Grubstake Charlie is a combination character from several old TV shows with some of my experiences as a youth thrown in for good measure. The main source is an occasional character in the old Disney TV show Elfego Baca (set in Las Vegas NM) named Grubstake Charlie. GC was a crusty old miner that walked the hills looking for gold and showed up in town from time to time with his mule to replenish his supply of “vittles”.
I feel a sort of kinship with Grubstake Charlie as I spent many weekends and summers (years ago) hiking in the foothills east of Albuquerque with my father. We used the excuse of looking for old copper, silver and gold mines as a reason to get out and hike. In fact I probably walked the ground that is now the SASS Founders Ranch at some point. Thinking back on those days hiking, I am not sure if I should have chosen Grubstake Charlie or the mule as the source of my alias.