by "Gold Fever" Bob Lowe
Do you suffer from “cabin fever”? This year I have had the worse case of cabin fever that I’ve ever had. That, on top of the terminal illness of “gold fever” I suffer from, has made this a very miserable year for me, not to mention my wife.
It all started last November. I was all set to get my shop built when when good ole’ Murphy paid me a visit. With three weeks to go before we were to leave on our vacation (celebrating my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary), the subcontractor who was to set the poles and trusses misread the plans. Seems the poles were set for a somewhat shorter building than the 17 foot one I bought. Of course he was booked up for the next few weeks and I had to re-schedule.
Well, we left for our trip before the shop was built and still had a wonderful time. We enjoyed the sights of Las Vegas, searched for and found my mother wondering in the deserts of Arizona (around Stanton), threw a rock or two into the Grand Canyon, worried over keeping my wife from taking all the specimens from the Petrified Forest, looked in awe at the hole caused by a meteor, shook our heads at the welded chunks of steel which sells for $9,500 in Santa Fe (I can weld better than what we saw & I can’t weld!), saw one of the government’s best keep secrets (Los Almos), climbed through 1,000 year old ruins at Bandelier National Park and was inspired by the Indian Pueblo at Taos, New Mexico. But, that’s where the fun ended.
Good ole' North Idaho weather! Just before we were to head home, Ice Storm hit. A couple of hours after we got back, my wife got called in to work (she works for a power company) and we didn’t see her for 2 weeks. Being raised in North Idaho, instinct told me to cover the building material before we left for vacation. I’m glad I did. As I write this, there is still 20” of snow on the ground. It is melting, but not fast enough. Watching snow melt is a lot like watching water boil.
The plan was to have the building erected and enclosed before we left. To have the slab poured while we were gone and move in after we got back.
Instead, I’ve had $11,000 lying on the ground buried under 3 feet of snow since November, listened to my wife and son griping all winter about having to scrape the snow off the windows of their cars (Our garage is full of “mining junk”.), endured my wifes constant concern about how the sand and gravel in the bathtub and sink will clog the drains and her continued threats of throwing me out of the house unless I take up a different hobby.
And they think they have it bad. Without my shop, I haven’t been able to implement the design changes in my dredge, modify my trommel, build my new sluice, rebuild my pump, clean and count my 5 gallon buckets, sort my pipe fixtures, repair the hoses, re-mat the high-banker, knock the dents out of the suction nozzle, clean the rust off the shovel, make new pry tools from screwdrivers I got at last summers garage sales, polish the gold pan, charge the batteries or prospect for gold.
The combination of cabin fever and gold fever can become the ruination of man if not properly treated. I prescribe a motorhome (or travel trailer), 4X4 truck, an ATV, all your equipment and enough money to allow you to follow the sun in your quest for gold. I guarantee that you will never suffer from cabin fever again if you follow this advice. But, as we all know, you can only treat “Gold Fever”, for there is no cure and it will only get worse as we grow older.
If you have comments or suggestions, email me at email@example.com
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