Spring Fluorite Machine Dig

This year I started planning for the machine dig at the Eureka Mine in northwest Kentucky back in January. From several trips last year it was apparent that I had several friends that were interested in joining my small core group this year, contributing to the cost of the machine as well as physical labor during the dig after the machine was shut down. We have always utilized the machine for a day and then the second day, any digging needed is done physically by hand and strong muscles. I stayed in touch with Bill Frazer, who was able to arrange the trackhoe from the excavation company that we again wanted to work with. Bill also let me know about six weeks out that he and his brother had purchased more land right down the road from the Eureka Mine and this year we could also dig into the tailing piles at the MaryBelle Mine. Bill also was able to acquire a backhoe that we could use for two days, which would keep our machine costs down quite a bit, so we decided to make a donation to the museum in addition to the investment in the trackhoe.

After a few months of getting things in place we set the machine dig dates for Saturday and Sunday, March 18th and 19th,  and I kept the other fifteen rockhound friends that were going to join me and my core group updated along the way, including the update that we would also visit the blue fluorite mine on Sunday morning, then return to the Eureka Mine to dig the afternoon….everyone was excited and looking forward to the trip, with some rockhounds traveling down from New York state, western North Carolina, northern Georgia, northwestern Illinois, and eastern Texas, to join us. Two of the New York state rockhounds would be instrumental on this dig due to the fact that they had both dug in the pit after we dug there last year with the machine, and they had removed quite a few nice plates of cubes during their digs. 

A few days out from the week of the machine dig, I received a call from Bill advising me that there were some legal issues that needed to be worked out on his end, before we could proceed with the machine dig, and it was going to take possibly the remainder of this year for him to work through those issues…so the decision was made to cancel all public and private digs for this year.  I know for a few seconds at least, I was at a loss for words or thoughts even, as many of us had taken off work and invested money in equipment that we planned to use all weekend at the dig, not to mention the reservations made at area hotels. Bill told me he was advised of this all of a sudden and that it had nothing to do with our group, but was something that they needed to work through and get back to the business at hand eventually.  He was very worried about us, knowing we had a large group coming to help them out, as we have done this for more than the past ten years. I told Bill not to worry about it, we would stand ready to go as soon as he was able to work through it and resolve the issues, and we would figure something out for the weekend.

I immediately reached out to one of my core group rockhound buddies on Facebook to let him know what was happening, and then made a phone call to the landowner of the blue fluorite mine, to see if my group could come to his farm both days instead. I explained the situation to him, told him the group would be a bit bigger than the group I had when we visited his mine last fall. I had secured his permission a few weeks before, to come to his mine on Sunday morning, March 19th and dig for a few hours, before returning to the Eureka Mine. After a few minutes of thought, he called back and gave us the go ahead to come dig at his mine on Saturday and Sunday all day instead. I told my buddy on Facebook that we could go dig at the blue fluorite mine instead and he was just fine with that. I then sent out another update by email to let everyone know of the change in plans and the reasons for it.

By the next day, eighty percent of the group had advised me by email that they still planned to make it down for the dig. That night, the northeastern section of the US was hit with a huge snowstorm, dumping over thirty inches of snow on New York state and beyond…despite all that, three of the four New Yorkers who had planned to drive down and dig, emailed to let me know they would still be there for the weekend dig. Talk about dedication !!  I told everyone to bring some rocks and minerals to swap on Saturday morning at the mine, and to bring some extras for the landowners daughter, to add to her budding collection, as we did on our prior fall trip, especially since the landowner was gracious enough to allow us back and wasnt going to charge us anything either.

I had taken a week of vacation as I usually do, giving me a few days to ready and pack the truck, so Onyx and I drove down on Thursday the 16th and stayed overnight at Marion, Illinois. I had been in contact for a few weeks before with a coal miner in the Harrisburg area, who had an old fluorite collection for sale. I visited with friends from southern Illinois Thursday evening and then drove over to his home on Friday morning to take a look at his collection and make an offer. He had some beautiful clusters of large cubes, some with barite attached to them, as well as some barite clusters, some calcite clusters, and some quartz crystals and clusters, even one smokey quartz crystals, all from mines in the Rosiclaire area, that his grandfather had left to him…his grandfather had been a miner at some of the Rosiclaire Mines about seventy five years ago. I had seen photos of some of the pieces in the collection and wanted to see them in person before making an offer. Here are some of the nicer pieces that were in the collection….

As you can see, he had some very pretty and unique pieces in his grandfathers collection, over 100 pieces, many were of the barite clusters, which I had never seen before as something coming from the fluorite mines of Southern Illinois. I have to say I was a bit skeptical that the large quartz crystals and two smaller quartz clusters came from the fluorite mines, especially the smokey quartz crystal..mainly because they resembled Arkansas quartz crystals, but he pointed out two small quartz plates, both of the type commonly sold in the spirit quartz genre, and he told me that he had purchased those somewhere because they appealed to him. It was verified to me later that day, that indeed, smokey and clear quartz crystals were found in several of the fluorite mines in the Rosiclaire area. I made an offer to him and he accepted it…while his collection was not extensive, he had to sell it due to moving to another house soon and no room for it there. I did leave him with a few key pieces with great sentimental value that tied him directly to his grandfather. After wrapping up each piece and loading them into the cab of my truck. Onyx and I headed down to see and photograph some waterfalls that I had heard about, also located in southern Illinois.  Burden Falls is located in the National Forest about a twenty minute drive south of Harrisburg, just west of Hwy 145 on Burden Falls Road…if there has been heavy rain in the area and one suspects the creek feeding the falls will be flooded, one can also come in from the south on Water Tower Road, which merges to the right with Ozark Road after a few miles, and then you make a right turn on to McCormick Road/Burden Falls Road. The creek runs across the road and the first set of falls is just a few feet from the creek crossing on the north side…

…and the lower falls are even higher than the upper falls near the road…this trip I chose not to shoot the lower falls from the base though…

Onxy finally got to stretch his legs a little bit…we didnt stray down the path very far, as I wanted to get on down to Gary Griffiths place and check out the beautiful new fluorite that he had told me a few days before, that they had been hitting in some new pockets where he mines it at with his son, Walter. He also told me that he had purchased an old collection of fluorite with some ” butterscotches ” in it…those are the cubes of fluorite that came from certain mines and are a butterscotch yellow color and are quite gemmy…these butterscotches that he purchased with the collection were quite old and had been buried in the forest on the guys property…Gary dug them out and cleaned them up and said they were quite pretty.

We headed south to Elizabethtown, or E-town as its called, and on the way,  came upon the Iron Furnace that my buddy, John Oostenryk, always talks about, on Big Creek…..Onyx and I stopped to check it out briefly…

…this was probably the neatest Iron Furnace location I have ever seen, mainly because someone went above and beyond installing a historical storytelling sequence of small columns around the front perimeter of the site, in color no less. We drove a few more miles south to Garys house, a few miles north of E-town and found he did indeed have alot of gorgeous fluorite for sale…this was without a doubt the prettiest fluorite I have seen for sale at his place since I started going there…

…the photo above and next few below of fluorite, include some of the ” Butterscotches ” that Gary purchased in that old collection….

…the clusters that are whitish and a lighter yellow are also butterscotches, just faded out by the sun.  Gary also had some beautiful two color fluorite cube clusters that were quite pretty, some from the old collection and many from some new pockets from the mine….

…he had a lot of clusters of cubes that appeared to be stacked one on top of another that were such a deep purple they nearly appeared to look black…he also had a whole area full of the raspberry colored fluorites…this color really appeals to me when thy are lit properly…

I purchased a few pretty crystals from Gary that day…even a couple of octohedrons that he chips out himself, one was a pretty small one with a pyrite chip in it, and another one was a two color octohedron..purple and clear or white colors…some call them fluorite diamonds, and they are very popular worldwide. Gary is a good ole country boy and great to visit with and purchase from, he always has some beautiful fluorite for sale.

Onxy and I took off shortly after, crossing the Ohio River on the ferry at Cave-In-Rock,  and drove over to the Clement Mineral Museum at Marion, Kentucky, where we barely caught Tina and Sherry before they left for the day. I visited with them for about 30 minutes, then we headed to the Days Inn hotel at Kuttawa…we always stay there because its a nice and clean hotel, rooms are always reasonably priced and a few doors down is the Oasis Southwest Grill, which is a great steak and seafood restaurant with great atmosphere and good food. Right before we got to the hotel, Slade Harvin texted me to let me know he had arrived from Hickory, North Carolina, as well as Dale Walker and his wife Barb from New York state, so I met up with them shortly after checking in. Fred Mahaffey was driving in from Eastern Texas but arrived soon after, and Chuck Reed had to wait til 3 pm before he was able to leave St Louis County, so we waited til 6:30 pm before we all headed over to the Oasis, joined there by David Bruce from northern Georgia, who was staying at the Relax Inn over on the north side of I-24. We had a great supper there, their menu offers a great variety of steaks, chops, seafood, and smoked bbq there, so if you go away hungry, there is definitely something wrong with ya. We all walked back to the hotel stuffed full and ready for bedtime…I let everyone know we were gonna meet on the south side of the hotel about 7 am, and then drive over to the mine to meet up with David and Janyce Sorrells, who were bringing their medium tractor with a backhoe attachment, and John Oostenryk and his friend Mary, who were staying at Harrisburg.

Despite a little fog on the way over to the ferry crossing, we made good time getting over there…I nearly struck a deer on the way there, coming around a curve in the valley to find a big doe tentatively stepping out into the roadway, but luckily for me she turned and hightailed it back the field, sailing over a barbed wire fence like it wasnt even there. We pulled up a few minutes later to the crossing as the ferry was coming back to the Kentucky side to pick us up….

…we picked up Matt, another New Yorker, in the parking lot on the other side of the Ohio River,  a few minutes later and drove on over to the blue fluorite mine, where we found David and Janyce as well as John and Mary, waiting for us. While David and Janyce were unloading the tractor and did some initial preparation digging into the tailing pile, the rest of us swapped crystals from our respective areas…an hour later, the rockhounds new to this mine, started sifting thru the dirt that David had laid out on one side, so they could get an idea of what to look for….

….sometimes you will pick up chunks of ugly chert that resemble the fluorite, til you hold it up to the light and figure out you cant see thru it and know that its the ugly chert instead. It takes a little while to get used to it, and the rest of us were helping them acclimate to finding the good stuff….although I have to say, I still make mistakes and bring home the ugly chert too. I just add them to the potholes in my driveway. 

Left to right on the front line are Mary, Dale Walker, David Bruce, Slade standing, Chuck Reed kneeling in the overalls, Fred Mahaffey, Janyce Sorrells carrying buckets, and far right is her husband David, they brought the tractor to help us dig into the tailing piles…this pile behind the tractor is the main one….David dug into the end of it where we left off in November, and where we were finding much of the pretty fluorite on that trip. Eventually everyone began moving around to look for fluorite in other locations, below you see Slade, John, and Chuck up on the right side of the large tailing pile…

…and soon after I joined Slade down there on the face of the tailing pile where I started digging in at the same lower level where we found several nice fluorites back in November…I showed Slade where to dig to find the better ones and he was soon finding as many good ones as I was….and soon others were gathered around us and digging in as well. Doug, the landowner, stopped by to check on us several times throughout the day and see how we were coming along, we handed off several minerals and crystals to him to give to his daughter for her collection as well.

Dale and Barb wound up over on the backside of the tailing pile by the creek and after digging there a long time that day, Dale uncovered  a very pretty plate of cubed fluorite crystals, giving the rest of us hope that more cubes could def be found there.  We just kept digging and finding beautiful blues…..

…well we dug all afternoon til we were too tired to do anything other than drive back to the hotel to clean up and get some more good food at Oasis….so we loaded everything up and headed out…this is how the tailing pile looked after digging all day Saturday….

….and as we approached the ferry crossing at Cave-In-Rock, I noticed the setting sun on the  Ohio River, turning the water to a shimmering bright yellow color….so I set the parking brake, grabbed my camera and walked down to the waters edge to shoot some images…

 

 

While I was down there shooting, Chuck took a photo of me shooting the sunset….

The ferry came in to unload and then load us all up for the trip back over to the Kentucky side….

…and once we were on the ferry, I kept on shooting that beautiful sunset…a first for me, shooting a sunset from a ferry, even shot some video of it….first one is looking upstream on the Ohio River….

We had another great evening at the Oasis, more good food…it seems David Bruce decided to try the marinated chops that I have been having their for years and he found out why I like them so much. The plan the next morning was to drive over to Gary Griffiths house and do some shopping first, then go back to the blue fluorite mine…at breakfast we were joined by Mark Bishop, who had driven up from northern Georgia early that morning. We all loaded up and headed out at 7 am once again, this time seeing deer once again on Hwy 91, but this time no close calls. We arrived to find the ferry making its way across the river to get us….

…and then drove on over to Gary`s place at E-town…his son Walter and his Dad were there as well and we had a great time talking to them….I purchased some more fluorite, another couple of flats, including a ” butterscotch ” plate…it has some holes in a couple of the cubes, with jagged edges…some of us thought that maybe they were from acid of some type with rain possibly washing out the acid and stopping the process of eating thru the fluorite. After an hour or so there, we all headed over to the mine and began digging once again.

It was a bit crisper temps this morning than Saturday morning, so many of us stayed bundled up a little longer, but we again had a great time digging for beautiful crystals. Some of us wandered up the hillside in search of other areas to dig into and David followed us with the tractor and dug into a few areas for us. However, we didnt find anything of any quality like we had been finding below, so we returned to the big pile and resumed our digging there. Above and below, you see Mark Bishop in the yellow rain pants, David Bruce in the blue pullover and white pants, and John Oostenryk in the bright blue pullover and blue jeans with a woolly hat on. 

Doug came by and suggested that we check out the creekbank along the field so after David and I started finding some nice blue crystals along that bank, a few of us dug in and started pulling several pretties out of the dirt. Fred joined us and within moments pulled out a huge pretty yellow crystal…I am hoping he will take a photo of it and send to me, when he held it up to the light it just glowed with a very pleasing luminescence !! Chuck had to head home that morning to get ready for a father – daughter dance, and Mark headed home that afternoon with a bucket or two full of blue fluorite. We stopped digging a little earlier on Sunday afternoon, tired and a bit sore yet from all the digging we did on Saturday, but we all left very happy with what we had found. David did a great job of widening the roadway we had created with the fluorite free tailings at the foot of the pile, as you can see here….

Most of us were driving home early on Monday morning, so after cleaning up, we headed back to the hotel to clean up and have yet another great supper at Oasis. I believe I was the last one out of the hotel Monday morning, other than Dale and his wife, who were staying in the area for a few days as part of their vacation. David sent me a FB message a few days later, letting me know that he found some nice crystals while washing off his tractor tires….

…and here is one of the pretty ones I found after I washed it off with soap and water only….

As to the situation at the Eureka Mine in Kentucky, I can only hope that they are able to resolve the legal issues soon and get things back on track…the Eureka Mine and the folks at the Clement Mineral Museum have been a bright spot in the lives of many rockhounds across the USA and around the world for many years, they provide a great service and location to go and dig for crystals in a time when its becoming increasingly difficult to find such places to go to. As I told Bill Frazer, we stand ready to return to help at any time. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Fluorite in Southern Illinois

My apologies to all of those who have been watching for my story on my latest trip to Southern Illinois to dig blue fluorite a couple of weeks ago…between catching up and my schedule at work increasing in the past few months, its been tough to find some free time to work on my story…and getting the photos edited up is half the battle as well, but here goes….

I had taken off the entire second week of November for my annual fall vacation to Arkansas for the elusive quartz crystals, and had been talking to a landowner in Southern Illinois by email all summer, who has an old fluorite mine on his property. The trip to Arkansas was a success and by the time I returned from there, I had about a week to prepare for the trip to Southern Illinois, but luckily with the help of good friends who were going to join me there, it all came together quite nicely.

Joining me on this trip were Chuck Reed, David and Janyce Sorrells, John Oostenryk, Pete Stoeckel, and Virgil Richards. Pete had the longest drive in, 14 hours from Philadelphia, Virgil a close second with an 8 hour drive from Tulsa, and John in third with a 7 hour drive from Fulton, Illinois…talk about dedication and a love for fluorite !!

When I began looking at lodging in the area back in October, Chuck and I were able to book the last two log cabins close by, just down the road from Garden of the Gods. Unfortunately there was no pet friendly lodging in that entire area, so I left Onyx with my Mom this trip. It worked out for Chuck to bring his entire family with him, while I was able to offer John Oos and Pete a place to stay as well, since they are two bedroom cabins with a sofa bed couch as well. I also researched a few places to eat at nearby…nearby meaning at least 15 to 20 miles away where the closest towns were located from where we would be, deep in the sticks. Luckily there was a gas station closeby that had a little convenience store and warm food and sandwiches served daily, where we could meet each morning for breakfast. Chuck arrived on Friday afternoon, Nov 25th, about 30 minutes before I did…I was taking the scenic route getting there, going through some of the old coal mining areas on my route, while he skirted around Harrisburg to get there. Soon after pulling up in front of my cabin, Pete called me to let me know he was nearby and would arrive soon…little did I know that he was up on top of the nearby hill at Garden of the Gods, til we all drove up there to catch the last rays of the setting sun and found him at the entrance gate. We got up there with a cloudy sky and just enough light to allow me to shoot a few photos at 400 speed ISO….

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Trust me, the images look like I shot them mid afternoon, but thats what good editing can do for you and a good editing program as well. it was dark up there and luckily the paths going to the rocks are brick lined and nicely put together, so you arent tripping over rocks and tree roots all the way down there and back…we had just enough ambient light to see our way in and less on the way out. Garden of the

Gods is one of those magical places that just has to be seen to be appreciated tho and it never fails to amaze me…

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( Well I am having problems once again with my local server keeping the internet connection, not sure if its a Windows 10 issue or some problem with the server, but its getting to be very aggravating, just spent thirty min writing up the intro to the first day digging and lost the entire thing. so bear with me while I try this again, just called my server, and I think they now know how ticked off I am about this on-going issue. )

Trust me, the images I shot at Garden of the Gods look as though we were there in mid afternoon, but as it was, we had ony ambient light to walk to the overlook, just enough light to see the path in forest that the US FS created with bricks so that one doesnt have to trip over rocks and tree roots to get there. Thanks to an amazing editing program, my images just look great in low light sometimes. Garden of the Gods is an amazing place to go to, magical in the right light, thankfully we had enough ambient light to see that evening, mainly due to the cloudy skies in place all day. Had the skies cleared off, we probably wouldnt have been able to see by the time we arrived.

We drove back to the cabin and got Pete settled in, then headed to Harrisburg to have supper at Morellos Italian Restaurant on Main Street…highly rated for fine dining there. Finding a parking place proved to be a challenge and after driving into the third lot, located across the street, we were able to find one finally. We walked inside to find a fairly well packed dining area and we were greeted warmly by staff and seated quickly. I had every intention of having Italian food that evening, but when I found out they had a special on filet mignon, I changed my mind and ordered the steak instead. Everyone else ordered Italian and said it was all good, as was my steak and food. Afterward, on the way back to the cabin, Pete and I stopped off at DQ so I could get a blizzard for dessert…shortly after we arrived at the cabin, John showed up and moved his stuff inside…Chuck came over shortly after and we had a pretty good mineral jam session til it was time to retire for the night.

The plan was to meet up with David and Janyce at Harbisons Country Market the next morning, they were bringing up their tractor on a trailer to assist us with digging into the tailing piles at the old mine. John rode with me to save parking space at the mine, so we drove over to Harbisons at 7 am, and after Virgil showed up, we all went inside for some breakfast…the place has a deli inside and can grill up biscuits, gravy, and eggs, plus they have sausage and egg sandwiches too. Afterwards, we drove down to the landowners residence, so he could lead us down to the old mine. I had stopped by to see and visit with him earlier this summer on my way to a dig at the Eureka Mine, and he had offered to allow me to bring my group to his mine and dig into the tailings to see what we could find. We stayed in touch and he let us bring and use the tractor as well. He led us down to the location and helped us with parking, directing David to a flat spot so it would be easier for him to unload the tractor. After introductions, we all gave him some nice crystals and minerals from our respective areas and he then showed us where we could dig and hazards to avoid, and soon after we had all spread out all over the huge tailing pile in front and began there…I brought a rake with me and used it to rake down the heavy carpet of forest leaves from the pile…John had offered to bring a gas powered leaf blower to make things easier, but I told him it would take up a lot of room in his car, and possibly deprive him of space in case we hit the jackpot in goodies there.

David unloaded his tractor and started digging around in various spots up and down the hill around the main tailing pile….

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…and pretty soon we were all finding some pretty blue colored fluorite in the pile….

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David continued to move up the hill digging in various spots with his backhoe attachment, while Virgil and Janyce combed the dig areas to find the elusive fluorite pieces. Pete, John, and I were mainly working on the back side of the tailing pile, concentrating on the lower end where it met up with the creekbed on the other side from the others, while Chuck and Mackenzie were digging into the top of the pile….

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…and by noon, after a break for food and water, we all wound up down at the northern base of the tailing pile looking for goodies, which seemed to be naturally just falling out of the dirt and into our hands each time David made a pass with the bucket into the pile…David spotted me taking photos and said I had better get down there cause everyone was finding some nice stuff….

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We all got a good workout in that day, digging out the loose dirt and pulling out the gems hiding inside, covered by the clay, discovering not only blue fluorite, but colors of green, yellow and clear as well. David would dig into the hillside of the tailing pile with the bucket and drop it out at our feet, and then we would rake it back and spread it all out to find the hidden gemstones…lots of fun and lots of hard work..we dug this way for about four hours, stopping as it began to get dark. Here is some video on the dig above….click on ” Download File ” then double click on the file name below and it will pop up in a separate window for you to view it….

The landowner stopped by to check on us a few times and see how we were doing, we showed him our finds and he was happy as well. We loaded up the tractor and tools, to head back to the cabins to get cleaned up before heading to Golconda for supper. Virgil headed back home before that, antsy to see his new grandson and wanting to stop off at Eminence on the way to check out the quarry there. Since John had never seen Garden of the Gods, I drove him up there to see it at sunset and snapped a few photos of it again as well…

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Over on the left point, above image…there were some guys from Texas that were admiring the view and in front of us, below image…there was a young couple admiring the view…

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…and an entire family on the point to our right…below image….

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By the time John and I returned to the cabin, everyone was ready to go get something to eat, so we followed David and Janyce to the small town of Golconda, which is about a twenty minute drive south to the Ohio River. While researching places to eat at, I had come across a bar and grill named Diver Down, located on Main Street in Golconda, known wide and far for their catfish fillets, chicken fingers, and steaks, all fresh food prepared and cooked to order. We arrived soon after dark and walked in to find the place nearly empty, the staff seemed a bit surprised that we had a group numbering nine but quickly seated us and provided us with menus. I discovered that they had a special on prime rib that night as well as catfish fillets…so naturally I ordered the prime rib and everyone else decided on nachos and chicken fingers. The wait was long and there were a few smaller groups that came in after us that seemed to get their food quicker than we did…but the food was good when we did finally get it and true to their word, it was definitely fresh food, not frozen at all. The chicken fingers at this place are large, but they dont come with fries or anything else, so you have to order fries or anything else with it, possibly because they are so big. I helped Chucks wife Lynn, who wasnt able to eat all of her chicken fingers, that is how I know they were freshly cooked and good tasting. We tried to get back to Harbisons before they closed, to get some hand dipped ice cream, but I made the wrong turn and we got there just a few minutes too late. We headed back to the cabins and had another mineral jam session, this time John bringing in some crystals and minerals to share with us from the Iowa quarries that he goes to collect at, and some barite specimens to buy from his dealer friend Craig….

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We woke up the next day to a very frosty cold morning, a bit on the froggy side too and frost so heavy it looked like a dusting of snow everywhere….

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David left the tractor and trailer with us at the cabin, so the next morning they arrived about 7 am and then we all drove down to Harbisons for breakfast again. After arriving at the old mine and digging for about an hour, still finding alot of blue fluorite pieces during that time, we decided to stop and head over to Elizabethtown and visit with Gary Griffith, who mines fluorite in yellow and purple colors at the Hasty Mine nearby….Gary also sells the fluorite and makes octohedrons by hand as well. I met him and his son at the Eureka Mine Show earlier this year and found out they have some beautiful stuff that they sell by the flat. David has bought from them as well so he and Janyce led us to Garys house. Gary had several pallets completely covered by purple and yellow fluorite, plus he had some raspberry colored fluorite as well, so we all grabbed a flat and started selecting what we would like to buy from him. While we were doing that, he chipped out a couple of octohedrons for Janyce….

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I shot some video of Gary creating these octohedrons for David and Janyce….click on ” Download File ” and it will come up and play in a separate window for you….

 

…that is Gary`s dad in the background he is talking to about lottery tickets while he chips away at the fluorite piece….and carrying on a conversation with David as well. Here is a video showing a pallet full of beautiful purple fluorites that he has for sale there….

 

When we got back to the mine, Chuck headed home, leaving Pete, John, David, Janyce, and I to continue diggging for a couple more hours..

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David and his tractor made the work much easier for all of us and helped us enjoy the dig and hard work we all put into it as well….thanks for bringing your tractor David….

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We thanked the landowner once again before heading home. I arrived home about 7:30 pm Sunday evening and by midnight had heard from everyone but Virgil and Pete…luckily this time John made it home safe and sound without any mishaps along the way as he did on the conclusion of his journey home from Arkansas…Pete arrived home about 4 am safe and sound, and from the looks and sound of it, everyone was pretty happy they had made the trip down there as well. Here are some of my cleaned up goodies….

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and one of the only ones I found with any cubes on it in deep blue color no less….

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…another successful and enjoyable trip to wrap up 2016 very well….if you have any questions, give me a shout at jwjphoto7@gmail.com 

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years !!