Meaningful Discovery………….#97 (the 60’s)

The band having secured their license from the Union to solicit for employment and were ready to sample the live music opportunities that the East Bay had to offer.  A decision being made it would be best to do their booking enquiries thru the week , accepting Gary’s parents weekend invitation to journey to pioneer, a Serra-Nevada Mountain way-stop  on highway 88 thru Kit Carson Pass.  Their property  still in the construction stage,  it’s colloquialism designation,  a cabin,  but in reality a future two bedroom small retirement home.   The purpose of the trip being to convey building materials for the ongoing project.

During Gary’s military service,  his dad having purchased an additional pick-up truck,  a quarter ton 1948 Chevrolet,  giving retirement status to the families 4 speed responsive 40 Chevy.   Setting about,  his parents occupying the piloting seat,   the three wayfaring  musicians occupying the pickup bed like steerage passengers, seated among the amassed construction  material.   Traversing thru the Livermore Valley,  it was soon discovered that the 1948 transports performance was struggling,  vacillating with hesitations.  Gary’s father finally halting its progress, diagnosing a fuel pump problem, and accordingly turning about, nursing the pickup back to Oakland before the fuel pump inadequacy caused a standstill.

The cargo transferred to the old responsive 4 speed 40 Chevrolet,  the group once again resuming their travel,  bound for the Sierras.  The three cohorts thankful that the building material in the back of the pickup,  providing some protection from the onrushing wind.  Leaving the stifling calamity of the San Joaquin Valley,  turning east on highway 88,  that venture east thru Kit Carson Pass to Nevada.   The rolling acclivity of the foothills becoming prevalent,  Gary pointing out to the California newcomers, the hillside mine tailings,  their residue giving notice of past excavation for the accolade of precious metals, gold.

The stage stop town of pioneer having remained.  a timeless remnant of the past  coming into view,   the encompassing travelers turning north, onto buckhorn ridge road, the last blacktop, a gravel and dirt trek for the remained of their journey.   the pickup making itself down the final dirt lane,  still very much familiar, Gary affronting the recollections of youth, the prospect of adventurer no longer the precursor of record, but still a viable memory.

Disembarking, viewing the raising walls predicated the sub floor, proclaiming a beginning credence to its oracle, a signature of accomplishment addressing the cabin structure.   The visitors more than willing to assist the elder Willson in the fabricating task at hand, their labor a welcoming  addition to the com plex, but Gary awaiting opportunity,  having another calendared event readied for activation.  The night in the forest laden environment was enshrouded in darkness, save the hue, and shadows cast by the pitted bellowing flames of the bond fire,  a much remember tradition from Gary’s past, its essence surrounded by a captive family.  The morning bringing an undertaking to corral the clandestine results of their fruition.   once accomplished, allowing the applauded help, time to begin a quest of promontory discovery,  a search for the hidden remains of past gold excavations.

The three explorers outfitted with a flashlight venturing down a path from Gary’s youth,  past the families natural water source, a spring discovered years ago still flowing from the track laden abandon mine.  Traveling deeper on the zoological trail with its tree enshrouded  canopy seeking signs of the vigilant mounds of mine tailings, remnants of past excavations.  Eureka!  A discovery of a pine needle covered mound leading from a draw, a positive sign of excavation.  With further investigation, behind the concealing brush the remains of a mine entrance, and from its appearance its ground level opening could be access from a prone position.   A closer examination found a steep sloping incline, Gary well aware of the possible danger of vertical shafts of twenty feet and deeper, having stumbled upon them in his youthful discovery era.  Knowing from experience, a first discovery would accelerate Jerry and Glenn’s enthusiasm just as his exuberant was vaulted in the past, noting that it was often ensued during haste and that inventiveness sometimes would preclude precaution.

An approach was conceived to ascertain the entrance could be breached and what lay beyond the entrance.  It was devised that Jerry would enter laying on his stomach breaching the entrance slowly lowering himself into the subterranean abyss, Gary would follow holding his legs and following suite, Glenn holding Gary’s extremities.  Jerry could then determine whether this was just an exploratory hole or the entrance to a once workable mine.  The results from Jerry’s observation were  discouraging,  if it was once an entrance the tunneling was no longer viable, having been sealed decades ago.  It was only after the abortive attempt did Jerry mention a concern about being first into the darken abyss,  the possibility of rattlesnakes.

The exploration continued with two other findings, both relics of the past with a non-attainable entrances and no certainty of opulence, but with the act of  discovery, Gary achieved introducing his friends to his youthful days and the sharing of the past.   The returning transit to the bay area was a non-event, the 22-year-old  Chevy still a reliable highway performer,  the returning  musicians once back in Oakland still hopeful of a discovery,  not a gold mine from the past, but a mother lode on the bandstand.

2 Responses to “Meaningful Discovery………….#97 (the 60’s)”

  1. Tricia Kilfoil Says:

    Great story enjoyed it very much.

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