Read: Gold Fever

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Turns out, there is gold in them hills, probably a lot of it. The hard part? Well, like all kinds of luck, finding it tends to be a real bear. I loved this book which was a good blend of history and first-person narrative of what it’s like to prospect for gold, and then eventually mine for gold. Gold is entirely and utterly fascinating. It really is. The history of gold and humanity is rife with strife, as you can imagine, but I have to say, this book made me want to give it a go.

I have no grand dreams, or gold fever for that matter, but just the areas you get to explore while prospecting is enough for me to show interest. You can still stake a claim, still. In 2020 you can stake a claim to mind gold, just this was enough to get my heart racing. Yes, I looked up metal detectors. I’m not going to lie. Yes, I looked at maps. Yes, I looked at the closest place to mine for gold.

“Gold Fever,” by Steve Boggan is a history lesson and a cautionary tale if you will. You might not have gold fever now but tomorrow is another day. I once hiked a five-day trail in Alaska, a trail put in by the prospectors of the Gold Rush, an event that changed the entire world, and about two days in I began to understand what the fever of gold could do to the average person.

Get it, read it.

Comments 6

  1. The history of the gold rush (or gold rushes) in America is fascinating. A lot of places in Washington appear on the gold fever map. Now that’s a longer-term project I wish I had thought of a few years ago. Trump’s grandfather took part it in here in Seattle and further north. He was part of the “mine the miners” crowd. He had a place in what is now a Washington ghost town that, like so many things, I always meant to go see.

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  2. For several years, I was in the secondhand tools business here in Berkeley.
    Someone introduced me to a man who reportedly had some tools to sell, so I paid him a visit.
    This guy was aged, and quite feeble, he walked with a cane, and his home looked like so many homes where the elderly live alone-everywhere you looked there were medications, health aids, a bedpan, and the true curse of age-diapers.

    Like everyone we meet, the best part of any encounter is the story, and as it turns out, he had been a Mining Engineer for a company that developed Gold Mines, was also rockhound, and most of his tools were the remnants of that vocation/avocation.
    On his wall, there were aerial photographs of a few of the mines he had set up in locations around the world, and he had a story to tell about each one of them.

    Within about 45 minutes, he was getting so enthusiastic, he said, “I know this spot in Bolivia where I know there is Gold. Let’s get some guys together, and go there and get it!”.

    It seems once you get the Fever, you never shake it.

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      How fun would THAT be. Bolivia is ROUGH. The high lonesome. But it’s equally awesome. I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing right now than digging for gold in Bolivia. Is this a midlife crisis? I’m going to start rockhounding here in New Mexico. My plan, before photography, was geology, so it’s in my blood. Our house in Wyoming was built over a copper mine.

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