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    Exploration & leasing of past producing placer gold mines in the Sierra Nevada Mts.
  • Gear In Use:
    Excavators, skid steers, large trommels, spiral wheels.

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  1. May 14 2003 Part Three Radio Static And A Tin Cup Of Whisky Conor and I headed deep into the canyon. The rock outcroppings were getting bigger and taller. There were actually 50 to 70 foot deep drop offs inside the canyon as well. They ran horizontally across the entire width of the canyon floor. The walls had to be close to 300 feet in height now. Some of these drop offs were sheer and extremely time consuming to cross. There was much about this canyon that Paul hadn’t told us. Before we knew it dusk was approaching and we hadn’t made all that much progress. If one of us fell and broke a leg out here it could be fatal. There was no help ever coming into this place of hell. Conor and I decided to find a safe place to spend the night. We made camp under a rocky ledge in the middle of the canyon by a huge outcropping of rock. As the sun went down below the rim of the west wall the temperature began to drop rapidly. I got on the radio and tried to raise Jacob but there was no reply except for static. We had lost contact. Conor had brought a bottle of whisky which he had stuffed into his backpack. He opened it and we filled our cups as darkness crept in. TO BE CONTINUED ...........
  2. May 14 2003 Part Two Paul’s Hat The crew made coffee in the chilly morning air. It had been a long cold night. We pushed on to the north by following the east canyon wall. Occasionally rocks or small boulders would come crashing down to the canyon floor. We couldn’t tell if they were being pushed over the cliffs above or just tumbling down because they were loose. It was like we were being followed and harassed by someone. By early afternoon the temperature was over 100 degrees and the sun was beating down on us. We pushed on at a slow pace. Suddenly, Conor let out a “Hey” and the crew came over to see what was going on. It was a hat. Paul's hat. There was no mistaking it. The ground was rocky and it was hard to see any kind of footprints or disturbance. It did look like some of the loose gravel and cobbles of stone might have been disturbed some. At least now we had something positive to keep us hiking north. The going was even tougher now and old Jacob was showing signs of wear. He tried to hide it but I could tell he was hurting and struggling to keep up with us. Around 3:00 PM we took a break and I talked with him. I told him I thought it might be best if he and Big Clay set up a camp at this location while Conor and I pushed north. Then he could also advise us if there was any activity at his location and if anyone was following us. Actually, because of the width of the canyon it would be impossible for Jacob and Clay to see anyone near the other side of the canyon but I couldn’t leave Jacob alone while we continued. So Conor and I headed north alone and into unknown territory. TO BE CONTINUED ..............
  3. The canyon runs for miles & miles to the north and sometimes as wide as a quarter mile or more. Box canyon with a few secret ways out if you know where to look.
  4. May 14 2003 Part One The Disappearing Trail Markers Yesterday held even more surprises for us. We had set out in the late afternoon and headed into Dreamwind Canyon full of hope. When we got to the area where we had placed our last trail marker it was not to be found. We searched high and low but it was gone. We proceed forward with caution all the while trying to remember where the next marker was located. We could not find it or any others. They had somehow disappeared. This did not set well with Jacob who was cursing up a storm. We were all frustrated. We wondered about trying to find a good path that would take us in a northerly direction but we weren’t having much luck. We had made some headway but dusk was approaching and we needed to make camp for the night. We found a good spot up on a knoll that offered a bit of a view to our surroundings. Darkness was falling and the canyon was a desolate looking place. About this time the howling began again. On and on it went until nearly 3:00 AM. The crew had managed to get some restless sleep but it was hard. The howls and wailing would seem to rise up to a crescendo and then quiet down for a few minutes. Then it would all start again. It was coming from all directions and not too far away. It would test the nerves and bravery of anyone. TO BE CONTINUED ..............
  5. May 13 2003 The Crew Takes A Vote By the time we got back to camp it was mid morning and we were all tired and hungry. Jacob prepared a big breakfast for the crew and we talked about Paul. I wanted to contact the authorities but Jacob said Paul would not want that. We had all agreed that we would keep everything secret and each man was well aware of the danger in this exploration and possible mining of the canyon. We took a vote and I was the odd man out so that was the end of it. But were we now to give up on searching for Paul who could still be alive and in trouble? We were all in agreement on that decision. We decided to prepare ourselves for another search. We had marked our trail out so we now had a safer way to go in and out. We rested up and late afternoon we were ready to resume our search. We were prepared to spend several days or more trying to find Paul. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  6. My dad fought in WW2. So did my step dad, both grandfathers, & 2 step grandfathers. We all owe them for what they did for us. The man "Hudson" in the journal was based on my step dad. He fought in WW2 in the Battle of the Bulge. His entire unit was wiped out during shelling by Germans when they found out their position. He was the only survivor & became an alcoholic when he returned on one of the Victory ships out of France. After many yrs of fighting demons he became a whole man again and passed away about 15 yrs ago. He never talked about the war until near the end of his life. One of his buddies died in his arms from the canon fire. God bless all the vets.
  7. May 12 2003 Part Five A Night In Dreamwind Canyon It was pitch dark and there was no way we were getting out of the canyon. We would have to hunker down and spend the night. We found a good place to stay underneath a large ledge of rock. As hot as the day had been now the temperatures began to drop. We were all exhausted and needed to rest. The crew was tough and tried to make the best of our situation but inside we were all more than a little scared. Jacob said that if any beasts came near our area he would mow them down with the Thompson. We all had guns but I was hoping we would not need to use them. After midnight most of the racket quieted down with the exception of an occasional howl. Then finally, there was complete silence. Whatever those lights were had long disappeared as well. I awoke at 4:00 AM. It was freezing cold and I checked on the crew. Everyone was ok and seemed to be waiting for sunrise like me. None of us had gotten much sleep. Conor said he had woken up once and heard something in the rocks above us but the noise stopped after a short time. I said that now we knew what it was like to spend a night in Dreamwind canyon. Big Clay wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible and so did the rest of the crew. We were all hungry and shared what snacks everyone had brought with them. At daybreak we continued moving south following the east wall and finally found a place where we could cross over and eventually get back to camp. Now we had a decision to make. What to do about Paul. TO BE CONTINUED ...............
  8. May 12 2003 Part Four Lost In The Canyon After Sunset It was very slow going as we attempted to make our way back out of the Canyon. We were all in a somber mood and thinking about Paul. The sun was setting and we still had a way to go to get out of there. We didn’t make it before dark. We made several attempts to cross back to the western wall but got stopped each time by massive rock outcroppings that were nearly vertical. We were forced to travel along the east wall and eventually hoped to be able to cross over and get back to camp soon. We were using our flashlights and lanterns and the going was tough and dangerous. We were tired and down to the last of our water. Jacob was cursing up a storm and reminded us more than once that we should have started back sooner. None of the landscape looked even remotely familiar to any of us. Now it was completely dark and we were lost. No sooner had the last of the daylight faded, the loud howling started up. This time we were getting a first hand listen from inside the canyon walls and the noise was crazy. The sounds were booming and rang off the rock walls. There had to be multiple sources of the howling and wailing. Jacob was clutching his Thompson and cursing under his breath. Then I saw faint lights at the top of the east wall almost directly above us. They were flickering like an old lantern would do. I counted three of them. Everyone else saw them as well. I just wanted to get back to camp but we couldn’t find our way out. TO BE CONTINUED ................
  9. May 12 2003 Part Three Jacob and I crossed to the other side of the canyon and met up with Conor and Clay. Sure enough, there was one of Paul's boots lying on the floor of the canyon. There was no sign of a struggle or any blood so that gave us hope. There weren’t any discernible marks in the ground and no trail was to be seen. I looked over at Jacob who was clutching his old Thompson. I asked him what he made of it. Jacob said he figured Paul had gone where he shouldn’t have. He must have headed out of camp on his own chasing those howls last night. It was a stupid idea and he obviously paid for it. Jacob said we should stick together and work our way north and deeper into the canyon. The heat was already starting to come up and it was still early. We trudged along climbing over and around brush and rock outcroppings. The going was tough and by noon it was close to 100 degrees and the sun started to bake us pretty good. We had taken canteens and had enough water for part of the day but eventually we would run dry. That was something that could get you into deep trouble here. By 3:00 PM we were getting tired and our water was getting low. There was no sign of Paul. We hadn’t even gotten a tenth of the way into the canyon. Jacob advised us that it would be getting dark about the time we got back out of the canyon if we turned around now. He said that if we continued further we might end up suffering the same fate as Paul. None of us wanted to give up but we started to head back out of there. On the way out we started having a conversation about whether to notify the authorities about Paul. We had made a pact that no one would be told about our exploration and that also included involving outsiders in anything that might go wrong. It was actually Paul’s idea and we all agreed. Now I started to have doubts about this agreement. Paul had no relatives or close friends as far as we knew. He was a secretive person and loved living off grid away from society. For that matter we all did. We had some decisions to make and fast. TO BE CONTINUED .................
  10. May 12 2003 Part Two Paul Goes Missing When we were all up and about Jacob had a big breakfast of bacon and eggs and biscuits with gravy ready for us. Then we realized that Paul was missing. His walkie talkie was still in his tent and no one had seen him all morning. We hollered out into the wilderness in all directions but there was no reply. Something was wrong and we all knew it. The only thing to do was to get a search party started. Conor and Clay would go up along the base of the east canyon wall while Jacob and I would search along the base of the west wall. We kept in communication using the radios. We hadn’t gotten too far from camp when Conor contacted me and his voice sounded shaky. He said they had found one of Paul's boots. My heart sank into my stomach. All I could think was what in the hell were we doing in Dreamwind Canyon after all the warnings of danger and death. TO BE CONTINUED ...................
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