If success has eluded us, when we know we could be doing so much more, the time to reevaluate life is here. We must be honest with ourselves, the hard choices made, a plan with defined goals, yet with the flexibility needed in the real world should be thought out. Change begins when we recognize that must master ourselves, holding in check our desires, passion, and excesses.
We close out another year and usher in a new decade. All of us tend to make resolutions on New Year’s day and yet how many of us follow through? We often give up within a month, why? Change is hard, leaving our comfort zone is not easy, does it mean we do not want to improve our lives? We all have dreams and aspirations, but are we willing to put in the work that it will take to reach them? If we want something bad enough, we will make the time, find the funds, be consistent and throw away the excuses.
We are only free when we conquer our ignorance and weakness while taking personal responsibility for our actions. It is when we put away selfish thoughts, stopping giving into animal indulgences that we realize just what our purpose is on this planet.
When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.
A prospector is someone looking for mineral deposits. Prospectors are usually after gold. A prospector is a type of explorer: one with a specific purpose.
We spent our weekend cleaning out our guest bedroom and garage. How did I accumulate so much junk? One pile for charity, one for garage sale and one to keep. The big decision to keep or not to keep? Will I really use it or do I just like the idea of it? I am sure we have all gone through this at one point in our lives. One thing I love are my books and they are so hard to part with. I am going to sell some, but not many! We will have to price them at twenty five cents because not many people buy books anymore.
Last week we posted a number of things on Craigslist. We posted my drywasher. A drywasher? A dry washer is used to separate gold from dirt in dry (desert) conditions. I used it in the deserts around Los Angeles. I love to spend my free time prospecting in the deserts and hills.
It turned out to be a great hobby because you cannot beat the exercise. Hiking in nature and a treasure hunt.
When I was in a mountains by a stream looking for gold, I would use a sluice. A sluice is much smaller than a drywasher, and you place it in the water. I would dig up 20 buckets of screened, concentrated dirt, and run it through the sluice in the water. The water would wash away the dirt and stones and heavy minerals (black sand and gold) are left in the ridges of the sluice. When I was a kid my mother could barely get me to get rocks out of her garden, but today for fun I dig holes and move rocks.
It was a sad day when a father and son drove up here from San Diego to buy my dry washer. They saw the listing on Craigslist. They had borrowed a friends dry washer the weekend before and gone to the desert, and then decided to find one of their own. That is when it hit me, we are really leaving! My wife told me I could keep it, but lets be honest, there are no deserts in the Mid West. Its gone and I wish them a lot of gold and great shared memories.
Monday I finally had a day off from work, so I got up at 4am and drove just under two hours to Goler Gulch in the Mojave Desert. It was time for the final prospecting trip in California with my metal detector and my dog. Its called nugget shooting when you use your metal detector and go looking for nuggets on desert claims. I belong to several Prospecting Associations that own claims that I am allowed to prospect on.
Golar Gulch is not even 2 hours from Los Angeles but it is a different world. To many, the area may look dead. It is a wasteland, but it’s rich in desert plants and wildlife. I love getting away from the city to a place where cellphones don’t work and few radio stations come in.
You won’t find people in designer jogging suits, yoga pants with headphones on these trails. in fact, I only saw four people that whole day.
When I got there, I turned off the car got out with my dog, stretched, closed my eyes and took it all in. The wind blowing across the sand and rocks, the sounds of small birds and other wildlife. It was a good last trip. I got my backpack on and with metal detector in hand I started hiking towards the Gulch. You pass a small miner cemetery where they buried their dead in the late 1800’s and again during the depression. I stopped to pay my respects and say a silent prayer, then was back on the trail.
The area is dotted with coyote holes, which are small, hand dug mine shafts in the side of banks. Miners dug them chasing the rich gravel full of placer gold. So much history took place here back in the 1890’s when they had to bring supplies in by mule or wagon. During the 1930’s and the depth of the depression the area again saw a boom. Men who were looking for work and for ways to feed their families went back to old diggings to use more modern methods to extract the gold the oldtimers left behind. It was a hard way to make a living, but they didn’t have many options.
This time I found no gold. The trek, the hike and desert: that is the real treasure. I hope to see it again sometime in the future.
We’re going to road trip from LA to the farm, and we are going to do it in a car (we’re selling one of our cars). That means figuring out how to get our things from Los Angeles to our new home, without driving it there ourselves. I had heard of PODS and contacted them first. Whoa, pricey. Kept calling places and found the best option with http://www.upack.com. 1800PackRat.com started out quoting me higher than even PODS, but their customer service was fantastic and they were able to almost match upack’s quote. I almost switched the reservation just for their A+ service, but when you’re moving, every hundred or two hundered dollars counts! If you think you *might* move in the next six months, if you have even the slightest possibility, go online and get a quote generated ASAP. I did that a few months ago when we were tossing around the possibility, just to find out how much it would cost to move. Then, when the date was set and we were a month and a half out, I went online to generate a new quote with the exact dates, and the cost had almost doubled. Luckily, I had the old quotes and called and u-pack was able to exactly match their original quote, by just asking them to. We’re moving in June, which is a busy month for moving (Jan-April are less busy), so keep that in mind if you are flexible on your move. The way our move is set up, we chose a certain amount of feet inside a moving truck that we think we can fit our things into. If we end up using more or less, the quote changes $90/foot, up or down. When our things are loaded, they are secured with a “wall” and a padlock. There will be other things loaded in the remainder of the space.