Tag Archives: adventure

The Lost Adams Diggings Revisited

Lost Adams Diggings Number 2297

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this because some of you might still think I have good sense.  But I’m going to anyway because I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t care whether you do or not.

What you are seeing in that Google map is the Lost Adams Diggings.  The line wandering along the lower right corner is the continental divide.  The areas with snow on the surface are shaded part of the day so’s not to have melted yet, the dark areas are lower, now in shadow.  The tiny short lines all over the place are deadfall left by a forest fire that swept the area in the 1990s.

Elevation’s around 9000 feet, the trails are all blocked with deadfall from the fire, but even back in the day the area never saw much human traffic.  It’s one of the more remote, tougher places to get to in the continental US.

Which is the reason those three dark lines you see running diagonally in the upper center have no business whatever being there.  Those are artifacts of human activity.  Those, and the lower left-of-center dark spot resembling an arrow.  The dark lines at the top, unless I miss my guess as I’ve done frequently before, are what is known in legend as ‘The Zig Zag Trail”.

A person wanting a closer look would have to go in on foot, crawling over deadfall.  Or a person 70 years old would probably have to have a donkey or pack goat or three.

I decided over the years this is the place after I’d already published the Lost Adams Diggings book because of various pieces of information acquired after the book was published. 

Soooooo.

I just happened to notice on Coleen’s Workers on Wheels Newsletter:

NM: Seasonal Camp Hosting and Mini Storage
by Mountain Spirits RV Park – Mimbres, New Mexico 88049
(Work Camping with Stipend in the Historic Mimbres Valley)

Mountain Spirits RV Park in Mimbres, New Mexico, needs camp host couples for the 2013/14 season. Our campground consists of 20 RV sites and 52 self storage units.

The park is located 25 miles east of Silver City, New Mexico, at an elevation of 5800 feet. We are in the historic Mimbres Valley, which is the gateway to the Gila Wilderness.

Couples share duties for this position. They include cleaning and maintaining a neat appearance of the office and two modern restrooms, waiting on customers and residents during 8-5 business hours, and checking in guests. Yard work includes weeding and watering of landscaping and yard areas.

Couples will work the same three days and same shift.

We offer a 30amp space, free WiFi, and $100.00 a month credit towards electric and propane use. We also offer a $100.00 cash stipend per month to help with expenses.

We would appreciate at least a three month commitment, if possible.

The nearest shopping is in Silver City.

Cell phone coverage is either Verizon or TracPhone.

If interested in camp hosting with us, please call 575-574-7000 or email coveroadnm@yahoo.com. Be sure to let us know that you saw our Help Wanted ad on Coleen’s Workers On Wheels website when you contact us about this campground job. Bill and Wanda, Managers. Mountain Spirits RV Park – Mimbres, New Mexico 88049. Posted June 2013.

Any of you who think you might be interested in being the other half of a couple to apply for that, I’d be obliged if you contact me.  josephusminimus@hotmail.com and we can discuss it.  I’d hope if you’re the other half of a couple with me you’ll look after my cats on my days off while I go trekking up into the high canyons.

The TimeWarpsVille Saga – Civilization Arrives

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Visitors Not Having Fun Will Be Prosecuted

Civilization is seeping into TimeWarpsVille, and it’s rearing its ugly head in the Junction City Park.

Rules Carefully Disambiguated

Enjoyment is facilitated by clarifications and footnotes to entrance rules.

Dive Risks Deferred to Others

But who the hell wants to swim at his own risk?

ALL chains must be securely fastened to craft.

Several safe flying saucer tiedowns are provided.

I didn’t feel much like skinny-dipping at my own risk and suspected I was having more fun than the law allows.  Decided it was time to head for the graveyard or one of the museums.  Maybe look over some historical marker sites.

Old Jules

Recapping the Lost Gold Mine Search

I think I’ve posted most of this before in earlier posts, but for those who weren’t here to read it at the time, I’ll do it again. 

A longtom sluicebox axed out of a 3 foot diameter log, a spring 75 feet above the sluice, an arrastra below.  I’d been walking past the arrastra a few years before I recognized it for what it was.  One day I was leaning against a deadfall aspen getting my breath, gazing at it, when it dawned on me that 500 pound rock had a reason for being shaped the way it was.

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 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.

Dozens of places upgrade where the man worked the quartz outcroppings.

Symbols carved into rock faces long ago on the upper-west face of the mountain below the most heavily worked quartz outcroppings near the crest.  None of it made a hell of a lot of sense.

One day I was climbing around up there with my lady friend of the time, Jan.  Following the guy around, trying to figure out what the hell he was doing and why.  We came to a rock face with a quartz outcropping he’d been working, but stopped, obviously half-done.  Not like him at all.

I stepped back a few paces studying it, mildly confused.  Glanced at the ground at my feet and there lay an arrowhead, quarter-inch of the point broken off.  I believed I was looking at the reason he quit before the job was done.

But that long tom and that sluice were testimony the man [or men] working there were in a production mode.  They weren’t prospecting, they were processing ore.  Scrapings from the bottom surface of the sluice, burned and panned didn’t turn any signs of anything heavy.  Downstream just below the V-bottom of the canyon went 100 yards or so to a stricture might have once had a beaver dam, landslide, something clogging it so’s there was a flat bottom with maybe 7-8 feet of sediment.  Along one side a channel had been cut going through the sediment, but not all the way to the bottom of the V.  It would have been a major job getting to the bottom for sampling, never got around to it.

But from the bottom of the existing channel the pans showed a huge amount of heavy, heavy, heavy bead-like material, rusty brown.  Eventually spectroscopic assays showed what was mentioned a couple of posts ago.

And there was considerable more of it in other nearby canyons.

But we never found the source of whatever the guy was running through that longtom, what he was crushing with the arrastra.

Old Jules

Crazy Lost Gold Mine-ism Re-visited

Crazy Lost Gold Mine-ism

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this cold morning.

The adventurers are getting old and long in the tooth.  I’ve written about this in the past a number of times, but a few days ago I got an email that got me thinking about it again:

Hi J,  I hope this finds you well….cats too.

Age 72. Raised in northern Wyoming. Made my living mostly in electronics and related technology. Army vet.

I have been obsessed with that lost gold mine since 1974 and many years ago received a copy of your CD via a guy I think you know….If you had ever watched him shovel.

Bought your book several years ago. Lots of good stuff but editing sucked on the CD.. Also, someone you might know, Bob Gordon of Dallas went on a trip with us once to the Mangus Mt. area (probably in the early ’80’s) and I think I gave him his first copy of Allens and Byerts.  Excuse me, but I am currently too many margaritas along right now and need to cut this short. I am convinced I have a lot of the story figured out….Yeah, like I’m alone. But seriously. 

I would like to chat with you if only email,  Fergy

I replied to his email saying I’d be willing to discuss it by email.  Back during the day I spent enough hours on the telephone hearing where it was to break me of any desire to ever do that again.  But there’s always a chance someone will come along and add the piece to finish out the puzzle.

When his reply elaborating on his ponderings arrived, he didn’t clear anything up, but it did get me thinking about some things. 

Over the years those phone calls and emails have gradually squeezed down to men of advancing age.  Most of us are getting so old we’re not likely to tromp up high mountains anymore.  And we’re dying off.  Of the hundreds of letters and phone calls I got over the years, every one of the originators had solved the mystery, or was near unto solving it.  As I always was.  Heck, as I still am, though I don’t think about it much anymore.

During the 20th Century thousands of men tried to find that lost mine, as did a similar number during the 19th Century.  There was even a movie made about it in the late 1960s. 

Mackenna’s Gold (1969)

Format:  Mackenna's Gold DVD 
 
Sprawling frontier adventure with Gregory Peck as a sheriff who is given a map, said to show the location of a large cache of gold hidden in a valley, and soon finds he’s the target of every fortune hunter in the West. The star-laden cast also includes Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas, Julie Newmar, Lee J. Cobb, Edward G. Robinson. 123 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai; biographies; theatrical trailers.

 

But as the 20th Century wound down something interesting happened.  There were no new legions of youngsters replacing the old ones, researching, reading, poring over maps and trekking into remote canyons.   Something was gone, and it’s over.

Old Fergy, Keith and I, a few others are still out there thinking about it, but what we are and what we were is something modern humanity has left behind without noticing it’s done so.  I don’t know what that means, but I’m not overjoyed about it.  My preferred view of humanity and youth is going to require some adjustment.

Old Jules

Previous posts referring to the lost gold mine search:

Crazy Lost Gold Mine-ism, Wilderness Threats, Adventure, Imagination and Keeping the Juices Flowing, Cold Mystery, Fevered Romance and Lost Gold

Today on Ask Old Jules:

Old Jules, which prophet out of known prophets could make a good philosopher, and vice-versa, and why?

http://askoldjules.com/2012/02/13/prophets-and-philosophers/

Adventure, Imagination and Keeping the Juices Flowing

My old friend Keith stopped into the blog  a few days ago and commented on one of the posts.  By doing so he reminded me I haven’t said much about a subject dear to my heart:  Outrageous adventure.

Crazy Lost Gold Mine-ism

Wilderness Threats

Fiddle-Footed Naggings and Songs of the Highway

When Keith and I were searching together we were both in our early 50s, both involved in careers, both plenty old enough to know we weren’t going to find that lost gold mine, though I, particularly figured we would.  [I still held by the statement from my neophyte search early in the 1980s, “If I can’t find that mine I’m not half the man I think I am.”]

Keith and I plotted, planned and trekked into more canyons than either of us can remember and, while we didn’t find that lost gold mine we saw places not many human beings have ever seen, certainly not many in a longish time.  We systematically explored promising locations from the Zuni Mountains, to Santa Rita Mesa, to Pelona on the south side of the Plains of San Augustin, to the Gallinas.

I don’t know how Keith thinks about all this these days, but I know how I think about it.  I wouldn’t subtract one mile, one minute, one canyon of it from my life, though we never found what we were looking for.

Not from that, not from Y2K, not from flying a Cessna 140 all over the sky for a number of years, and not from this current adventure of survival that’s my life today, for that matter.

It seems to me people have become too ‘smart’ and ‘wise’ with the debunking culture to allow themselves a piece of outrageous risk with minimal prospects for any returns.   It’s been that way for a considerable while.  I believe it’s robbed a lot of people of experiencing a side of life that once a particular sort of individual demanded of himself.

An old man who wasn't afraid of adventure

When I say it’s been going on a long while I mean it.  During the early 1950s my granddad and step-dad became the laughingstocks of Portales, Dora, Garrison and Causey, New Mexico, by injecting a piece of it into their lives.  They bought a WWII jeep, equipment, and joined thousands of other similar men searching for uranium.  Probably the last ‘rush’ in US history.

They were gone several months, didn’t find a thing, and when they returned they endured the jeers and snide laughs of everyone around them.  But both men cherished the memories of that time as long as they lived.  They had something the stay-at-home sneerers would never have because they were too smart, too dedicated to the other side of human existence to allow it into their lives.

And the venom they expressed for anyone else doing it provides a hint they probably wished they had.

Old Jules