Today I had the day suddenly freed up, so I opted to go exploring for mineralization. I poured over the maps and had a pretty good idea where the bedrock holds promise, and where it does not. So, I piled on my gear, and head out to find the Northwest edge. Keep in mind this is just me, alone, and thousands of acres of forest...
So, I hike for about two miles, eventually coming out to a gravel road when I see some nice quartz float. I take an ore sample, pack up and then head up into an old field from a back-way in. There are some old gravel pits at that spot, and that is always a great place to check since someone else has done all the digging. But along the way I see this huge hunting tower. I was going to check it out, but it is a hunting tower, no big deal, and I am after geological finds after all, and rocks are way more exciting than a hunting tower. So, I check around the old gravel pits some, decide against taking the main road out, and drop down an old path, and then back onto the road again. The main point is, I ended up avoiding the main road to the hunting tower.
Then I note that on the main road, in places the ice is broke. Yesterday it rained so it meant someone had been up that road, and it was pretty darn early in the morning! I am NOT alone!
That is when I hear a truck approaching. It is crashing through the icy mudpuddles at a pretty good clip. Well I do not want to explain what I am doing with geological gear, not to mention a nice ore sample in my backpack, so I run into the woods and jump over a rock outcropping and hide. It is not the best spot, but I got no time for anything else. I watch the truck go by, so I think nothing of it, but of course check out the outcropping of rock I hide behind to see if held quartz infusions! Hey, a prospector NEVER misses a chance to check out an outcropping of rock for quartz! Anyway, that is when I hear the truck stop and two men start talking.
“Did you see him on the way in? You must have passed him on the road?”
“No, but I came as quick as you called.”
“Well where did he go, and what is he doing. We do not need him around.”
You see hunting season is over and these boys were poaching. I had no idea, but a poacher was in the tower and watched me walk by. As soon as he saw me, he called in his buddy, because they do not want me around. Here poaching is serious business. VERY serious business…they sell the venison in the cities for a pretty penny, and to get caught is pretty serious by the authorities.
I make a mental to start packing a pistol with me for self-defense, and then take the back-way home. No gravel roads from here, it is 100% backwoods logging country, and a two-mile hike straight up over the mountain. I do not care, I am not going home by any road, not with these poachers lurking about.
I did skirt a nice stream, and so far, I have not checked it for mineralization, but today it was flooding its banks so there no way to check it today either. But I did come across some nice quartz float in the middle of the woods, beautiful stuff, in a nice long line which means I was following the quartz seam through the woods. I grab an ore sample from that, and continue to wonder homeward. In the end I got two nice ore samples to send in for testing, but at the near expense of my life.
So...how was everyone else Monday? Just Prospecting, Poachers and Pistol's for me! (LOL)
Yep had a poacher steal a chainsaw I left out to finish a job last year.
I have since been a lot more vigilant, and a bizzillion times more present when out on my property alone.
"Where will you drive your own picket stake? Where will you choose to make your stand? Give me a threshold, a specific point at which you will finally stop running, at which you will finally fight back." (Derrick Jensen)
Wow! They say bad choices( on the poachers' part) make good stories!
I had day off work so I spent it at the forge. Here is an almost done bowl carving knife. The glue is setting and then I will carve down the handle and put a final edge on the blade. I hope it works!
We are surrounded by nearly insurmountable opportunity -- Bill Mollison