineralized slate" wall rock. These crossings were at an acute angle to the the primary NW vein (Sonora Fault). The Siskiyou pocket mines are apparently associated with "Andesite" dikes which is the extrusive equalivalent of the intrusive "Diorite". There are seven short informative videos covering the Orogenic deposits around the Pacific Rim, check them out.
  6. Finally finished up with the milling chores, attempting to get back up into the detecting/prospecting saddle. Made a short scouting run out to a local ridge in the foothills; found some old placer workings, stacked rock and a depression era cabin site. While crawling out through the brush I came across a series of prospecting holes. Followed them up slope to a worked out surface quartz pocket. According to "The Tertiary Gravels of the Sierra Nevada of California" 1911 by W. Lindgren a portion of a tertiary eocene river channel cuts across this ridge under all the brush. For you that are interested in "quartz pocket mines and float" apparently the extrusive "andesite" is the volcanic equivalent of the intrusive" diorite". From my understanding in the southern mother lode the pocket deposits were associated with diorite dikes; in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon pocket deposits were associated with andesite dikes. Go figure... Anyway I am dropping the chainsaw mill for some pruning shears and headed back into the brush to attempt to change the "were into an are". Been getting a little taste of winter; managed to mill enough downed "fir" to cover the water tank then some.
  7. Prospecting & Mining Reference Materials Check out the University of North Texas Digital Library website https://digital.library.unt.edu Use the search engine at the very top of the UNT page to search the library. The library has loads of various documents regarding “gold” including mining/milling, mineral deposits, tertiary channels, geology throughout the Western United States and Alaska. For those of you interested in the California Southern Mother Lode check out the minerals industries surveys of the California Mother Lode including Calaveras County (part 1) and Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties (part 2) by Julihn & Horton 1938/1940: Mineral Industries Survey of the United States: California, Calaveras County, Mother Lode District (South). Mines of the Southern Mother Lode Region. Part 1 -- Calaveras County Mineral Industries Survey of the United States, California: Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties, Mother Lode District (South). Mines of the Southern Mother Lode Region, Part 2 -- Tuolumne and Mariposa Counties Hardpack
  8. "Fists Full of Gold" by Chris Ralph has a good section on "seam deposits" that appears to be related to "pocket deposits" and quartz feeders. Diorite is a member of the diorite/gabbro family which are a meta-volcanic. Greenstone meta-volcanics are a source for chloride. I found a old reference to the "crossings" as being partially open and as running within and parallel with the diorite dyke's strike. These crossings are also composed of diorite. The "crossings" refer to the crossing with groups of quartz feeders within the diorite dyke to form pocket gold. The requirement for a metallic slate may be referencing to the requirement iron sulfides. According to Chris gold may be deposited in three hydrothermal mineral pulses. After the main fissure is full the third pulse fills the seams (feeders?) without closing off the seams completely. This may be how the quartz feeders continue to fill the "pockets" within the diorite dykes. I have been working a claim know for pocket gold with the following sequence from west to east: black slates with iron sulfides and narrow quartz stringer, greenstone of either dibase or grabbro with narrow quartz stringers, serpentine, the main fissure quartz lode vein then a igneous feldspar porphyry. Old surface diggings follow the surface stringers to the crossing with the main quartz vein with deeper excavations at these intersections. What gold I have found is rough but not as rough as you would expect from a pocket deposit. Merton found a reference to "potash feldspar" in the study of the Shoo Fly Complex.
  9. Merton, I am sure of the context you are referring to regarding chloride. Could it be a carry over from the "chlorination process" to free gold from sulfide ores yielding a "chloride of gold"?
  10. According to a couple of diagrams of the Bald Mtn pocket deposits. A diorite dyke fissure containing three quartz veins has a strike of N 30 W cutting across a slate formation with a strike of N 30 E. The dip of the dyke is 30 degrees west with one quartz vein at the hanging wall, one at the foot wall and one middle vein. The multiple gold seams are indicated where narrower quartz feeders that strike the main diorite dyke veins at an angle. Apparently, it was not uncommon for one the dyke veins to be barren at the feeder seams. The top view diagram indicate four crossings lines running parallel within & along the strike of the diorite dyke. Where these crossings intersect the gold seams of the quartz feeders gold pockets form in one or more of the three dyke quartz veins. I am not clear on what the crossings lines are indicating. Where the dyke veins cross the feeder seams? There are several references to shoots which I assume is referring to the combination of diorite dyke vein structure.
  11. I am apparently a little more than confused. When you say "pocket gold" are you including pocket mining? In1999 the Tuolumne County Historical Society republished a 1901 edition of the illustrated historical brochure of "Tuolumne County California" which covered the patent mines and mineral belts through the county. The brochure has a section on "pocket mining" in the vicinity of Bald Mountain and the Big Bonanza pocket mine. It defines "pockets to mean an agglomeration of gold held by quartz and often solid masses of metal without any quartz. From the text " Pocket mining is reduced today (1901) to an absolute science... Understanding this class of mining watch for every sign known to the practical miner....Shoots almost invariably come to the surface and continue down on the line of crossing till a pocket is found. There are other things needed besides crossings- the right kind of metallic slate, that cuts the veins obliquely; then there are gold seams, which are small quartz feeders, that the strike into the vein at certain angles. Often they of themselves are rich in gold... Here is what I gather: a main fissure vein strike is some where around 30 degrees west of north with metallic slates on both the hanging and foot walls. At varying depths where the shoots (quartz stringers?) cross the main fissure vein at an oblique angle gold seams (pockets) can form. Am I correct? Is this related in anyway to the Gold Hill pocket deposits?
  12. Another "sign" a pointing to Spring. The high country "maple leaf bees" have come out of hibernation. Ran into the road crew today, news ain't to good for the traveler. Been pushing through 15 and 20 foot drifts, boulders and downed trees just attempting to get to the pass. Don't expect the pass will be reached anytime soon. I tap each of these bees by hand for their tasty "broad leaf maple" flavored honey. Normally, would have a roadside "honey syrup" stand setup by now. At least got a few good listeners that can got a "B" note ... in flat. How's the lower on the mountain detecting been going?
  13. Got another MD hit today in the ferrous range. Turned to be the top section of the stove pipe. Was informed by a marmot that Spring is definitely on the way. Probably around the 4th he figured. We both have our digits crossed for the fireworks making it over the high passes in time for the celebration... along with any news about the Republic. On this Memorial Day weekend... to the memory of all those shot full of holes and those lost in battle.
  14. The two photos show the same location in March then in May. The next few days are warming and runoff is definitely on the way. This area was once a logging camp then a cow camp. This side eventually drains into the upper Stanislaus. If I can find the old bunkhouse I may in for some poker winnings. Further up slope a lady kept a cabin with a brass bed somewhere along the old spring. They were able to power a log mill with the drop from the spring head to the mill site. Lots of tree are down, going to be late June before the road opens.
  15. Are you sure you smell gold pard, I ain't had a hit in the last ten miles...
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