Actually, we’ve gone straight out in the bush, 100 miles on the Kluskus-Ootsa Forest Service Road, south of the little town of Vanderhoof in central BC. Look across this landscape and you can see the cleared north slope of Mt. Davidson marking the future goldmine pit site of the Blackwater Mine Project. Years of history-etched memories fill my mind with the small little ranch cabin in the valley on the other side. It was here that my late husband and I raised our family, ran nearly 100 head of Highland cows, trapped for fur, and prospected over miles in the rough terrain. Now it’s a proven fact; “there was gold in them there hills”! We have been blessed, and once again we’re prospecting. But getting out in this wild country has always been a challenge and this time is no exception!
It’s bad enough meeting huge B-Train logging trucks on this radio controlled bush road but we had four flat tires on an almost new pickup! We must have run over some barbwire or something. Have you every fixed flats with tire plugs and a screw driver? The men use all the kits they have and we marvel at their positive attitude as they persevere in pumping up the tires.
Then there are the mosquitoes. Now I have seen them worse, like in the swamps where one flat smack of the hand on the thigh will give you maybe a count of 32 squashed ones on the palm. This was beside the road so it was the black flies crawling up in the hairline on your neck that drove you crazy.
Next the radiator on the camper van in our caravan blows it’s top off. Busted, it lies there on the ground as we all analyze our dilemma. We couldn’t leave one vehicle on the side of the road. We drove it out to sleep in. “Hmmmmm”, said my son-in-law, the trouble-shooter. “Anybody got a cork?” That’s when the women in the family help out and open the first bottle of wine! A usable radiator stopper is cobbled out of the cork and by stopping five or six times along the way to fill it up with water the pressure is finally stabilized. We’re rolling along fine again. Turning off on a side road we have to wait for an operator to load a truck before we can get by.
Literally, we finally reach the end of the road. From here on other modes of transportation have to be used. A great campsite is set up and we get to relax. Night falls and paints the sky in ribbons of red, making a multi-colour umbrella for the ceiling of our living room. The teasing camaraderie of family and friends make our campsite on the edge of a gravel road – a real home.
The next day it’s off-to-work-we go with our “modern horses” geared up with shovels, hip chains, GPS’s, bear gun, gold pan, etc. We have three days of grid lines to walk, dig out soil samples, and stuff them in our backpacks.
Every twenty-five meters on a line we dig down below the vegetation layers, sift out small rocks and bag up three or four cups of soil. Later they’re all sent off to the lab for possible anomalies, minute amounts of gold and silver dust in parts per billion. These small paper bags of dirt give us indications of where a possible “mother lode” might be!
On another day, we drive to the side of the mountain where it all started, where we staked our first mineral claim all those decades ago. This old family campsite welcomes us once again with it’s log table and pond of alpine water close at hand. One of the holes we blew with farmer’s dynamite still lies brown and bare.
Then we hop back into the 4-wheel truck and rumble down to the future Blackwater mine site to see the outcrops of those heavy rocks rich in mineral content. The New Gold camp buildings dot the landscape below. Civilization has mushroomed in the barrenness. Row upon row of core shacks are full of stone cylinders, geological history lifted up from the ground.
When we arrive at the camp headquarters, we talk with the manager and geologists, and even discover old friends in the cookshack. We’re invited to dinner and the meals are fantastic after our own gruelling work. An unappointed camp mascot hangs around the back of the bunkhouses and greets us with friendliness.
Who would have thought that such wealth lay beneath the moss strewn forest floor. Decades of perseverance by first homesteaders, then prospectors, geologists, and now mining engineers, slowly bring a perceived dream into reality. The Blackwater Mine will one day be one of the largest bulk gold mine sites in Canada. Reality gets created by building a very strong belief system and acting upon it…one stone at a time!
––––––––––––––––––––––––––– ♥ Heart Thought ––––––––––––––––––––––––
Excerpt from The Celestial Proposal: Our Invitation to Join the God Kind, Chapter 14, Developing Spiritual Maturity, page 175. Purchase On Amazon.comGood training of any kind does not come easily. It takes self-disciplined endurance. Look at the great athletes who willingly suffer pain to obtain their goals. These are serious, hardworking men and women challenged by their own passionate drives toward excellence. The “no pain, no gain” ideology suggests it takes time and practice to develop muscles and skills. It’s the same for spiritual strength. Our earthly lives have been set up for us as specialized training grounds. We are in boot camp here on earth!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2–4 NIV Bible)