This isn’t the conclusion I expected. Yet here I am, admitting that I did not recover at least one of the two lost gold bars. And the exceptional high price of gold these days rubs salt into the wounds of defeat. My return to the area of this great adventure buoyed my spirits and enabled my emotions to absorb the silence and calming effect of the natural world. I needed that after the near constant bombardment of excess noise in the urban sprawl of my environment.
I feel the target is correct. The eight years of research and investigation still has me believing I know where at least one bar lies, within one cubic meter. My old body is the problem. At sixty-nine years of age, my ability to work with strength is gone. My lung function is good as the previous few years of walking several kilometers a day has proven. But while digging in ground the consistency of wet cement, my arms and hands ache and I rapidly run out of energy. I admit now that I am no longer a treasure hunter but a writer, one who wishes he were a younger man. Yet I can’t complain about the aging process as the alternative isn’t good. Still, this is not how I wanted the quest to end. “How I Almost Found the Lost Gold Bars of Camp McKinney…..”
Who wants to buy a treasure map? Highest bidder not necessarily accepted. This is a part of BC history and is not meant to be melted into scrap gold. Treasure, after all, is more valuable than scrap gold. After subtracting the smallest bar that evidence suggests had been sold by Roderick in 1896, roughly fifty pounds remains. One bar should weigh about twenty-five pounds and court evidence reveals the Cariboo-Amelia gold bullion, unrefined, ran about sixty-three percent give or take a fraction. That still gives close to sixteen pounds of pure gold at twelve troy ounces per pound for well over one hundred and eighty ounces. That’s for one bar about the size of an old vhs tape.
Perhaps I should’ve had my book ready to hit the market, composed a cryptic poem and let the public have a go at it. If Forest Fenn is remembered for anything in the history books, it should be that he encouraged others to embrace and enjoy the quest for gold. I assure you, despite my age, the adventure brought a lot of excitement into my life at a time when the the looming years of retirement had little to offer.
I hear Shirley Bassey singing the theme song for Goldfinger on the oldies station playing in the background. How appropriate. So dear reader, does anyone out there appreciate a good challenge?