Actually there isn't any gold. Well, there might be gold, but not in an significant quantities. There is however quartzite and some mineral deposits related to quartz formation in the area.
I learned later after this hike that had I gone a little higher on the mountain, I could have hunted for garnets. Oh, well, I was just out for a stroll, looking to see what I could and maybe finding some cool stones along the way.
I could clearly see this old quartzite works 3/4 of the way up. It looked like a great destination.
Going up I followed what were just goat trails. Well, probably not goats, but something that makes a narrow twisting trail easier on four legs than just two. Though not as high up as Frisco Colorado was, the elevation kept me knowing that in my chest, I had a beating(throbbing) heart.
The ore bin was covered with images much like petroglyphs. I did not realize it, but a four wheel drive road lead right up to it. With a little determination, I probably could have driven the rental Camry right up to it. That's what rental cars are for right?
This is the stuff they were mining here in Pillar. That vein, which runs much wider in other area of the mountain, is quartzite. There is some cool mica seams running in the rock also. The waste rock looked like finely ground aluminum. It was actually kind of surreal. I could not seem to get a good photo of way it reflected light.
One thing about rock hunting is the constant scanning of the ground...
... the eyeballs get tired going from rock to rock. Tailing piles like this are places I love to search through. Often, in the hunt for larger deposits, the discarded rock hold some some very cool specimens. There are entire mining operations that do nothing but work the waste of previous operations.
The hike netted me a few interesting rocks, but it really netted me a nice relaxing morning in the mountains.
After the hike, I was very hungry. I thought I was in need of a tamale, so I stopped into Mary Janes. The item on the menu catching my eye was "the Mexican Burger". The tamale would have to wait. So would the chili rellano, the frito pie, and the burrito Rio Grande.
They tell me that for thirty years they have been serving up food in this same location. It is nothing fancy, but it is very friendly and extremely clean. The line of people stepping up to order and take away was brisk the entire time I was there.
So here is the Mexican Burger. It is your ordinary run of the mill patty fried till very well done. They then wrapped it in flour tortillas. There is cheese inside and on top, along with green chili sauce, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and more chilies. I have never had a burger so good in my life. Hands down, this concoction has blown all previous burger experiences away. I thought the street cart burger in Mexico City with bacon, ham, roasted pineapple, and hot salsa was the best, but Mary Janes Mexican Burger jumped clearly to the top.
This is not the last fantastic meal or adventure. Stayed tuned for more to come.