Gold And Buried Treasure

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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 Treasure and gold inspire dreams in just about everyone.  We live in a location that is rich in history and buried treasure is a very good possibility for those who take the time to look.  The Spanish explorers hid gold and treasure throughout the west. Some has been found and others are waiting to be found.  Gold coins were found a few miles from where we live that went missing in a botched payroll robbery for the troops stationed at Fort Garland.  Just South of our home was a mountain lake where a prospector loaded three mules with gold nuggets.  Later that lake was buried in an avalanche and lost again. In the other direction from our home is a lost mine with the richest gold in our State’s history which has been lost for over a century. You can see the suspect location from our front window.  Not 100 yards from our house (on someone else’s lot) are the remains of an old miner’s cabin.  We have a spring that comes up out of the ground next to our driveway each Summer and I have put a sluice box there and it washes nice little pieces of gold into the box, all without having to turn a shovel.  So our area is rich with history; Spanish explorers that have buried gold, and a host of other treasure opportunities.  Even with these verified stories and the artifacts still around it surprised me that more people don’t take the time to explore the ground they walk on each day.  Living at 9,750′ as we do there could be treasure almost anywhere, but few take time to even look. Gold was pushed up millions of years ago when these mountains were first formed and much is high up on the mountains.  

This  ‘Happy Homesteader”  heading is about homesteading and what surprises me is that most people probably don’t even think about checking their property for treasure or minerals that they walk on each day. Occasionally  I run a metal detector over parts of our 11 acres, but we only have about 5 months in the year when that is possible and much of that time is spent gathering firewood for winter or other demanding tasks.  In the years we have lived here I  have covered just a very tiny portion of our 11 acres mostly around the house location looking for a lost tool.  At that rate it will take me  more years than I have left  to cover the entire area.  Behind our property is a green belt that can be explored and that goes for a quarter mile up the mountain. Doing all the necessary chores consumes most of our time and leaves little time for treasure hunting. Compared to other parts of the country our area is still pretty newly developed.   

We have some unusual mounds of earth that I would like to run a metal detector over but with our short summers there just never seems to to be the time available.  Who knows how they got there?  Maybe someday but not today.  We have had three feet of snow this week and that sure makes treasure hunting impossible.  There are trees uprooted and I would love to have the time to run a detector over those roots and ground.

Part of homestead living is improving the land and all the work that goes into  building a homestead.  But I don’t read about people, nor do I know of any, who actually take the time to explore what is beneath their feet on their homestead.  Maybe others just aren’t as curious as I am.  Visualize your homestead 500 years ago and what it was like then.  One of my favorite prospecting places is where other prospectors walk across to get to the river to set up their sluice boxes.  I dug along the well used foot path and in two weeks found a fair amount of gold others walked over every day to get to that special place to prospect.  So who knows what lies underneath where you walk every day.  A British treasure hunter found a stash of old Roman coins in a field worth about 5 million. They had been there a long time and no one bothered to even look. He took the time and found old treasure.  

I wonder how many ever considered  running a metal detector over their homestead. The Spanish were known to hide treasure, in fact not 100 miles from us a Spanish treasure was found and then lost again because those who found it could not find their way back again.  As proof they brought a few old gold coins out with them. Mountains have yielded their valuables over the years for those who take the time to look for them.  As I sit here and look out at the snow falling I’m thinking that this next year may be the right time to run a metal detector over some  interesting parts of our property.  We do have two creeks that seep out of our property and at the head of one of those creeks I once hit a good target that could have been gold.  Then I slipped down the bank into a foot of muck where the signal was and the signal was lost.  Sure would like to check that creek area again.  

Am I the only one who thinks about doing this and checking under where I walk for possible treasure. Am I the only one to want to check but lacks the time to do so?  Maybe I’m just weird that way, but surely others must at one time or another think about checking below the surface of their homestead too.   Then again, maybe it is just being inside dreaming while I wait for the snow to stop falling so I can get some shovel exercise.  All I know is 11 acres is a fair amount of mountain side and I have not taken the time to check one percent of that land.  Maybe I should this next year and in the meantime I’ll just watch the snow fall and dream.

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