This post requires some background to get to what it’s about. The first part is background. The actual subject of the post doesn’t start until ‘way on down toward the bottom.
Back before Y2K happened I spent a lot of years and energy researching and searching the mountains of SW New Mexico for a particular lost gold mine.
Doing a thing of that sort, the smart individual would keep his mouth shut about it. But I don’t qualify in that regard. I spent several years poring over records and winter nights poring over maps with a magnifying glass, almost always certain of knowing where it was, chawing at the bit to get out into the barrancas to file a claim on it. But also putting my research into a form others searching for it might find helpful. Insane.
Eventually I found a location where evidence on the ground fit the legend locations well enough to keep me working the west face of that mountain, climbing and unclimbing it with friends and associates, building up a lot of muscle, finding a lot of interesting rocks, and getting surprising assays, but no joy to speak of on gold.
“A burned out cabin ruin with an aspen tree growing out of the inside, bear claw marks 12 feet up, 3 hand forged nails, a longtom sluicebox axed out of a 3 foot diameter log, a spring 75 feet above the sluice, an arrastra below. A mysterious map chiseled on the face of a 300 pound rock surface depicting the exact layout of the canyon, the cabin, the waterfall, all so accurately depicted the person had to have scrutinized the layout from the mountaintop, then scratched it on this stone 600 vertical feet below and half a mile away. The rock was carefully placed on the canyon wall above eye-level so it was easily seen, but only by someone looking up.”
By 1998 I’d spent a lot more treasure, worn out vehicles, worn out relationships with lady friends and put a lot of friends to sleep going on about it and spending all my waking hours thinking, searching, or talking about it. I decided it had taken up enough of my life and it was time to move on to other things after one final effort.
I took several weeks of vacation from work and spent it determined to get that gold mine out of my life, or into it in a way that didn’t include continued searching for it. During part of it Gale and Dana, another old friend, joined me up there.
But that’s all another story.
During the 1990s I used to get several letters and phone calls a week from other people who were searching for the mine, asking questions about specifics of my research findings, asking questions about various terrain features, or just wanting me to go climb a mountain where they knew it was but didn’t feel like climbing themselves, willing to give me 10% of it if they were correct. Of course they always knew they were correct.
But gradually that all tapered off. In 2003, in the desperate throes of surviving the desperate financial aftermath of Y2K I published a book about my research, and the calls, emails and letters started coming in again for a while, but again gradually receded after a few years. Those guys all got old and everything quieted down.
That lost gold mine slid spang out of my life.
But finally, here’s what this post is about.
Suddenly, beginning a couple of months ago, my old email address box began a new trickle, becoming a stream, of questions about all manner of details about those canyons and researches I elaborated on in the book. Old guys, some older than I, were suddenly making noises about ideas, searches, evidently studying the book and maps, wanting refinements on what I’d described.
2011, every old worn-out has-been treasure hunter in Christendom is suddenly wanting me to search my memory-banks about canyons I once stomped around in. I’ve mostly answered the emails, tried to remember and flesh out what most of them were asking about, but a lot of it’s just too mixed in with too many other canyons, rocks and trails to recover with clarity.
But some of them are actually being subtle but provacative, wanting to argue with me about research findings, value judgements I made regarding 160 year old documents I dug up in the US Archives, military records, and a particular Apache I consider a key in the affair.
Heck, it ain’t as though I found the damned mine. I don’t know where it is, though I spent a lot of years, treasure, sweat, and women thinking I did. Now, suddenly I have people coming out of the woodwork wanting me to change my mind about where I thought it was because my reasons for thinking it weren’t the same as their reasons for thinking it’s somewhere I didn’t think it was.
Absolooooodle, incomprehensibly, insane.
Yeah. It’s real important where I think it is. If I don’t think it’s where it is, that old gold mine’s likely to switch places with where it thought it was. Next thing you know it will be where I thought it was. And that ain’t where these other guys now think it is, so I need to change my mind and think it’s where they think it is. Otherwise it won’t be there.
I have no idea what the hell this is all about. Maybe the price of gold combined with worrying about Social Security has the geezers going crazy thinking they’re 50 years old again.
Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra – The Shifting Whispering Sands ( 1956 )
I enjoyed the shit out of this Jules. And more than that thanks for sharing.
LMAO because it’s so stupid. It’s just the way you framed it. People are different – – – but.
Hi One Fly: Thanks for coming by. Glad you enjoyed it. Yep, they’re different… but. Old Jules
A week ago I would have called that crazy. But then, courtesy of The Good Luck Duck, I discovered this guy:
Now my crazy meter is on the fritz. Overloaded. Unusable. Out of warranty. Plumb broke.
So, until I get another, I’m inclined to say “What the hell. Go on. Work your crazy till it kills ya.”
Implacably Tolerant Bob
Thankee Bob. Good Luck Duck paid you a kindness. Hope you said ‘Thanks!’. Gracias, Jules
People are an ongoing conundrum. Anybody with 650 cats, like Crazy Craig Grant, has got to have a few screws loose. But then he said something that I’d be willing to put on a bumper sticker and wear on my pickup truck:
“You don’t need that crap to be happy. I tell you, if you find yourself happy, don’t change anything.”
If I was his neighbor, I’d dread the day he keels over into a pile of cat poop. It might require calling out the National Guard to straighten out the catsurrection. But until then, I guess, “don’t change anything” works for me.
A person with 650 cats, Bob, probably figures anyone without any cats, or with only the usual number, has a few screws loose. If the bumper sticker makes you happy, get one. I don’t know enough about what makes other people happy to speculate on what might. I’m reasonably certain you wouldn’t be happy with my life and the way I view it, though it’s worked well enough to satisfy my own needs. Conversely, I’d consider it a challenge to try to try to squeeze happiness into it if I had to be you. Neither of us has much reason to fear the happiness, nor the lack of it, for some guy in Florida and his neighbors. “Implacably Tolerant Bob” is a worthy goal to shoot for, seems to me. Good luck at it.
Thanks for the comments. Jules
Why not? Living on social security with nothing much productive to do is enough to send me out there searching for that gold. Where’d you say it is located?
Hi blueskiessunnyday. If I were searching today it would be near the headwaters of the Gila where the continental divide falls off violently to the east. I expect it will remain there until I change my mind. Thanks for coming by. Gracias, Jules
Well, so much for world affairs for one morning. I’m headed down to the Rio Bravo for lunch. They’re the guys who put the M in Menudo for me.
All part of my on-going tolerance program.
Hi Bob. Sounds sane to me. Here’s wishing you a tolerant day. Jules
HAVING SEEN THE ARRASTRA YOU ARE STANDING BESIDE BRINGS BACK OLD MEMORIES–GOOD I MIGHT ADD. I DIDN’T EVEN THINK ABOUT PRICE OF GOLD GOING PARABOLIC WHEN I ORDERED YOUR BOOK. ACTUALLY JUST WANTED TO READ FINAL VERSION COMPARED TO FIRST DRAFT. I CAN IMAGINE THE RESPONSE U MIGHT GET IF YOU POSTED NAME OF BOOK ON YOUR BLOG. I THOUGHT BOUT DOING SO BUT DIDN’T WANT TO INFRINGE ON NE PRIVACY U MIGHT DESIRE. I AM ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH THE ADVENTURE AND AM REALY ENJOYING IT . THANKS FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT. I HOPE THIS GETS POSTED AS I HAVE TRIED SEVERAL TIMES AND FAILED. REGARDS LKK
Hi Keith: Thanks for coming by the blog. You and I tromped around in some places might as well have been on the moon back in those early years. I deliberately left the specifics off the post because that part isn’t what the blog’s about. Really nice being back in touch with you. Gracias, J
(SECOND ATTEMPT TO POST)!! WHEN I ORDERED YOUR BOOK SEVERAL WEEKS AGO I HAD NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THE PX OF AU GOING PARABOLIC. I REALLY JUST WANTED TO READ THE FINAL DRAFT AFTER LEARNING THAT YOU HAD FINISHED IT.(BELATEDLY IN 2011. SEEING YOUR POST OF THE ARRASTRA WE FOUND BROUGHT BACK MANY GOOD MEMORIES FOR ANOTHER OLD 68 YEAR OLD GEEZER. I AM ONLY ABOUT HALF WAY THRU BUT YOUR CONCLUSIONS AND SYNOPSIS PUTS MANY LOOSE ENDS IN CONTEXT. I STARTED TO PUT THE NAME OF YOUR BOOK ON FB BUT DCIDED YOUR PRIVACY COULD BE A FACTOR. THANKS FOR THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. IT PROVIDED SEVERAL YEARS OF WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT—THE SEARCH OF A HOPE OR FOR A DREAM. REGARDS LKK.
Sorry you had so much trouble posting. Welcome back into my life, old friend, to the extent you are. J
Desperate financial time bringing the desperately confused out of the woodwork, perhaps?
heretherebespiders: I don’t see a connection. The overwhelming majority of humanity is as confused today as it ever has been, despite the elegant wealth most modern humans are experiencing compared to their forebears during almost any time in history. Desparate financial times today are only desparate financial times compared to the past few decades. Desparate times in human history prior to the past few decades are an entirely different affair.
I doubt any king in history prior to 1800 or so ever enjoyed the comfort, health, security – all the things we use to measure wealth-this-side-of-money-and-jewelry – a modern store clerk or insurance salesman living in suburbia experiences throughout his/her life.
But the phenomenon I referred to has to do with something involving other matters than desparation. Our drama, our excitement, our participation in life is the part of spectator in a spectator sport, watching it happen on television, maybe. As opposed to having avenues for encountering whatever the sports synthetically attempt to replicate.
On the other hand, I’m not certain of the targets of your phrase about the ‘confused’, nor of whom you’re suggesting is enduring the financial hardships. In Europe and the US nobody much is starving to death, freezing to death, or working himself to death to avoid the other two. Which is the only valid measure of financial distress except within the blinders provided by our particular lifetimes.