THE JADE BOULDER
My story should be called “Found, Then Lost.”
In the California deer season, back in the late ‘50s, Fred Hoy and I were hunting blacktails in the Salmon-trinity Alps. In three seasons, we never heard a shot that was not fired by one of our own party. We would always go in as far as the fire-control roads would allow, then hike a few miles up to a cirque lake near the mountaintop, where we’d catch trout for breakfast every morning. The first day of the season, I shot a buck, and we had to run downhill for several hundred yards before killing him. While resting prior to dressing out and packing the meat and hide back to camp, Fred inspected a greenish boulder on the hillside.
A rockhound, Fred pronounced that the boulder was one of two forms of jade. We tried chipping off a piece, even shooting a piece off, without success. It was a large boulder, nearly 5 feet in diameter and more or less round.
We went back the next season with a four-wheeldrive truck, a winch, ropes, pulleys, and even prima cord—fred was an explosives expert, too. We were determined to remove that jade boulder. We spent five days looking for that rock but never found it again.