November 18, 2008
We crossed the border in a convoy of delapidated trucks and freshly painted mining equipment, heading for the sonoran moutain desert. funny as it works this time I was waved through, while everyone else had to dig for their wallets. A hundred bucks here a thousand bucks there a few days later and we evenually got all our gear through. I was pit crew for our mecanically feable fleet. It seemed as though from Colorado to base camp we experienced it all, from broken windows flat tires, trailers jumping off their tow hitches while cruising down the highway, fuel problems, new pumps, compressor problems, two new compressors, running out of gas, locking the keys in the car, paying road side tire repair guys to watch our trailers, getting totally separated with no means of communication and camping along the side of the road in dangerous parts of Mexico.
The adventure of gold minining in mexico has long begun.
Once we arrived with our pile of gear we rounded the troops for a meeting with the owner of the ranch where we would hopped to set up this mine. The ranch owner happens to live in a hacienda style compound with gaurds and surveilance cameras on the alleys that border his estate. Why all this? he's got alot to loose. Most mafia familes do. when we arrived We were expected and were ushered within the thick compound walls single file into a large air conditioned meeting room with marble floors, leather chairs and a surveilance monitor with my car awaiting out in the alley front and center.
Our host was unlike the weathered sunglassed faces that possed around his property. He was middle aged, well groomed, and greeted us each with a bottle
of water and a soft skinned hand shake. He smiled with perfect teeth
a perfect mustache and stood short but tall in a perfectly pressed shirt. we were tired, dusty and sweaty palmed. An hour before we had had breakfast
with a local that had filled us with horror stories about this man and his connections and other possible businesses. Our meeting started casually and
revolved around the interpretor. When it was discovered that we would need a document, Castro would pause, make a call and moments later a courier would be
at the door panting with a freshly typed up document.
We discussed legistics, partnership details and the use of Castro's planes. Yeah of course this story wouldn't fit the bill if it didn't involve a
private air strip and planes awaiting. We concluded the meeting and on our way out admired his car collection and reconveined in the alley. In mexico there are many
parties struggling for power and pilaging or taxing the people. The government patrols with the military. Federali cops patrol with little oversite.
Local cops patrol with even less oversite. then
there are mafia types and militia gangs. Who's on top, who knows? Our association with Castro keeps everyone away. Who is he? Thats not our business, our
business is to find gold, and keep our promises. I am kind of intrigued by him, but I figure it wouldn't pay to dig for anything around here other than gold.
What am I doing down here?
Sitting on a gold mine by my self with a bunch of rusty equipment. I play around on it till my imagination runs dry or I get embarassed
because I think someone is watching me pretend to drive tracktors that are not turneed on. I can hit a pop can with my sling shot from ten yards and I know
where a den of jack rabbits are come thanksgiving. I learned "G, D, C and E'm" on my Mandoline. I tarred the roof of my trailer this morning and just
climed the highest hill in the area. Its beautifull down here. The moonhas been bright at night and the sunsets on the desert landscape are always
I found a local cheese maker and a tortillaria, so I pretend I am in france. Instead of being close to everything, I am fifty miles from the nearest gas station
and twenty two kilometers from the nearest street light. I made pinto beans yesterday, and it took all day. I am reading Down the River by Edward Abby.
Talk about coincidence, Abby left the day he cast his ballot for the 1980 elections then went on yet another river trip. The story is in journal form and its
the same calendar day as the day I started this trip the day after I cast my ballot. You guys know more about him than I do, but he talks alot about mining
and industrialization, mexican labor and ruening the earth with our urban foot print. Its easy to come to the same conclusions as he does when I look out
across the beautifull desert from the top of a hill. I see the magnificence of the desert vegitation, sense the struggle for life, admire the hillsides,
and then contrast it with the view of a fifty year old pit mine that looks like a wound that has never healed. I look at the power lines and dirt roads
that bisect the landscape. I view the trash we leave and listen to the heavy trucks rattle back and fourth. I imagine all the open pits that we created,
so that we could make those trucks, and the fuel they consume so we can make more pits, and I close my eyes and imagine them all gone. You can't have to
much of a concience and carry on being human. Even the most fervant environmental lawyer drives a Toyota Tacoma. Its all hypocracy. Where do we begin?
It would help though if we all realized that gems and gold only hold the value we place on them. Gold makes things shiny, and has a few electrical applications.
what else does it do? What do dimonds do on our fingers mounted in gold. Its simplifies the human race down to that of a hungry fish that strikes at a shiney luer.
We like shiney things, and are enamored and estemed by glitery objects. They cost lives and create huge holes in the earth, reck landscapes and waste time, the only true gold we will ever have.
The tremendous cost of a miner to aquire and a consumer to buy a piece of gold. What do I do if I find a nugget of gold, should I smile? should that make me happy? I'm not sure what I am supposed to do. What a miner can find in one life time amounts to a small pile of Gold. How much promise does a pile of gold yeild, and how big a pile would you trade your life for?Its an easy annology. What are you trading your life for right now? A garage full of stuff from Walmart, a car that people esteme? Its all worth thinking about, what are we exchanging our youth, vitality and life for? Is it the promise of something in the future, like freedom in retirement? All in all I still think the promise of retirement is a crazier idea than looking for gold in mexico.
November 05, 2008
If you were bugged to vote and received piles of handbills on your doorstep in the last month it could have been me. Funny how it works, I hate to be harassed my self, I resent being invaded with phone calls and junk mail and yet I jumped at the opportunity to work with a political organization for this election. Why was it so easy to be a pest and pass out alot of stuff that goes straight to the bin? Well,i figure that its unacceptable that half of Americans don't bother to vote, and under this current administration we have dumpsters full of metal and usable lumber.
The efforts by the politicians may be annoying to us, but our lifestlye and foreign policy has become life threatening to the world and our greatest threat to national security. I was ashamed to fly my American flag while sailing around the world. I am not ashamed of our ideals. I am not ashamed of where I come from. But those stars and stripes have a different meaning today. I am ashamed that we have insulted world leaders and not done our part to move forward on world wide issues where the rest of the community has.
I had a blast. As you can see I got to see a life long hero up close and almost shake his hand. John Elway was the Denver Broncos quarterback while I was a kid and in love with football. Seeing him in person was really cool. He is a big human, bigger than I thought. I had to wait through a few speakers, but I got to hear him, and it was for me a life time opportunity.
One of my favorite memories was running into an old college alum, while wearing a pink cowboy hat and a pair of retro roller skates. Yes I was a paid goon, and I probably contributed to how annoying this last campaign became.
Funny, I learned nothing about politics, but not because I didn't ask questions, all was not lost I had day after day of opportunity to observe America. I learned that if you ask someone how the electoral college works, they typically recite a few of the same text book answers then realize there is a gap in their own understanding and they reach for a friend, the friend provides justification for the electoral system yet the gaps remains. Its one of those issues that most people have a question about, but no one follows it to the end. Nodding and assuring understand is less painful and gets most people by. Who is the electoral person in your area? Where are they, and do they have to vote with the people? That depends on the state. Its great, it makes no sense, but that confusion incites nothing.
If you were a Martian you would scratch your noggin at this. In America we turn lights on during the day even though we have the sun. We have this idea that our personal freedom and Independence is tied to driving in a car alone even though it means we spend hours of our own day in the trafficked jammed lanes, side by side with other solo drivers who feel they are exercising their freedom and rights while the four passaenger cars jammed with two humans fly by at top speeds in the empty carpool lane. Who's free? This is the most impressive behavior: we travel the earths surface and bore its depths with tremendous equipment sourcing out various metals.
We capture those metals, refine them, use them for some human purpose for a short while and then we discard them and they are mixed back up with other materials and we try to then put them back into the earth. If you could watch us, there would be a few obvious ways to make our existence alot easier. Let me tell you that if a mining operation found this much resource in an area the size of a dumpster every employee in the operation could retire rich.
We need a leader. This new guy brought more people to the streets on a Sunday than any football game, and the world was dancing all at the same moment for the first time in history. Hes going to bring us together. I'm not talking about the suburbs and rural America, if you think Obama is a terrorist, or your still nervous around black people, well frankly we cant afford to wait for you at this point. I'm talking about making america and its ideas popular again. Its not about us its about war, genocide, tremendous waste and we do not have the right to waste the worlds resources.
Ignore the news and take a look around, while I was a away I heard horror stories of depression but my observations are that we are not in desperate times over here. The carpool lanes are empty, and people leave their lights on all day and there are dumpsters full of resources.