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Rodney Sellers; Cave Dweller #4

September 19, 2011 in Marco's Posts

The hardest thing to do was figure out how to get back to the cave discovery without letting anyone else know. It’s not that Rodney was trying to make it a big secret; he just didn’t know the extent of the cave. He imagined the ribbing he would take if the entire find was the size of a steamer trunk.

The 20 mile long water main project had several sites designated as staging yards where equipment and trailers could be locked up nightly. Rodney had the crew move the yard to the next location down the line. While he was at it, he called Robert Crane to help him move the GPS base station.

“I showed you how to set up the base two months ago”, said Robert. “It should still be fresh in your mind” Robert Crane was a salesman, but not the usual type. Robert sold GPS and all things technology. He was smart and knew what he was doing. Because of that, he did not have to say things like, “What would it take to put you in this total station today”. Robert came out and helped Rodney get the base station in the new location just as Lars was pulling up.

“I want that 3D GPS system for the excavator.” Bellowed Lars “Install it next week.”

“It will take me at least 3 weeks to get the parts to do the install.” replied Robert. “I told you when I showed you the system two months ago that it takes time to get everything in and installed.”

“I don’t care if you got to drive to the factory and grab the stuff off the shelf yourself, I want it in a week.” said Lars “You talked me into it and I want it next week or I’ll go get it from someone else”

“I’ll get right on it.” said Robert. He looked at Rodney; they did a collective eye roll. Everybody knew it would take three weeks to get the system up and running. Lars would forget this conversation and life would go on. Lars just needed to bow up like a show dog now and then. Robert knew this and let Lars have his fun.

With the equipment yard now 5 miles away, Rodney got back to open the access to the cave he covered up a week ago. It was Saturday morning and he brought a good flashlight to the location where plywood covered with dirt hid the opening. He tied a rope to the bumper of his truck and lowered himself into the hole. Sixty feet later his feet contacted solid rock. He scanned the area and could not believe his eyes.

He was in a room that was flat on the bottom and domed above. There were columns of rock that had not been excavated holding up the roof. He recognized this from old photos; he was in an abandoned gold mine. For some reason, this site was not listed in property records as an old gold mine. Here in Arizona, mining claims were common in the state and shafts, caves and rooms like these were common. The construction documents said nothing about a mining claim on the route to be occupied by the new water main.

Rodney felt warm air coming from a tunnel in the distance, this must be where the heat came from that raised the blade of the dozer. There was narrow gauge rail track for running ore carts from the mine to the surface through a small opening in the rock. These openings to mine shafts were all over the state; somehow over the years this one got covered up and forgotten. Rodney considered that the mine was done off the books by claim jumpers stealing profits from the legitimate owner of the gold rights.

He walked toward the tunnel scanning the area with the bright beam of his light. He wondered why this mine was never listed in public records, when he saw the pile of bones in the corner of the room; he started to get an idea why.

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