30 years, my good friend Jon Johnson has been the owner of a Nevada
claim on the world-famous "Petersen Mountain" amethyst
Quartz scepter deposit. This deposit straddles both Nevada
and California. Only at the 2 claims located in Nevada can
heavy equipment be used for commercial recovery operations. Jon's
is one of them.
note that the entire mountain is claimed
collecting is NOT allowed.
year, Jon generously offered me the opportunity to work with him
commercially on his claim. This was a dream come true for
me and I knew that we were going to have A LOT of fun!! So,
I dropped everything else that I was doing to commit to this adventure
(I called it my Sabbatical). We would spend much of May, June
and July, committed to this project. For me, this meant that
I would be living on top of the mountain for over a month (most
days and all nights).
who has been to this place knows how violent the weather
can be up there; Continuous wind gusts averaging 20-40 miles per
hour, with rare gusts over 80 miles per hour, dust storms, heavy
and snow, and of course the 100+ degree days, burning sun and freezing
cold nights. Jon described it well by saying: "You can
get heatstroke and frostbite on the same day, on that mountain top"...
before we could even begin our mining adventure, a lot of preparation
would be needed. First and foremost, I had to take the federally-required,
2-day MSHA safety course. The closest class I could find was
in Elko, Nevada. This class took place on the 1st and 2nd
of June. I then immediately drove back to Reno on the
evening of the 2nd, to get ready to be on the mountain by the evening
of the 3rd.
LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!