Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mt. Antero Aquamarines

Where to start in catching up? How about with mighty Mt. Antero and our search for Aquamarines with Brian Buschy and company. That's Mt. Antero's peak in the distance, and the slope, as you can see, is near verticle. Colorado gold and aquamarines is our quest, and making that happen is our challenge. Brian has invited us up for a day, but you can book a tour of the mine with Fun Time Jeep Tours at the Prospectors Village, right next to the Rock Doc, in Nathrop, Colorado.

Now, I know that we are all about gold, but I must tell you about one of our trips this last week. Under azure blue skies that faded into brilliant turquoise, we spent a day in the Mt. Antero area searching for aquamarines on a friend’s claim high in the mountains south of Buena Vista. OMG! What a fabulous experience!

That's the mine looking back from about half way down

While this trip was not for the faint of heart, or weak of body, it was exhilarating. (That's the mine where the blue specs are) The mountain views from near the peak of Mt. Antero, one of the fourteeners, was beyond compare, and I am hoping the pictures capture the colors as well as they were seen. Anyone who knows me has seen the gold ring I wear that sports a band cast from Arkansas River gold dust, nuggets from two areas in Colorado, a Kelsey Diamond, (Yes, we have diamonds in Colorado) and, yes, an Aquamarine from the Mt. Antero area. (Mt. Whites, to be exact. It sits just behind Antero). We found all of the components of the ring including the diamond that we found at the jewelry store already cut. HAHA. Everything else we hunted for and found ourselves. A TRUE Colorado gold and gemstone ring. Now don’t go getting your nose out of joint thinking that Larry has been left out…….his Colorado gold, nugget, and diamond ring is much more impressive, but mine holds the aqua. We had them done for our 25th wedding anniversary, which was quite some time ago, now. Since then we have found a lot more gold, and some very special types of gold from Colorado, but that’s another story.

View above the trail, but the trail looked much the same

So, back to Mt. Antero and hunting aquas. We left camp about 7:00 a.m. to drive up to the trailhead for the big mountain, and then creeped our way up the four wheel drive road for an hour over rocks. At just about timberline we met part of the mining company at their camp. Brian was already digging, so Randy escorted us up the mountain. The climb was steep and the air thin, but we made it without incident. They had also taken pity on us and walked us up the easy trail. Mountain goat Larry would not have had to take this route, but he did so for the ladies present.

That's the crew in the pit with Brian looking at the camera in the center

The last leg up the falls and scree tailings of the mine was almost verticle but we finally got sight of the pit. Buckets of material were screened for aquas and then dumped over the side. Rocks, too. A permafrost layer was uncovered that yielded several deep blue aquas as big as your thumb, and a few that were bigger. The color was as blue as the sky above our heads!!!!! After about 6 hours of digging, we decided we had better get ourselves out of there as the weather had turned colder and grey with the threat of rain. Down the mountain we went and then back down the horrible little rocky road for another hour of bouncing around. Glad we went. Glad to find a bed that night, too. Just look at that sky! Good Prospecting to You,

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