Expanded an Older Pocket Oct 22nd

Docia emailed me last week and asked if I was doing anything last weekend, she was sooo ready to return to the secret spot and see what we could find. I had the weekend off and so we decided to meet about mid morning on Saturday and check out the new diggs and the lower spot as well.  We arrived at the new diggs to discover a new road entering the area, which has been leveled off and flattened somewhat….

…we parked and walked up into the area and nosed around, looking for sparkles…Docia was looking for plates for her gem trees and I was looking for smokey quartz druse…

…the pocket I had found a few weeks earlier was completely gone…heavy equipment having moved the wall another fifty feet to the east…so the wall I dug the last plates out of was completely gone…no telling where that pocket wound up.

After a couple of hours of digging some beautiful plates out, we decided to drive on over to the lower area and see what we could find…well I should say I did…Docia decided she was too exhausted to do much pocket digging after walking around looking at a few spots…I tried a couple of spots up front in the floor area….

…however, I didnt find much…..

…so I decided to check out an older pocket and see if I could liberate some of the clusters in front of the pocket….

..there are a few of those older pockets in the next level up, so I decided to try out this one first….

…and closer up….

…you can see the beds of clusters by my hand rake there….here they are closer up….

..the first thing I did though, was to look under the sidewalls and backwall to see if there were any crystals still waiting to be removed, and I saw signs under one sidewall….

…and under the backwall too….

…so I started at the backwall and began chipping some of the backwall off and found a few plates and crystals pretty fast….

Docia left soon after and I kept chipping off the top wall and took the following photo of the crystals and plates under the backwall….

…and closer up….

..the whole time I was chipping away, Missy was patiently waiting nearby….

…sittin pretty and being a very good girl…..

Well I removed that nice plate you saw, placed my glove down below it and then stuck the chisel in the rock and hammered it back into the rock to bring down quite a few pieces of dolomite with the plate…

…allowing the glove to provide a soft landing for the plate and any other crystals that decided to come down….and yes there were still more inside back behind it….

…and yes, more plates and crystals were eventually removed….

with the pocket expanding to this point….

…and here are a few of the nicer plates that I removed from the pocket….

..after removing these guys, it was obvious that there was no more pocket and so I turned my attention to a couple of clusters up in the front of the pocket…and luckily I was able to remove a couple of nice ones….

…this finished up about three hours of chipping and digging and Missy and I headed home for a good home cooked meal after removing these two….and decided to come back the next day for some more. 🙂

Quality, not quantity…..Oct 16th

I took Sunday off from work to replace the day off earlier in the week that I sacrificed for training at work, got in from work Saturday night and napped four hours, then Missy and I headed south to the secret spot to see what we could find. I had made my normal request about finding something pretty, but truth be told, I would have been just as happy to just get away and look around, even if I didnt find anything. I was hoping Docia would be able to join us, but she was still down with a pinched nerve in her back and didnt make it Sunday.

The wind was nice and breezy and it was going to be a nice warm day, a high of 83, which was just perfect for rock hunting….as we drove down to the lower spot, I noticed a new road leading into the new diggs area…

I didnt even stop to look up in the new area, wanted to get on down and see if I could find another pocket or two first…and once down there, we got out and stretched our legs, Missy setting off to get a big drink of water from one of the watering holes and I grabbed my rake and gloves and digging tools and started walking around to see if I could locate some goodies.  I first took a look at a spot Docia had dug into two weeks earlier….she had told me she didnt find anything there, but it looked like such a prime area, that I thought I would look around it and see if anything else was nearby.  I started raking about three feet to the right and immediately hit some buckskin colored dirt, that looked similar to the limonite pocket I hit by the wall a few weeks prior…so I started digging down and sure enough, a few nice poker chips started appearing…

I pulled about a dozen single chips out and a couple of small clusters as well, which you can see above on my blue bag.

It was a small pocket, and I didnt find anything else nearby, so gathered up my tools and headed back to the area where I had found the nice pocket two weeks earlier and decided to see if I could scrape around and find another nice one.  I spent about an hour scraping and raking around without any luck, and then decided to stretch my legs and walked over to the bluff and see if I could locate any pockets there….looked up and down high and low and didnt find anything there either, so returned to my old pocket and explored a little more there, and in a few minutes located just a few more single crystals.

I moved off to the side to a conspicuous looking area and began raking around, finally hitting a small depression that appeared to be soft and started digging down into what appeared to be a drill hole…sometimes these amount to something but often times they dont…within a few minutes, the bottom dropped out and a hole appeared….

I went back to the truck to get my chisel and hammer so I could chip it out more, make it big enough to get my hand down into at least….left my flashlight at home unfortunately….

When I came back, I found Missy guarding the hole…and I began chipping the base and sides out so I could reach down in…..

I cleared out the muck at the bottom and put my camera down as far as I could and snapped this photo above…then reached down in and felt around…it felt like a small cavern down there and I could feel nice druse on the walls and roof and poker chips attached….the first thing I pulled out from the bottom was this nice triple poker chip….

and in the next thirty minutes, I pulled out the following crystals….

and this nice plate with a poker chip attached….

..well I pulled what I could out of this pocket and then decided I would come back at another time with a rock saw and see if I could enlarge the opening enabling me to pull some of the bigger feeling stuff out…

I moved over to another spot and found what appeared to be yet another pocket….


and pulled a few pieces and smaller crystals out…..

…pulling one of the crystals out led to a hole underneath that in turn led to pocket number three….


…which deadended at this point after removing a few more crystals and small plates…



…at this point…







Beautiful Combos in October

Docia and I returned to the secret spot yesterday, four weeks since we had last dug there, and anxious to see what new treasures we could unearth and add to our collections.  As Missy and I were driving down the interstate, we saw a westbound train hauling what appeared to be ten Bradley Tanks….

Docia and I met at our favorite location about 8 am and drove down to the lower area to find that an even larger area had been exposed by heavy equipment and dug out for the clay mixture of rock and dirt…we still have no clue what they are taking it out and using it for, it still looks like a landing strip for ET….

We walked around the new area, but decided since the sun wasn`t above us yet, it would make finding anything sparkly difficult, so we drove on down to our favorite spot and began looking for pockets, or I should say I did…Docia decided to investigate her last big pocket there for more dogtooth calcite crystals…

so I walked back to the back looking for signs of poker chips, found a likely spot, and sat down to dig down and see what I could find.  I should also back up here and say that Docia found me a nice mini mattox while I was down in Kentucky…I have been looking high and low for one, couldnt locate one at Lowe`s, or Orschelin`s, or even Walmart, dont know where she found it but I very much appreciate it. It def makes it easier to move alot of rock and dirt around. Here is where I started my day out…

I began digging down and soon discovered that my pocket was going to be one of those subterannean pockets, it was down at least ten inches if not more, and while a ledge seemed to appear on both of the horizonal sides, the chips started appearing under the ledge and then up in behind the ledge as well…I wasnt finding any druse plates to speak of either, just some boring gray and red shale with icky clay mud attached to it. Thats what I dug down into at first until I found the first chip about a foot down…

..then I started finding some crystals laying at the bottom and those led me to the pocket sides and weird ledges with crystals tucked under and behind them…


…so my pocket size continued to expand from side to side and grew in size within minutes, as I was finding pocket after pocket on the sides all the way around the hole…


I kept looping back to the main pocket though, as its the one that looked to be deep, and as I came back to it each time, I was seeing this nice cluster of poker chips and druse at the entrance, and it kept looking like it might break loose on its own…here it is in the upper left hand corner….

and here is my pocket from the end where I started digging, showing the other end which appears to be the pocket headed for the deep…

and a few of the combos I have already found in the pockets so far…

..and gray druse plates that have come from the pocket so far as well….

As I was digging along, Docia decided to take a break from all the heavy pounding on the sledge hammer liberating more dogtooth crystals, and walked over to the wall behind me and right away, discovered a pocket of poker chip crystals….

You can see the crystals inside the pocket under the heavy plates of druse and some are even attached to the druse…this was a good find for Docia…she spent a few minutes removing the overhang and then started gently digging in and removing some beautiful crystals…

and here are some of the crystals she removed from this pocket….

and some of her finds including the chunks of druse with chips attached to them…

So then I returned to my pocket, after that short break which really helped my back and legs a bit…and as you can see, my pocket has expanded a bit….

…so I began digging again, this time concentrating on the nice big druse/chip combo at the entrance to the deep pocket and I was fortunate that it decided to break away on its own…less damage for me to inflict…

and I dug out a few of the plates of shale at the entrance to the pocket, there was actually a small mountain of it piled there…and then set my camera down and took a photo of the pocket, to get an idea of how deep it was…

needless to say, that really didnt help tell me anything about the depth of it at all, due to so many pieces of shale in the way even further back, and the dome of rock on top of the pocket was so thick, after about five minutes of chipping away, I could tell it was going to take me all day or I would need a jackhammer, both of which I couldnt afford, so I started pulling what I oculd out of the pocket from where I was sitting, reaching in and feeling around with my hands…the first few out looked like this….

…after a few minutes of this, it became quite apparent to me that this pocket was extending back at least thirty six inches deep, if not more…underneath and behind me…so I decided to lay down on my stomach and reach back into the pocket….

..this gave me more leverage, but I had to pull myself forward to hold on with my right hand here, for balance, while reaching back with my left hand into the pocket, and once I had my hand back in there, I had to twist around in order to feel for crystals on the sides and back and floor of the pocket…pulling whatever was loose out and setting it in front of me and then reaching back for more again…a process that required about thirty minutes as that pocket became deeper and kept going further back on me…by the time I finished cleaning it out, what I could reach inside it that is, I would guestimate it was at least four feet back and prob kept going, I know I never did touch the back wall of it…here is the pile of crystals in front of me that kept growing and growing, there are even some twins in there….

and a few of the clusters I pulled from the pocket as well….


..I got out of the hole and decided to stretch my legs and fill my bags and wrap the really nice ones up…and took a look at the other side where I first began, and saw crystals under a ledge there too, so I started digging and soon after, a fourth pocket opened up in the same original hole I started in….

After filling my bags and walking them to the truck, I decided to try one last place…Docia drove up to the new place to look for druse plates, so I started digging in the place I had dug in four weeks ago….

..and I only found one small pocket with just a few poker chip crystals inside….

and on the way home, I spotted some beautiful fall foliage…another reminder of why this is my favorite time of the year.

I did a little cleaning this afternoon, helped me work out alot of my sore muscles from digging yesterday, maybe I wont need as much tylenol tonight. Enjoy the results :

this is a pretty druse chunk Docia and I found up on the overburden pile….pretty smokey colored druse bubbles…my fave color in druse.

these next three photos show the cluster I pulled from the entrance to the deep pocket yesterday when it finally broke free on its own….

and the next two came from Docia`s pockets, some she didnt choose to take home with her…

the rest of these goodies came from my pocket…





Kentucky Fluorite, Agate, and Geodes in September

A few months back, some of my rockhound friends from all over the country, suggested to me that we should make a run to south central Kentucky for some geodes, so I began looking at my calendar and seeing when I could fit a trip in for a week, and came up with a plan to start out with a public dig at the Eureka Mine in western Kentucky at Marion, then drive over to the Danville area and hunt for agate and geodes in the same area. I decided on September since I seem to be the only one that takes vacations in the fall where I work at and made the suggestion to the others.
They were all bent on going to the Keokuk Geodefest until I did some research and found a couple of farms in the Eubank area that had lots of geodes in all sizes to pick from. I was also able to arrange an agate hunt with a state renowned agate master in the area with several years of experience of successful hunts for nice looking Kentucky agate. After announcing those plans, they all decided to drop their plans to attend the Geodefest and concentrate instead on agate and geodes in Kentucky.
I posted our intentions on the McRocks board and had a few extra people express an interest in joining us. Brian Danzer is a research biologist in the Chicago area and he decided to drive down and join me at the Eureka Mine in Marion on Saturday morning, September 24th. He started his drive at midnight, while Missy and I got up at 3 am and headed toward Marion…we were met with a nice sunrise just west of Eddyville….
1 Sunrise Approaching Eddyville
…we made a quick pit stop at Ms Neda`s Donut Shop there and then headed on to the museum to get registered and meet up with the other diggers. As it was, I arrived at the museum just ahead of Brian and we were able to chat a few minutes before several others started arriving.  A few minutes later, two guys from Pennsylvania showed up, Nick and Pete, having made  a sixteen hour drive down to dig for beautiful purple fluorite cubes…cant say as I blame them. Soon after, Bill Frazer showed up and opened the doors and we all went inside to register and tour the museum. I never get tired of looking at the fantastic collection of crystals and cubes in the museum, a lifetime of collection by Mr. Clement and passed on to his son Ed, who allows all of us to enjoy and admire the beautiful specimens as well. It also inspires and motivates one to go out and look for something similar in the mine as well.
Soon enough we were driving out to the Eureka Mine after Bill gave a talk on safety and what to look for, as well as the hazards of mud and falls…and we began to dig in the thick oozy mud, resulting from three prior days of rainfall there. I decided to dig down next to a deep hole, now filled with that oozy mud, and see if I could locate the vein and hunt from there…Brian decided to dig a couple feet from me, and Nick and Pete were a few feet away as well, Pete around the corner from us and after letting Nick know he was standing on top of a saddle lined with pockets, he wasted no time in digging down to it and hunting for cubes.  I didnt take my camera down there with me, due to the very muddy and slick conditions, but I do have photos of what I found and will post them later in here. We started out digging in a light rain which after a few hours, gave way to sunny skies that warmed up quickly. Within minutes of digging down in the sloppy mud, I was able to find the vein about ten inches down and carved out a nice sized hole to start in soon after.  Brian started finding little clusters and cubes in his hole right away, and eventually as he dug deeper, he started finding medium and then larger clusters and cubes as well. I was pulling out a lot of clear chunks, and a few small clusters, and it continued that way all morning til I struck the bottom plate of the vein…Nick was finding pockets of cubes similar to those that Bruce S had encountered when he dug into the saddle earlier this year. I`m pretty sure Nick went home a very happy guy. I never did see what Pete found around the other side but he seemed pretty happy when we parted ways later that afternoon.
I wound up trying to pry my bottomplate out but it wouldnt budge, attached way too firmly to the base of the pocket and solid rock, so I wound up chipping out two football sized chunks instead. I could see the outline of cubes on both pieces and was confident I had some nice stuff.
One of the Vein Chunks
After five hours, Brian and I decided to call it a day as we still had to drive three hours east to Danville. We cleaned up and bid goodbyes to everyone and headed south to Princeton to gas up, and then east on the Parkway to Danville.  I was a bit amazed at the price of gasoline down there…when I filled up at St Louis County that morning, it was 2.93 a gallon and when I stopped in Princeton, it was still 3.49 a gallon. Yikes !! 
I did have a pretty good load of rocks with me when I left Missouri though, bringing some nice poker chip and druse combos to Debra and Denise from Indy, and gave some to Brian as well…I also donated some nice Arkansas quartz plates and druse quartz to the museum, to help them further their cause and continue to provide rockhounds a great place to dig and hunt at. I`m sure that is what was eating up my gas mileage this trip, as I normally get about 25 mpg with my Tonka truck. 🙂
As Brian and I approached the turnoff south to Harrodsburg from the Parkway, I looked back in my rearview mirror and saw a nice sunset…since I couldn`t find a nice place to shoot in front of it, I decided to try for a mirror shot instead…
2 Brian Follows Me to Danville
….but then as it was, soon after turning south on Hwy 127, it turned out the sunset just hung up in the sky and I was able to shoot a horse farm in front of the setting sun….
3 Sunsets Near Harrodsburg
…we arrived a few minutes later in Danville and Brian decided he was too tired after drinking six redbulls, to go eat and just wanted to find his hotel and get some good rest…so I drove over to Cracker Barrel and met a couple of friends there and had a good dinner.  I was tired, but I was hungry too…gotta take care of your priorities. 🙂
After dinner Missy and I followed my good friend John to his home in Stanford, where I crashed shortly after for the night.  I slept soundly and got up about 7 am,  and drove over to McDonalds Restaurant to meet up with Brian…we then drove to Irvine, passing through Lancaster, where I shot this pretty sunrise….
4 Sunrise Sunday at Lancaster
6 Sunrises S of Lancaster
We arrived at the Hardees Restaurant in West Irvine about 8:15 am, scheduled to meet everyone there at 9 am and then carpool to the Agate Hunt locations.  Debra and Denise were already there when we arrived and we soon joined them inside as they were getting something to eat.  We talked about our adventures at the Eureka Mine the day before as we waited for the others to join us…Josh from Richmond, Kentucky, Peggy from South Carolina, and met up with our guide for the agate hunt, Lamon Flynn, from Irvine, Kentucky, the heart of Estill County and Agate Country.
Mr Flynn came in after the others arrived and introduced us to a couple from Michigan who drove down to join us, and his wife, Rebecca,  as well. I had talked with her several times by phone in setting the agate hunt up and it was nice to finally meet her as well. We had some breakfast and then drove over to the Fairgrounds parking lot and narrowed down to three vehicles from several. Mr. Flynn stated the road we were going to was narrow and parking would be at a premium…I opted to take my truck since I had Missy with me, and Brian rode with me, Josh took his truck, and several piled in with Peggy in her Suburban.
We drove south on Hwy 89 to a valley and turned off the highway and drove down a country road, down through the valley, crossing the creek several times….
13 Drive Out Thru Creekbed
….now this was my idea of fun driving on country roads….and finally arrived at our destination…a logging operation with a lot of dirt clearing around it, next to the creek….we parked, removed our buckets, bags and tools…then Mr. Flynn showed us what to look for….and how to chip the corner of them to reveal the inside colors….
9 Mr Flynn Tells Us What To Look For
10 Peggy Attempts To Chip
…..we fanned out to search all around, some going up the road, some going to the creek, some of us to the dirt around the logs, looking for the elusive Kentucky agate….
7 Looking For Agates Near Irvine
….Debra, Denise, Brian, and I wandered around the logs and up into a clearing above the logs….
8 Searching Clearing For Agates
….I found the first one, a half geode of green and blue banded agate, and naturally had to let everyone know with a loud ” EUREKA ” …. and as it turned out, the area we were hunting in was right where Mr. Flynn started finding the black and red banded agates the previous year….and some of the pretty orange and black banded agates too.



Blue and Green Agate I Found

…we looked all morning there, finding a few small odds and ends, but nothing big and obvious…so packed up and relocated downstream to another location after a few more creek crossings that looked like this much of the time….
14 Drive Out Bumpy
Brian spotted a red geode as we were driving out, so I pulled over and he got down in the creek to pick it up….
12 Brian Spots One in Creek
…we parked in a field at the top of the hill, above the creek, and then walked down through a field to get to the creek…private land that Mr. Flynn has access to…he explained to us that we were really there at a bad time of year, due to the leaves being down and making it hard to see good agate rocks. He stated it was better to come hunt in March or April…easier to find things then…specially in the creeks…the drive in and out was fun, specially that one spot where we drove a quarter mile down the creekbed alone. 🙂
Here Denise looks happy in the creek with one of her finds….
16 Denise Inspects Potential Agate
17 Denise Happy With Find in Creek
..as Mr. Flynn and Josh walk along behind her coming back the other way….we walked as far as we could…
19 Searching Creek Bed
coming upon a beaver dam that was as wide as the creek and prevented us from going any further….
18 Wide Beaver Dam
so at that point, we decided to drive over to Mr. Flynn`s home and take a look at his vast collection of Kentucky Agate and his jewelry with agate as well….little did we know we were in for a REAL TREAT !!!  
here he is showing us some of his beautiful agates….
30 Mr Flynn With Some of HIs Agates
32 Mr Flynn With a Orange and Blk Agate
33 Agates Mr Flynn Has Found
….and some of his beautiful horses as well….
34 Mr Flynns Horses
44 New Colt With Mare
..and here Denise shows one of the agates she likes….
35 Denise Displays Another Agate
….and Josh shows off a red and black banded agate…..
36 Josh Displays An Agate
….and here Debra shows off one in the sunlight….
38 Debra Displays Red & Blk Agate
…and here she is going through the discard pile…Mr. Flynn allowed us to go through this pile and take anything we liked the looks of….I found a couple of nice agates in there…
39 Debra Goes Thru Selection Garden
Mr. Flynn then showed us some of his prized agates, the black and red banded agates and the orange and black banded agates….
40 One of His Prized Agates
….and here are some photos of his jewelry as well….again with Kentucky agates….
46 Debra Displays An Agate Pendant
….an agate pendant, and here is the other side of it….
47 Other Side of Pendant
….and an agate ring…..
48 An Agate Ring
….and a  Case Knife Handle…..one side shown….
49 Agate Handle Case Knife
….and here is the other side shown….
50 Other Side Knife Handle
….and belt buckles golore…..
51 Belt Buckle
52 Belt Buckle
54 Belt Buckle
55 Dragon Belt Buckle
….the one above the dragons head buckle…..
56 Belt Buckle
Needless to say, we enjoyed our day with Mr. Flynn hunting for agate and enjoying his collection of agate and jewelry as well….
We drove back to the Fairgrounds Parking Lot to retrieve our vehicles, some had to head home and some were returning to the creek to look for more agates. I had brought some Missouri druse and poker chips with me, as well as some Eureka Fluorite, so gave that to anyone who wanted some, and gave Debra and Denise some nice clusters from one of the Amazing Pockets Docia and I had discovered earlier this year.  Mr. Flynn collected a few pieces for his nephew who  also collects rocks and minerals, and gave me a few more agates that he had found recently on some hunting trips.  Debra and Denise headed home to Indy while Brian and I headed back to Danville for a nice dinner and rest. We made plans to meet Peggy at Stanford the next morning at 9 am to go geode hunting in Eubank.
Peggy was running a little late the next morning, we had decided to sleep in a bit…I was sleeping so well that I dozed right through a tornado siren located just a block from John`s house about 6 am…Brian heard the tornado sirens in Danville though…and Peggy spotted a wall cloud as she drove to Stanford from Berea….it was raining steady when she arrived at McDonalds there and we headed south on Hwy 27 to Eubank shortly afterward.  I called Sharon at the farm to see how the weather was there and let her know we were on the way, and her husband, Richard,  said it was sprinkling but hoped it would clear soon. We arrived about twenty minutes later and saw geodes in the driveway as we drove up the hill into the farm, parking by the corrals on the right side of the drive. He met us as we got out of our vehicles and pointed out a pile of dirt and manure in front of us and told us there were several geodes in it if we wanted to check them out first. So we pulled a few out and took them up to one of the covered corrals and cracked them open…a couple were beach ball sized and were full of narrow pockets of pinkish/orange colored quartz crystals…the weight of them was a fooler though…we thought they were solids and turned out they were not, quite a surprise.  After cracking a few of them open, we decided to get our rain gear on and head up to the fields, after he and Sharon moved the mares to another field for us….
57 Kaleidoscope Farm near Eubank
….it was still raining, from light showers to heavy downpours at times…and muddy as could be in some places…but there were definitely geodes all over the place and full of pretty crystals too. A little rain never hurt no one, certainly not a rockhound.
In the photo above, there are three fields between the road and the barn up on the hill…the field where that barn is located is a much larger field, a few hundred acres, and we didnt get that far that morning. We did search the three smaller fields and found and cracked open and took home, many geodes from those three fields…many with smokey quartz crystals inside them…some with lavendar or amethyst colored crystals, some with large cacite crystals inside them…..here is a photo of Brian with one he cracked open….
59 Brian Holds Geode Halves
….and the two halves up closer…..
60 Geodes Brian is Holding

…the rain, rain, go away chant didnt work at all that day….but soon after we returned to Stanford, the skies did clear off and the sun came out to stay….Brian headed south from there and drove to Asheville, North Carolina, to meet up the next day with a South Carolina friend of his and they went to the Diamond Hill Quartz Mine near Anderson, South Carolina…Peggy returned to Berea to do some shopping, and then home the next day….I returned to Stanford to photograph some horses for a friend….and a good steak dinner at Applebees that evening with local friends.

The next day, John and I drove south to Lake Cumberland…he had a nice painting of an old grist mill hanging in his house, turned out to be a restored mill down on the south shores of Lake Cumberland…I have always been fascinated by old water mills and so we drove down there so I could photograph it…Mill Springs Mill, which dates back to 1834 and is a two story grist mill that was completely restored and still grinds flour and corn today on the weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day…

63 Mill Springs Mill

..it sits down in a beautiful hollow surrounded by lush vegetation and flowers on one side, and spring fed waterfalls on the up hill side….


65 Waterfall At Mill Spring Mill


66 Waterfalls At Mill Spring Mill

…located near the back of the mill, which is even more interesting looking than the front side to me…nice stone steps and stone columns supporting the heavy timber construction, are more visible…….


67 Back Side of Mill With Wheel

…along with the heavy steel forty foot high water wheel that powers the grinding stones inside the structure of the mill….


68 Large Metal Wheel

We headed back toward Stanford and John took me through Halls Gap, which has changed alot since I was down there the last time…the road is better for one thing, but its still a narrow gap, made even narrower by the rock walls and amount of vegetation that seems to close in on you from both sides…he also took me up to the old road, old Hwy 27, that travels up Halls Gap in a windy manner to a neat overlook near the top, where one can see for fifteen miles……



61 View From Halls Gap Overlook

…to the north and northeast….high points in Danville can be seen from here and the red water towers in the upper right hand corner of the photos are in the town of Lancaster, which is 12 miles northeast of Stanford and 15 miles northeast of this overlook….

62 15 Mile View From Halls Gap Overlook



From here, we drove east into the countryside and John took me by a few tobacco farms, which was being harvested this time of year by the farmers…..


69 Harvesting Tobacco

..and took me over to a neat Amish farm where the folks there grow all sorts of veggies and pumpkins and flowers in a couple of big greenhouses…however they have no electricity in their modern looking homes, nor do they have a phone in the home…its in a phone shed halfway down the driveway….I suppose their home is much quieter because of it, but in case of an emergency, that is a long ways to run to get to a phone….

72B  Amish Farm Phone House



…and they have corn shocks standing alongside the road as well….



73 Amish Corn Shocks

…we drove on over to the house where the greenhouses were located, no electric there either, and saw a mass of pumpkins and gourds sitting outside that were recently harvested….



74 Amish Grown Pumpkins

The next day, we drove back down to Lake Cumberland to meet up with a buddy of mine, who also enjoys old mills and we visited Mill Springs Mill again…on the way down, as we approached Halls Gap on New Hwy 27, we were passed by several police cars and a rescue truck, there was a bad motor vehicle accident on the hill up Halls Gap, so we again took Old Hwy 27 and went around it to continue south….



75 Bad MVA Halls Gap Hill

Later that evening, I captured some nice sunbeams in Stanford before heading to dinner with friends again….



76 Sunbeams Outside Johns House



77 Sunbeams on Johns Street

…we enjoyed a nice Angus steakburger at Eddie Montgomery`s log built restaurant in Harrodsburg….



78 Dinner Wed Nite Eddie Montgomerys

I should say a massive log structure, two stories high, with a beautiful interior containing a restaurant on the right side where all the glass windows can be seen, a stage in the middle, and a bar on the far side, with a large foyer entrance under those huge columns you see on the left…apparently he is a country western singer from the local area and he built a restaurant there last year…great place to eat with delicious food and we happened to be there on Kareoke night, so had some entertainment as well.

The next morning, Missy and I bid farewell to John and headed home…passing by some pretty horse farms north of Danville….


79 Horse Farm near Harrodsburg

We had to detour through Jeffersontown on the way home to cross the Ohio River, as the bridges over I-64 are shut down for safety reasons, a major crack discovered in a load bearing beam last month, so traffic is now re-routed across I-65 and then you take I-265 back over to I-64 north of New Albany to continue westbound. I decided to stop and check out a beautiful old railroad bridge along the way, it has a great stonework support structure under it and waterfalls in the Ohio River underneath it….

80 Falls of the Ohio Bridge



Its called the Falls of the Ohio Bridge, this view taken looking south to the Kentucky side from the Indiana side…

82 Falls of the Ohio Bridge West Side



and this one from the west side looking across to the city of Louisville….there are also fossil beds located down by the river and the falls….


83 Good Advice


…with some good advice posted near the bridge for those that want to walk down and admire the fossils…heed the advice and dont become a fossil yourself….



85 Falls of the Ohio Bridge Support

this is the support structure on the north side of the bridge, looks like a little castle type building…



86 Bridge Support North Side

with some neat doorways and windows in it….



87 Bridge Support High Window

and as I was leaving, to head west and home, I was lucky enough to spot a CSX train motoring south across the bridge….

89 CSX Train Crosses Bridge



I drove on down the river to find Spring Street to make my way back to I-65 and came upon these murals painted on the floodwall….

90 Flood Wall Mural




91 Flood Wall Mural

and took one last look at Louisville`s skyline before heading home…



92 Skyline of Louisville and Ohio River

..the next bridge I photographed was four hours later as I crossed the Mississippi River into St Louis….the historic Eads Bridge….



93 Eads Bridge and Mississippi River

The following photos are some of the geodes I collected at the Kaleidoscope Farm in Eubank….Sharon welcomes anyone to come down and take home as many as you want…they get a new bumper crop each year…just give them a call and make the arrangements with them, and they welcome groups as well.



Geodes Dont Always Crack Like You Want Them to


Litter of Geodes Found


Smokey Quartz Crystals


Some of My Finds Eubank Farm



Some of My Finds



and that wraps up my Kentucky trip this fall…hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂



Another Floor Pocket

After a solid week of 09-11 activities, I decided to get away from it all and drove down to the secret spot for some R and R, otherwise known as Rest and Relaxation, aka Stress RELIEF, and see if I could find another nice pocket.  I really liked those poker chips found in the limonite pocket, and while I would love to find another pocket of them, by this time, I decided I would be happy with finding anything pretty.

As Missy and I drove down to the lower area, we discovered a new road in the field on approach and decided to check it out…and discovered that it led to a place near the lower spot where some new dig activity has taken place recently…digging into a hillside of clay where we have found some nice druse plates in the past few years…so we stopped to check it out. I grabbed my rake and a bag and set off walking around to see if this new area of disturbance would produce anything…

Within a few minutes of walking around, I located a pocket of smokey quartz colored druse plates and sat down and dug for about 90 minutes and filled two bags with druse plates, big and small…I didnt take my camera with me, so can only show you some plates, like this one….

and this one….

and this one…

and then I dug out this big boulder covered on two sides with smokey druse….

..so after that, I decided to drive on down to the secret spot and see if I could find a pocket or two before I wore out…parked and took my tools out and walked around a bit, then decided to see if I could find anything else at the last pocket I worked at, in the floor near the mudhole…when I had last been there, it seemed to me there was more there. I started scraping around on all sides and pretty soon, I discovered another ledge and a few crystals popping out…

…you will prob notice the aerosol can there…it was for the pesky bees that kept hanging around and a horsefly that wanted to bite a lot…yes, I eventually tagged them and no I didnt bury them properly.

I started digging in the ledge above and crystals started popping up right and left…as well as a few small druse plates….

…I had the feeling they were going to continue to produce, so I took a break from digging and moved the big rocks surrounding the area, back about ten feet and raked the smaller boulders back as well…then with the digging tool, I discovered a small depression on the other side of the ledge….

..that turned into a nice pocket of its own…producing these initial goodies….

and closer up of the nice one on the left above…

and you can see in this next photo, this pocket had been under these big rocks before I pulled them back….

and this next photo shows a pretty druse plate that came out next….

and more druse plates and crystals after that….

..and this photo shows even more crystals inside the pocket…

and one of my extractions lead to yet another pocket within the pocket….


and even more nice crystals pulled out…


the following photos show some of the druse I found today….

and one showing the druse and chips found…..


My next trip was to Kentucky to join with some rockhound friends from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and South Carolina to collect more fluorite, Kentucky Agate, and some Kentucky Geodes…