I returned to the Dynamite Dogtooth Pocket Sunday morning and found it intact and waiting patiently for me to return and clean it out. I had taken the day off from work, Missy and I arriving about 9 am on a fairly pleasant day, it was due to warm up later in the morning to about 38 degrees. I had my heavy coat on when I arrived but soon shed it in favor of something lighter so I could move around inside the cavern pocket.
The photo above shows the roof and far side of the cavern pocket at the opening…when I first climbed back up to it, this time cleaning off the stairs as I climbed back up, then cleared off a level spot for four bags, I set about pulling loose crystals, some druse bubble plates, and a few clusters from the muck below the pocket opening…
…this guy was sitting there on top of the muck fall down from the pocket opening, right in front of me, when I got up there and started digging in from the bottom of the pile and working my way upward…
…and I carefully cleaned out around him before pulling him out…wasnt sure if he was attached to a plate lurking below the surface or not…as it was, he was pretty much just by himself with a small calcite base attached….
…and if you look close, you can see another smaller one right behind it higher up…..
…I pulled several small clusters and single crystals out of the loose muck and then climbed up into the pocket opening and looked inside. It pretty much looked the same as the last time I was there, some big dogtooths on the roof as well as down on the far side of the cavern wall….I say cavern cause it was pretty much as big as a small cave in there….
…I could have easily crawled in there and still had room to spare…it wouldnt have been comfy getting poked and stuck by those needles on all sides, but it was definitely roomy. I decided to check out the crystals on the right side first, since I thought there was a possibility that I could damage them if I didnt take care of them first…I had brought my hard hat this time, since the wind was blowing pretty hard and knocking rocks off the top…here you see this massive cluster of poker chip crystals, covered in dust, sitting next to my hat….
…and above them are a couple of thick plates of bubbles of druse hanging upside down…poised right above them, but luckily still very firmly attached to the roof, otherwise they wouldnt still be in the photo, I would have removed them. Down below them was the short wall of dogtooth crystals, again covered in a heavy layer of dust and dirt, where that little single guy was located a few minutes before…
…I chipped a few of the more accessible dogtooths off the short wall, mainly ones near the top after raking several loose ones off the top shelf and placing them in the bag…I refer to the smaller single crystals as ” christmas tree ornaments ” cause Docia uses them to make christmas gem trees and use them as ornaments on the trees. Pretty soon I had a bag full of wrapped goodies, and set it down below in between some big rocks so it wouldnt tip over. I grabbed another bag full of cloths, emptied them out and then reached up on the bottom of the pocket opening and felt around the edges…next thing you know, I am pulling this beauty out of there….
…without any chipping required even…after this one though, I chipped a few more clusters out of that bottom opening wall, and besides the perk of pulling out some beauties, it also created some room for me to work the bottom of the pocket an hour later. After this, I decided to see if I could work on liberating some dogtooths from the roof and far side wall….
…including this nice guy just hanging there waiting to be liberated from confinement and exposure to those harsh Missouri winters….
…and here is another one that was attached to the far side wall….
…very pretty bubbley and sparkley gray druse is all over the inside of this pocket and where the bright orange dogtooth crystals are attached, they really stand out on that type of pretty backdrop. The next photo shows my view from the bottom lip of the pocket opening, down toward the bottom floor of the pocket, about two feet below me….
…and even closer down into the pocket looking toward the bottom of it….
…and finally at the bottom as I saw it that morning….
…and if you look at that big orange crystal sticking up from the bottom center of the photo above, thats one that I pulled from the muck at the bottom a few minutes later…it was very pretty, and no, I dont have a photo of it. I do however, have a photo of the cluster that I pulled out of the muck that was located a few inches below it…
…and the next photo documents the progress I am making, two hours after arrival…now have three bags full of wrapped goodies on the floor behind me, the bottom lip of the pocket opening shows chipped out and some crystals removed from the short wall to the right…
…and here are the three bags loaded down with goodies, accompanied by a couple of larger pieces from the short wall of dogtooth crystals….one beach ball sized one on the left and one football sized one on the right, covered by the towel….
…and the beach ball sized cluster up close….
…and another view closer up of the pocket opening…up on the right side, you can see where I had chipped a few clusters away from the wall holding them, but had trouble with that one large cluster of poker chips…they kept breaking off, so I decided to leave them where they were concentrated at….
…and I decided to stop here…three hours into the day, popped open a can of Arizona green tea for lunch and carried a few bags back to the truck, after moving it much closer than where I first parked. Since I also had a ways to carry the bags over uneven ground again, I learned a valuable lesson last week and not only moved the truck closer, but packed the bags about half full for the trip to the truck, then packed them full and freed up a few more bags in case I found more pockets…which….I did. 🙂
After a much needed break, I wandered down the west wall and then down the south wall, and after dodging a few falling rocks and pebbles, I spotted a pocket at the bottom of the wall….
…but I wasnt prepared for what I saw when I looked inside…it was a dogtooth….. of a different color….
…I walked back over to my bag and grabbed my hammer and chisel and returned to free it, then wrapped it and placed it into my bag and continued along the wall…soon finding this pocket up high….
…and actually it turned out to be a double pocket, side by side….this one on the right more interesting to look at because of the obviously larger crystals at the edge and just inside…
…and that yellow icky gooey stuff on the outside of the pockets…not sure what it is, but it can be quite nasty sometimes when you reach into a pocket and come out with your hand covered in it…gloved hand that is…and here is the pocket on the left side closer up…can see some blast damage on the outside edge….
…I moved on down the wall and soon came up on another pocket, one that had apparently been opened by a recent blast, one that I wouldnt have to do any chipping to open up at all, merely raking down some loose crystals at first….
..til I could get to these crystal clusters sitting up above the loose crystals in the back of the pocket…I was standing up on my toes trying to reach these guys with my mini mattox…one I am still getting used to after damaging my other one…
…here is a photo below with different color showing the clusters on the left side…and the loose stuff in front…I had to pull them down with the rake in order to get the clusters in the back to loosen up and slide down into my waiting hands….almost needed a bag to scoop them up with cause they came down in an avalanche each time…
…and this last cluster was sitting up high on the right side of the back of the pocket, obviously already with some damage to it…but it came sliding down as well….
the crystals that came from this pocket were a nice honey brown color with dark grey tips after cleaning them up last night. I didnt see any dogtooths in this pocket but it was a nice change from the other two pockets I had worked Sunday. I photographed several of the goodies cleaned up today, and will post a few more as soon as I get them edited up.
Well since I had a good nap earlier today, I decided to go ahead and edit up the photos of the goodies I cleaned up last night, so here they are, hope you enjoy as much as I am….I posted a few on FB as well…
Now a few of the larger clusters I found inside the pocket…..
and some more smaller ones….