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Dick Hollow Silver Ledge

Well we knew that everybody and their brother had looked in Dick's Hollow for gold, and without exception, all had not found a thing. Being true prospectors we felt we could find things where others had not, so away we went over the top of the ridge in my Chevy truck, and down into the bottom of the river valley on the other side. When we reached the bottom of the valley, Chunky instructed me to stop the truck and park off to one side of the old logging road.

He took a powerful spotting scope out of a case that he had brought with him, and placed it on top of the pickup hood. With great ceremony he adjusted the lenses and then directed me to look through the spotting scope. As I squinted my eye to look through the scope I noticed that Chunky had focused the scope on a rock that appeared to have writing all over it. As I looked more closely, I could see it wasn't the kind of writing I was acquainted with, but picture writing with lots of symbols that made up an early form of petroglyphic writing. He then readjusted the scope so that it pointed toward a cliff on the other side of the river that ran gently across the bottom of the small valley. About thirty-five feet above the ground I could see what appeared to be a map drawn on the cliff with some type of paint. About the only thing I could understand of the symbols was the single Spanish word Oro that was scratched into the rock of the cliff face.

The Spanish word for gold jumped out at me as I turned and looked at Chunky he just smiled. I suddenly realized that he had been looking for this mine for a long time. He was just letting me gain my own experience traveling over the same old trails that he had walked many times before. Chunky then explained that he thought I might get a feeling that would lead to the lost mine. Over the past two years, I had gotten these odd feelings whenever I was near a large metalliferous deposit, and in each case it had led to the discovery of a very nice ore deposit. As he picked up the scope, he said to drive to the base of Dick's Hollow. The ride was short but quite bumpy. I just put the transfer case into 4-low and the transmission into low gear, and let her creep across the grassy meadow toward the bottom of Dick's Hollow.

When we got out of the truck, Chunky told me about the many Spanish markings on a cliff face that was only about fifty yards from the spot where I parked the pickup. He also said that the markings might be a map to a lost gold, or silver mine. Again, with only about one hour of traipsing through the brush and sticker bushes I found the small cliff face he had talked about. The markings were about twenty feet above my head, very faded, but still legible. Even though I couldn't interpret what all of the symbols meant, I knew I was looking at a map of McAfee Basin and Dick's Hollow with the word Oro plainly written in two locations on the map.

The day was drawing to a close, but I knew that today was very different from any that had preceded it. When I came out of the brush, Chunky just asked me what I wanted to do. I calmly looked up Dick's Hollow and said, "Tomorrow is soon enough, let's get a cup of coffee." He knew something was different but didn't ask any questions. We rode silently back to the restaurant in Roosevelt. After a cup of coffee we said good-by to each other and I headed home.

Surprisingly, after several days of prospecting in Dick's Hollow, which by the way is located on the Ute Indian Reservation, I had found nothing. In fact things became so bleak that Chunky only came out once every few days to see how I was doing. One day I was just about all the way up to the head of the hollow [when] suddenly I realized I had gone over the ridge of Dick's Hollow into the next canyon. I lit a cigarette and relaxed.

When I finally relaxed a little, I leaned over to put out my cigarette on a rock next to me. Looking down I realized that I was sitting on a shale outcropping. That might not seem like much, but I hadn't seen any shale since the old dry creek bed. I picked up a piece and broke it along a seam, and to my surprise I saw the prettiest silver colored specks.

Quickly I gathered several pieces with the quartz stringers running through them to take back to town. As I headed out on an old logging road that went due east from the hollow, my feet felt light, and so did my head. I knew I was very close to what I had been looking for.

In no time I met up with the road that went down the mountain just east of Dick's Hollow. Realizing I had a two and one half mile walk in front of me didn't seem to matter. It was downhill all of the way, and my back and legs felt good today. It made for one quick trek to the old truck. As I reached the bottom of the hill where the pickup was parked, I looked over at the base of Dick's Hollow. I knew I couldn't see the cliff with the map, but in my mind I could.

After three more trips to Dick's Hollow I was able to trace out the shale lens. I found that the road I had walked on to cross the top of Dick's Hollow followed along the shale lens that outcropped into the next canyon called McAfee Basin.

Well to shorten the story, I tried to get the tribe to give me a lease on the silver lens. Even though 70% of the silver is not on Indian ground, I was going to give them a fairly large percentage of the whole deposit. After Chunky and I submitted the lease twice, and got turned down twice, we were told that if we took them to the deposit we could have the lease. Yeh sure, and pigs can fly.

I guess Miss Ruby wanted the whole thing for herself. I didn't go back to them again because who knows, maybe the Wild Bunch, or anyone else that is lucky enough to find the deposit, will want to mine the 70% one of these days. Oh yeh, I forget to mention that two different assay labs tested samples that I took to them from this deposit. Both assayed the samples at over forty two oz. Troy/ton. Not too bad considering that there are several million tons of ore.--X Marks the Spot, pg. 69

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