And so, Monday, another day off, Chris (Co-worker) wants to come prospecting and I'm running out of ideas...Lots of places I want to go and check out, but I'd like him to have a bit of success and so it's once more up the snow-bound mountain, looking for Quartz Crystals. This is my fifth attempt. Along the way we stop at the abandoned marble quarry, another year, another layer of graffiti.

He's intrigued, it's a cool destination for sure. Here I'm just guiding.

Then on, past the Troll of the Meadows, North, we stop at a couple of creeks, do some panning. Feet wet, my boots stink, they're done.

Then onward up the mountain. 

The snow, largely gone, we're in the free in clear. Eventually we run into a downed tree that blocks the road, grab our packs, it's time to get out and walk anyways....

We walk about a kilometer along a mostly level path. He's not too enthusiastic, but I'm seeing traces and signs, and eventually we find it. And it's good. Better than good, I've watched a lot of YouTube videos of people digging out crystals all over the world, I've taken the kids to Crystal Park in Montana to look for them, to New York to look for the Herkimer Diamonds, and this, this beats them all. Chris soon shares my enthusiasm.

Citrine on Quartz boulder.

Vug, or Pocket of crystals, to scale the ones at the top are about 4 inches across, and, when brushed off, perfectly clear.

Notice the points coming out of the side.

Side of pocket. Crystals Crystal Clear, water clear, like the finest Swiss crystals...

Ugly, but if you looked closely...

A cleaner crystal pocket...

Clusters found by Chris...

We take about 3 hours, fill our bags, there's everything here. Japan Law Twin Quart Crystals, Scepters topped with Citrine, Needle quartz, all the rarest specimens, and all - when lightly cleaned - of the highest quality. Every pocket is it's own Kaleidoscope of crystal beauty. Meanwhile, the bugs have found us, there's deerflies, horseflies, midges, wasps, blackflies, even the occasional mosquito. We're being devoured alive and I left the "Off" in the jeep. 

5:00 and time to go. We've filled our bags, mine, a hundred pounds, his probably the same. The long walk back to the jeep, the long drive back down the mountain, then on to Nakusp, he needs a vehicle, he's arranged a viewing.

All the way, the setting sun, he's excited, so am I, this is a great spot, and I muse aloud that I would consider claiming it, and he quickly chimes in that he wants in on it. We could be partners, 50/50.

And I'm thinking, as I knew I would, because I've had so many offers like it...I did the work....slept rough, read the maps, learned geology, studied, learned more, found nothing and then - slightly better - and better, and better, year after year...I drew the map, put the "X Marks the Spot" on it, picked you up, drove you to the location, made you walk then told you to dig, and you found something, and now - now we're partners? Mother of God...

***

The vehicle, like so many used cars in the Kootenays, an older crackhead selling a Toyota 4 Runner for 3,500$, it wants only $5,000 worth of work to be roadworthy, a '93, it's a bust, he should be sued even for bringing us out here, brakes are gone, brake lines are broken, there's struts, shocks, every single fucking thing wrong with this piece of shit, he's negotiable, whatever price you pay you'll just add more to drive it to the wreckers...

***

After which we grab dinner in the old hotel by the lake, a beautiful view, patio, the same menu every like restaurant (mine own included) offers, burgers, wings, onion rings, chicken fingers...varied incompetent servers, but, leave it, the night is fine...

After, chasing the sun the whole way home, but it's beat us, perfect photos always up the mountain, the light is going, going, gone. 

Exhausted, long drive home, Kootenay Co-op radio fills in for conversation with Philip Glass, "Metamorphosis". It's perfect. I drop Chris off. It was the perfect day, less the company, nothing wrong with him but there are moments that should be shared with children or lovers, and this was one, this day, not with a random co-worker, it's bittersweet. 

The finds: