When the Going Gets Tough...Get Back to Basics (Part 1)

We all make mistakes as individuals and as miners. God knows I've made my share on both counts, but there's a very simple and clear-cut way to get back on the path to success that doesn't require lots of expense or learning some new-fangled system or method. Read on if you'd like to learn more.

All I Ever Wanted

It's my contention that somewhere along our life and mining paths we go astray. We get too caught up in certain moments, in certain expectations, and lastly...in the belief that there's some sort of "magic pill" out there that will put things right for us. Yes, I know I've spoken about my magic pill theory before (just recently, as a matter of fact), so take a deep breath and bear with me here. Regardless of how many times I beat that seemingly dead horse, it doesn't diminish the importance of what I'm trying to get across to you. Just look around you. The world is full of people (young and old) who truly believe that they can get everything they want by reading a book, buying a certain audio tape, attending the latest get-rich-quick seminar, or laying down hard-earned cash for the newest gadget on the shelf, be that electronic or otherwise. Some of them want to become better people, others rich and famous, and then there's us. Gold miners and prospectors, that is. What do we want? I can't answer that question for the rest of you...only for myself. All I ever wanted was to do what I love out there in the great outdoors; mountains or desert, good gold or not. But I too had to turn a buck, found myself caught up in "career" paths that I thought would be fulfilling, and at times...lost sight of the real treasures within my grasp. It happens to a lot of us, I suspect.

(All I ever wanted to do...)

The Worst Day Mining...

Do I have regrets? Some maybe. But I choose not to focus on them. I can tell you one thing that's pure gold though. I've never regretted getting into gold mining and prospecting or any other sort of treasure hunting enterprise I've pursued over the past four decades. The time I spent out in the field (and still spend) are some of the most precious moments of my life and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I learned a lot from those pursuits. Not only about finding and getting the gold, but about myself. You see, there's nothing more therapeutic and psychologically and emotionally satisfying than putting yourself as far away as possible from the hustle and hassles, breathing clean air, and wielding a pick and shovel in Ma Nature's backyard. The gold...well...it's nice to have but it's really just icing on the cake. I've had days where I recovered a lot of yellow and days where I could barely turn a color or two. Did I get frustrated at times? Damn straight I did. I still do in certain circumstances...and you've all had those days too. But I never felt bad about slaving like a coolie in some desert wash or freezing my skinny ass off in some mountain stream. I can't say the same about my time in the work-a-day world. The worst day gold mining is ALWAYS better than the best day working a non-fulfilling job with some incompetent ass clown lording it over you. Yes, that's a stereotype. But let me clue you in on something. Stereotypes DO exist. That's why we rely on them sometimes.

(The worst day mining is always better than this.)

There Are No Magic Pills

But the real point of this post isn't about me reminiscing or waxing philosophical. It's about what you can do when the going gets tough out there...be that at home...on the job...or when you're trying to ease that yellow out of the ground. What's the magic pill for miners? It varies, but quite often it's tied up in newer or fancier gear that's supposed to make it easier for things to happen out in the field. Or, it's some sort of formulaic, state-of-the-art approach concocted in someone else's fevered brain that may...or may not be practical. It could even be paying for the right to work some gold guru's or club's claims. Now I think laying out wads of cash for new equipment can be a good thing if you have some real experience and know what you're doing. At the same time some of that old gear you have lying around just needs a tweak or two and some real effort behind it. Maybe even a systematic and well thought out plan for using it. As far as other approaches are concerned, you should always be open to the possibilities. And working someone else's claims? If it gets you where you want to be then go for it. All this said, however, none of these are magic pills that are going to transform you to any great degree or necessarily put more gold in your poke.

Whatever the case, when the going starts getting tougher out there and life starts putting the whammy on you or the yellow makes itself scarcer to one degree or another...well, my friends...you need to get back to basics. You know, the positive things that formed the core of your personality and their counterparts that enabled you to find color in the first place.

We'll talk more about this next time...

(c) Jim Rocha 2018

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com


  1. I understand what you are saying Jim.
    My first thought is that getting back to basics would be a lot easier if I were younger..heh heh.
    But that is a fail and an excuse right off the bat isn't it?
    Conclusion: You are never too old to get back to basics!

  2. "It's not the gold that I'm wanting, so much as just finding the gold"
    Robert Service

    Sometimes we loose track of what we are really after.


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