Great Pocket On My Way Home From Black Rock

I decided to stop by the quarry at Eminence on my way home from Black Rock, Arkansas on May 31st. I had driven down to Black Rock early that morning for a MAGS sponsored trip to the Vulcan Quarry to look for pink dolomite and calcite crystals and maybe some chalcopyrite., however, if I want good chalcopyrite, I def know where I can go to find some big crystals of it. I took the scenic route getting to Eminence tho, taking Hwy 63 north back up to Thayer and then catching Hwy 19 and taking it north to Eminence. I spotted some pretty Jersey cows in a field off to the right of the highway and stopped to photograph them on this beautiful cloudy blue sky day….

01 On The Way Field of Jersey Cows


03 On The Way Field of Jersey Cows


…then I spotted this lone pine tree against the big fluffy white clouds and blue skies….

04 Lone Pine Tree

I stopped off ten miles south of Winona at Fallng Spring Mill, to photograph it…neat little water grist mill with a waterfall right next to it and a big millpond in front of it, accessed by a wooden footbridge….

07 Falling Spring Mill

…it has been several years since I last photographed it, good to see that it is still being well taken care of by the Forest Service.

I then continued north to the quarry and pulled in to find that another short wall had been blasted down, with rocks strewn everywhere from it…

08 Short Wall Blast Spread Out


…and I mean everywhere, in all directions, all over the floor of the quarry….

09 Spread Out All Over Lot

11 No Clean Up Yet

I drove around to the east side and parked…..

12 Started Out Cloudy

….then walked around the edge of the pile, looking for any signs of crystals or druse, finding some nice larger pieces of druse on the west side and set them out on the floor to pick up later before I left. I then decided to climb up along the wall to the top of the pile to check for wall pockets…

10 Started Up East Side


…finding one very nice pocket that expanded to the size of a beach ball at the entrance and was chock full of little caverns off on each side and up above it, stuffed full of plates of dolomite and calcite druse, with poker chips attached to them. It was soon very apparent to me that one bag was not going to be enough, because every plate I was pulling out was so delicate and gorgeous, that I needed to wrap each one to protect them. I returned to the truck and grabbed a couple more bags, full of wrapping cloths and grabbed a bottle of water as well…it had been cool and breezy down at Black Rock, but now, after only an hour here, it was getting very hot and the clouds had rolled away to leave blue skies and full sun. In the hour I had been there, my arms had already darkened from the intense sunlight and I could feel the beginnings of a mild sunburn starting on the back of my neck.  An hour later, and I had filled both of these bags and I carried them back to the truck…there was only one easy way down to the truck and back up to the pocket…hugging the wall to the east and then sliding down the slope like a slalom course…but I made it without any spills each time. I grabbed two more bags filled with wrapping cloths and another bottle of water and an hour later, I had the pocket cleaned out completely. I`ll get some photos taken of those gems soon…took a few down to Tina at the Clement Mineral Museum this past weekend and everyone down there just oohhed and ahhhed over them, just as I did when I was pulling them out of the pocket. The wall I was working actually had several small vugs in addition to the pocket I found….

14 Pockets Along Wall

I made one more sashay around the other side, carefully checking for more pockets, then drove around and loaded up the larger druse pieces I had found earlier, and then I headed home, tired but happy as well. This time I drove up Hwy 19 to Salem, and then straight north on Hwy 68 to St James and east on 44 to home…had I not run into a lot of pokey pokes on 19 and 68 both, I prob would have been home in two hours flat. All in all, though, a very good trip and day. 

James 🙂