Monday, May 27, 2013

Explor'n gold mines 101

I don't think I'll be talk'n bout no sail'n today, but I could tell ya bout the time the Coast Guard catched me sail'n all over Port Aransas harbor at night....without a light. Ya see, I had scored on a dumpster run. Fount me a perfectly good sail'n board somebody had crashed. A little duck tape, it be as good as new.

 Look almost exactly like this one....less the mast an' sail, daggerboard and steer'n wheel. Plus....ya could add a few strips of duct tape here an' there. Of course, the old Billy Bob build all that miss'n stuff out of what ever was available.....plywood, PVC mast and a Walmart special blue tarp for a sail. An' then he go sail'n.

This is for Sissy.
So...me an' Gerry was ride'n round up in the mountains in the old '27 Buick roadster....extra 5 gallon gas can tied in the rumble seat. Up on the side the mountain, there's this old abandoned gold mine......chain link fence strung all around it. A rutted out single lane wagon trail leads up the side of the tailings to the mine tunnel. Tailings are the rocks an' crap from dig'n the tunnel what they dump over the side if the hill. It's worthless so they just let it lay there.
Ok, ya got a pretty good picture of where we at. But ya ain't got no idea what we gonna do. Or do ya???

Gerry says to me, "ya think this old Buick will climb up that trail". I looks an' holy crap, that trail is bout a 30% grade...straight up. Now I had climbed mine tailings before in this here old Buick, but this one sure do look a little bit dangerous to me. Back then, I weren't skeered of nuttin, but I'm hav'n me some second thoughts bout this one. "What if'n we turn over Gerry, we a long ways from home ya know"? Gerry says...."somebody drove up it before....see the tracks".

I shifts that old Buick into granny gear, revs up the engine, we gonna have us a ride up the side that hill. Tires was spinn'n, dirt an' dust fly'n, big ol' rocks roll'n down the hill. We at the top. As Aunt Myrt would say, "Did you boys think bout hav'n to go back down that hill"? We're on level surface, bout the size a small front yard in New York City. Signs of campfires....beer cans strung all over the place. Somebody been up do'n stuff I betcha.

You must remember at this time, mine tunnels go straight into the side of a mountain, mine shafts go straight down.

Anyhows, me an' Gerry climbs through a hole in the chain link fence. Go take a quick look see inside the tunnel. Yikes, it's dark in here. Just so happens, I get a flashlight in the Buick. We walks back in there bout 50 feets or so....more beer cans. A bit further we come upon this shaft go'n straight down. It's dark down there an' that ladder don't look so safe to be climb'n on. Gerry says....you ain't go'n down there....are you"? I says..."well sure, what could possibly go wrong....there could be a treasure down there."

I don't weigh very much, an' I ain't skeered of nuttin that's for damn sure, I steps on the top rung. Bounce round a little bit to make sure it will hold my weight. Then I begin my assent, one bounc'n step at a time. That 4th or 5th step break slap in two, me dangl'n in mid air, hang'n on with two white knuckle hands for dear life. I lose my grip and fall slap on my ass. I look up an' Gerry laugh'n his ass off. What the hell wrong with that boy, I could a kill myself.....it ain't funny. Come to find out, I had only fall 5 feet or less. This damn shaft is only bout 8 feets deep. Cain't find no gold or treasure in a little hole like this. There ain't no tunnel down here to explore, ain't no treasure chest, no skeletons.....ain't nuttin but a blamed hole....with beer cans scattered all over bottom. And I done broke the freak'n ladder with all that bounc'n round.

Go'n down is much more scarier than go'n up. Ya see, you can fall down a hill, but ya can't fall up one. "Hang on Gerry, we go'n for a ride". I got all four wheels locked up go'n down the side that hill....an' we go'n lickity split bout a hunnert mile a hour. I don't recall on the way up, this hill be'n so dad burn far. I'm alive today to write this story, so we made it home without caus'n any damage to property or person. What is say'n a lot.

To this day, I am still fascinated by gold mines and mine tunnels, caves an' stuff like that.
Would I go inside this mine? You can bet your "sweet" (for Dizzy) bippy I would. But a mine "shaft", you better be call'n the Coast Guard, I ain't go'n.


  1. There are a couple of mine tunnels at Capitol Reef NP that are blocked off because the radioactivity is to high inside. If I remember right the miners all died an early death.

  2. There is a lot of critters of all sizes living in those old mines. Some can hurt you real bad, like when you fell down in that hole there could of been a den of rattle snakes down there. Dang, now you got me wanting to go gold prospecting again, you can bet your sweet bibby, either mine or yours, they are both sweet, right?

  3. I'll just stay in the daylight and fresh air.

  4. Sounds like great adventure for you young guys, not so much for me anymore either.

  5. Gold and other minerals precipitate when the earth’s surface gives way and eruptions occur. Hot waters, laden with minerals, ascend and deposit a variety of ores. Kenmole