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Treasure Hunting

05 Jan

Ever since the idea for my time travel story started rattling around in my brain, I’ve been having a lot of fun researching local history. Most recently, I read “Outlaws of the Canadian West” by M.A. Macpherson. There were some bad dudes!  Thieves and murders and bootleggers … sometimes all at once.

There was one story that’s stuck with me (other than the one about Windigo – I’m sure the nightmares will stop eventually), the story of Bulldog Kelly, the man who killed a whiskey trader on the trail near Golden, BC and made off with his saddle bags stuffed with gold. With the posse on his tail, Kelly cached the gold and made for the border, planning to return for his spoils once the mountains were no longer filled with North West Mounted Police intent on getting their man.

While he made the border and managed to dodge the authorities, it was only a matter of time before his outlawing ways caught up to him and Bulldog Kelly was arrested in North Dakota. The trial turned into an international incident, with the Canadian authorities demanding his return, and Kelly’s lawyer playing on his Irish heritage for sympathy. In the end, it was politics that allowed Kelly to go free. Gradually, the heat of the disagreement between the two governments faded away, along with Bulldog Kelly.

Three years later, Bulldog Kelly decided that enough time had passed and made his plans to go recover the fortune he’d stolen from his murder victim. But where the justice system failed, karma succeded. On his last run working as a brakeman on the railway in Montana, he slipped and fell between the cars. The train severed both his legs, and he died on the operating table.

As far as anyone knows, the whiskey traders gold, now worth over a million dollars, is still where Bulldog Kelly buried it.

Somewhere south of Golden, buried in the hills, is a treasure!  Tell me that doesn’t capture your imagination!  I’ve been camping once in my life. (Sleeping in my van at horse shows doesn’t count.) I’ve never been interested in hiking as a hobby. I live just an hours drive away from the Rocky Mountains and never do more than admire them from afar. But this story makes me want to go treasure hunting! It’s supposed to be only 24 miles south of Golden … maybe I could stay in a hotel at night and only treasure hunt on the nice days.

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Posted by on January 5, 2011 in history

 

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