View Full Version : Back when I was in my early twenties

12-25-2005, 08:23 PM
I posted this on another forum but didn't seem to interest anyone except one guy, but being the rhachet jaw I am do feel compelled to relate some of my youthful history before I bite the bullet.

This is a story back around 1958, me and a close friend were stationed together at Alameda NAS in Kalifornia. We liked relic and gold prospecting even had a metal detector to locate the prescious metal.

Wound up in a Neveda ghost town called Aurora. Didn't even know this town existed but ran into a couple old desert rat prospectors stuck in a fast stream current creek. (Man and wife)

Pulled them out and they realized we were harmless and told us to follow them to Aurora.

Tom my partner and I, had been on the road for a couple of days and the temps were around 90 degrees and we were getting pretty rank...we needed baths.

On the way following the man and woman to the Aurora ghost town we stopped at a small stream about 3 or 4 feet wide in spots and about a six inches to a foot deep. It was a mineral hot springs water run-off.

The man and his wife said to stay on this road and it would take us right to the old ghost town. They left to go on ahead.

I decided I had to take a leak so went around the bushes and added to the hot mineral springs flow.

Came back around the bushes and there's my buddy setting down stream of me buck naked in the hot stream mineral water taking a bath with a bar of soap.

Golly, Tom! I didn't know you were gonna take a bath...just took a whiz upstream of you.

He threw the bar of soap at me.

That mineral spring water kind of smelled like rotten eggs anyway so don't know how good he thought he was going to smell like afterwards.

When we got to the Aurora ghost town they said the best place to camp is in the boothill cemetary. Yeah sure, but danged if we didn't spread out our sleeping bags between the ancient graves from the 1860s to 70s.

There was a national land mark that mentioned some short term President of the USA had died in this gold rush town and was temporarily burried there where we slept.

Next morning we looked the old bone yard over and even beeped a grave that gave out a really loud metal signal right in the middle of the occupants waist area. We looked at each other, could be a nice six shooter w/belt and holster down there...naw, we can't violate a bodys resting place.

So, decided to set up house keeping in the city hall which was a one story structure with no doors or windows, lots of fresh air. But it had two single beds with iron springs that were from the 1800s just waiting for us to use them that night. Tossed our bed rolls on them and begin firing up the coleman stove to make supper.

Nice cheery scene doing all this by coleman lanturn light when suddenly a RAT as big as a german shepard stood menicingly in the door way wondering what the **** we were doing there.

That night we slept in our 52 ford 4-door sedan, the rat could have the city hall. Its a wonder he didn't chew our tires off.

Next morning my pardner wakes me up by firing off my 1930s 357 Magnum just like Paton's (only a blue one) at a mountain lion on the side of the hill about 50 yards away...he missed. He did this from the front seat the noise was terrible...man that is a **** of a way to wake up.

Snooping around in dangerous mine shafts that go back in for miles and have bottomless pits in the cave floors, we found gold ore in some rock and clay we pryed off the walls. Couple of greenhors acquired 3 or 4 small bags of the stuff. We felt wonderful and rich.

Drove back over the Sierra Neveda Mts through Yolo pass and wound up in Yosemity Park and a first class camp ground.

By lantern light we was washing our sacks of gold and a guy over at the next camp site was watching us from about 30 yards away. He came over and friendly like introduced himself and his wife as being from Wisconsin. He was a dairy farmer.

Is that what I think it is he asked pointing at the rocks I was washing the mud and dirt off of.

We told him the story of being over in a Neveda ghost town and struck it rich. Man did he lite up like a christmas tree, he got really excited.

We really liked this gent and even gave him a piece of our booty. He was so ever grateful, said he was not going to sell it but would put it in a place of honor on his fireplace mantle.

A little later on we found out our riches was nothing but iron pyrite (fools gold) what a couple snooks we were...but we had a very memorable trip prospecting.

The sacks of ore wound up on the side of interstate 5 highway -- just waiting to be found by the next greenhorns that happened along.


12-25-2005, 08:33 PM
Sounded like a cool trip anyway!

12-26-2005, 12:22 AM
Bloody great experiance !(Ah the joys of youth) Remember the old saying ! ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD ,SAID THE MONKEY AS HE STICHED UP THE CAT'S ARSE WITH COPPER WIRE!!![smilie=l: It's a good thing that you did'nt have some of the Blokes with you I've shot with over the years ! Talk about Grave robbing ? These so& so's would check a body in state for Gold fillings! (personaly I'd at least do it before the veiwing:razz: ) WE have the ArtisianBores over here & of course the water is near a boiling when it reaches the surface ,but away from the Borehead it becomes like a very hot bath (just the thing for removing Fleas & Kangaroo Ticks !) The thing is it normaly is more saline than the dead sea & so normal soap is no use & it's amusing to be taking a bath & a group of Tourists pull up & try the same thing.Except with normal Soap & then wonder why it won't (the soap) Lather up:shock:
Of course there is the other side of the coin! Several of us where out the out of beyond once & it had been several months since we'd had a bath! We were due to return to civilization for supplies & re aquainte our selves with some ladies we knew (Of questionable moral standards ) so it was decided that a bath was in order ! We pulled up at a wind mill & watering trough that was fed into a 30'000 Gal tank from the Bore & then into the watering trough !Off with the cloths & they got a wash ! Then into the water tank for a bath & swim ! The law of averages ,stepped in! Several 4x4s of tourists pulled up (they were on a desert treck ) of course all they can see is 3 heads over the lip of the tank & start asking about washing/drinking the water out of the trough /Tank .
Yeah :oops: ! Did we do some fast talking .....No the water is only sutible for Cattle due to salt ! Yes feel free to wash in the trough ! No there ain't room in the Tank !


12-26-2005, 12:52 AM
Hya, D-O-K. So, you're mates would have dug up that grave if they thought a six-gun might be down there...hee hee. [smilie=l:

My buddy Tom was mighty tempted he kept looking at me shifty-eyed. But I told him how's it gonna look to our hoast friends seeing us digging up them bones.

And after seeing that humongus big ass rat in the doorway, bet there wasn't a scrap of anything left in them boxes. :-o

This Aurora ghost town was out in the steaming hot Neveda desert, temps were boiling our blood away most of the time. We could only stay as long as our beer and water held out.

Man, those were the days living on the edge.

In 1958 that Yolo pass road going across the Sierra Neveda mt. had such tight curves you'd meet your rear-end of your car going around a curve. Nothing but sheer cliffs dropping off the side of the roads.

Bodie was another ghost town we visited on the way north to meet them old folks stuck in the creek water. Bodie had dozen of signs posted 'No Tresspassing' on every building, but it looked like a movie set that had decade from age. But Bodie was a rip snorten hell raising town in its infamous short history.

Most of those old ghost towns were like candles, lit up for awhile but soon burned out when the ore petered out.

One exception is Virginia City, but its gone commercialized and still in pretty good shape, they even keep the boards painted up with signs everywhere. Liqour and gambling still available, but think the local cat houses are out of business.

Neveda is an interesting place to visit if you like deserts.


12-26-2005, 04:12 AM
So, you're mates would have dug up that grave if they thought a six-gun might be down there...hee hee.

Mate these blokes would have dug up a grave if they thought there was a @cent piece left in the courpes pockets! If they had thught there was a hand gun there somewhere they would have started a open cut mine where the grave yard was![smilie=l:
I 've spent my almost entire working life with the exception of 6 years that I was in the Army & 4 yrs in the Semi Tropics of the Northern parts of Australia in the Desert regions of Australia Shooting for a living ! We used to spend 3 months of the Year out in the Nullabour Plain after Foxes until the market collapsed ! Other periods were spent on the Dog fence which runs through the SA/WA/NT/ NSW borders. There was camel shooting & Kangaroo shooting in the Nth Of South Australia origanly for Pet food & latter for human consumption !
The industry took a nose dive for us old timers when they made us do all sorts of accreditations for human consumption shooting! The first instructor the Gov ever employed had never shot a Roo in his life & had never left Adelaide ! The Poor Devil got stuck with us Shooters as his first pupils & I do'nt think he was ever quite the same after !We (PH's) made our only source of income from shooting ! One had to carry Spare parts ,Fuel ,Water ,Food ,ect for as long as possible when we went out !You worked by yourself hundreds of miles from other people .If you had a accident you prayed you could get to your radio to try & get help !
Needless to say when 2 or more Shooters got together ..........Well things got interesting ! The Publican of the Kinguoona Hotel used to get his water trucked into him (at a Exsurbanant price) He damned near had a stroke ,the day he found us Bathing in his water supply !:shock: !!!! It was fantastic to be able to use normal soap instead of soap designed for Hard water ! He turned out to be a really nasty sort of Cove & accussed us of comming from single parent families :oops: There were 4 of us involved & the rea Cop from Tarcoola some 200 miles way ruined our session by comming down & taking us back to Tarcoola & supplying us with bed & breakfast !:mad: (he proved himself to be in running for the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR HUMANITARIAN AID ! (he went ovr to the local pub & got us several bottles of Rum ! Then joined us to drink it ! His wife on the other hand was not a kind person ! Not only did she lock him (the local cop ) up with us for the night ! She offered no sympathy for any of us the next morning !

12-26-2005, 08:46 AM
That was good !
I sure like prospecting.Panned a lot on the North Yuba River.
Changed a lot (idiot laws).I'm a life member of the United Prospectors,Inc.
Yes, there is a website. Think it's upi.com.
Still have my "Bounty Hunter" detector.Bought it in the mid-80's. Still has less
than 24 hours on it. Back then, paid $400/500.00 for it.
Should run the detector over the walls.With the discriminators now, you can reject
nails,bottle caps, and pull tabs.
Last year, we went up near Malakoff Diggins.This is where the miners used hydraulic mining. Pretty destructive.Big ponds, always green,bare hills that was washed away. In a "campground" (pay to stay.Yeah.Tax money supporting it,at the same time,pay to use it.Gripe,gripe,gripe !!) Got the detector out. The buzz started. Tried to find the cause. Didn'tLeft my plastic scoop at home. What ever it was,stayed there. And yes, I was noticing 5 city girls. Bear country.For some reason,they sure didn't have any outdoor smarts. I made sure of survival kits, and guns.Some people would think what I had, was "overkill". There's too many
"what if's",anymore. What if we had: an earthquake,a mountain lion,or bear attack ? What would they do then ? I'd rather call it "practical thing and
planning". When people don't plan on things going from good to bad,they are the victims. I'm sure some of our LEO's/retired LEO's can add to this.
The 16-to-1 Mine near Downeyville,hard rock mine,is still finding gold.
I still will have to buy,again, a star drill. You can use bp for the charge.
Hazard here:sulphur fumes not good for the lungs.Can have sulphuric acid made
with the moisture in the lungs.Can have lung damage real quick.
And some mine walls are very weak. Ceilings can cause cave-ins.
Then, there's bad air.
Somewhere, you never know, that a big nugget might have your name on it.
Been planning on going to Pine Grove,NV. I won't go,unless I have extra company.
It's a safety factor. and whoever I talk to on this, I do tell them to definately bring the guns. Most ghost towns are isolated. And an "easy target" for criminals to get your money,or worse. Sometimes,it's just down right unfriendly people.
The guns, and being loaded, are attitude adjusters. Like I said on a GBO forum,
"I don't feel comfy in a bodybag".
Well, got to see what else is going on.Been drooling over Honda GoldWings.
Full dress. Had a Honda CB650C 1981 model given to me.Drat ! Thought it was at least an Aspencade. No engine,bad shape.One girl in the "naked gold wings" forum,bought for $300.00, a beautiful Honda full dress GoldWing. DROOL !
I would love to get a deal like that !!
The forum is about, no kidding,plain-jane Honda GoldWings.[smilie=2:
If I can backtrack,I'll post either the pic or the URL.
Here I go....

12-26-2005, 10:02 AM
Here's the pic: http://www.nakedgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1573
I'm still drooling !If there's no link,then go to the address line and type it in.
Hit "ENTER".And you should get re-directed to the website.
Bigbore44, yeah, 'ole V.C. is commercial. Still a nice place.Real quiet after 5:00PM.
Land prices there are way UP. It's about the same way with that famous town in southern Arizona.
The Nevada State Rail Road Museum is another interesting place to go.
Here goes my mind[smilie=1: . I did get the detrailing of the Virginia City and Truckee engine.Caught on video.And the pics.
I lost the full camera load (over 600+pics),that a hard drive died.Never fear. I did
not erase the card.:grin:
Will have to be off line for a while.Don't know,yet if it's the IDE card or what.:twisted:
And test the drives on another computer.
Then, re-download the whole set. We'll be in business again.
WAS going to bed early. Uh HUH !
See ya.

12-26-2005, 10:28 AM
My son, Mark, in Virginia; he's on his second Gold Wing guess he likes Hondas.

I'm getting too old to ride dirt bikes, but wouldn't mind a Harley Davidson if I could afford the bloody thing.

Wife and I, got to have our old doggers comfort, ride around in 90s Caddillac.

D-o-k, you sure had some times yourself. Must be a hoot living in the outback. Anyone gets sick they have to fly a doctor or vet in to take care of them. Here, the ruddy doctories make you come to them...don't matter how bad a shape or how far away you live.

I miss the deserts, a guy could shoot any time he felt like it. Here, its all woods and tourist homes and the woods are full of gestopo goons called DNR (dept. of natural resources) the bloody wankers ran over our prize cat 'toughy'. We had him for almost 20 years.

But we do have a couple of country shooting ranges that are pretty close to home, never had that convienance before living in the big metro cities most of my life.

But getting so damn old that I can't hardly drag my carcuss out to shoot is getting really tough anymore.

I've got this S&W family that are all old timers too, check them out. These are all big bore handguns, but have a .38 special Victory model that came from Istanbul Turkey as its marked on inside of a grip panel.


12-27-2005, 12:33 AM
Jim those are mighty bonza pistols ! Your like me when it comes to being prepared ! I've always said that Expreriance is something you needed 5 mins after it happened ! Although years ago it was safe over here to go & do as you wished .It's been a case of in recent years you just do'nt know who is lurking around! I live on a property of 20,000 acres & I have been out of a night & caught illegal spotlighters who have had the Cheek to (A) Tell me they knew the Owner :shock: or (B) They were the owners & what the Hell was I doing on "Their land"???????:mad:
We have a number of Old Gold fields over here. The nearest to us being deeper in the flinders Ranges at Copley . A good Mate of mine has a lease there & uses what is Known ,as a Dry Blower .This is like a Cradle that instead of slucing water it uses Bellows to blow the lighter overburden off & the Gold gets caught on a series of raised boards ! He uses a little Skid steer loader that you stand on to operate! It's called a Dingo & Takes several good shovel full each load (about enough to fill a large wheel barrow !) I always laugh I was working around Kalgoolie in Western Australia & befreinded a Chap with a Gold lease ,Whilst out there once I actualy stepped over a 6000 dollar nugget! By the look on his face I thought I'd stepped on ,or over a snake & then realised what I'd done !My son in law is a Opal Minner & I find it interesting to go up to Mintabe (in the Northern Territory & visit )


12-27-2005, 03:46 AM
d-o-k, you must have a different property tax setup than we do here in the states.

You've also got 19,000 more acres than I do and the bloody taxes on it are about $1,300 a year.

But I'm pround of me one acre studded with tall pines as its the most land I've ever owned. Most city lots have houses jambed up against each side of your house. But here my neighbors here are 250 to 350 feet from my house, this is a lot more breathing room than I've ever had before. And that's just two neighbors on this off road I live on.

We've got a Honda 500 ATV but have to trailer it to the riding trails designated by the woods cops DNR Gestapo.

How do you get around your 20,00 acres, by airplane or chopper.

Keep an eye out for them wooly buggers trespassing on your land. What cheek to have them say its their land -- lying in your face like that.


12-27-2005, 04:11 AM
I know hat you mean about that city living Crap! Jim, when my Parents left the land they moved to Adelaide . They got a 1/4 acre block with a Natural creek & reservation across the road .In what was a nice area Now there is a new develoment that charges almost what our whole Property is worth! On 1/8 blocks :sad: No front yard ,no back yard & the roofs are almost touching ! Damned if I can work out how they live like that !:confused: !
I know this is going to say strange but our property might sound Large but compared with the Sheep & Cattle stations up North ours is a Hobbie farm ! Theirs are measured by hundreds of square miles! We use 4x4s ,horses & Bikes to muster & grow wheat ! This is My Little Brothers Department ! I was never the farmer in the family [smilie=b: .
When my wife moved over here she & the kids had never been out of a Major city ! That was 4yrs ago ! Now the Kids all shoot ,Drive ride as though they were bred out here ! Yet my own Kids have moved to major cities & won't come back out here ! No accounting for Taste !
We pay Land taxes & taxes for any Road frontage .Im not sure what the rate is these days (I'm frighterned to ask ) I own a 1/2 acre in the Township of Quorn & pay 370 per year in rates on that !

12-29-2005, 05:31 AM
Thanks for the Gold Wing Link! I have a 81 here that ran a little rough last time and it sure looks like that is a great place to seek help.
I really enjoyed that story...........great times can be had just dinking round the desert.