A pencil drawing by Tony Oliver
He was a shy, aging hippie with a mild persona. He gave his name as Clair—based out of Portola, California. I had stumbled upon his scanty camp back in the early ‘80s while prospecting for gold in the backwoods of Plumas National Forest, located in Plumas County, California–(Mother Lode country). [click to continue…]
I had been bouncing from state to state, job to job and saloon to saloon since the end of my marriage–two years earlier. Bored and restless, craving purpose, freedom and adventure, I quit my job as a welder at a Seattle shipyard just shy of New Year’s Day, 1979. Thus, I became committed to the fulfillment of my lifelong dream—becoming a full-time gold prospector. I would pit my will against the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the dead of winter as an utter greenhorn—knockin’ on poverty’s door. [click to continue…]
A cinnamon colored black bear, but not my black bear. Click image to see photo credit.
I’ve only had two bear encounters with a potential to go bad. The worst (best?) was in the Sierra Nevadas—in a wilderness area—at approximately the 5,000-foot level. [click to continue…]
Photo: Me, “sniping” for gold (El Dorado County, CA) back in the ’80s.
We lucky Americans have free and open access to vast areas of gold-bearing lands, lands open to mineral exploration, lands that can be filed on and claimed—mostly in the Western United States and Alaska. Fortunately, it is not necessary to file a claim in order to prospect for locatable minerals—including gold on open land. With that in mind I have put together a virtual field trip designed to explore a proven, easily learned and inexpensive method of prospecting for gold, called sniping. [click to continue…]
Digging for gold beneath the desert’s sun,
Is the hardest work I’ve ever done.
Tramping forth over long lonely days, weeks and months,
Doggedly, and without respite, until the prize is won.
Fast on the heels of fortune and glory,
I’m up and off at dawn,
Pick an’ shovel locked in hands,
Off to sweat and toil upon the burning sands.
[click to continue…]
Oh, barbed wire fence wontcha rename me, please;
My moniker’s lemon sour and plumb wore out.
I can’t pluck a handle right outta the breeze,
So, barbed wire fence wontcha rename me, please.
I have been a rolling stone all through life; perhaps the following account shall serve to open a trail to my doorstep for old friends of whom I have lost track.
In addition to my present name, I have had others. In order of succession, they were: Lanny Louis McIntire; Lanny Louis Howard and Jack Louis Howard. I enlisted in the military as Lanny L. McIntire and was discharged as Jack L. Howard. Some years later the name no longer suited me. That triggered my search for one that would—a damned good one! [click to continue…]