I was really looking forward to the visit by members of MAGS the weekend of April 5th and 6th, their members are some of the best people you would ever want to meet and rock hunt with, one of the best clubs I have ever had the pleasure of joining. My scouting trip the last week of March turned up a couple of new locations, one which needed further exploration and one that sounded too good to be true. I was able to contact the property owner of the quarry and it turned out he was into metal detecting, so we shared a common interest and he gave me permission to check out the quarry on his property. I then contacted my good friend Virgil Richards, who lives in the Tulsa area, to let him know what I had found out and he indicated that he would be back up on Friday night to go with me to the new druse spot and check out the other location for the first time as well. He also wanted to rejoin the MAGS Club in order to get in on some other field trips throughout the rest of the year, too. I also updated my friend Ray from St Louis County and he indicated he would be out early Saturday morning as well. I had all my grab bag material separated and ready to hand over to MAGS Club for grab bag material at their end of April Show and I coordinated with WC on when and where to meet up with them Saturday late morning.
After a late supper with Virgil at Cracker Barrel, soon after he arrived in my town, I retired early to bed on Friday night, but then woke up around 4 am for some reason, so when the fire department was paged for a house fire about six blocks from my house at 5:30 am, I quickly dressed and headed that way to photograph it for the local paper. I was on the scene until nearly 7 am, when I headed home so I would be ready when Virgil and Ray showed up at my place at 7:30. Virgil arrived soon after and I gave him the grand tour, heading out soon after Ray showed up. We stopped at Steelville to gas up, where Virgil grabbed some ice and goodies for later, and then headed on south to check out the abandoned quarry.
We arrived there around 9 am and after changing to my boots and grabbing a bag and my mini mattox, we started climbing up to the rock walls to check for pockets….
…it was obvious, once we got close enough to inspect the walls, that we were in a quarry that had been abandoned for years, the walls were heavily discolored and weathered….
….and it was a steep climb to get up to those walls as well, slippery slope as it were. We found some beautiful druse quartz on the way up there as well, some intense sparkles and colors….
…and I was working a small pocket near the entrance, while Virgil and Ray were taking a short break down below me…I was pulling some wild looking clusters out of the pocket that had some druse that was def wired differently and poker chips attached to them, looked like a knarly mess to me, but they were def different than anything I had seen, so I pulled about a dozen out and then decided to turn the pocket over to Virgil, since he had made a five hour drive up there and hadn`t found anything good yet. I had already filled another bag on a pocket I had found up above, where I pulled this pretty druse plate out that had this poker chip attached to it….
We began to get a bit worried that we hadn`t seen the MAGS members drive up on our location when 11 am rolled around, so we decided to load up and head toward their Washington County location that they were slated to go to early that morning. We drove down to where I had been told they would be located and found no one there except some workers preparing a cemetery plot for a service, and after they told us that no one else had been down there in that area, we turned around and headed to Viburnum, to see if they had gone on to the site without us. We kept trying to call but as it is in most of those valleys in south central Missouri, there are few times you can pick up a signal. Not until we were deep within the heart of Viburnum did we finally get a signal and make contact with WC, and then as it turned out, they were about half a mile behind us and followed us to the druse spot from there. It seems they had gone to a different location than where they originally thought they were going to, and we had prob driven by the turn off to that location and missed them by mere minutes. I was just glad that we were able to meet up and that everyone was okay, and that they had good luck finding some big pieces of druse at the other location.
After directing them into the parking area and helping them get situated, I noticed one of the trucks had Blue Springs Marina on the side of it as well as a KC phone number, and pleasantly discovered there were now a few more members from Missouri in the club now. I knew most of the member from the year before and it was great seeing Bebe again, as I met her the first time down at Marion, Kentucky at a fluorite dig. I talk to WC and Matthew online all the time, WC is the Field Trip Director and Matthew is the Newsletter Editor, both very accomplished in their respective duties and great to talk to. After getting to visit with everyone and explaining to them that I had left Missy at home so she wouldn`t get so muddy, I pointed out the boundaries of the druse spot and what they could expect to find, and soon after everyone spread out in search of beautiful druse. Some had been there the year before and were looking forward to this spot once again, its a great place to bring kids, too.
After I saw that everyone was finding some nice stuff, I started looking specifically for some more smokey colored druse bubbles for my own collection.
Virgil had run up to the Caseys in Viburnum to get some more goodies and when he returned, he started checking out the ditches and gullies on the north side while most of the rest of us were on the south side.
We had been there about 90 minutes when a guy pulled up in the road and stopped to check us out…he wasn`t sure what we were collecting and his curiousity got the best of him, so he stopped and started asking questions…turned out he was Cindy`s husband Bob, and he invited us on up to his property to look for druse there. We continued on down the road to their farm about an hour later…they have fifty acres there of mostly cleared forest land, but as it turned out, the only druse we found there were contained in very small vugs, not the type of stuff we were looking for and used to finding. From here, everyone was pretty tired and decided to head back to Park Hills to get some supper and rest up for the dig tomorrow, so I pointed out how they could return to Hwy C from where they were located to make the return trip. I told WC that Missy and I would meet them at the quarry entrance the next morning at 9 am in Eminence. Ray, Virgil, and I headed up to the Caseys store to get a few slices of pizza and decided the day had been long enough for us as well. Virgil decided to head on home from there, since we hadn`t gotten the word about any new blasting at Eminence, so we all split up at Cuba and headed home.
The next morning, Missy and I headed south by 7 am, arriving in Eminence a little after 9 and on pulling into the entrance to the quarry, discovered we were the first ones there. I had enough time to get out and make some needed adjustments to one side of my tonneau cover to make it more secure when closed…I honestly think the wind has slapped it around enough this year to make it hard to open and shut. Soon after changing to my boots, we saw the convoy of vehicles head down the hill toward us, with WC leading the way….
…and as soon as everyone was in the lot off the highway, we drove on down to the newer cove area and parked. Missy jumped out and everyone wanted to say hi to her…she was a bit easier to pet this year, easier to catch up to I should say…she is getting older and doesn`t run around as much these days, comes back to where I am hunting at and lays down to watch and rest, so it`s easier to catch up to her and pet her these days. She has been a very good and constant travel companion in my life these past fourteen years and a great buddy girl to have around….she absolutely loves to go rock collecting with me.
On driving in, I had noticed a couple of new areas of activity, and pointed them out to everyone, and soon after, most headed to those new areas to check them out. Even though I grabbed my tools and bags, I mainly helped everyone get started finding stuff, specially the two kids there, Bentley and ” D ” who were part of the Kansas City group.
I checked out a pile to the east for a bit and then returned to the west side of the coved wall, after Matthew`s wife Carolyn called me over to check out some finds. I began picking up dark colored poker chips all over and we all began digging in and finding even more laying around all over the place. Soon after, my buddy Jim Bay drove down to visit with us and I introduced him to everyone there too. We continued to look around and even though we didn`t find any major pockets, I`m pretty sure everyone went home happy with what they found there. We had hoped they would blast before they arrived, cause then there would be even more material laying around to go thru, but alas for some reason that didn`t happen. By 2 pm, it was just Missy and me, and we looked around in another area before heading home an hour later. I look forward to seeing everyone at some of the other field trips later this year.
if you have any questions or wanna say hi, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org