With the treasure hunt to rediscover what Tiny's friend found years ago, I've been roaming all over the mountains, taking samples with the GPS. It's a hard job because unlike using a gold pan, which is made of plastic and very light, I have to climb with a sledge hammer and a variety of chisels. My hand sledge is an 8 pound hammer and the chisels are cold chisels, very thick and somewhat heavy too. Combining my food, water, rain gear, gun, and other necessary items, my beginning pack is at least 20 pounds. When I add rock samples coming down the mountain, my pack can easily weigh 40 to 50 pounds. It makes for a good leg work out, but can be hard on the back and shoulders at times.
When I sample and label everything, I have to note the difference between rocks that are float from load. Basically, the difference is a float rock is sitting on the top of the surface. Float rocks could have traveled from anywhere above or around the general area, traveling on a rock slide, snow slide, or even in a heavy rain storm. Load samples are taken from the mountain with a hammer and chisel, so I know EXACTLY where the source is located.
The above video is of a load sample my husband and I retrieved from the side of the mountain over 4,000 feet high. It's a beautiful example of gold, pyrite, and copper in a white quartz base. I found this exactly location by praying to God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit as my son and I tracked another green rock I found on the riverbed. The rock in the video is part of a vein that extends approximately 1 mile on our claim to where the peacock ore is located.
This claim as Tiny's mining friend from the 1940's believed has high copper deposits on the surface, showing about 8 ounces per ton. Additionally, which he probably never knew, the fire assays are showing the vein we located is a high-grade gold ore. Yet, as my husband always says, it takes years to get rich overnight. Prospecting is just one small part of the entire process from rock to money in your pocket. Granted, it is probably the hardest part of the process. Now, we have to partner with other people to obtain the right equipment and support necessary to harvest the minerals without destroying or harming the environment. Nothing is every easy... but to those willing to seek, you will eventually find.
I plan to turn the experiences I've learned in the mountains into an Alaskan devotional series in the future. I think it will give practical advice and insight not only to understanding traveling in the mountains but to applying scriptural principles to all aspects of our lives.
An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
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