I Hope I'm Wrong...

The way I see it, there's very little (if anything) not to like about being a small-scale gold miner. I've been at this gig for the better part of 40 years now and I wouldn't change one bit of that path for anything this temporal world can give me. But it's a different world I find myself in these days, and not all I see restores my faith in human nature.


Like most of you I'm an outdoors guy above all else. Big cities have their attractions and I've lived and worked in them in the past but I've never liked crowds, traffic and people rushing everywhere, nor the feeling of being "closed in" or trapped. One of the big reasons I moved to Northern New Mexico 27 years ago was because of the vistas and the wide open spaces here, especially where my home and acreage are. Ma Nature's beauty and bounty have always held a strong pull for me, even as a child growing up with the Sierra Nevadas at my back. People may let you down, but the mountains, forests, deserts and those gold-bearing washes and streams won't. There is a solidity to nature in all its forms and a consistency over time that draws me back again and again like a magnet. And the gold? Well pard, that's just the icing on the cake.

 (Icing on the cake.)

Not on Your Life...

Sometimes I wonder about this new generation coming up the pike. I fear they are so deeply entranced by cell phones, video games, social media, and false expectations that they are unable to look away long enough from their manic texting or reaching the next game level to actually see the world around them, let alone Ma Nature and her beauty. In some respects I also feel this new generation of young people has thrown in the towel and is perfectly content to be carried along life's river without exerting the slightest effort to steer their own course through it's rapids and obstacles. They seem to want it all but they don't want to exert the slightest effort to get it...whatever "it" is for them. Get outside and sleep in a tent? Cook a meal over an open campfire? Dig for gold? Oh sure, they'd take that gold if you poured it straight into their grasping little palms, but get out there in the mud and dirt and earn it? Not on your life...or theirs. I know I'm at risk for sounding like the typical old burn out ragging on the younger generation here, but there is truth in what I say. And, there is also room for error on my part as well.


I guess what I'm trying to say here is that a great many of the so-called "Millenials" simply don't understand the significance of plain old busting your hump to make things happen. Nor do they seem to grasp the significance of sacrifice except for those noble few who have served (or continue to serve) in the military, fire fighting, emergency services, or law enforcement. I hate to break the news to the others, but wearing your hair in a soy boy "man bun," marching and smashing store fronts in anti-everything protests, or sipping another soy latte at Starbucks is not sacrifice or commitment as I understand it. But in a way you can't blame this newer generation. Many come from single-parent homes where the divorce rate is nigh on 50%, they've not had first-hand experience with good role models (especially male role models), and they've been propagandized by the media and movies to believe that leftist or "progressive" attitudes about gender, race, society, and male-female relationships are the only views worthy of espousing. Anyone who doesn't agree with them is shouted down with epithets like "Racist!," "Fascist!," "Misogynist!," and on and on. This sort of knee-jerk reaction isn't anything new, really. I saw it rear it's ugly head in the 1960s and early 1970s when those of us returning home from the Vietnam War were called dirty names and type cast as the villains in a passion play staged by corrupt and self-serving politicians and corporate heads. But that's another story unto itself.

The Biggest Takeaway

Am I being too harsh on these younger folks? Perhaps. Then again...perhaps not. I do know that I often think that some plain old pick and shovel hefting would work wonders with them, as well as the sense of a job well done and the satisfaction of making it on your own. That's something you're not going to get flopped on the couch in your Mom's basement tap-tap-tapping away on your cell phone or gunning down another group of zombies rushing at you in a video game. Aimless is aimless, I reckon. And the biggest takeaway I get from this newest generation is that they not only have no idea where they're going, but they just don't seem to care about that fact either. Again, perhaps a two-week "boot camp" out in the wild mining for gold would cause some measure of transformation in them, but chances are after a day or two most would simply roll over in their sleeping bags or ask where the nearest Starbucks was.

I hope I'm wrong about all this...

Finally, for your viewing pleasure I've added this video..."A Millenial Job Interview." Watch it because it's a hoot! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo0KjdDJr1c

(c) Jim Rocha 2018

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


  1. Hell no you're not wrong!
    I would talk more but I'm out the door to go do some mining on my claim.
    Have a great day Jim!

  2. Jim,

    It is the end result of years of social engineering. Why would 'they' want malleable, misguided people? We are going to find out soon enough.

    They've ramped up net censorship the last few days, and lots more nonsense will be coming. It takes real men and women to stand up for themselves. Lets hope there are enough of us out there.

    1. There are very few "real" men and women left out there methinks...

  3. Sad to say JR, you are right. I wish I could say you were not. That video sure is right on the money too!
    Growing up, it was a punishment to have to "go in the house"....I think it's opposite now. I never wanted or had any use for video games at all, even as a kid. Of course back then playing "Ping Pong" on a TV screen amazed us!
    Same with computers. We were givin a second hand one, or I never would have owned one. I discovered Gunbroker, Bedrock Dreams, and others, and was hooked. Now it seems we "Have to" have one. This You Tube bit, I had hoped to make money at, but they changed the rules so it doesn't look too likely. I'd rather be outside digging for gold, or trapping.....anything really. My cell phone is another thing I never wanted, but is a "have to" now. It's still a flip phone though!! Give me the wild places far from people any day!

    1. Our generation grew up playing outdoors and fishing, etc. That's the BIG difference. I finally got a good cell phone too...but I don't tap on it all day!

  4. Hi Jim,
    Wanted to mention a few things and give my perspective on this post, just turned 30 last month so I'm part of this generation you speak of. First thing I wanted to say is you are right, about most millennials, but don't give up hope just yet! There are a handful of us out there that don't fit the millennial stereotype. Second thing I wanted to say, don't worry about being to harsh on the younger folks, we need it! I'm sure you would agree the whole participation trophy mindset is ridiculous. When we fail at something, I don't want to hear 'hey you gave it your best, you're still a winner'. I want to be asked why I think I failed and what I think I should do differently next time. On that note, keep sharing your stories of hard work and hardships you experienced. I'm eternally grateful for my 80 year old grandpa, his stories about getting his ass whooped if he wasn't milking the cows by 5 a.m. (one of an endless list he's shared). And not just from him, so many from his generation have inspired me. I know it feels like most millennials aren't listening or are just annoyed (unfortunately most probably are) but there are a handful that are listening and applying what they learn.
    I love the outdoors, I spend every moment I can in the mountains. Hunting, fishing, camping, you name it. The outdoors is the only reason I got into prospecting and looking for gold. Learning the geology in the area I spend most of my time in (western uinta mountains) has been fantastic, it's like the rocks are just a book written in a different language and I'm trying to learn the dialect. Despite the blistered hands and feet, cuts and bruises, I still haven't found any shiny yet. To be fair, it's not a 'known' gold producing area, just tails of lost Spanish gold mines and cashes. Sure you'll catch me staring at my phone, but it's only because I'm plotting my next hike on google earth, downloading topo maps, marking way points and making notes on places I've found. I've got some samples I took from an old mine I found, still trying to figure out what minerals I'm seeing and if by chance gold is one of them. Doesn't matter if there is gold or not, already got my next hike planned. Thanks to your very informative posts, I'm getting better each day at identifying what I've found. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your wisdom!
    Sorry for the long comment, but just wanted to let you know there is still hope for the millennial generation. And you better believe my 2 year old son will grow up with the same love for the outdoors and hard work, hell he already loves it, already caught his first brookie, helped me clean it and cook it, and ate the whole thing himself.
    Take care,

    1. Well said Brandon! And you've restored my faith a great deal in your generation. As long as there are members of your generation like you we're golden and I will take what you say here to heart. Thanks!


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