The Prospector

“King Midas with the turn of a golden key had unlocked the door to Alaska, our last frontier.

“And the prospector, what became of him?
In a class by himself, the prospector gathers about him a romantic air as he heads out again into the mystery of the wilderness. No map marks the way that he would go. Starting out alone, he makes his way along the trails where man has never walked before, guided by peculiar instincts, buoyed up by hopes that some day he will find gold. But there is more to the urge than the finding of gold. There’s the solitude, the murmur of the mountain streams, the clean air, and earthly things.

“Whether pitching his tent beside some river or making his bed beneath the branches of a tree, the prospector finds contentment. He prospects here and there along the creeks or picks at the ridges, until one day he strikes it rich. Word leaks out — a whisper which grows ever louder until the word GOLD echoes to the far corners of the earth. The world comes crashing in. Others benefit from his find because they are business men and he is just a prospector, governed by the honor of his given word and not by the intrigue of a moneyed world. So others start mining where he prospected. They get the glory and the gold — while he goes further on into the wilderness.”

(the last words of the book “Klondike ’98; Hegg’s Album of the 1898 Alaska Gold Rush,” by Ethel Anderson Becker (Portland, Or.: Binfords & Mort, [1949])

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About negxl1

Rocks interest me; some fascinate me.
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