Secret Spot After Barite

As Docia drove home from searching for bladed barite and druse, I drove to the secret spot where Missy and I took advantage of the four hours of remaining light and found yet another pocket to look through for goodies. I say another pocket, yet it was one of those ever expanding pockets, expanding from one to five pockets in the same immediate digging area…we arrived around 3 pm with beautiful cloudy skies….

01 Beautiful Day


…and I decided to do a short walk around and just see if I could spot anything laying around that would indicate a pocket nearby…I walked over to the pile and spotted a pleasant surprise…a brown dogtooth calcite crystal with some poker chip formation deteriorated away from it, exposing the top of the crystal….

02 First Find


…and just laying in the loose gravel and dirt near where I had found a pocket several weeks prior….I walked over to the area where we had dug out the trench pocket the week before, seems it has been covered up big time now by a line of big rocks connecting the pile to the boulder line over by the west wall….

04 From Behind the New Wall

…oh well, still a lot of area to search for pockets remaining there…so I sat about to find one, walking over to the area where they removed the rock for this new wall and finding evidence of a pocket real fast…and sat about digging it out….

05 They Dug Here So I Did Too

…figuring if they could dig there, so could I…and finding a few plates of druse and poker chips right away…which is usually a very good sign of a good pocket nearby….this one started trenching almost immediately on me…another good sign of things to come….

08 Pocket Starts Trenching

…then I started finding plates of druse upside down in the dirt and then after pulling several out, this little bluff pocket opened up….

10 Pocket Opens Under Bluff


…so I began clearing off around it and under it to find out how large it would expand to….…and it soon became apparent that another pocket was going to open up on the right side of the expansion….…I kept digging and expanding back toward where I was sitting, and the next thing I knew, a hole opened up right at my feet. I had been sitting on top of one all along and didnt even realize it….

14 Hole Opens Up By Me

I got up to stretch my legs at this point, having been sitting, kinda, for the past hour…my feet were cramping up…guess I didnt have enough banannas in my concrete the night before…and when I got up to stretch, I noticed what a beautiful day it was in the skies once again….

15 Sure Was a Nice Day

…and Missy stretched out next to my pockets….

17 Missy Stretches Out Next to Me


….and now I`m about to hammer out the roof of the pocket here…

19 Preparing to Hammer Pocket Roof


…and decided to clear off the pocket roof so I wasn`t hammering dirt and rock as well as the top layer of that pocket roof….when I started brushing it back, another hole appeared and I figured I had found a back entrance to the pocket…...but no, it turned out to be yet another pocket…

21 Clearing Front of Pocket


..and within seconds, pulled out a couple of nice druse plates from this new pocket that opened up, while cleaning out the front of it….

22 Two Plates Pulled Out


….and then I hammered out the roof of that middle pocket as well and pulled a few chips from it, too. I then started back to the hole near where I was sitting before my break and started cleaning out around it and a few seconds later, yet another hole opened up….…for a brief minute of working this new hole, I got a bit excited…as I was moving rocks and dirt around, some of the rocks fell into the hole and went into water, and it was a loud ” kerplunk ” indicating a deep hole of water…so I cleaned the hole opening some more…only to discover a drill hole and water about thirty inches down…so I filled the water hole up with more loose rocks and filled it completely up….and started working on the pocket a few inches away on the other side of that area where the first hole had opened up….

26 Crystal Filled Pocket


…and this pocket was truly something to get excited about…as you look at it up close you`ll see why I say and think that….

25 Pocket South End Full of Crystals


…and took a minute to step back and look at the progress made so far…

24 Progress of Pockets


…and then started working that south pocket, pulling crystals and plates out….

28 South End Pocket Full


…man, this thing was chock full of crystals…just the way I like to see and find them….

30 Chock Full of Crystals


…and once I had it halfway cleaned out, I looked back inside and you could see this big poker chip attached to a druse plate hanging upside down from the roof of the pocket….…I got my chisel and four pound hammer from the truck, and drove that chisel into the roof of the pocket about eight inches back from the opening and the poker chip plate and another plate, split off from each other and dropped down into a couple of bags I had stuffed into the opening of the pocket…just in case that happened…….shortly after that…I gave out…I had four bags full of chips and two bags full of combos and I figured I had enough….I filled in the holes and wrapped up my goodies, and Missy and I took off….we stopped for this pretty scene tho….

33A Red Bud Reflection


…sure was a pretty scene…this is one of the prettiest spring seasons we have ever had….sure was a pretty day



Bladed Barite and Druse

Saturday morning Missy and I headed out to meet up with Docia down in the National Forest west of Potosi and since I had filled the gas tank on Friday, I decided to go down the backroads to reach the meeting spot. I was able to drive down some roads I hadn`t been to in while, the last time when Potosi had a lumbermill fire and I drove a fire truck down to assist them with it and we sprayed water through a portable deck gun for about ten hours on a burning pile of lumber thirty feet high by 100 yards long. I drove right by that same lumberyard and found it now to be a three times bigger operation than it was back then. Sure hope they are more careful these days.

As I approached the meeting place I drove by a few old tiff mine workings that date back to the 40`s and 50`s…tiff is what the locals down here call barite, and most of the old pits are now filled with water and the tailings remain above the undergrowth and brush.  We met up with Docia who was walking up the road I drove down on, looking in the ditchline for druse and barite. Missy and I stretched our legs for a few minutes and then we loaded back up and drove back up the same road, to check out the tiff pits.…we checked out a few older mining sites and pits and found absolutely nothing, so we decided to drive down to an old smelter site that Docia found the week before. We turned down a road that soon turned into some deep ruts of wash outs that a standard car would not be able to navigate….

05 Four Wheel Drive Access


03 Came Down Rutted Road


…and all that remained of the old smelter were some foundation walls and steel rails…

04 Old Smelter Along Rutted Road


06 Road By Old Smelter



…it was obvious the roads weren`t going to improve so soon we were four wheeling down the trail in search of druse and barite….

07 Roads Dont Get Any Better


…I haven`t done any true four wheeling for quite a few years but it was alot of fun reliving the old days…about a quarter mile down we drove through a couple of large and wide mudholes and then came to a gully crossing…I got out and looked it over first as there was a drop off and then a short ditch crossing, then up the other side and over a small rocky ledge to the top…figured if I could clear the ledge than Docia could as well as her Blazer sits higher than my Colorado does...but as soon as you drop off into the gully, you cant see anything for a few seconds, til the nose of your vehicle catches up with the tires on the downhill slant….apparently that makes Docia a little nervous so when we reached the top on the other side…..

11 Smelter in Distance


….above you can see the starting point on the other side and the edge of the rocky ledge at the top on this side…we parked at the intersection of three trails and she decided we should walk a while….so we walked down the trail leading to the right….

08 Walked This Road


…bout a half mile down this trail til we started hearing gunfire down the hill below us and decided it wasn`t a good spot to be out walking in, so we returned to the trucks and walked a short ways down the middle trail, but decided it was a bit rough looking to drive down and then chose to try the left trail. I grabbed a bag in case we started finding some nice stuff.

Soon after heading down the left trail, we spotted a clay bank off to the left and down across a holler on the next hill over and decided to walk over and check it out for druse. While we didn`t find much druse on the near side where we first started, as we worked our way around the hill, we started finding more of it. Docia headed up the hill to check for some and I continued around the clay back to the northern face of the hill and soon started finding large specimens of druse and hematite and limonite in colors of orange, yellow, and purple……just past this chunk of hematite/limonite above, we started finding bladed barite and druse all over the face of the hillside…

13 Bladed Barite in Woods


…like this one nestled in the pine needles and leaves…..and then I found a chunk of it buried in a clay bank and broken up some, but some large pieces of it still intact and quite pretty….

14 Bladed Barite Pocket


…and after filling my bag about half full, we started back to the trucks…that barite is quite heavy, so after about a hundred yards, I decided to stop and high grade along a trail…we then walked on back to the truck. We had a spare hour, so decided to drive back over to the barite spot and collect some more before heading back to Viburnum….

15A Road To Barite Area


…when we arrived back at the spot, I found some large bubbles of druse buried in the clay dirt and tried to dig them out…a few came out and a few were too big to come out….so we left them there for Mother Nature to take care of….here are a few of the photos of Docia`s nice bladed barite specimens that she found there….

Another Docia Found in Big Ditch


Docia`s First Find



…and a plate of druse with barite attached that she found….

Docia`s Druse with Bladed Barite


…I will get some of mine cleaned up this week and posted for you to see as well…one last note…I did notice that even though Docia admitted to being a ” wus “, when it came to four wheeling, she sure had no problem charging into and through the mudholes down there…

09 Fear Factor

10 Docia Goes Muddin






Large Cavern Pocket

I had planned to get down to the secret spot around 11 am on Saturday, but my fire department pager sounded off shortly after 9 am and my plans were suddenly thrown into chaos. We were paged out for a house fire and soon reports of heavy fire and smoke were coming in on the radio as I made my way to the scene with my camera.  I intended to only stay a short time, take a few photos and then leave to go rockhunting, but once on the scene, I found myself helping fire crews by pulling hose and only after shooting about two hundred photos, did I leave and head south….this is how it looked on arrival…

02 Damon and Nolan Lay Down The Stream


…it turned out to be a mobile home trailer, a large steel shed behind the trailer, and a twenty feet long by six feet high pile of tires behind the shed, all on fire and well involved on our arrival…

05 Trailer and 3 Sheds


…needless to say, our firefighters had their hands full on arrival, and more help was summoned to the scene once it was determined we had a large working fire. I decided not to leave until additional help was on scene.

I ran back home, and grabbed my tools and changed shirts, didn`t want to smell like a house fire all day, and then Missy and I headed south. On the way, I said a little prayer and asked for help in finding some nice crystals…we arrived a little after noon and I began looking around for pockets soon after.


I started digging where you see my blue bag below…in an area where we have found several pockets before, but this time I didn`t find any….

02 Started Next To This Bluff


..I started around this bluff looking area…Docia and I had looked this very spot over a few times before and thought it looked promising…I did find a few crystals so I widened out the area….

03A Possible Pocket Under Bluff


…and then thought maybe there was a pocket under the rock faces….since I was pulling a few crystals and small druse plates out in front of the rock face….however there was no pocket behind the opening, just more rock…so I moved back toward the pile where there were a few depression looking areas and checked them out….

07 Moved Over to Here


…where I found some calcite seams of massive and chunky calcite, but no crystals were found anytime soon….so I picked up and moved to yet another location, closer to the last pockets I found when Julie and Dave were here……I was at first encouraged when I found some plates of druse on top, yet after digging down and around for twenty minutes, I still had nothing to show for it and no sign of crystals…its possible I was on top of a pocket but just couldn`t locate an opening for it.


After taking a longer break, I decided to walk around and check out the walls a little bit more and then come back and check for another pocket, so I grabbed another blue bag with more cloths to wrap any wall pocket crystals up with, and headed in the direction of the wall…ten feet from the front of my truck I noticed a ridge of red dirt that seemed to connect to the rock face that I had originally started digging at on arrival…I decided to stop and dig a little ways down and just see if I could find something here…

13 Ten Feet In Front of Truck


I was really tired and approaching exhaustion quickly…thinking it was going to be a dry run today for calcite crystals but enough time in the day left to go up above to find some druse plates.

Within seconds of digging down, the bottom dropped out and a large hole appeared below…

14 Hole Just Opened Up


looking like a large pocket opening…but having seen a few earlier, I was a little hesitant this time to believe this was going to be a pocket….I cleared off the area around it and then I knew I had something to work with….

16 New Cavern Pocket


…and I was totally amazed that this pocket was only a few feet in front of my truck and in a direct line with the first pocket attempt.


I reached in and first pulled out several handfuls of gravel and clay dirt and ugly dolomite chunks, the opening was a little tight….I stopped and drank a big bottle of water and then started expanding the hole so I could reach in easier to pull more stuff out…

19 Opened Up Pocket


….boy was I tired after digging the past few hours and finding nothing at all….I had about two hours left and wanted to make the most of it.I reached back in and cleared out more junk and then here is what I saw…my first confirmation of a working pocket…

20 Inside the New Pocket


21 Inside The Pocket

…boy was I excited…I began clearing away more rock around, after looking down in the hole and seeing that it expanded to my right…luckily for me this surrounding rock was easy to move away…it was just heavy is all…

22 Pocket Expands


 …and another opening appeared…so even more crystals and plates were pulled from the second opening as well…and the pile of crystals began to grow…..

23 Pile of Crystals


 ..and since I had confirmation that the pocket was expanding to the right, I cleared off more area of heavy rock to the right again…and I cleared out this second opening more and found even more crystals underneath the clutter….

26 Second Expansion Opens


27 Second Expansion



 …including this nice big twin that I pulled out shortly after clearing the clutter away….

28 Nice Twin Pulled Out


 …and even better looking close up….

28A Nice Twin


…and a few nice plates with poker chips attached to them were next to come out of the pocket….

29 Pile of Crystals and Plates


…and here is a view of the crystals and plates inside the second pocket opening….

30 Inside Second Pocket Opening


The next nice combo I pulled out was this beautiful crystal on pretty gray druse with some coloring to it…

32 Combo Plate


The pocket took two more expansions before I finally ran out of steam and decided to stop….

34 Expanding Again


I was going to have to clear more rock away first and I was just exhausted by then…I started wrapping up my nicer plates and crystals and bagged the rest….I did capture a nice sunset on the way home though…..

36 Sunset


38 Sunset Deepens




40 Deep Sunset


…cant wait til the next time I can get down there and explore some more.


Dogtooth Calcite in March

I had an interesting weekend this past week….starting Saturday March 3rd, I comped out a couple of hours and attended the annual awards banquet for my fire department, Sullivan Fire Department, hosted by the board of directors for Sullivan Fire Protection District, who provided us with a delicious, well cooked prime rib dinner catered once again by Rich and RuthAnn Lambing`s family, held at the St Anthony`s School Gymnasium. The Fire Department recognized my Dad for fifty years of service and Morris Scott, another member of the department, for fifty five years of service, amongst several other members for various awards accomplished throughout the previous year. It was a nice emotional night.

Then on Sunday morning, March 4th, I slept a few hours and then Missy and I drove down to the secret spot to meet up with Docia and Floyd, and their friends Dave and Julie, from Michigan, who stopped by this weekend to find some druse and calcite on their way to Arkansas for some quartz. My alarm clock didnt arm this morning when I set it for a two hour nap, so I arrived 90 minutes later than I intended to, so I decided to stay 90 minutes later in return.  When I arrived at the lower area, I found Floyd helping Dave look for a pocket in the parking area….they had scraped and dug around, but hadnt found a good solid pocket just yet. In the meantime, Docia and Julie were searching the clay druse area for some druse plates. I switched to my boots and grabbed my tools and gloves and a bag and set off to help Floyd find a pocket for Dave. It was a beautiful cloudy day and the temps were quickly warming up to 55 degrees…

02 Beautiful Sky


It took a few minutes, but we finally located a pocket to start with,  and after digging out a few single poker chip crystals, Dave came over and helped me start expanding it, working at one end while I worked the other end. Floyd helped Dave at his end, performing the more destructive work on the thick rock cap to get to more crystals and plates. After working it about twenty minutes, it became apparent that we hadnt found a true pocket, but more of a seam of calcite with some crystals deposited in an area about ten inches wide and from Dave`s end to mine, two to three feet long.

During this time, Docia and Julie came down from the mountain and started searching for pockets along the walls. A few minutes after coming over to visit with us briefly, Docia called for Floyd to come help her with a pocket that she had re-discovered along the west wall. Floyd walked over to help her dig it out and you could hear her whooping it up, so Dave decided to stretch his legs and go see what all the hoopla was about. I continued digging my end until the crystal train ran out, then grabbed my bag and went to find yet another pocket. As you can prob tell my now, I didn`t take my camera out of the truck early on.

Within moments of stretching my legs, I again located a promising area, finding a domed dolomite cap and figuring there had to be a way into it around the edge somewhere, after tapping it and hearing the solid cavity under it. After raking back dirt and gravel and rocks, I soon had my answer…a hole opened up under some loose shale and other shale layers breaking up under my mattox…and within about ten minutes I was digging out small druse plates and poker chips…after the hole expanded down to about ten inches deep, I started working the sides and then turned a large combo over and discovered a big chunk of druse with a couple of poker chips attached to it….EUREKA !!!   I hollered over and asked Dave if he still wanted to work a nice pocket, and was promptly informed that he was busy working a wall pocket…so I kept on digging and expanding my newly found pocket.

After another ten minutes, I had added four more large combos to the growing pile of single crystals, some of them measuring about six to eight inches and quite a ways around in diameter as well. I also pulled out a few twins and small clusters.  Here again, I apologize for not having my camera at this point either folks.  I also need to remember to keep my gloves on more often, having lacerated a couple of finger tips yet again. I`m beginning to think they hurt more a couple of days later, than they actually do at the time of the injury itself. Sure am glad we have medications like neosporin,  that helps boo boos heal faster these days.

By this time I had two separate piles of crystals and a few minutes later, Dave came over and started helping me with the pocket. I told him everything in the second pile was his to take home with him and we soon started pulling even more crystals out of the bottom, and then right before our eyes, a second pocket opened up behind the plates of the first one. Docia walked over to show me what she had found in the pocket along the wall, and I could quickly understand why she became so excited…..

20 Wall Pocket Dogtooth Druse


…she told me this one was mine and left it on my tailgate for me…she said Floyd was still digging a few more out, the pocket was full of them, dogtooth poker chips on a pretty gray druse…and he had removed one that had about nine poker chip dogtooth crystals all over it.

Well Dave and I continued to expand the pocket and found yet another pocket behind the second one, but by this time Docia and Jule and Floyd were wearing out and it was coming up on 4 pm. Dave and Julie still needed to drive on down to Arkansas before stopping for the night, so they decided to head out and get some supper with Docia and Floyd, and I continued to dig a bit.

I expanded the pocket as much as I could, then took a break and wrapped up my nicer finds and took them to the truck. I grabbed another bag with some wrapping cloths in it and headed to the wall to see if I could find any pockets too. I started on the west wall, stopping to look at the pocket that Docia and Floyd had worked, and then continued to the south wall. I stopped and checked out another pocket that Floyd had worked a bit and then moved about thirty feet further east along the south wall, where I spotted a pocket about seven feet up…luckily for me, there was a nice large boulder sitting right under and off to the side of it maybe a foot, so I climbed up there and peered inside….if you look in the center of the photo below, right above the copyright symbol and slightly left, you`ll see the boulder and the pocket right above it….

01 Beautiful Day for Hunting


 …needless to say I was pleasantly surprised in what I saw inside the pocket…some beautiful gray druse with white poker chips nestled inside the bubbly waves of druse….I reached in and was able to pull some nice single crystals out first and then a couple of small druse and chip combos like these two……..

14 Small Pocket Combo



15 Another Small Pocket Combo


…I stuffed the singles in my jeans pockets and then positioned both of the small combos just inside the top of the same pockets and looked back inside the wall pocket and saw this nice cluster sitting up about a foot inside the pocket….


16 Wall Pocket Cluster


16A Wall Pocket Cluster

16B Wall Pocket Cluster


…and of course, they always look better perched up in the pocket but believe me, I would not have been able to twist around and photograph them up in that pocket if I did have my camera with me,  plus I had to be very careful getting up on that boulder and keep one hand free to hold on to the wall for balance…and once I pulled those clusters out, I had to move back to yet another boulder where I had my bag of wraps, to wrap the cluster and put it in the bag and then gingerly and carefully return to the boulder to get more awesome crystals out.  The next time I looked inside, I saw this one attached to the wall and, using my rock hammer, chipped away some of the outside clutter to get to it…and then pulled it out without a scratch….

17 Wall Pocket Double


…and after removing it, this cluster came out next, sitting back behind it a few inches and attached to the other side of the pocket…

19 Wall Pocket Cluster


…and the next thing to roll out is this nice double….

18 Wall Pocket Twin


Well I removed about half a dozen more clusters and twins, and then I decided to check out one more pocket before taking off…I was def wearing down and was ready to go, after seeing these beautiful pieces come out of this little pocket…something about that pretty druse and those poker chips just nestled in there….wow….plus the druse piece that Docia gave me earlier…I was happy with what I had.

The other pocket didn`t pan out so well so I headed back to the truck and wrapped up the nicer ones and stowed them away in the bed of the truck and then Missy and I loaded up and took off…driving up the hill to the road, I saw this beautiful cloudy sky forming up and the beginnings of a great sunset heading our way….


05 Sky On The Way Out




…and then shot a few sunset photos on the drive home…very pretty….


08 Sunset Pond


09 Sun Sets Across Field Hwy 19


…I love it when the sun grazes the underside ridges of the fluffy clouds as it sets, and almost sets them on fire with an intense red color that just deepens as the sun goes down….


11 Sunset Near Steelville


12 Sunset Near Steelville


13 Sunset Steelville Farm on Hwy 19


A great weekend and after a short second nap and great dinner at Cracker Barrel, followed up with a few tylenols, I headed into work late Sunday evening. I`m looking forward to next weekend and finding even more treasures.

Two More Hunts in February

I forgot to mention a little roadtrip that Docia and I took a few weeks ago on a weekday I was off with nothing better to do. Or anything to do, for that matter, lol.  We met up down at the roadcut we first started rockhunting together at, on Highway C in Washington County. Its a small roadcut and mainly a clay bank with a few small rock outcrops on a gentle curve with a wide shoulder to park on. Docia was already there when Missy and I arrived, and she showed me some beautiful quartz druse plates she was finding, some with barite on them,  and covered with a pretty iron oxide coating as well.

Road Cut Hwy C

We walked up and down that first set of small cuts and found a few plates here and there, enough to fill a couple of bags, and then we migrated up to the second cut and started seeing a few more pieces of pretty druse with larger crystals on them. I found a pocket fairly quickly after digging down a little ways into the clay dirt and called Docia over to join me…pretty soon I had two bags filled and went to get another bag. I was pulling out some really nice bubbles and plates with bubbles on them….a few shown here all cleaned up by Mother Nature a few days later…

Quartz Bubbles with Iron Oxide

After that, we decided to drive up to Viburnum and check out a location we go to often and find some beautiful druse plates at…we hadn`t been there since last year and thought we would see if the rains in the past year had washed out any new material. We split up on arrival and within about twenty minutes, Docia hit paydirt in a washed out area and came to get me. We drove back up to the spot and walked down into the wash and started finding big bubbly druse plates right away. She had found a couple that I helped lug back up the hill for her and then I went back down and lugged a couple up the hill to my truck. Here are a few of the ones I brought home with me….

Druse Bubble Plates


Bubble and Straw Druse Plates

After lugging a few up the hill, we were both too tired to do much else except call it a day and drive home.

Last weekend, I decided to drive back down to the secret spot and check out a few areas down there that I hadn`t checked in a while. I emailed Docia only to find out that she and Floyd were going to be busy cutting wood for their new Hardy stove…apparently it uses a lot more wood than they had originally figured it would, so they weren`t going to be able to meet up and rock hunt. Missy and I loaded up and headed that way Saturday morning, arriving shortly after 10 am. It was a little crisp then, but the wind wasn`t too bad…and I stopped at a few spots on the drive in to check out a few areas where I thought maybe some of the blue hole crystals might have been dumped at. I didn`t find much and drove  on down to the lower spot and as I rounded the corner, found that a new area had been cleared off and ringed with boulders….

01 Driving In New Area on Left

…and despite a bigger mudhole now, the entrance up to the clay druse pit was smoother looking as well…

02 Driving In

I drove on up into the lower area and started looking around, decided to see if I could locate a pocket first and then while stretching my legs, I could always check out the pile or some wall pockets…

05 Removing Rock From South End of Pile


When I walked over to the pile, I noticed pretty fast that the pockets I had discovered the last time there, had already been covered back up…no big deal since I had cleaned them out pretty much and I didn`t intend to look there again, just wanted to use them as a reference point on finding another one. Oh well, no biggie, within moments I had discovered yet another area worth checking out…this time right in the corner and you see Missy walking toward it in the next photo….

06 Missy Walks Toward My Pocket


and this one located around a few big boulders, one I was able to move out of my way and the other two I could roll out of my way when needed….

07 Pocket I`m Working On


….I started to the left of that smaller square shaped rock, finding a narrow seam of calcite when I dug down next to a wall, but that didn`t pan out to be much so I moved to the other side of that rock and within minutes of digging down, I turned a nice druse chunk with poker chips over and decided to explore more….

08 The Pocket Starts Forming


…and within moments, I had found two large poker chip and druse combos…

09 Two of the Druse Chip Combos Found


…and the pocket started forming as a trench…

10 Pocket Starts Trenching


…and thankfully was cooperating by moving around that big boulder that I was only able to roll back about ten inches out of the way, to make things safer for me…as I dug down into it more, I hit a shallow pocket that looked like a spring welling up…….and the more I dug down into it, the deeper the water got and I could see it coming out from behind a few plates as well….

12  Cold Water and Crystals


….so I got up and went to my truck and pulled out a water bowl for Missy and used it to bail out the hole, and after bailing water for a few minutes, I discovered there was a poker chip ledge under the water that circled around in a U shape, and within that open area, under the ledge, I found poker chip crystals in singles, twins, and triples, and several small soda straw druse plates with poker chip crystals attached….the only bad thing was that the water was extremely cold and I had to alternate my hands back and forth, pulling crystals out, no more than two minutes in that water at a time or my fingers became so numb I couldn`t feel a thing…but pretty soon I had a large pile of crystals from that one underwater pocket alone….

14 Lots of Crystals and Plates


…and then I started removing the plates that were wedged in behind that spring, some of them just hanging upside down and large in size. I took as many out as I could safely remove…kept thinking that boulder might roll down on me if I kept digging out in that direction…

13 Lots of Crystals and Plates


…so I removed as many plates and crystals as I could….

14A Lots of Combos


…and then lucky for me, the pocket shifted to the right and started moving to the right side….here you see the water pocket going back right under that huge boulder and the pocket of crystals seemingly going to the right…..

15 Pocket Moves to Right


…and closer up….

16 Pocket Opens on Right Side


…and even closer up, you can see a couple of big druse plates hanging at the entrance and a few crystals in the mix at the bottom…

17 Pocket Up Close I cleared out the crystals in the mix at the bottom and a little cave opened up….

19 Pocket Keeps Going to Right


and after about twenty minutes, I had yet another growing pile of crystals and plates stacking up behind me……and up close, even prettier looking….

21 Up Close Crystals and Plates


…and the pocket continued to move to the right, opening up this area of bubbly druse plates…

23 More Druse Plates Exposed


…and after knocking down some of the top layers of rock, I opened up a little cavern full of poker chip crystals covered with a fine layer of clay mud….

25 Pocket Packed With Crystals



…and plates packed in and around the crystals….

27 Crystals Above Under and Around Plates


…and behind the initial crystals was a lot of tightly packed in crystals…...and after I removed the tightly packed in crystals, it opened up into another pocket of crystals as well….

29 Chock Fulll of Crystals


…that was chock full of crystals too….I removed some more top rock and behold, yet another pocket opened up behind this one…

30 Another Expansion


….by this time, five hours after my arrival, I was beginning to grow tired…this pocket was about four feet from the original starting point and I had changed sitting positions a few times by now, and had even laid down in the trench a few times to get into the crystal pockets…luckily for me, this turned out to be the last pocket I was able to get into….and again, filled with crystals top, bottom, and each side….

31 Another Crystal Pocket


…I had to knock down some of the tops to get to the crystals and once I did that, leaving me with this opening, too tired to pound the hammer on the top plates any longer, I reached back and removed as many crystals as I could before calling it quits…..

32 Last Pocket Found


…after a short break and cinching up my boot laces, I climbed around the pile again and found a few bubbly yellow druse plates, and then found a few wall pockets and worked them over fairly well, retrieving a few nice gray druse pieces with some beautiful poker chips perched on the druse as pretty as you please.

I then walked up to the clay druse area and found several nice smokey colored plates of soda straw druse and filled a bag before running out of steam and heading back to the truck. I was sooooo tired, it took a few rest stops just to walk back the last 200 feet to the truck. After wrapping up the nicer ones and securing them in the bed of my truck, and putting down towels for Missy in my truck seats. I finally had a chance to sit down in my nice comfy drivers side bucket seat and relax for s few minutes. I grabbed a couple of doans back pain pills before heading for home…and within twenty minutes my back was feeling much better. All in all, a very good day of collecting.