Four More Pockets Sunday

Docia and I decided to try our luck again last Sunday, January 22nd, at the secret spot and take advantage of the forecast for 55 degrees and sunshine. I decided to split my short night, enabling me to go into work two hours later and then return home two hours later in the morning than I usually do. I got a few hours nap time after work Saturday night and then Missy and I took off for the secret spot about 10 am, to meet Docia there at 11 am. It was froggy and a cool and breezy 40 degrees as we passed through Cuba, winds gusting out of the south, so I thought maybe it will warm up alot more in a couple of hours after we get there.  As we arrived, the winds became almost gale force up on the hill so we decided to drive down to the lower area and start there, as we would be sheltered from the wind there.

05 Parked At Bottom This Time

We parked down at the lower end this time and decided to wait til the clouds cleared to go up above and look for druse, sunshine always makes the search easier, and so we decided to start on pockets of poker chips and druse plates first. As you can see in the photo above, we didn`t get far from the trucks before we started finding pockets.  The next photo shows Docia working on her pocket, located about ten feet from where I started finding some calcite signs right away…

01 Docia Works Her Pocket

…she started scratching the surface with her mini mattox, and within a few minutes, said hey look at this big crystal….

02 Docia Holds Large Crystal

…and it came from her first pocket shown here….

03 Docia`s First Pocket

…and here are some of the crystals she found in those first few minutes…

04 Crystals She Found So Far

In the meantime, here is the pocket I started digging into just about ten feet from her…I had walked up on some calcite signs and decided to rake around and see if I could find anything and within moments, this pocket materialized…

06 My First Pocket

…I raked out a few feet around it to see if there were any other areas near it that might be a back way in and within moments of digging into the depression, a hole appeared…

07 My Pocket Opens Up

…so I dug in and within a few minutes, it expanded even more…

08 My Pocket Expands

…and pretty soon I was pulling some pretty druse plates out with some crystals attached and separately….

09 Plates and Dogtooth Crystals Found

..and a few minutes later, another pocket opened up….

10 Another Opening

…and within minutes, I was pulling out more plates and some dogtooth crystals of a deep orange color….

11 More Plates and Crystals

…and now the pocket looks like this, the two openings joined together….

12 Pocket Keeps Expanding


13 Peeling Back Top Layer

…I decided to see if I could work further back in the direction I was sitting and see what panned out…

14 Dug Out Pocket More

..and found a few more nice crystals….

16 Expanding Pocket More

..but after taking a closer look inside the pocket, I decided to remove that top layer of rock above it and see if I could remove the plates inside, some with dogtooth crystals attached to them…

17 Working Top Area

…here are the crystals I was seeing under the pocket roof….

18 Dogtooth Crystals Inside Pocket

…I took what I could get out, and then let Docia get the dogtooth crystals that were left…she uses many of them for her gem trees…

19 Docia Chips Out the Dogtooth Crystals

After cleaning that pocket out as much as I could, I wrapped and bagged my better pieces and plates and carried them back to my truck…then grabbed a few more bags and started walking to the hole pocket to work it some more…Docia was already working another pocket she found just moments before and as I walked just past her, I looked down to see a small ledge and some calcite around it..

21 Found Second Pocket


22 Under This Ledge


23 Lots of Potential

…..I kneeled down and began raking at the calcite by the ledge and pretty soon a hole opened up….

24 Pocket Just Waiting Under

..after a few minutes, the hole opened up into a bigger opening and I started pulling some nice large orange colored poker chip crystals out…

25 Ledge Pocket Opens UP


26 Large Crystals and Gray Druse Plate


the pocket started expanding back toward me, and pretty soon the area I had been sitting on, began producing more crystals…usually the pocket heads toward the crystal pile but not today….


27 Pocket Expands Back Toward Me
…and here is the view inside the pocket….

28 Crystals Seen Inside Pocket


I started moving with the pocket down to the left side…to stay with the bluff formation….

29 Pocket Moves to Left


..and pretty soon started removing some more pretty plates of gray bubbly druse with hematite balls and poker chips attached….

30 Crystals and Plates


31 More Combos



you can see in the next photo, the small narrow trench moving to the left toward the blue bag, this was the start of the pocket moving left…

32 Pocket Moves Toward Bag


…and the depression in the foreground is yet another pocket that opened up and went deep on me…the next photo shows it closeup and it turned out to be another pocket of dark colored crystals with black or dark gray centers and tips……


33 Another Pocket of Dark Crystals

…and this next photo shows the pocket expanding from behind the bluff line and a nice combo plate I pulled from the area near the dark crystal pocket as well…

34 Another Great Combo Plate Found


…and here it is up closer…

35 Great Combo Plate


…I then returned to the dark crystal pocket and began pulling some nice crystals out of it, a light bluish gray tint to the poker chips with a dark gray or black dogtooth inside right up to the tip…I had found a pocket of them once before in an area of the upper spot about 100 yards away that was absolutely pretty as could be…these were nice, too, and I was quite happy to see them.

36 More Dark Crystals and Dogtooths

 …and as it turned out, this pocket actually stretched from out in the middle of the expanded area single pocket all the way over to the left side where the bluff line lay…here are some photos showing the darker crystals still in the matrix…

37 More Dark Crystals


38 Dark Crystals

and this next photo shows the dark crystals imbedded in the matrix of the bluff line, at least four feet across from the interior pocket where I found them first….

39 Dark Crystals Abound

..and another pocket opening up in the bottom left corner above…that led to yet even more crystals and plates….

40 Pocket Now 3 Feet Wide

…here the pocket and bluff line shown expanded as is….and the extra crystals and plates found as of now….

41 More Crystals

…so after cleaning out this last new pocket, I turned my attention to the pocket under the bluff at the end of the trench where I started…

42 Pocket Becomes Trench


…and the first crystal I pulled out of that pocket under the bluff overhang was this beautiful twin poker chip….

44 Nice Twin Found


…I laid down on my stomach and reached back into that pocket and was able to reach up to my shoulders and still couldnt reach the back wall of the pocket with my fingers…I started widening the hole with my four pound sledge hammer, feeling only a little bit of crystals on the druse plates hanging up side down under four inch thick dolomite rock, to better access the crystals loose on the pocket floor….

45 Working Pocket At End of Trench


…and believe me, there were several in there….

47 Inside


Docia left for home about the time I started working this pocket more…and after getting about two feet deeper inside, and cleaning out what I could, I wound up wrapping everything up and leaving as well…knowing I would be returning this weekend to look for more…

48 Worked From End to End


A Nice Three Day Weekend Part 3….

Docia and I were talking online Monday morning, Martin Luther King`s Birthday, and talking about how she wished we could go down to the secret spot today and I told her I could meet her down there, so we opted to meet about 11:30 there and see what we could find. I called work and comped out two hours, which allowed me to go in two hrs later than usual. Missy and I loaded up the truck and headed out fairly soon after, arriving a few minutes ahead of Docia. While waiting, I raked around the big hole I had found to see if there were any back entrances to it, since the day before, I had been reaching back into it up to my shoulders. I checked two sides of it and didnt find any additional entrances, and she arrived about then. She grabbed her bags and tools and set about to checking for more pockets about ten feet away from me…

01 Docia Diggs In

…and pretty soon she started finding some pockets of her own…which for a bit there, I thought might tie into the hole pocket as well, but they didn`t….I started checking out a small pocket back a few inches from the hole pocket and decided to see where it might lead…little did I know…

02 The Hole and a Little Pocket Too


03 Little Pocket Behind the Hole

…it started going deeper and I thought I might have a back entrance to the hole pocket…since when I reached in, it seemed to wrap around behind me some…and there seemed to be alot of potential for it…lots of crystals and calcite everywhere around it…

04 Lots of Potential

…I kept pulling druse plates up and eventually another hole opened up revealing another pocket behind it and each time that happened, I thought I had discovered another entrance to the hole…

05 Starting to Open Up

..this particular one had some nice crystals all around it….

06 Crystals All Over

…and pretty soon, after digging into it delicately, I deepened this initial pocket and discovered crystals laying in the dirt and clay mud all over the place…

07 Pocket Deepens and Expands

..and here are but a few of my initial finds….

08 Crystals and Plates So Far

..I kept on digging and pulling crystals out of the mix of clay dirt and gravel, and the pocket just kept expanding back toward me and the crystal pile, which I also had to keep moving back…Docia was finding some nice druse plates and crystals in her pockets as well…

09 From The Little Hole to


10 More Crystals

and the next photo shows one of the little bluff walls I came upon that had druse plates above hanging down and crystals all over under those plates….

11 Crystals Seen Under Plates

..and we had def picked a nice day to go, 55 degrees, even though there was no sunshine and a slight threat of rain, we def had great weather….in the middle of January….

12 A Nice Day 55 Degrees

Well I kept digging and the pockets just kept on expanding, one after another in close proximity to each other and pretty soon I had a large area still near the hole pocket….

14 More Plates and Crystals Found

..and as it kept expanding, I had to keep moving the stack of crystals found, back to the left and I had to keep moving around as well, cause pretty soon, where I had originally started out sitting, the pocket was moving to….

15 Back Toward Wall

…and then I had two new areas to work on, the little bluff opening in the upper left hand corner above and the area by my hand rake above…

16 Pockets and Crystals All Over


17 Another Bluff Found

both of them eventually expanding and deepening together to form one nice big pocket….

19 Deepening

that produced the following crystals and plates…..

20 Bigger Crystals Coming Out

I apologize for the delay in getting this finished…Docia and I returned to the area yesterday, thinking we were going to be taking advantage of a 55 degree sunny day and while we did show up and find more pockets, some including some beautiful orange dogtooth crystals in all sizes, it was a rainy drizzle day at 40 degrees instead, but we made the best of it.

Continuing from above, as I was digging and expanding this area, another hole opened up…

21 Another Hole Opens Up

I started digging down into the hole and exploring it and the first thing I pulled out was this nice twin….

22 Nice Twin Found

and you can see the little bluff area to the right opening up as well, turned out to expand into a bigger area of little bluffs…where I find plates of druse hanging upside down and often single and twins and triples hidden underneath those plates…

23 Expanding Bluff and Plates

and sometimes when you get those plates down and out of the way, you will find even more pockets of crystals behind that little bluff wall…in this case, it was a pocket of darker colored crystal, even some blue colored ones with dark gray or black dogtooth centers and tips….

24 Hit Pocket of Darker Crystals

like the two in the next photo on the left side….

25 Darker Crystals Found

I haven`t found a pocket of blue colored poker chip crystals with dark tips and centers like this since last year when I found a complete pocket of them about fifteen feet long and ten inches deep.

This pocket of crystals turned out to be about half as big as that one was, traveling along this bluff wall about six to seven feet long….

26 Expanding Bluff Wall

and consisted of crystals loose in the dirt as well as embedded in the bluff line with druse plates….

28 Dark Crystals Imbedded

and as you can see, they are in the length of this wall from one end to the other…

29 Dark Crystals Imbedded

and while digging the crystals out of this wall, yet another pocket opened up in the wall….

30 Another Pocket Opens Up

and this one was just chock full of crystals as you can see….

31 Another Pocket Full of Crystals

including some larger poker chip crystals this time….

32 Bigger Poker Chips Found

and a few nice large plates with poker chips attached like this one…

33 Nice Druse and Chip Combo Plate

and then the pocket abruptly ended in this embedded wall….

34 Pocket Ends Here

what I call a pocket ending wall…and sometimes when digging down into a pocket, you`ll come up against it right way and know you have to dig out the other way to find the rest of the pocket….

35 Pocket Ending Wall

and here is the stack of crystals from this small hole expanded to multi-pockets….

36 Stack of Crystals So Far

including these plates and crystals at the top of the prior photo…

37 Crystals and Plates

well after going as far as I could with the small hole expansion above, I turned my attention to the hole pocket and began expanding it to the right side…and in so doing, opened up another pocket on the right side….

38 And Another Pocket

I had to pound a few plates out of the way to expand the opening, and here are a few of those plates which broke into a few smaller pieces in the process….

39 From The Hole Pocket

and a look at the opening on the right as well as some druse plates from it…some pretty gray bubbly druse with hematite balls sprinkled all over the bubbles….

40 Began Enlarging Hole Pocket on Right

and a close up of the pocket with crystals all over the place at the bottom of the right hand wall…

41 Crystals All Over

and I continued to dig out the crystals and and you cant see it in the next photo, but there is a huge druse plates above all those crystals, hanging upside down..folks I couldnt see it either and I was on top of it, even sitting on it a few times before I got to this point, but boy, once I turned it over…I was elated…so was Docia when she saw it….

43 Plates From Right Side Expansion

and up close….

44 Nice Combo Plate Right Side

it was quite pretty and def something I really like finding in these pockets…one never knows when they pull them out what you are going to find, might just be druse and might be druse with hematite balls sprinkled all over, and then you find them like this, or even just a single crystal attached…yesterday we were even finding druse plates with dogtooth crystals attached….what a day that was.

I continued to dig back into the pocket on the right and was even more pleasantly surprised to find more dark colored crystals…another pocket of them….

45 More Dark Crystals Found

and even more of them….

46 Dark Crystals

I decided I was too pooped to continue digging at this point, so I laid down and reached into the left side of the hole pocket to see how far the pockets went back…and was able to pull a few more nice crystal clusters out before calling it a day….

47 Crystals Pulled From Hole

just a little side note here…I get asked all the time about some of the crystals and plates having damage to them….some are damaged prior to the time when we reach in and pull them out, possibly having fallen off the roof of the cavern they are formed inside, or something falling down on them……sometimes we cause the damage to the plates when pulling or hammering them out of the pocket. This next one, you`ll prob think has damage to it, and maybe it does, but it was done before I got to it, I assure you.

48 Cluster Found in Hole

 People also ask me, how do you determine what you take home and what you leave behind….I cant always answer that, but go by one cardinal rule…if its pretty, it goes home with me. 🙂

A Nice Three Day Weekend, Part 2….

Sunday afternoon, after another photo shoot, Missy and I loaded up and headed back to the secret spot to see if we could work on those other potential areas I found late the day before…this time we got a late start and arrived about 2 pm…..

01 Back to Bulldozed Area

knowing I only had a few hours of light, I quickly started working the first area with my hand rake…..

02 Starting Here Today

and pretty soon I was seeing signs of calcite, always a good sign of potential pockets nearby….

03 Calcite Shows Potential

and pretty soon I had a few nice crystals dug out of the beginnings of a pocket…

04 Crystals Found Initially

and pretty soon I was finding one pocket after another, usually one leading to the other by way of a narrow trench filled with crystals and small druse plates. Just as you would think the pocket was going to open up into a bigger pocket, you would come up against a wall of rock and nothing more from the pocket, an abrupt end to the pocket. Then I would move a few inches over and find yet another pocket forming and more crystals…here is what it looked like after the first thirty minutes of raking and digging….

05 Pockets Forming Up

and I had the same problem as the day before, piling my crystals up in the wrong place…of course today, it wouldn`t have mattered where I piled them up…the pockets expanded in every direction and I wouldn`t have been safe anywhere with them….after hitting a dead end quickly on the left hand pocket above, I moved over and started digging out the pocket on the right….

06 Explored Pocket on Right

 I cleaned it out and moved more to the right where I found even more small pockets….this area just kept expanding with one pocket after another….

07 Expanded to Right

and here is the pile of crystals that just keeps growing….

08 Crystal Pile Growing

and I kept moving to the right and digging down and finding even more pockets with crystals coming out right and left….

09 Upper Bench Pockets

this one pretty much came to an abrupt end when I came up against a solid wall of curved rock on the far end of the right side…but if you look under that pile of crystals, which by now I have moved back three times, you`ll see the makings of more pockets under those little bluff walls, and yes, you guessed it, I had to move the crystals once again to explore under those plates…plates of druse as it turned out….

10 Pocket Starts Toward Pile

so I took a few moments and high graded the crystals and plates, moved the rejects back about two feet and piled the rest over on the right side of the solid rock wall and started working those druse plates, til I found yet another pocket ….

13 Upper Bench Pocket

here are the druse plates and crystals that I took out to get to this point….

12 More Crystals Found

and here is the pocket up close, and you can see a few crystals inside it….I dug those out fairly easily and reached back a little further and pulled even more out…

14 Inside Upper Bench Pocket

as I was digging this one out to enable me to get my hand in there further, the top of the pocket came down and this druse and poker chip combo plate came down with the dirt….

15 Druse and Chip Combo

I took as many crystals out as I could and then took a break and wrapped up the nicer crystals and druse plates and carried them to the truck…I had about 45 minutes left and decided to check out one more area, where I had raked around earlier on a break and while raking, a hole opened up, that appeared to be quite deep….\

16 Next Pocket Started With Hole

found this hole about twenty feet from the original pocket from Saturday and closer to the truck actually. While raking, I came across an area of calcite that really looked promising and then I pulled a chunk of druse out that was hanging upside down and this hole opened up underneath it…..

17 Hole Surrounded by Calcite

I really need to start taking my flashlight with me so I can look into them and see if they bear exploring further…this one just appealed to me though, it seemed to me that it was deep and might contain another cavern and boy did it….

18 Deep Hole As it Turned Out

I pulled these druse plates out and the hole opened up even more…

19 Druse Plates From Hole Pocket

however, even though I could get my hand down in the hole and started pulling some beautiful crystal singles and twins out, the opening wasn`t large enough to get some bigger ones out, so I pounded on a large chunk of druse to enlarge the opening more and this nice druse chunk with poker chips is what came out….

20 One of the Plates

there are some neat looking hematite balls all over the druse on that chunk too. The next photo shows the enlarged opening of the pocket…

21 Plate Removed Expanded Hole

about a foot wide at this point and the next one shows better how deep the pocket is…or at least how deep it appeared at this point…

22 Hole Expands and Deepens

after a few more minutes of pulling one crystal after another, out of this pocket, including a few plates of druse with poker chips attached, and twins and triples, I sat back and shot this photo and it shows a nice few poker chips attached to druse on the ceiling of the pocket near the opening….

23 Crystals and Plates From Deep Pocket

and this also shows the pile of crystals growing on the left side…you cant tell here but the pile is about fifteen inches tall, mostly singles here, as I put the more delicate crystals and plates on the right out of view of the camera here…the next photo shows that nice ceiling plate still in the pocket….

24 Plate of Chips and Druse on Ceiling

I ran out of light soon after and wrapped what I could quickly and then packed everything away in my truck. The sun was setting rather nicely again, as Missy and I started up the hill….

26 Sunset Looking Nice

and then at the top of the hill as we headed home….

27 Sunset From Top of Hill


stay tuned for part three….


A Nice Three Day Weekend…

Last weekend was a nice three day weekend for me, as far as rock collecting goes…after a photo shoot Saturday morning, Missy and I loaded up the truck and headed out to the secret spot to see if we could find anything good…we hadnt been there for a few weeks, and figured I would explore the pocket on the ridge some more, but things changed when I got there. We didnt encounter as much deep mud this time going in, but it was pretty sloppy in places, and when we arrived, I decided to walk through an area that had been graded by heavy equipment to see if any poker chip chunks had rolled out of the piles….

01  Gonna Walk the Bulldozed Area

…I walked around for about twenty minutes and picked up a few single crystals here and there, and then in a couple of areas in this section, I spotted what appeared to be potentially more, so I dug down with the mini mattox and hand rake…

02 First Pocket Indications

…and then dug down some more til I started seeing what appeared to be the top of either shale or druse plates…

03 First Crystals Found

…and a few crystals started popping up….so I kept digging down and within a few minutes, even more crystals started poppping up all over the place….

06 Crystals Start Showing Up

…and within a few minutes, I had exposed the base wall of the pocket and began to branch out and find even more.

08 Dug Down and Found Base Wall

I was in for a big surprise….but for now, the pocket did expand to the right side more….

10 And Pocket Expands to Right

and as it expanded and I kept digging around, a hole opened up….

11 Pull A Few More Out and Hole Opens Up

…and its always been my experience, that when a hole opens up, it usually means leading to a nice pocket down under….and in this case it did again and again and again….

12 Pocket Begins to Expand

…and as you can see above, yet another base wall was exposed for me to explore…

13 Explored This Base Wall Area

….and within a few minutes, I had found even more nice poker chip crystals all over and under those plates….

14 Soon Crystals Started Popping Up

…leading to the right and the promise of even more pockets, such as these next two….

15 and More Crystals Popping Up

…I know its kinda hard to see them…but there is a pocket under a ledge that opened up and led to a slew of discoveries inside the pocket as well as another pocket branching off in an entirely different direction…a little more clearly seen in the next photo, as well as the growing pile of crystals found so far….

17 Hole Led to Pocket Under Ledge of Druse

while the next photo shows the pocket that branched off to the left…

18 Pocket Goes Under Ledge and to Left

and the next photo shows the twin crystal I pulled out….out of which one I can`t honestly remember at this point…I am going to have to start taking notes I guess…..

19 Twin Found in Pocket

…and here is the twin up close for ya….

20 Twin Up Close

and then I pulled this big boy out next…..

21 Big Single Crystal

…I was having a hard time reaching in under that ledge to see what I could pull out of the pocket under it, so I decided to knock some of the overhang down and see if that would help me out….the overhang snapped off in three separate large chunks…here is one of them…

22 Druse Plate with Poker Chips

..that created alot of room for me to reach back into the ledge pocket and also made it easier to work the new pocket opening on the left side too….and in so doing, the removal of the overhang also created another opening to the ledge pocket, further back to the right as well….

24 Ledge Pocket Expands to Right

…now one would prob think at this point that I`m going to explore even further back along this ledge and further to the right looking for more pockets, but at this point, I decided to come back the next day and romove the top layer and peel this puppy back even further to see what more was inside and do the same with the pocket on the left, so I bagged up all the crystals I had found so far and then turned my attention to a hole that had opened up early on, that I haven`t mentioned yet, to the left side of this area and see what might be lurking inside it….

25 Another Pocket Opens Up

…I found a few crystals but the wall eroded quickly into a solid mass of poker chip crystals that couldn`t be removed except by brute force and by this time of the day, I was totally spent…so they are still there today….

26 Another Pocket Up Close

…and while exploring this section, another hole opened up so I decided to explore it and see what laid behind it….

27 Expanding Again to Another Hole

…and as you can see from the closeup of the hole, there are crystals right inside it…

28 Leading to Yet Another Pocket

well the hole led to a saddle of solid calcite with some poker chips embedded around and on top of it, and to the sides, and a few crystals tucked away inside the hole which was like a little caverns inside the saddle….

29 Had to Move the Crystals Again

…and as you you can see above, another ledge opened up right behind the saddle….

30 To Expand Again

and this ledge is filled with druse plates and crystals under it….

31 Crystals in Mix Bottom of Druse Wall

and the next photo shows how much the one pocket expanded into others….

33 Pocket Area Keeps Expanding

…after moving the pile of crystals back, I removed as many of the base plates as I could, some nice druse with poker chips and a few of just druse alone…

35 Pocket Now Going Under PIle

…and found yet another pocket opening up and going, again, under the pile of crystals I had collected…seems like no matter where I start piling up crystals, the next pocket found goes in that direction…always one thing or the other….

36 Pocket Opening Under Pile

…after cleaning this pocket out, I moved over to the far left ledge where another hole had opened up, to explore it and see if there was yet another deep pocket on that side….

37 Hole Was Betw Rock Hammer and Blk Chisel

…needless to say, it didn`t pan out too much…only collected a few druse plates and a few crystals from it before it ran out….

38 Druse and Chips From Hole

I took a short break and stretched my legs, looking around and found another couple of areas to look at the next day and see if they panned out into more pockets. I looked up to the west and saw some nice fluffy clouds forming up into a good sunset….

39 Signs of Approaching Sunset

packed my bags so to speak with the wrapped goodies, and then started home….

40 Sun Sets As I Leave


Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3.