A Very Nice Letter

Hello Mr. Farley,

You don’t know me, but I stumbled across your rockhounding blog a couple of years ago and have learned so much about the hobby from your writings. I’m in my mid-50s and am experienced enough in life to know that the more one learns, the more he realizes he doesn’t know. It truly is never ending. You know so much more about the subject that I ever will, and you are blessed to live in a part of the country that I dearly love and hope to move to someday. Way back when, I heard a saying that boils down to ‘Someone somewhere dreams about the things you take for granted’. There is nothing I would enjoy more than hiking and exploring the desert southwest every day, so in a way you are ‘living the dream’ and I’m envious as hell.

I have had family members who struggled with severe mental illness, and am sorry to read that you must endure that in addition to the difficulties posed by the aging process.

Please know that this reader (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) is pulling for you and wish you many more years of doing what you so obviously enjoy. Thanks again for your educational and informative site, It is greatly appreciated.

All the best and Happy New Year,

A Reader

An Explanation

Sorry about the ragged nature of some posts. I’m not doing well on the screen anymore and it seems some things have been posted that I did not intend. Follow me on Instagram where I can post videos without editing or close scrutiny of a screen. Thanks, Thomas

You, in Your Well-lighted Sky

Yesterday at the original townsite of Tecopa, California. More at my Instagram site: https://www.instagram.com/tgfarley/?hl=en






Caliban in the Coal Mines

By Louis Untermeyer 1885- 1877

God, we don’t like to complain—
We know that the mine is no lark—
But—there’s the pools from the rain;
But—there’s the cold and the dark.

God, You don’t know what it is—
You, in Your well-lighted sky,
Watching the meteors whizz;
Warm, with the sun always by.

God, if You had but the moon
Stuck in Your cap for a lamp,
Even You’d tire of it soon,
Down in the dark and the damp.

Nothing but blackness above,
And nothing that moves but the cars—
God, if You wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!

Transformed into song by Julie Bennett Hume

Typical Collecting Story and Why the PLP Matters

Hi Tom,

Been a little while since I wrote. Been busy here with photos and mostly playing with things from one mine. The Manila Mine has a bit of a story and we had collected there for over 45 years. The mine was on a vein of ore that ran for several miles in a diagonal to EW. It pretty much had the same mineralization and there are two actual mines on the vein, besides the many small prospects, the Gallagher Mine and the Manila Mine. Both are along the vein and for all the years we often collected at both mines. The Gallagher was a wall of several hundred yards from the road and couldn’t be seen from the Tombstone highway. There didn’t used to be any fencing along the highway from Tombstone to Sierra Vista but they fenced it a number of years ago and blocked off the road to the Gallagher. Just fenced it off, no gate. Knew right were it was and could park by the road and walk down.

The Manila was a couple miles to the SW and was also not visible from the road but was where a fence line jogged and there was no fence right to the mine. One could park on the road shoulder and walk down the hundred yards.

Collected there one time with an English Geochemist and he took ore to get analyzed and while we were standing at the vehicle, a ranger stopped. The fellow asked what we were doing and we said collecting minerals. He has seen our friend Bob walk over to an old foundation to take a few photos and asked if he had picked anything up from there and he said no, only took a few photos. The ranger said that old remains was part of a famous cabin and as long as nothing was touched there it was find. Also, he said collecting at the mine was just fine.

Then, about 3 or 4 years later Mary and I had collected at the Manila and Mary had walked back to the car and another ranger stopped. Mary called me to come up. I had just collected a several pound piece of the best material I had found there in years and was so happy with what I had found. This ranger was from the nearby San Pedro Riparian zone. He said we were collecting illegally. I showed him the Riparian sign a half mile down the road and he said it was not where the boundary was. I said we had been collecting here for 45 years and he was stunned. I asked him where the actual boundary was and he even had to call his office to find out. I told him that a ranger had also said collecting was find at the Manila. He was again stunned.

He finally got an answer about the actual boundary. It was a bit back up toward the Gallagher and through a land swap a few years before, the Manila land had become part of the protected zone. I asked why the property was not posted since a lot of folks know about the mine and collect. He had some dumb excuse that they just take the sign off. Well, how is that our problem. Pain in the you know what but he confiscated my bag of rocks. If Mary had not been along I would have really gotten into it with him and his superiors about the whole thing but Mary absolutely hates confrontation so I let it go. When a ranger said to us it was OK to collect and another one says no, something is wrong and they should not have been able to confiscate anything but only informed us that it was now on their land. But not to make waves we left. Alone I would have done things totally differently.

That mine sure had a lot of interesting minerals and there are over 45 different minerals so far and I am sure if one analyzed the material it would come up with a number more.

I have most of the photos of the minerals from there on midat since I did collect there so much. Still have a big pile of the ores in the yard so still things to go over.

Sure hope you will have a peaceful Christmas holiday.

Sure hope also, the new year brings better things.

Also hope you are feeling OK,

Quite cold here today, at 8am it was 32 degrees and cloudy, not much better later with wind predicted.

Take good care

Merry Christmas.

Rolf (Sunshine Gifts and Gallery, now closed for the pandemic)