Mountains, mines, and the minerals they held kept me longing for the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. We would go camping there once or twice a year when I was a kid growing up in Nebraska. I could find the outwash from the mountains in the Platte River where I lived, but nothing matched finding the rocks at their source.
A family friend named Roy Kaiser once guided us to the Glory Hole mine near Central City, Colorado, where I found these crystals along a precarious ridge in the open pit mine. It was one of the most exciting moments of my young life.
On approach to the mine we encountered a steeply sloping pit that tunneled to the bottom go the mine. “Don’t go near it;” Roy ordered, “if you fall in, you will never stop.” To my literal mind at that age, I thought it must have gone all the way to the center of the earth, since you “would never stop.” But the crystalline treasures were even more captivating than the pit, for once I discovered a fascination for rocks, minerals, and crystals, I have never been able to stop.
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