The Spirit Lives On
I've finally reached a point where I've said about all I can about small-scale gold prospecting and mining. By this I mean talking about specifics such as equipment, where and what to look for, and gold geology. Does this mean I've covered all the bases over the past nine and half years? Not at all...it just means I'm about as played out as abandoned placer gold ground worked over by Chinese miners! So, moving forward toward the eventual demise of Bedrock Dreams I'm just going to write in more general terms and express myself in the manner I feel works best for me. That's where I'm at at this point in time. So you can roll with me or head off into the sunset as you see fit.
All Part of the Game
Looking back at my time in small-scale mining (nearly 40 years!!) I have no regrets. There's nothing about my mining career I'd toss out or change. It's been a good gig overall, despite the setbacks and frustrations that are part and parcel of gold mining. I've had some very high moments and I've had my butt kicked more than once too. It's all part of the game, as most of you already know or are just finding out if you're greenhorns. It is what it is and you gotta love it, right?
A Very Good Thing
I've met and worked alongside some wonderful people (men and women) during my mining career. People who were or are the salt of the earth, who know the value of commitment and hard work, and who would give you the very shirts off their proverbial backs if they saw you suffering or stuck between a rock and a hard place. These folks represent what's best about small-scale mining and prospecting, and their devotion to the traditions and history of gold mining is truly remarkable. They have generous hearts and have helped me much along the winding path I took in mining. Sometimes they used tough love on me when I just couldn't or wouldn't get with the program or during those times when I let my arrogance and ego get in the way. These people called me on my shit and I became a better miner and a better person for it. Thank God we still have people like this in the world. Why? Because so many others today are afraid of their own shadows and won't call BS on anyone or anything because they don't want to be perceived as not "nice" or politically incorrect. Chickenshits to the max in my book. But in small-scale mining you won't find many of these types...in fact, you probably won't find any at all. That's a good thing. A very good thing.
(It's been a long and winding path.)
Don't Deceive Yourself
Mining's always been a tough act. This is even truer today than it was 150 years ago, despite the advances in small-scale mining equipment and assorted and sundry gear. Crackpot regulations, special agendas, and the few dictating to the many are the main sources of the monkey wrenches in the mining gears today, especially as that relates to us small-scale guys and gals. The big mining corporations? Hell, they have some issues in this regard too but they have a couple of things we don't have. Money and power. They can grease palms and pay off politicians and bureaucrats to get their way. We just have to sit there and take the shit that's dished out to us by people who've never hefted a miner's pick, shoveled gold-bearing dirt, or swirled a gold pan in their soft, manicured hands. I'm sure if the old timers who worked goldfields throughout the known world in the past could be present today they'd be appalled at the restrictions and lack of freedom that they knew in their mining days. In fact, they'd be shaking their fists at the assholes who brought all this crap forward. The stupid restrictions, the unfair regulations, and the weak-willed pussies who have successfully foisted their world view onto the rest of us. I'm telling you right now that small-scale mining ain't what it was when I started out and became a journeyman miner four decades ago. It's gone downhill in many respects. Oh sure, you can still get a claim, mine, and play the game. But you're looking over the shoulder the entire time waiting for the next bureaucratic axe to fall. Sound pessimistic do I? Well you probably haven't been where I have for as long as I have. And if you think things are going to get better for small-scale miners down the road you're simply deceiving yourself. Just the opposite will happen...trust me on that.
(Gotta love those "greenie" crackpots.)
Dust in the Wind
But all that said, the spirit lives on. We're small-scale gold miners and the only way the zombies and drones are going to get our mining picks out of our hands is to pry them out of our cold, stiff fingers. Screw them and the "my little ponies" they rode in on! In the end the truth will prevail, just as it always does. Evil can overcome good...for a while anyway. Eventually the bright and shining light that is representative of all good will brush that darkness away like so much dust in the wind.
Hang tough out there. And, be proud of who you are and what you do...
(c) Jim Rocha 2017
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org