The Kaleidoscope discovery was made on the winter of 2007/2008 on a prospecting trip with myself and two of my sons, Derek and Brian, here in Oregon. The deposit quickly proved beyond a doubt to be one of the most significant deposits ever discovered in the northwest by its vast varieties of color and pattern and Gem Quality jasper and Agate…
It was all by gut instinct, and also the diligent prayers of my daughter that the deposit was ever found. We had seen the terrain of the mine for the first time 10 years ago and have always been eager to explore the land as it had jasper written all over it. So many fruitless hikes in the surrounding areas kept our doubts high on exploring the area.
One winter when the snow had melted and the ground thawed we decided to go prospect and we were all drawn to this area having decided it was time once and for all to see if the mountain did hold jasper. As much as I wanted to I simply couldn’t hike due to health problems so my Sons took off up the mountain. The hours went by slowly as I piddled around the ring, I had much needed quiet time to reflect back on my life. As I sorted through the many obstacles and hardships over the years and now faced with so many medical ailments that dissolved my quality of life, heart failure, severe apnea disease (Obstructed breathing during sleep) Which even with a CPAP the sleep study showed I wake an average of 44 times and hour and stop breathing up to 100 times per hour, a disease that kicks the hell out of you, but the worse is advanced COPD, an unusual lung disease that I refuse to accept I have, yet it reminds me daily it has me. As I reflected and wondered just how much time do I have left, so many things I want to do, so many changes for the betterment of mankind I wanted to accomplish, I decided it was time for some personal time with God.
My life’s dream of a few acres of timber and a cabin to retire in had dwindled last year to just wanting a small parcel. It was clear that wasn’t going to happen either. So many times the last few years I felt so much inward pressure to get life insurance but never ever could I afford it. I am not trying to turn this into a pity party as it is the last thing I would want from anyone, but I do want the reader to understand the frustration and worry I was feeling. It weighed very heavily that my personal affects were all the material things I had to leave my family.
This past winter 2008 I couldn’t even call Rhodes Cabbin a rockshop anymore as the necessities of life had forced me to sell my saws and genie. I was too worn out and sick to run the shop, yet I refused to go on disability and to this day I am not on it. My son Derek had actually came up from Los Angeles to help move us into a small house near the hospital in Prineville but for some reason there existed this uneasy peace and drive to go prospecting on that cold winters day. There was way more than an urge to go hunt rocks. This was a thriving, pushing drive that I must go rock prospecting.
As I sat there in the car, my thoughts kept returning to God. I couldn’t help it no matter how hard I fought it. I felt anger and hurt as I have lived my life doing my best to follow his course. Yes I have sinned but its hard to accept seeing throat cutters, cheats, liars doing so good all the time. Always trying to bring me down, they have no clue what its like to truly struggle just to eat. God always reminded me along the way that just as the bible says, the righteous shall suffer. I always believed I would enjoy some time on this beautiful world he had made. As the hours swept by, I continued to sort through my life and kept feeling a peace that all would be fine. I was reminded of the sermon Jesus gave (The Lilies of the Field) I glanced towards the ridge where I had seen the boys go over hours before and spotted them on their way down the mountain and the closer they got the more I could see they had loaded packs and sure seemed in a rush for coming off such a dangerous slope.
When they got close enough I could see their faces and all I could see was grins. They were excited and my mind raced and words were mingled as they both talked at once, phrases such as unbelievable, miraculous, breath taking, and its all over the place! Filled the air, they dumped the packs on the ground and In awe I slowly knelt down and picked one up, I looked at both of them and back at the rock as they continued to speak of many deposits of different rocks that dotted the slope. We stood there, knelt there, stood there, all the while in utter dis-belief and all agreed a miracle had taken place.
The next few days were spent securing the claim and surrounding area. It would be two months later before I was able to locate a way to drive up. I wish Derek had been with us on that first drive up so we could all have shared in the excitement. I will cherish that day as I walked out on a small ledge where I could see most of the deposits. It looked as if God had gently laid his hand down and blessed the ground. I sat back and recalled that day two months earlier as I sat down at the bottom of the mountain.
I felt as if God was right next to me It was something spiritual between God and me and I felt at peace, as if my life had come full circle. I knew it wasn’t so much the rock that brought such peace but rather feeling the earth beneath my feet, and knowing without any doubts that this is the spot. The very place where God fulfilled his promise to me…
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