September

August did not end well for me. Yet again I have to admit I have failed to uncover the hiding place for the lost gold. While that doesn’t mean it’s simply not there, it does show that I may be running out of options. I reduced my target area from a large area of rugged forest down to the size of my small kitchen, yet the possible depth and type of material don’t allow for my detectors to receive a signal. Does anyone have experience with a dowsing rod?

The tinder dry forest is a cause for concern. In the hours I spent at the target, small flakes of ash fell on the truck. Somewhere high above the prevailing air current carried the ash in my direction lending concern about my presence there. Thankfully when my truck died the previous week it was on the highway with cellular service and not in the forest.

Perhaps cooler fall weather will provide better results for my efforts.

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August

As summer continues, the smokey air finally cleared in the Vancouver area allowing us to breathe easier, especially us older treasure hunters with lung damage. Some fool kid smoked for a dozen years, then spent twenty-five years breathing animal dander and alfalfa dust during his years in agricultural paradise. But I feel there is enough good health for one more treasure hunting adventure and I will use it wisely.

With good luck and a sharp mental focus, I’ll return to the forest and finish what I began more than five years ago. Hopefully cooler weather will prevail and my target area will remain free of the devastating fires still rampaging across central BC. Meanwhile, I continue to write and edit, trying to create the best read that I can.

Stay tuned.

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July

My return to Rock Creek canyon revealed the changes brought about by the massive torrent that flowed through the canyon this spring. The small section that I’m familiar with showed some stream bank erosion and an older log dam had been completely removed. Mother nature rearranged a few things. Nearby, the water had flooded more of the canyon floor as it has occasionally over time.

When I left the area, I noticed the mushroom cloud of forest fire smoke far to the north. The time to return and continue this adventure needs to be timed with area fires and clean air. My old lungs can’t handle much smoke these days. Cooler temperatures would be appreciated too. With forests tinder dry and limited trail access, I need to be aware of the conditions and know how quickly it can change.

 

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Treasure trove found to date

Hardware found to date. All items were in a small area and hidden in three sites.

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Monaghan Mansion

BC gold helped build this beautiful mansion now part of Gonzaga University in Spokane

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Weather Delays

Winter was harsh and far too long. Now the interior struggles with flooding from severe thunderstorms and rapid snow melt. It’s been a long while since I left the area of my quest and might be awhile before I return. Nature can’t be taken lightly and since my old body has slowed over these last years, I won’t be rushing too quickly into the forest. The heat of summer isn’t far off and with it the warmer nights. Can’t wait to once more see the starry skies that guard the countryside. Soon.

I had barely finished the above paragraph when another severe thunderstorm watch had been issued for the region. More delay but I’m happier to be at home writing and editing this great story instead of being too close to the powerful roar of excessive creek flow. And those gold bars aren’t going anywhere, yet.

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Writing and Editing

When I was just a kid, I wondered what I should do when I grew up. Mum had no answers for me but she strongly urged me to clean out the chicken coop before the hens quit laying in protest. Mum pointed out that if we took care of our animals, they in turn would take care of us. Fine, I picked up the pitchfork and slowly dragged my feet towards the coop where the strong odor of ammonia awaited me. The long prairie winter had taken its toll on the cleanliness of the coop so with the hens scratching around in the pen, I set to work.

Chickens are unusual birds with their flat head and bulging eyes. When they examine you with those keen eyes, they turn the head sideways so one eye has a full view of you, then rotate back one hundred and eighty degrees so the other eye can examine you too. One hen did just that to me while I was forking around in the coop, her house, so to speak. I suppose she wanted to go set a spell and drop an egg. But the place wasn’t ready yet so I said shoo, go away. She looked at me again with those crazy eyes and I swear this is what she said to me: booook, book, book. And thus came my inspiration to write.

As I write and edit about this grand adventure for lost treasure, I study books in the library and in book stores. There is certainly some great competition out there. How will my modest effort stack up? What is the average shelf life before a book gets the big discount sticker? I pay particular attention to covers too, that first hook used to grab the reader’s attention. Some covers really don’t seem to work, at least not for me. But how will mine stack up? How can I make mine stand out?

I think that alone is a good reason to self-publish: retain creative control over the entire project. If a writer has a vision for the story, why not have your own vision for the cover as well? Of course I’ll delete this post if I get to that point and the cover proves to be a flop and everyone says so. Yet still, if I have one chance for a book to represent my dream, well damn-it, the dream will encompass the entire project. Meanwhile, I continue to edit and try to improve the read to the point where an editor will appreciate my efforts and make appropriate suggestions. I admit that editing is dull and boring for me and yet so vital. With every ‘next edit’ I think how can I make this better? How can I have the reader experience what I felt through those exciting times of searching the forest on my ultimate treasure hunt? With luck and a good editor, I will try to do my best. And soon, I hope, real soon.

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