Roadcuts With Dolomite Crystals and….

…Williamsville type Calcite Crystals…that is what we discovered at a couple of roadcuts late in January 2020 after we checked out the new quarry. I`m not going to reveal the location of the roadcuts we visited due to concerns we all had, this is not a location that children should be present at for one thing, nor groups… and I won`t show photos of the roadcut that might give away its location either. It`s unfortunate, but I just don`t trust everyone when it comes to rockhunting. 

About an hour after we left the new quarry, we pulled up to the first roadcut and parked off road, well out of the way of traffic, not wanting to be a hazard or distraction to anyone passing by us, and we walked over to the nearest wall and began checking out existing pockets for signs of life. 

This was the 1st pocket we checked…it was interesting to see that whoever found and worked it first, only worked on the ceiling some, the walls more, and completely avoided the floor of the pocket. I started pulling crystals and plates out of the floor of the pocket which was about six inches deep in dirt, sand, and rock fragments from above and the side walls. The first plate I pulled out was covered in dolomite crystals…this is the first roadcut in Missouri I have even seen dolomite crystals !! It wasn`t long before David was up there with me, pulling even more plates out of there…

…and Chuck was soon busy walking the base walls of the roadcut and picking up poker chip calcites and dolomite plates both…these poker chips resembled the Williamsville Calcites also…he also discovered some nice vugs in small boulders nearby, like this one…

We worked that first pocket for about three hours, took David and I both, that long to clean it out pretty good about two feet into it. I then walked down the wall to another pocket that Chuck had discovered and began to work it. It didn`t take me long to start pulling medium sized Williamsville style Poker Chips out of the floor of this pocket, and I had no sooner showed them to David, when he backed out of the large pocket he was working on and walked down to join me at the second pocket. 🙂 Darn it, I knew he would do that. 🙂

It`s all good tho, as we are good rockhounding friends and often hand things to each other while digging out pockets and crystals, as good rockhound friends often do when working together. He began working the left side on this one while I worked on the right side of it and eventually my side started moving downward at an angle…I was soon pulling out more poker chips and even some dogtooths, albeit small ones…but hey, a dogtooth is a dogtooth, no matter the size…they are all good. 🙂  He began pulling even more of the Williamsville Calcites out and even some attached to dolomite and druse plates, one huge plate that was upside down, was especially pretty when he was finally able to detach it from the ceiling and pull it out of the pocket, which by then was several feet in length. I had asked him to remove it for me, but allowed him to take it home when he told me he didn`t have anything like it in his collection. 🙂 We decided to take a water break about this time as the temps were beginning to rise a bit and warm up the atmosphere around us. We also took time to gather up our goodies and do some wrapping and loading into the trucks. Here are some that I took home that day….

…and this neat calcite cluster that was unusually shaped…

…we returned the next day to check out another roadcut nearby and found even more calcites and dolomite plates, as well as dolomite clusters the sizes of basketballs and beach balls…in four different flavors…red, pink, orange, and yellow, as well as a few black and white combos, and one or two that sparkled like mica flakes…still not sure what those are.  We returned to the roadcut above later in the day and worked it some more, too, and had a few curious visitors stop by and visit with us. We handed out some small dolomite plates to show them what we were finding after they told us that they liked rocks, and one was getting ready for a presentation in his science class, so we figured those crystals might make a good addition to his class presentation. We also had a good visit with a Missouri State Trooper, he had passed us by earlier in the day unable to figure out what we were doing, then looped around a few hours later to stop and inquire. After we explained that we were rockhounds, and then what a rockhound is and does, he was fine with it, had no clue what could be found at roadcuts and we showed him what we had found there. We offered him a few of the crystal plates and he politely declined…he was truly amazed at the drive David had made up to his part of Missouri to rockhound, and pleasantly surprised he said that we both had clean driving records. We made sure to thank him for his service before he returned to his patrol of the area. We had a great time at all three roadcuts and the quarry too, brought back a few buckets full of dolomites and calcites….here are a few more photos of what I brought back….

New Quarry to Check Out

Walmart had me off for a few days in late January, so David Hodge, Chuck Reed, and I drove down to southeast Missouri to check out a new quarry for pretty rock. I had been in touch with the owner by email a few weeks prior, and he let me know that his quarry was receptive to rockhounds in the past on Saturday mornings when they were not working. I asked if we could come check it out on the 25th and he said yes. I met both of them at the quarry office and we met the owner there…Mr. Scaggs turned out to be a very nice guy, but I already knew that since I had read about him on his FB page and the way he handled his work near his hometown, spoke volumes about him, all good stuff. He told us he had been farming and managing quarries all over the USA for many years before he moved back to his hometown and opened this quarry about 12 years ago, where they mined some different types of rock and produced some unique products that helped farmers and other industries as well, giving them a corner on the market that other quarries cannot compete with. He did warn us tho, that he had hosted other rockhounds there before, as well as mineral clubs, and no one had ever found anything pretty there. He showed us where inside his quarry we could check for pretty rocks, and turned us loose for a few hours. We drove down to the first of four pits and after about ten minutes of diligent searching, we started finding calcite crystals in small poker chip formations, perched on top of dolomite crystals in saddle formations and in orange, yellow, red, and pink colors !! Chuck discovered them first and began working on some small boulders..when David and I heard and saw him working on the boulders, we immediately walked over to that area to investigate and found him hard at work harvesting some nice plates and pieces….

…he said they rolled down from above, so we looked up above on the wall and discovered a whole section covered with all four flavors of the dolomite crystals…

..on this wall….

…and then we checked the boulders below…we liked what we found so much of, that we never left that pit to go check the others, we were there finding and wrapping for three hours….

…vugs full of dolomite crystals, pretty as you please. We drove back up to the office and let Mr. Scaggs know that we found some pretty crystals in his quarry and would love to come back some time and he said we would be welcome to return. 🙂 

see the next story above for what we did after we left there…