Rock Guiding in Southeast Missouri Now….

Back in November of 2023 I was laid off for the winter from my golf course job, and like they say, one door closes and another one opens…I began taking groups of rockhounds to privately owned farms and locations in Washington County, Missouri, to collect druse quartz, barite, and galena, for the most part.

Most of the locations have those basic minerals and crystals because most of them are former mines with extra farmland surrounding the mines and mining areas. Some of the locations have a wide variety of material to be collected there and some just have one or two that can be collected….all of them have druse quartz, at least. Here is a list of the places available now in Washington County, that I helped become operational in the last few years and recently, in order. Each one is categorized as public or private, the private mines are the ones I now take groups of rockhounds to collect at. Most of them are only available to collect at through me, at the request of the landowners.



A friend of mine was retiring from Rock Guiding and asked me to contact a resident of Washington County, who he had talked to a few weeks back, said he had a gold mine of a farm with beautiful druse quartz all over it.

I met with Greg Coleman and his wife Judy about 4 years ago,  in December after a large club outing at his farm and Greg gave me the nickel tour of his 200 acre farm. We then talked about the basics he needed to get started, I helped him with the release forms and helped him set up the groundwork for his collecting operation, now called Haunted Ridge. Once he had everything ready to go, I set up dig events at his farm and began leading clubs and groups of rockhounds there for about six months….until he and Judy became familiar with the operation and opened it to the public on a daily basis. Initially, they had several family members involved in the operation and now have been able to add some friends in as well. He and some of his staff members even go to some local rock shows in and out of state, to sell druse quartz from his farm…including the outdoor venue at Geode Fest in recent years.

He and Judy set the bar on Customer Service so high that very few collecting places anywhere across the USA can come close to meeting the services they run every day there.

Greg has lots of druse quartz in many colors, small to boulder size….like this yard rock my buddy Randy Gentry is showing off, he found it that day in December in the pond bank behind Greg`s house….

…and here are a few nice sized druse`s that my buddy Patty found that day, making her four hour drive from southern Illinois very worthwhile….

….he has a few forms of iron covering some druse including hematite and limonite, and he has a lot of Missouri Lace Agate there as well. Greg and his staff operate side by side UTV`s and can transport rockhounds and their buckets/tools, from the time of their arrival and filling out the paperwork, to any spot on the farm, as well as pick them back up to return them to their vehicle, or take them to another collecting spot on the farm. They will do all the heavy lifting of your filled buckets as well. Greg also has at least one porta pottie on site…during the first year of operation he was placing a porta pottie at each of the popular spots on his farm and thru the summertime, he was placing large foam coolers at each spot, filling them with ice and bottled water, to keep the rockhounds hydrated. Greg hosts events each year there and at times, had an ATM machine on site. He quickly outgrew the small parking lot behind his house, so he then built a huge parking area under the canopy of trees back behind his lake, located 100 yards behind his house and smaller parking lot, and created a road leading to it from the main road leading to his house. That road is lined with huge boulders of druse quartz in every color and form imagineable.

About a year ago, Greg acquired a medium sized trackhoe and began digging on his farm, discovering a whole hillside of root beer druse quartz, he dug out several pits to make it easier on rockhounds to reach the plates of root beer and several large plates have been dug out from those pits now. I remember telling Greg that one day his place would become so popular that he would have to retire from his dayjob of managing a truck company…he thought I was joking, but found out I was right. Haunted Ridge has become their full time daily job now, and that is how they run it, with the help of family and friends, too. You can find them on Facebook with their own page now…Haunted Ridge Rocks.


That door closed and another one opened…the same retired Guide that asked me to help Greg get going, and then asked me to take over his guiding services, then told me about another Washington County farmer who had druse quartz on his property and was interested in having rockhounds come to his farm to collect. I contacted him and drove out to meet him…after taking a nickel tour of his farm, I saw that he had about 50 acres of druse quartz there, but nothing else. I told him the surface would be clean of any quartz after one or two groups…he wasn`t open to digging to reveal new material nor doing anything that would help rockhounds find more material at all. He did put me in touch with another nearby farm owner tho, so I left his place and drove a few miles to meet Chris, who turned out to be very nice, and open to digging and making things easier for rockhounds.

At that time, Chris had about 400 acres and a working cattle farm, one of three…he has since added another 60 acres to his main farm….and back in the early 1900`s to about 1970, the Arnault Lead and Barium Mine was in operation there on most of his farmland. There was also a milling operation there and when he purchased the land, a large spring fed lake came with it, as well as a major creek running through his property. This is how his lakeside property looked in 2021 when I began helping him get set up…

He showed me the boundaries, completely fenced in and we walked the barren field by the big lake….see photos above… which was pretty much covered in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes of pristine and clean druse quartz…..colors found here include golden brown, honey, white, yellow, green, red, orange, and blue….as well as black, smokey, pink, and purple….for those interested in making jewelry, can find a lot of druse quartz buttons here in many sizes as well as some sugar druse pieces….

Some of the quartz had turtleback barite attached to it….

…..some had cockscomb barite attached to it…..

….some had crystalline barite attached to it…..

…..and later we found a little bladed barite on the west side of the property and then discovered the rare, blue barite on the property….

…the first photo above shows how the blue barite looks in the field, right out of the ground, and the second photo shows it cleaned up. So far we have only found a few pieces of druse with bladed barite attached, here is one I found early on just above the new pond in a wash….

….in a honey root beer color of druse no less.

Missouri Lace Agate is also found here in beautiful colors, we found some galena cubes early on in a wash near the field by the big lake, but nothing since. We also find some barite plates with hematite nails, nailheads, and rods embedded in the plates…some of the rods were as big as huge drill bits, even…..

Here are a few photos of a Cockscomb Barite Plate I found on the back side of the new pond dam, with both short nails and nailheads embedded in the barite of the plate…

It didnt take long to get Chris up and running with his operation and soon I was taking groups to his farm as well, a few groups numbered 50 to 60 rockhounds initially. Chris and his sons provide transportation with their Razor UTV`s and do the lifting on buckets and yard rocks as well, provide rides from one side of the property to the other, too. He also has his bobcat available if you find a landscape rock and need help lifting it into your vehicle.

Chris ran into some problems with the access road from the back of the property line about a year in, so we sat it out a year while he tried to regain the access legally, and then he was able to purchase some additional property that allowed him access to the back of the property once again…one needs another way in when the creek gets six feet high and you cant get across to check on your cattle.

He cut and cleared a road down the hill on the back of the property, then rocked it with limestone road material, and smoothed it out with his bobcat machine. Until the road gets tightly packed down from all the late spring rains and storms we had this year, four wheel drive and all wheel drive are pretty much needed to get back up the hill and out the back gate. Some vehicles with front wheel drive have made it up the hill fine, while others struggled to get through some soft spots. For those that do not have front, four, or all wheel drive vehicles, your vehicles can be locked and parked on top of the hill, and rides can be arranged down to the valley floor for you with your tools and buckets.

The depth of the druse quartz here is at least 30 to 40 feet in most places, there is a pit in the middle of the field next to the big lake, that is at least 40 feet deep and druse was found all the way to the bottom of it before it was filled in four years ago.

I named Chris`s farm West Druse Farm and it remains open for privately arranged group digs through me only,  at his request. Clubs can contact me by PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, to go with us on group digs to the West Druse Farm and other privately owned locations to collect pretty rocks, dig events are found in the Events Tab at the top of my new FB page at



This winter while I was laid off from the golf course for the second year in a row, I met another rockhounder who asked me to help him get a friend of his in operation, and he introduced me to Todd, who owns Bluff View Farm north of Potosi on Hwy 185. Todd wanted to start out open to appointment only but soon opened his farm to the public as well.

Todd showed me his property, 300 acres in size, and there are a couple of hillsides on the back of the property line, that are completely dotted with spiderholes…which is what the miners called the hand dug and machine dug holes where the miners explored for galena lead. Around the sides of these holes, one can find calcite crystals, some of them in dogtooth form, some in plates, some in poker chip form, as well as druse quartz in mutiple colors, sometimes 2 and 3 colors combined, galena lead, barite, and hematite nails. Here are some photos of material I have collected at Bluff View….1st two are barite on druse, third is druse, fourth is galena lead on druse and matrix….last one is the farm on west side of the property line…


for more information, take a look at Todd`s Facebook page under Bluff View Farm Rocks,  and give him a shout there, be sure to check out the photos of material recently found there, too. He has several areas to collect in and he does provide transportation of rockhounds and their filled buckets / tools with his Side by Side UTV.

You can also check out my new FB page for photos of druse and other minerals found at Todd`s Bluff View Farm at



After working for a very short time at another location where some of my closest local rockhound friends assisted me with many hours of scout time, and I only wound up taking 2 groups to, resulting in a bad experience there,  I stopped taking groups there,  chalking it up to a learning experience and moved on.

Soon after, thanks to another rockhounding friend,  I was able to make contact with a well respected family in the Tiff area of Washington County, and I have been able to help them as well as friends and members of their extended family in the area.

My buddy Sam Linton was with me when I first met Lance, and he took us to a better place to collect at, instead of the smaller location we met him at. The better place turned out to basically be the supply house for the smaller first location, and the site of an old barite mining operation that dated back to the early 1900`s when National Lead Company started mining there, for their Barium Division. This mine covered hundreds of acres…as far as we know, galena has never been found there, only barite and in a few forms as well.

Lance has burned the leaves off several acres of wooded areas where druse quartz in many colors, including pinks, purples, and blues, are found, small to large in size. He has also cleared out many cedar trees and created alot of walking trails in the popular collecting areas of his property.


…the last photo above was the top of a small boulder that Sam removed with his sledge hammer and took home with him. We were there mid February and it began raining, then quickly changed over to snow and then sleet as the temps dropped…Sam and I were the last to leave….Mary and Dee wisely took off before the snow started falling….we left when the second round of sleet hit and got out of there just in time as the roads were starting to get bad. Four wheel drive doesn`t work on ice, but the roads were only slushy so it worked just fine all the way home.

I took the first group in there two weeks later on March 2nd, and it was much warmer that day, and many nice and pretty rocks were taken home that day by many satisfied rockhounds…

…and a lot of barite was found in many forms there too….my retired firefighter friend Gary Jones found a beautiful and unique plate of crystalline barite with huge fingers on it on top of a pile of dirt that contains barites, at the 2nd collecting spot known as the Shack Spot…

At the same time Gary was pulling that one out of tall grass, Tonya discovered some knobs of crystalline barite sticking up out of the dirt on top of the pile…

…and a few minutes later, Gary and Tonya found two nice plates…here they are showing them to me, Gary`s on the right….

..while others were finding some that were much bigger, like clusters of hand grenade barites…

…and then some of the crystalline plates were found mixed with druse quartz…

…and Curtis found a really nice plate of crystalline barite there…

Sam decided to return two weeks later and help me do some more scouting there, as we had not covered but about a quarter of the entire property yet…he brought a new rockhound friend with him on this trip, it was actually Marco`s first field trip in Missouri. While they were checking one area, Onyx and I were checking a series of berms down the hill below the Shack, aka the second collecting spot there…and I came upon this nice plate of soda straws…

and we discovered some of the berms were chock full of clusters of hand grenades and pineapple bladed barites….

Lance`s Mine Site is also known for the many huge piles of Missouri Lace Agates…like this one my buddy Tony found there in May….

…and on the scout trip in February Dee found other nice colors there too…

My buddy Bob Steele located some nice boulders in an area down near the Shack as well, that were covered by what the miners called Tongue Depressors, in clusters….

Lance has brought in machinery and turned over the old piles of rock to make it easier to find pretty druse and barite. In the first collecting area, there are clay dirt piles near a pond that are full of druse quartz in smoky, blue, and green colors and barite in forms of hand grenades, pineapples, crystalline, bladed, and combos…..

Lance`s Mine Site remains open for privately arranged group digs through me only,  at his request. Clubs can contact me by PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, then once approved, check the Events Tab  at the top of the page to see when we are going next. In order to go with us, all you have to do is click on the event, read the info, make note of the meeting spot and time to be there by, and click Going.

My new FB page is at



Another good friend told me about a couple of guys with 400 acres of land in the northern part of Washington County, said it was a former mine site and abounded with bladed barite and druse quartz, especially blue druse quartz. He put me in touch with them and after a few weeks, when their schedule lightened up, I was able to drive down and meet Jesse and Chris at their farm.

It turned out to be part of a huge mining complex called The Big Four that operated in that area for many years, encompassing over ten thousand acres at one time, where two galena mines and two barite mines were in operation within close proximity of each other. This one was one of the barite mines and it had a quarry on the west side of the property at one time as well. The quarry, while no longer there, produced hundreds of piles of rock, which are scattered all over the 400 acres, and contain an enormous amount of druse quartz, from crushed small sizes to big boulders of it, and when the sun is bright and shining on those piles of rock, it becomes Glitter City there.

They took me for a ride around their property, showing me the outside boundaries and then showed me the west side of the property where the quarry had been located, and I was able to take a closer look at many of the piles there, and blue druse quartz was definitely in abundance there, as well as other colors too. The blue here comes in a light blue, medium blue, and dark blue and sometimes bladed barite is attached as well.

I was able to get them started by the first week of April and the first dig event  there numbered about 55 rockhounds. I took my personal rockhounding group in there at 8 am, and then drove over to the meeting spot and picked up about 35 rockhounds from my new FB page group, and led them to the dig event at 9 am. The landowners had several of their friends there to help them with the crowd of rockhounds, several Side by Side UTV`s and Razor UTV`s available to assist with rides and transporting filled buckets back to their vehicles all day long. They also brought a skidsteer with them and were actually using it to make additional parking space as I arrived with my personal group of rockhound friends. It was also put to good use later in the day when a couple of rockhounds found some large landscape rocks to take home with them. Here are some of the finds from that first day there…

Not eight days later, I took a second group there to join up with members of the Nashville, Tennessee Mineral Club,  and many more goodies were located and taken home by more happy rockhounds….

…followed by a third outing with members of the Fairfield, Iowa Club and rockhounds from my FB page group….

In addition to the transport and rides available at this site, a porta pottie is also located on site as well as assistance with landscape rocks.

Richwoods Mine Site is open for privately arranged group digs through me only,  at the request of the property owners. Clubs can contact me by PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, then once approved, check the Events Tab  at the top of the page to see when we are going next. In order to go with us, all you have to do is click on the event, read the info, make note of the meeting spot and time to be there by, and click Going.

My new FB page is at



In May, Lance told me about one of his cousins, who has a large lake on his property and told me that an old mining operation covered much of his cousin`s land at one time. I made contact with Daniel and drove down to take a look at his place soon after, asked two of my local rockhound friends Mary Chris and Tony to join me there and help me scout it out.

We started at the creek just inside the entrance and below the lake…Daniel and his family members dug the lake out to create a fishing and recreational lake, so it wasn`t a tailings lake like some mine sites have. The dirt they dug out tho, was chock full of beautiful druse quartz and barite in a few interesting forms…like hundreds of soda straw plates with the straws reaching 2 inches in length, many in colors of a vivid blue and purple, yellows, and some were coated with hematite black coloring, some with metal tips extending out the tips of the straws….

The soda straw plates in the photos above, came out of the creek below the lake…I call it Spillway Creek and it carves thru a section of Daniel`s property that is loaded with this material and more…each time it rains, more material is exposed for collecting. I believe this area will last for collecting purposes for quite some time to come…..

Turns out the Dresser Mining Company operated there and in the surrounding area as well, in search of barite, and judging from what I saw that day, the barite they found there was very plentiful, laying all around the property in various forms, including bladed barite, hand grenades, pineapples, and crystalline bladed barite. Many of the pineapples and hand grenades were seen in clusters of them…some of them very large clusters.

One of the very first things Tony found that morning, as we were beginning our search and scout of the property, was several plates with Hematite blades in Rosettes,  on them…they had a yellow coating on them, which led me to believe they were Limonite blades, but Sam believes they are Hematite blades instead, just with a yellow coating on them possibly from weathering. He is probably right as I have never seen Limonite blades that big…..

and this is another one that he gave to Mary….

and some of the soda straw plates Tony found that day there too….

…the second photo above are three that I collected.

I took the first group in there a week later and everyone did very well with their finds…many of the soda straw plates have been found in two locations, Spillway Creek and a large dirt area at the foot of the lake dam, farther down the road past the creek…that collecting area is probably a hundred feet long and 60 feet wide with a couple of shallow washes running through it that provide alot of beautiful material including the plates and some barites too….

you can see the outline of one of the washes in the photo above, about middle of the photo…it runs left to right across the photo, that is the main wash with all the soda straw plates in it. Everyone started collecting over there that morning, it was a little muddy and thankfully, many wore their rubber boots or they might still be there stuck knee deep in the muck. It rained the night before and it was a bit gooey but much easier to pull stuff out of it, too. I got tickled at my retired firefighter friend Gary, who didn`t take a bucket out there with him, so he just piled his finds up on the rear bumper of his truck instead….

and Tonya found a really nice green plate of quartz there….

I walked up to the upper end of Spillway Creek to check out the ground up there and discovered a small pocket of smokey druse quartz plates just under the surface of the creek water….

…and here are some finds that others sent me photos of….a barite by Michael James….

…bubble druse plate and barites from Curtis….

…the three photos above are Mary Chris` finds….so everyone did very well that day too. When Sam was here hounding last week, the creek had run dry of water due to a drought trying to return and it was full of even more barites…

….Daniel is preparing to do some more clearing of the brush around the creek as well as brush hogging the lake dam to make things easier for rockhounds to locate the nicer druse and barites. He plans to create some trails free of brush into the wooded and brushy areas that lead to more mining areas for us as well.

Dresser Mine Site remains open for privately arranged group digs through me only, at Daniel`s request. Clubs can send me a PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, then once approved, check the Events Tab  at the top of the page to see when we are going next. In order to go with us, all you have to do is click on the event, read the info, make note of the meeting spot and time to be there by, and click Going.

My new FB page is at



I was tipped off to Mary`s Lake Site by Lance a few weeks back, when Mary and her kids stopped by during a dig event at Lance`s Mine Site and I gave her one of Sam`s books at that time. She let me know that mining occurred on her property as well and said she would think it over. Recently she contacted me and told me that I could bring rockhounds to her place as well, and within a week I had it all set up for her. Mary Chris and I scouted the property two days in early May, but we didnt enter the rugged area of the woods, due to the annoying and high pitched cicada`s in that area…they were louder down there than my own county and area. Mary Chris and I discovered alot of druse quartz there with large points on them….

…we also found a few areas with purple druse sitting around….

We walked to the other side of the lake and discovered the road over there was laced with yellow druse quartz, an area about 100 feet long and every bit of 50 feet wide at least, and again, big points on the druse there. There was also a high wall bank that Tony checked out on our second trip there…

…this high bank is what you first see when you cross the dam of the lake to the other side, to get to the road with the yellow druse, you pass by this bank and keep going up the road…there are areas to the left up in the woods and down closer to the bank of the lake where druse is found as well.

The first dig event there was a week later and I combined it with Dresser Mine Site first, then to Mary`s, and last to Lance`s Site…everyone did well but it made for a long day and we had to leave Lance`s sooner than expected, due to a fast moving thunderstorm line that popped up on radar pretty fast with a line of hail embedded in it. The second dig there was June 9th and everyone did quite well there that day…while they were all out hunting and collecting, I did a little extra scouting on the hillside above the lake dam and found a road full of druse and barite both up there…found hand grenades and pretty druse all over the place…

Sam traveled back down from Virginia to do some hounding and I took him to Mary`s Lake Site to check it out on the 21st of June…Tony went with us, enabling us to do some more scouting in areas that we had not been able to check yet. We discovered some beautiful crystalline bladed barite in a couple of areas there that we had previously overlooked…areas that Sam noted, made you think ” WHOA ” when you came upon them and recognized everything in front of you…

Tony and I expanded that search a few days later when I took another group to Mary`s Lake Site and discovered an even broader area for the crystalline bladed barites, which should make it much easier for others to find some now as well. On the most recent trip to Mary`s, a young rockhound named Bo, rode down with his sister Maddie and his Mom Amy, to do some collecting on their 2nd rockhounding trip and they had a great time. Bo and I hit it off pretty quickly and he followed me through the woods as I was trying to help everyone find some great stuff to take back home with them. We started down near the parking area where berms with barites can be found, then moved up to a little mining area with a shallow and dry pit, as well as a few berms surrounding the pit are found…there are a couple of seams of quartz that run thru the pit with colors of green, yellow, and sometimes blue druse found in the seams. Tony was down one of the steep hillsides finding both druse and barite, so Bo and I checked out a few of the washes and then started seeing pile of rocks others had found and then left behind…we rounded one tree and stopped suddenly in our tracks, with a nice big bubble of root beer druse right in front of us…I took a picture of Bo after he picked it up, pretty happy with a shirt tail full of good finds…

They drove down from Central Iowa, where there are no pretty rocks to be found, and left here with 4 or 5 full buckets of beautiful druse and barites, as did many others that morning. The heat ramped up mid morning and most were gone by noon, leaving two gals with Tony and I, so we helped them find some pretty barites before they too decided to head for home. Tony and I scouted another hour before calling it quits ourselves…here are some of the barites we found in that hour…


Mary`s Lake Site is privately owned and remains open to collecting by groups through me only, at Mary`s request. Clubs can send me a PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, then once approved, check the Events Tab  at the top of the page to see when we are going next. In order to go with us, all you have to do is click on the event, read the info, make note of the meeting spot and time to be there by, and click Going.

My new FB page is at



The most recent location I am now taking groups to, is B and G Farms near Potosi, where druse quartz is mainly found in many colors, sizes, and shapes. We have seen a few with a smattering of iron on them, but for the most part, many are iron free druse quartz. I took one small group there before the heat became an issue for many and here are some of the finds from that day and my scouting trip there…

After the scout trip, the landowner decided to name it B and G Farms and I took the first group there on the morning of June 15th….the heat ramped up and everyone left within four hours, but they all seemed content with their many finds, too….


Once the fall and cooler temps arrive, all of these locations will be much easier to search without the oppressing heat and bugs.

B & G Farms remains largely a privately owned site, you may contact me for further info or join my new FB page and join us there on private group digs.

Clubs can send me a PM for more info.

Check out my new FB page and hit the join button, then once approved, check the Events Tab  at the top of the page to see where we are going next. In order to go with us, all you have to do is click on the event, read the info, make note of the meeting spot and time to be there by, and click Going.

My new FB page is at


I will be checking out a couple of more new sites in the next few weeks hopefully, just waiting on word from the landowners.

One new site a few of us looked at mid June this year, will be doing some excavation work and some brush hogging, possibly some land clearing to improve their site this fall, so it wont be ready til then, but it is smack dab in the middle of an old mine site, so should be a great place to go to as well.

Stay tuned for more new site info.


Guided Druse and Poker Chip Hunt, April 2013

Last weekend, a friend of mine came up from the Atlanta area after arranging with me in March, to take him and a couple of his friends to some good locations to find druse quartz and poker chip calcite crystals. They definitely wanted to go to MFQ and they wanted to find some druse quartz in varying sizes, so I took them to two different locations for the druse and we spent all day Saturday at MFQ. We had a few days of wet weather before they arrived and all the creeks and rivers were way up when they arrived Thursday evening. They were thinking of visiting Peck Ranch to see the elk herd being restored by the Conservation Department of Missouri, however they were not traveling in four wheel drive vehicles, so I suggested they avoid that area, as the roads there crossed several low water bridges and could be flooded easily. As it was, a good buddy of mine who works for the Conservation Department, advised me that the area was closed because additional elk were being brought in to add to the herd. 

I had to work Thursday night all night, came home about 8 am and got a four hour nap, then took Missy to get beautified and arranged with my parents to pick her up afterward, and then I headed south to take them to a great druse quartz spot nearby. I pulled into the meeting spot and found Chet in his cargo van, sitting next to Don and David, in their smaller passenger van. After introductions and some small talk, we drove on out to the druse spot…..

01 Friday 19th Druse Spot

We started finding druse quartz all over the place, with the aid of beautiful sunlight…it had been a few days since we had seen sunlight, and while it was a bit cool on Friday, the sunlight made it feel alot warmer and was a welcome sight. Granted, we needed the rainfall, but five inches in a day or two is a bit much in my book. As a result, I had warned these guys to bring boots and expect to get muddy, and so they did. I have been to this spot before when every step you took, you added four pounds of mud to your boots, and eventually it becomes a workout just to walk around there, let alone pick up druse quartz clusters. 

I started out helping Chet, Don and David find some pretty areas of smokey colored druse and citrine colored druse, and then began looking around for a few pieces myself. Pretty soon they were immersed in a few gullies…..

02 Don Searches for Druse


03 Don Examines Druse

….and I was walking all over the hillside spotting some bigger clusters for them and pointing them out when I did find one. This is a great place to visit after a good hard rain, cause most of these pretties just erode and wash out of the clay dirt….

06 Don & Dave Searching

We only had access to about half of the area as there was some work being done and we didn`t want to intrude or get in the way….

07 Chunk of Druse in Clay Mud


08 Box of Plates Found


I found some beautiful seams of smokey colored quartz here and there all over the place, here is one below….

09 Seam of Smokies


…and then I walked upon a chunk of bubbles that had eroded right of out of the clay dirt….

10 Bubble Chunk Found


…pretty soon, I came upon David with his head down and burrowing uphill in a gully, looking for druse and finding it all up and down it….

11 Dave Examines Druse


12 Dave Follows Smokey Seam


he was following a seam of smokey colored druse in that gully….

13 Smokey Seam


14 Smokey Seam


I also found some pretty white druse plates laying around all over the place as well….

15 White Druse Plate Found

These guys had brought me some beautiful quartz crystal plates from Diamond Hill Mine in South Carolina, close to Atlanta, and I was so busy since last weekend, that I didn`t get a chance to unwrap them til today. There was also a very beautiful cluster of smokey amethyst and a nice small plate of smokey quartz crystals as well….

34 Smokey Amethyst from Diamond Hill


By the time 5 pm rolled around, I was wearing down pretty fast…the hill at this location isn`t all that big, but after walking up and down it several times and carrying bags of crystals back to the truck a few times, my four hour nap after a fourteen hour shift the night before, was soon catching up with me. By 5:30 pm, I was headed out of there and back to the house, stopping off at my parents house to pick up Missy and then heading home to get some supper and then to bed. I stayed up just long enough to catch up on emails and then hit the hay, as I was getting up early to meet Don and David at MFQ the next morning.

After dropping off Missy with my parents once again, I was on the road headed to MFQ a little after 6 am, stopping off to get some donuts and then back on the road. I made good time, running into very little other traffic and all the way down, kept seeing several squirrels and chipmunks on the pavement around every turn and over every hill. I had a good sized gobbler run out in front of me as I started down a hill…I had passed several turkey hunters on the way down, most of them were warming up in their trucks when I passed by….it was pretty cool that morning and still a bit damp wind blowing as well…. I can remember a few cold turkey hunts myself. The closer I got to the quarry, it seemed like the squirrels on the road just multiplied greatly…it was like driving an obstacle course at times, luckily I didn`t hit any of them, although a few of them were not moving very fast and I held my breath a few times. 

I drove down the last hill on approach to the quarry entrance and spotted David walking the ditchline and as I pulled into the entrance, spotted Don outside their van pulling on his boots. David walked over and said he was looking for old bottles, another of his hobbies. We drove on down to the first bluff area and parked and I pointed out the area that Ian and I had worked for pockets of poker chip crystals with dolomite druse clusters, and they grabbed their tools and wasted no time in attacking the rocks….

17 Em Q Sat Working Small Bluff


Don decided it would be safer to work the point without that large overhang of rock above him so he first started working on bringing it down with his prybars….


18 Dave & Don Look For Pockets

19 Don Knocks Off Big Rock

It was apparent that the rains down there had been hot and heavy as well, due to the way the clay dirt had washed down over the rocky bluff there. I helped them look for some possible pocket areas, before driving on over to the newer area where the rock has been more actively worked lately….

20 Blast Pile Dwindles

I no sooner pulled up at the more recent spot, and stepped out, when I started spotting some beautiful dark grey and chocolate colored poker chips  laying all over the floor of the quarry at the base of the sloped rock pile…..

21 Blast Pile Dwindles


22 Blast Pile Dwindles

….and pretty soon, I had the entire tailgate of my pickup covered with them…..

23 My Finds So Far


24 Dark Grey or Black Poker Chips

I grabbed my mini mattox and a couple of bags and walked down the small pile of rocks at the very base of the pile along the floor and continued finding some great crystals and even a few clusters, including a couple of green ones….

25 Poker Chip Cluster


26 Smaller Poker Chips Found

I decided to stay there and see if I could find some pockets for Don and David when they decided to amble over and work it. I followed a couple of trails of crystals that had rolled down from above, way up above even, and dug a few out of some loose roll down material from above as well. I spotted a couple of potential pockets in the walls and made a mental note to point them out to Dr Destructo Don when he arrived later in the day…Chet arrived about an hour later and after visiting with Don and David at the smaller bluff area, drove over to see what I was finding as well. He liked the color of the crystals in the fresher area and then drove back to the smaller bluff to work with David, trading places with Don, who came over to work the fresher area with me….

29 Dave Searches for Pockets

I pointed out the mentally marked pockets and he went right to work with his bar, knocking down the loose stuff and working on the more confined stuff, to find pocket openings and soon found some nice clusters…..

27 Don Prepares to Work Left Wall


28 Don Finds Cluster Fast

I stopped to take a break and get another donut down, having worked off the other two already. As I was standing there watching Don work up on a shelf, my buddy, Jim Bay, pulled up in his pretty blue Dodge pickup, to see how we were doing with the rocks and see what we were finding so far. His girlfriend was with him and she was amazed at how we were working the rocks and what we were finding there. You cant see the pretty stuff from the highway when you pass by, so most people prob have no clue what type of pretty rock is actually there with the plain looking rock and stone that you generally see. They had been out turkey hunting early morning and then napped a bit before driving down to check on us. I had called him about an hour before that. After a bit, they headed on into town and we continued to break down the rocks and find some pockets. Don did a good job of pacing himself while I did a good job of wearing myself out. David ambled over while taking a break, took one look at the height of the walls and decided to go back to the small bluff area to work the pockets there…..

30 Dave Searches for Pockets

Don and I continued to work the fresher area for a couple more hours before I wore out….I wandered up to the top of the pile and looked around, but couldn`t locate any newer stuff…I did spot a couple of large poker chip crystals cradled up high on the wall, but impossible to get to…I commented to Don if we only had a long pole with a metal catch on the end like they used on light bulbs in gymnasiums, we could prob dislodge those crystals but then would need a large basket to catch them in with lots of padding in the bottom….Don wanted a rapelling rope. I headed home soon after legs were sore as could be and I was exhausted as well. It was decided to meet at Davisville on Sunday morning and travel out to a second druse location where larger druse pieces could be found.

Sunday morning, Missy went with me and we headed down the road about 8 am, arriving in Davisville at the local Store just ahead of David, Don, and Chet…and then we drove north out of town to the other druse spot. I stuck around about an hour and showed them a few different areas there to check out, before heading home to help my parents with some more storm damage work. I heard from them later on, they had found several nice large pieces of druse and then returned to MFQ, discovering a pocket that they wanted to check out, had already been cleaned out that morning by someone else. All in all, I believe they had a good trip up here and found alot of nice material. I found some nice material, made two new rockhunting friends, and got some more beautiful Diamond Hill specimens as well…a very good weekend….

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