I decided to take my birthday weekend off this year since I have worked so many of my birthdays in the past several years when others wanted off. I checked the schedule at work a few weeks ago and figured up my vacation time would allow it and reserved the weekend off with my supervisor. I fully intended to travel down to Marion, Kentucky and dig for fluorite as they were having their July public dig during the same weekend as well.
I also had this knot on my right arm for the past few weeks and it wasnt going away, it was starting to worry me a bit cause it would expand in size each time it came back and get sore, I couldnt even set my arm down on my desk at work without a sharp pain from it, as it was right above my elbow, so on Wednesday afternoon, I paid my doctor a visit to check it out. He commended me for coming in to check it out and offered to drain it, so I said sure, why not. If I had known what was going to happen next, given my travel plans for the weekend, I might have delayed it a few more days. You know what they say about hindsight being twenty twenty.
First he sprayed it with something that froze the skin, then he drained it with some needles and removed alot of tissue inside it, and then he stitched it up…first time I have ever had stitches folks. As he is stitching it up…he informs me that I`m restricted to light duty til at least Monday and he is going to wrap it and it has to stay wrapped til Monday, and then a week from Monday he will take the stitches out. I told him I had planned to drive down to the Eureka Mine and dig for fluorite crystals for the weekend, which requires strenoous work and he said not this weekend buddy. He did give me the okay to do some rockhunting as long as it didnt require strenuous hammering or digging tho, so I changed my plans and decided to stay home and dig locally instead.
Soon after leaving his office, I drove down to Viburnum and met up with Docia and we drove to my rock and mineral dealer friend`s house to purchase some of his beautiful chalcopyrite specimens, which is in a separate story on this site. Then for the next couple of days, I tried to get used to the pain as well as a routine of unwrapping the bandage and applying neosporin and re-wrapping the bandage, as well as getting into the habit of taking a few tylenols or aleve for the pain each evening before bed. The biggest thing to get used to was not setting my elbow down on the computer desk or bumping it…the penalty was a sharp pain, so it sunk in fast. Come Saturday morning though, bright and early, Missy and I headed to Eminence to see if we could find some more beautiful stuff. I said a short prayer for safe driving and my wish to find some beautiful crystals there. Lets just say my prayers were answered in a very positive way.
Missy and I arrived about 7 am and it was fairly cool Saturday morning, specially down there in the Jacks Fork Valley, and we were going to be in the shade for at least a couple of hours as well. Docia and I had been talking to a young couple stationed in the army at Omaha the past few weeks both on the board and by email, and they had been down at Eminence a week or so prior and found some pretty dolomite druse and calcite. It happened to be Krissy`s husband`s birthday weekend then and apparently they were very happy when they left that day. Here is how the quarry looked when we arrived….the east wall below…
the southeast corner and south wall to the right next….
…looking to the north next….
and looking west and back toward the entrance, and the piles you encounter as you enter…
…I walked down and checked the piles near the entrance and then came up to the south wall, where I have had good luck before. I checked around the base of the fall down pile at the base of the wall and found a pretty poker chip in matrix with a green color to it…I had a good feeling then and there that I was going to leave the quarry very happy. I walked down the wall looking up and down, and soon discovered a nice dolomite druse pocket and set about seeing if I could dig anything pretty out of it….
…and here is one of the first chunks of beautiful druse that I pulled from the pocket….
I filled about half a bag full of the dolomite druse and then took a water break. After a few minutes of checking for additional pockets along the wall, I found a shallow pocket under a small loose rock that contained some pretty poker chip crystals.
I was only able to harvest a few crystals from it and it appeared that there could be more, however there was a lot of rock hanging over my head up above and I didnt feel safe in trying to pursue it at this time. It was obvious to me, as the sun was rising above the hillside and the shade was beginning to burn off, that I needed to cross over to the far side and check for pockets on the east wall now, while there was still some shade to be found. Missy and I loaded the truck with my dolomite druse finds and we drove to the far side and parked in the shade there. While Missy stretched out in the deep shade, I walked around the pile on that side and looked for pockets. I found a few shallow druse pockets and then walked back over to the pocket that Docia had told me about a few weeks before, that I had worked a short time and harvested some nice crystals from.
I walked up to it and looked inside and could see it looked the same as before when I was there working it….
I placed the tip of my mini mattox inside and raked it downward to clean out what loose fill was inside and make sure there were no wasps or yellow jackets lurking inside…I had my epipen with me but who wants to cut their rockhunting trip short if they dont have to….and was only raking down loose bits and pieces of rock when all of a sudden, near the bottom of the pocket, the bottom dropped out. I grabbed my flashlight and shined it down into this hole and all I could see were crystals and druse sparkling back up at me…another pocket down below…so I started prying and pulling on the rocks surrounding this pocket and working my way toward what I could see. Within a few minutes, I had discovered not only one pocket full of poker chip crystals, some of the dark colored, but also a pocket with some dolomite druse surrounding it just a few inches to the left….
…and here is a closeup of the pocket on the right….
…and a closeup of the pocket with the druse as well…
So now that I knew I had two pockets in front of me ready to check out, I did the wise thing and cleared off some more rock around it, just to make sure there were no obstacles when I started trying to clean them out. Within moments, I had all the loose stuff cleared away and it was obvious, this section was full of pockets all over….
I stared cleaning out the pockets I could see and was setting them down on a towel that I spread out below me and off to the left some, out of the way from any rocks tumbling down from the pockets I was working on, cause some of these crystals I was pulling out could be described as fragile. After clearing out three pockets, two with poker chips only and two with poker chips and dolomite druse, I decided to enlarge the opening and clear out more covering rock and just see if there were more pockets in there….
In so doing, I pulled a couple of bigger chunks out that contained some of the druse and some poker chips attached as well…I set them down by my chisels…
…and when I pulled them out, low and behold, another pocket was discovered…actually three more pockets but one can prob only see the one below and the one above, not the one behind the lower one though……
…here is a closeup of the pocket above that you can see……
I pulled a couple of those out and they had some pretty dark colored poker chip crystals on them…
…and soon had that pocket cleaned out and spotted the pocket behind it and reached in….and pulled out this BEAUTY !!!!!!……
…I was like…HOLIE COW !!!! It was dolomite druse wtih a couple of small poker chips attached and this bright red colored druse sprinkled in and around it…I have NEVER seen a bright red druse like that at all….thought to myself, man if I had to stop right here and now, I would be happy with this….luckily I didnt have to stop here and I reached back in and found even more pieces of it….
and a few poker chips as well….
…now I know by now you are probably scrolling back up to see that once more so let me save you the trouble and show you an even closer up photo of it….
ISNT THAT JUST BEAUTIFUL ?????!!!!!!!
I continued to pull more rocks out of the way, now determined more than ever to find another pocket and hopefully more of that beautiful druse with the red coloring on it….
I found one more pocket and it was a good thing…it was starting to get really warm and approaching noon, so I decided to clean this one out and wrap everything up and start toward home. After a fruitful morning of light digging and collecting, I was ready to head home.
Here is how the pocket looked when I left….
…the last thing I removed was that large hanging chunk inside the pocket, the one I left inside the last time there, that was covered on one side with crystals….and here is a final shot of what I took out of there during those two hours of digging it out….
We got out of there about 11:45 am and headed east on 106 over to Hwy B and then turned north…for the most part a very straight road…then west a few miles on Hwy 72 and north again on TT to KK….as we were passing the turnoff to Brushy Creek Mine on KK, a very large and pretty bald eagle swooped down in front of me about fifty yards and started flapping those huge wings and climbing…climbing….climbing up in front of us….Missy had her nose glued to the windshield watching it…it was prob one of the largest eagles I have ever seen….and just absolutely beautiful to watch…I`m sure the guy that passed me going south was wondering what the heck I was looking at with my gaze to the left and up as we were watching it glide down into the top of a tall pine tree next to the road….oh well, dont get to see those majestic and beautiful birds everyday….I was quite thankful that my prayer was answered and felt very blessed on my birthday weekend.
I`ll get some of those beauties cleaned up and added so you can see what I found and why I was so happy.