Birthday Weekend and Light Duty Requirement

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…

01 East Wall

the southeast corner and south wall to the right next….

02 SouthEast Corner

…looking to the north next….

03 Looking North

and looking west and back toward the entrance, and the piles you encounter as you enter…

05 Entrance Piles and Bluff

…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….


07 Pocket of Druse

…and here is one of the first chunks of beautiful druse that I pulled from the pocket….

06 First Druse Chunk

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.

08 Pocket of Poker Chps Embedded

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. 

09 Moved Across to East Wall Next

I walked up to it and looked inside and could see it looked the same as before when I was there working it….

10 Pocket Same As Last Time

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….

11 Pocket of Poker Chips Behind Rocks


…and here is a closeup of the pocket on the right….

12 Dark Poker Chips Pocket Found

…and a closeup of the pocket with the druse as well…

13 Pocket of Chips Tucked Inside

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….

14 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….

15 Started Enlarging Pocket

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…

16 Few Large Ones Removed

…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……

17 Another Pocket Down Below


…here is a closeup of the pocket above that you can see……

18 Pocket Under Big Rock

I pulled a couple of those out and they had some pretty dark colored poker chip crystals on them…

19 Dark Chips on Dolomite Druse

…and soon had that pocket cleaned out and spotted the pocket behind it and reached in….and pulled out this BEAUTY !!!!!!……

20 Dolomite Druse with Red

 …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….

21 Dolomite Druse and Poker Chips

and a few poker chips as well….

22 Chips and Druse From Pockets

…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….

23 Dolomite Druse From Pocket


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….

24 Easier Access to Pocket Now

 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….

25 Big Rock Removed

 …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….

27 Pretty Good Haul


 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.






A Friend`s Collection of Beautiful Chalcopyrite

If anyone is looking for some beautiful chalcopyrite for your collection, I know the perfect guy for you to contact. I met David a few years ago at the Joplin, Missouri Rock and Gem Show at Schifferdecker Park in late September.  I had just arrived at Memorial Auditorium in downtown Joplin for the show and he had a booth set up on the east side of the auditorium. When I walked up and began looking at the variety of beautiful minerals from several of the Doe Run Viburnum Trend Mines,  he was busy taking care of customers on the other side of the booth and his wife walked over and answered my questions. I was quite taken with the large variety of calcite crystals and lead cubes and just in awe of the multiple colors of what I later learned from him, was chalcopyrite, which is a copper mineral. I remember purchasing a nice plate of druse quartz covered in pyrite and marcasite from him that morning, and returning later the next day and purchasing a few more from him.

I never have a problem purchasing minerals I know I`ll never have a chance to collect myself…I say never, because its pretty safe to say I wont be going down half a mile deep in any of the Doe Run Mines anytime soon, if ever at all. Thats where you have to go to find beautiful specimens like the ones in David`s collection.

Recently, a friend and I traveled down to his house and met with David, and after reviewing what he had in stock, purchased a few specimens from him yet again. See for yourself, and if you like what you see and are interested in making some as well, let me know and I`ll put you in touch with him.

06 Large Crystal Piece with Chalcopyrite

However…having said that,  let me point out….  the mass of calcite crystals with some chalcopyrite sprinkled in, pictured above center stage, is no longer available because its now part of my collection. 

03 Chalcopyrite


07A   Large Chalcopyrite Piece


08 More Chalcopyriite


09 Even More Chalcopyrite


11 More in Back


12 Crystals and Smaller Chalco Pieces


13 Two Exceptionally Pretty Chalco Pieces


14 Really Pretty Piece


16 All Chalco


Here are a few I purchased from him…. 

1 of 2 Chalcopyrite I Bought Today


2 of 2 I Bought Today


2 of 2 I Bought Today Other Side


Two Days in a Row….

I wish I could say I found yet another blue poker chip pocket for two days in a row, but I cant, cause I didnt.  I did find yet another pocket the very next day after the blue hole though and on the other side of the lower level.  As we were driving down there we came across this nice scene in a valley nearby….

01 On The Way Creek Valley

…and once we  arrived, the clouds were once again very noticeable…and even though it was a little warm, there was a nice breeze blowing through thanks to the clouds.

02 Beautiful Cloudy Day

…I had decided to try and dig down into that pocket and see just how deep it would go and if anything was in it…I stopped in Steelville at Casey`s,  and purchased a cheap flashlight, having gone off and left my really good one at home again. As it was, I didnt need it for this pocket, cause after digging down a little ways with the mini mattox, I bottomed out real quickly….

04 Didnt Go Any Deeper

…so I backed off and tried a different route, thinking maybe there was a deeper pocket there nearby and I just wasnt sitting in the right spot for it. I dug down into every hole I could see and never did find a deep pocket anywhere, just lots of little shallow pockets and a few crystals.

06 Opened Up Another Hole


08 Small Pockets Underneath I took a break after digging there for a couple of hours and drank some water, as it was starting to heat up again, and then decided to move about ten feet north and try my luck again….

09 Stopped Here and Moved  Forward

…and as luck would have it, after scratching around and finding some signs of calcite….

10 Started Modestly Here

…I soon had another pocket scouted out and quickly taking shape…

11 Found Signs Quickly

…and I no sooner had a small pile of crystals growing than  the pocket started moving in that direction and I had to move them to the right about three feet…as it was, I had to move them twice to the right….

12 Expanding Toward Pile

…this pocket formed up fairly fast, with a large and extensive base plate that had a couple of clusters on it, but each one was about six inches thick and then attached to a thick shelf of rock underneath. I tried chipping out the clusters just to make it easier to access the holes leading to what I figured was a deeper pocket underneath the clusters, but the rock and calcite the clusters were attached to, wore me out fast. I finally decided to just go on and dig out around the edges more and see where that might lead to…

13 Base Plate Found Quickly

…holes were opening up all over the place when I was digging and scratching around. you can see a hole above, this one only led down to the side of the cluster there, but then when I got down to the side of the cluster, another hole opened up, leading me to think there was either a pocket underneath the cluster or off to the side into the rock….

14 Hole Opens Up

…so on and on I dug…sometimes stopping to pull out a plate of druse or a poker chip….

15 Druse and Chips Found So Far

…and pretty soon, more holes along with ledges, were opening up so I was exploring more and more, thinking eventually I might find a big pocket somewhere nearby that was chock full of crystals.

16 Hole and Ledges Opening Up

…I wish now I had had my little paint brush with me to sweep away the loose dirt and gravel, that would have made things much easier, something else to put on my list of things to bring along…in the next few minutes, a huge cluster revealed itself to me and a large hole opened up next to it….

17 Hole Under Crystal Cluster

…I reached down into this hole, it was pretty big…and I pulled out a couple of nice crystals…so I naturally continued to dig some would have been nice to remove this huge cluster, but as I said before, it was firmly rooted to the base of the pocket with thick calcite. I hear so much about calcite not being very tough, only having a hardness of four, but let me tell you, when you start driving a chisel into it, you would swear it was more like a hardness of eight ! Wears you out real quickly.

I took another water break and then started trying to dig this cluster out, see how big it was, and in the process I discovered yet another pocket to the right of it, under a ledge of rock….

18 Another Pocket Opens Up

…and yet another hole opened up on the left side, right by that cluster of crystals…

19 Pocket Opens Up

…by this time, I was starting to wear down from the heat and the digging….I had tried to break into the clusters and chip them out and that alone wore me down…and I was going from hole to hole exploring and trying to find a way down into what I assumed was a pocket off to the side of those clusters, but I wasnt having much luck getting into any pockets yet. I started scratching around again and low and behold, an even bigger hole opened up right in front of me and not near the cluster either…

20 Hole Opens Up

…I went back to the truck and grabbed my new flashlight and aimed it into the hole and it appeared the hole was fairly deep….

21 Hole Appears Deep

…so I started digging out the pocket on the left side and making my way toward the hole in the pocket to the right….

22 Crystals and Ledges Appear

…and as I did, more ledges and holes appeared. I started pulling more crystals and druse plates out right and left….

23 Pile Grows

…including one very nice large twin….

24 Large Twin

…the pocket finally joined up with the other pocket, and sure enough, it was a deep one….

25 Hole Becomes Deep Pocket

…I kept pulling large crystals out of it and chipping off the roof to move it back…prob moved it back at least two feet before I ran out of gas….

27 Pocket Expanded

…I laid down on my side and set the camera down on the floor of the pocket and using the flash, shot this photo of the interior of the pocket….

28 Inside the Pocket was jammed full of large poker chip crystals…no I did not leave those inside the pocket intentionally…yes I ran out of energy, but if at all possible, I still would have reached in and removed them…had Mother Nature let me…they were firmly rooted to the bottom of the pocket like superglue…so that is how I left them….for another day.

On the way out, I shot some beautiful sunsets of the thunderheads overhead in the sky….

29 Setting Sun Guys Still Fishing


31 Thunderhead and Pine Tree Sunset


34 Thunderhead Setting Sun








Blue Poker Chip Hole July

On my first Saturday off, Missy and I got up early and drove down to the secret spot, trying to avoid the heat as much as possible. We have been locked into the longest dry and hot spell I can ever remember, so since it gets light about 5:30 am, we have been making every effort to start as early as possible. As we drew close to the area, we saw a beautiful sunrise coming up over the trees….

01 Sunrise Huzzah Valley was nice and fairly cool this time of morning, but that wouldnt last long. As we drove up on the lower side, we came upon a few moo-moos in the roadway….

02 Cows in Roadway on Arrival

…I walked around the rock pile for a few minutes and then decided to check out this corner….. I felt led to check here first….

03 Something Led Me to This Corner

…I looked down and saw something that looked like a poker chip and so I began to dig down…finding water in the gravel mix fairly fast…..

04 Started Digging Here

so I took a fast break and returned to my truck and pulled out my bailing bowls and a bottle of water. I reached down into the mix and grabbed ahold of what I had seen a few minutes earlier, and turned over this plate, and it appeared to have a blue poker chip crystal on it….

05 Plates of Druse and Blue Chips

 …now I started to get excited as it had been awhile since I had found a good pocket full of blue poker chips…like at least a year and a half or two years. I started digging down a bit more and pretty soon a small cavity opened up and water was everywhere. I was definitely going to be bailing water soon enough….

06 Water Was Apparent

…and within a few minutes, I found even more calcite signs that a pocket was closeby….

08 More Signs of Calcite

…I reached down into the water and pulled out this blue poker chip twin that was absolutely beautiful……

09 Blue Poker Chip Pulled From Pocket

and then started bailing water from the expanded hole…when I got done bailing, this is what I saw…and boy was I now excited….

10 Base Full of Blue Chips

…and up a little closer…..

12 Blue Poker Chips in Base

…I continued to bail and dig and expand the hole, and after about ten minutes, I had discovered that there was a nice cluster of crystals in the middle of the hole….on the right side of the photo below….

13 Base of Pocket Full of Blue Chips


…and here it is up close as well….

14 Large Cluster Blue Chips

…and so with this for motivation, I continued to dig out more from the sides and found even more blue tinted crystals waiting for me…

15 More Blue Chips

…some were loose and easy to remove, while others were rooted to the bottom base plate of the pocket….but quite pretty to behold….

16 Pocket Expands

…I kept bailing and digging, and even found another small pocket about ten inches back toward the pile, but this pocket was short lived, I only pulled one or two crystals out and underneath them were a few plates of druse only….

17 Bailing Water is a Necessity

…and here is the short stack of loose crystals I had pulled out so far…many of the crystals seen in the photos above were indeed rooted to the bottom of the pocket solidly….

19 Small Pile So Far

…and here is the plate that I originally found and turned over to find the pocket, in much better light….

20 Original Plate Found

The pocket kept on expanding and ledges started showing up…I wasnt sure if these were going to signal the end of the pocket or more pockets would open up behind them, but I was getting tired and the heat was mounting….so I took a break and chipped out the clusters you saw in the photos above….and kept digging, til another hole opened up, as seen below in the lower right hand corner…

21 Keep On Expanding


22 Another Hole Opens Up

…as it was though, that didn`t lead anywhere and so I wrapped up my clusters and twins and took them back to the truck. I took a small water break and then decided to make use of the extra two hours I still had left and check out the pocket on the other side, that I had discovered a few weeks before, but hadn`t followed up on due to the excessive heat.

23 Checking Out Other Pocket

 ..the pocket over by the mud and waterhole….I had popped a single dogtooth crystal out of it when I last saw it, so I wanted to check it out and see if there was indeed a good pocket there. I took my trusty mini mattox and began digging around and eventually a trench started forming up…after about ten more minutes of digging it out, a few holes opened up underneath the trench….

24 Digging It Out


25 Holes Open Up

..unfortunately, I didnt have my flashlight with me, so I couldnt tell how deep those holes were but they sounded deep when things fell down into them…

26 Holes Appear to Be Deep

I was trying to expand the sides of the trench a few minutes later so I could reach down into those holes and see what was below…me thinking there might be a deep pocket underneath and full of crystals no less…and I had about thirty minutes before I had to leave and drive down to a rock and mineral dealer friend`s place to check out some lead mineral specimens for a friend of mine. So here I was trying to chisel out the sides of this trench and expand the opening…I was holding the chisel barehanded as I have done many times before, but this time got a little too close to the rock wall with my left hand and basically mashed my little finger into the wall…yes it hurt, it hurt alot, and I`ll just say I`m surprised that no one heard what I had to say when I yelled a few things very loudly….I walked over to my truck and grabbed a bandaid  from my glove compartment and wrapped it around my little finger, it was also bleeding profusely, as I had punctured the skin as well…and I just about passed out from the heat and pain both….as I laid there I wondered if this was the type of pain that Pete, a rockhunting buddy from Pennsylvania had felt when he broke his hand a few months ago in Kentucky….my whole hand was throbbing in pain….a few minutes later I  grabbed a bottle of water and held it to my forehead and prayed for strength and a re-charge of my batteries….I strongly believe in the power of prayer folks and it was answered within ten minutes….and I kept my end of the bargain…I packed up and left there and headed to my dealer friend`s house, deciding to return another day and work on that pocket some more then.

Here are a few of the clusters and twins that I was able to chip out of the pocket that day, now all cleaned up….

2nd Cluster Found Blue Hole


3rd Cluster Found Blue Hole


Big Blue Cluster Found


Another Triple Found Blue Hole


Triple Found Blue Hole


My Truck at Quarry 2








Another Pocket First Week of July

I decided to take my short day off the first weekend of July, after a long week of brush fires and a fun filled week at work, and drove down to the secret spot again to see if I could locate another pocket.  Missy and I arrived and I decided to do a little walking around to see what I could find in the rockpile first. I found a huge boulder with some pockets on it right away….

01 Boulder With Pockets

…but I didnt attempt to liberate any.

I moved around to the other side of the rock pile and looked around at some areas where the foliage was growing and decided to start digging into those areas to see if I could find another pocket. We have discovered that the foliage usually takes root in some deep pocket holes,  and they have led us to some nice pockets in the past. I started digging here first…

02A   Looking For New Pocket

I started digging down by this small bush…

03A   Bush Looks Likely Spot

and within a few minutes, I had found some signs of calcite off to the side of it, so I moved over to the area of the roots….

04 Signs of a Pocket


…and within a few minutes of intense digging, I pulled out these two plates, which is a better sign of a pocket very closeby….

05 Even Better Signs

I was surprised, not expecting to find roots so thick and long, and began wishing I had brought a saw or an axe with me. These things were long and getting in my way fast. I continued to dig and expand the pocket despite the long and tough roots….

06 Expanding My Search Zone


…after expanding the pocket around the bush roots, I started finding little ledges down underneath and then some holes started opening up as well, usually an indication of a pocket underneath the ledges….

07 Finding Holes and Ledges

…so I started digging out the ledges and within a few minutes, I was rewarded for my efforts with this beautiful poker chip….

08 Nice Crystal Pulled Out

…after taking a short water break, I began the task of taking on the roots once again….

09 Wish I Brought a Saw

…and boy were they tough….couldnt even bend them to move them out of my way…

10 Roots In My Way

…I soon got tired of fighting these roots and so I moved to my left about five or six feet and discovered yet another pocket area and began working it…no bushes or roots to deal with there…and within about thirty minutes of digging it out, I had a nice pile of crystals….

11 Pile of Crystals

…this pocket started on the left side, where I hit the calcite base pretty quickly and then it moved to the right where it went deeper….most of the crystals in the pile above came from the deeper end of the pocket…

12 Pocket Expanded

…and I was pulling a variety of plates and crystals from it….

13 Plates and Crystals

…and pretty soon I was wore out and ready to wrap up everything and head for home…it was hot and I was soaked in sweat and dirt……think those roots prob wore me out more than anything.  As I headed home, I began to see storm clouds forming to the north near the interstate and I sure hoped we would get some more rain soon after….

14 Storm Clouds Gathering

…and here is the storm moving east along the north side of the interstate as I am driving home…it did rain about 30 minutes later and we received about half an inch of rainfall. it was a welcome relief, but we definitely need more, as does most of the country. I have never seen a drought like this before. I sure hope we all get some good rainfall soon and a break from this excessive heat spell, too.

15 Looking Like Rain TG






Pocket Expansion Last Day of June

I rearranged my schedule twice this weekend and drove back down to the secret spot early Saturday morning…they were calling for a high of 106, so Missy and I got up at 4 am and were on the road forty five minutes later. Docia wouldnt be able to make it down, she had a memorial service to go to for an aunt, so it would just be Missy and I this trip down. I hoped for a good five hours to work that pocket over some more after Tuesday evening. We arrived just after 6 am and got started on the north end of the pocket…..

01A  Started Where I Left Off Tuesday

…within a few minutes, I hit a shallow pocket, that contained a few single chips with a black center, and then a twin with black colored centers popped out as well….

02 Found Blk Center Crystals Here

..the pocket stayed shallow and didn`t go very far, trapped between two larger pockets as it were….

03 Found Few Blk Center Crystals

…and produced these guys…..

04 Found These Blk Center Crystals

…after a few minutes, it didnt appear to me that the pocket was going anywhere on the north end, so I switched to the south end and began digging once again and pretty soon it appeared that I had chosen the right path….

05 Pocket Going Other Way

…pretty soon I started seeing crystals and holes again started appearing…this time I decided I wasnt going to get my hopes up…if a hole led to something bigger and better, so be it, but if now, oh well….

06A   More False Alarms

…one thing was for sure, I was finding some plates and chunks of a pretty orange colored bubbly druse…..

07A   Bubbly Druse Plates

…and within a few minutes, the pocket was expanding and filled with poker chip crystals nestled in the clay mix of dirt and mud, just like the day before….

08A  Pocket Full of Crystals

…I was pulling them out of the pockets right and left, until all that was left were bigger ones, some attached to the side walls and some loose but in the sticky clay mud…..

09 Pocket of Chips

…after a few more minutes of digging out the crystals and chipping out a few of the larger ones attached to the sidewalls, I found a large chunk right in the middle of two pockets…it had some chips attached to the base of it, but I wasnt sure if it was going to lead to something else or was an end to the pocket….

10A   Large Chunk Dug Out Finally

…I grabbed ahold of it and found it to be a bit loose, so I dug around the back side of it, which was no easy task let me tell you…that dirt on top attached at the back was like concrete, due to the dry heat we have been experiencing lately. After ripping it back and away though, it was looking like I might be able to move this huge chunk out of there soon…..

11A   Can See Large Chips at Base of It

…I grabbed it again and this time it came right out…I turned it over and was like….HOLIE COW !!!!!

12A   Turned Over Druse and Chips Plate

…a very happy guy….and was beginning to think it was Christmas in June, lol….removing this druse combo opened up another nice pocket of crystals behind it….

13A  Nearing End Wall of Pocket

…which at first appeared to me as an endwall of the pocket, but the next plate I pulled out, changed my mind again…..

15A   Plate of Chips Pulled Out

…and closer up….

16 Plate of Chips Up Close

…and then I took a short break, got some water, and chipped this twin with a base to it out…..

17A   Crystal Clusters

…pretty soon though, it was apparent that I was nearing the end of the pocket, plus I was getting tired, and the heat level was rising. I took another short break and got another bottle of water, and put Missy in the truck and turned the ac on…it wasnt going to be long before I would be joining her so I wanted it nice and cool when I got in there.

18A  Near End Wall

I came back and dug a little more and finally hit the end wall and removed what I could…I was fast running out of steam and the humidity just kept climbing….it was sapping my strength quickly…

19 Another Pocket Behind

…I returned to my truck and retrieved another two bags full of cloth wraps and returned and wrapped as many of the nicer ones and then filled two bags full of poker chip single crystals alone….here is what the pocket looked like after I finished digging…from three feet long at the start to now over nine feet long….

20A   Pocket Went Nine Feet

…and after wrapping up the goodies, I took one last look around and saw this spot, with a big weedy looking shrub growing up out of it and dug down a little ways…wanted to see how deep the roots went for one thing, not very far I found out but did find some signs of calcite down below…so maybe a good spot to explore further the next time….…sure hope its cooler by then…luckily we did get a spotty shower this evening and about twenty minutes of rainfall, but it didnt rain many other places….hope everyone is staying cool and hydrated out there this summer. As soon as I get some cleaned up from yesterday`s dig, I`ll post some more photos.















Secret Spot During Hot Stretch End of June

I hadnt been down to the secret spot for a few weeks, so Tuesday evening,  Missy and I loaded up and headed that way at 4 pm…this was before the record heat levels set in, so the evening temps were cooling down instead of heating up. By the next day, everything reversed and that all went out the window.

We arrived a little after 5 pm and the pocket I was intending to expand, was out in the direct sunlight, so I opted to check out other areas instead. I briefly walked around the pile of rocks to see if any new disturbances showed signs of life, but I moved over to a shady area, that I had previously worked before all the blasting occurred, and decided to try some of the areas where vegetation was showing….

01 Decided on the Shade

…I`m not sure why we never checked these strips of vegetation before, but I sure plan on doing more of it now….

02 Potential Pkts

…we have found alot of pockets going where the vegetation is at and there were rows of vegetation in this area between slabs of rocks…if there is one thing we have learned, its that the floor here appears to be chock full of pockets in various areas….

03 Dug Down By Vegetation

…and while sometimes it takes a bit of time to find a pocket, today it didnt take long at all before I found some promising signs of a good pocket nearby…..

04 Twins Found Initially

…I kept on digging down and pretty soon was seeing poker chips all over the place popping up in the clay dirt below…in fact, I found the clay dirt so tightly packed around these crystals, it reminded me of the way the clay dirt protects Arkansas quartz crystals too….

05 Calcite Can Be Seen

…and in some ways, this pocket was completely different than others I have found nearby…each time a hole would open up like the one below, I got a bit excited and anticipated a pocket or cavern opening up below….

06 Hole Opens Up

…so I would back off and widen out the pocket area, thinking maybe I would get some indication of whether or not there really was a cavern of crystals below that hole…..

07 Pocket Widens Out

…and while I would pull a nice variety of poker chip crystals out of that widening detail….

08 More Crystals Found

…and while it gave me good indications of which way the pocket was going to move in and how wide it would go…..

09 Pocket More Defined

…and how deep it might extend…..

10 Pocket Deepens

….despite all that, and the fact that even more holes opened up throughout all this effort, as shown below, there were no caverns or cavities or pockets down below at all…..

11 More Signs Of Holes

…but I was never disappointed the whole time in as far as what I found during the three hours I was there…lots of bubbly druse plates, some with crystals attached, and some beautiful poker chips in singles, twins and triples….

12 Plates and Crystals

…and within a few minutes, yet another hole opened up…which basically turned out to be a hollow spot under this cluster of poker chips that was attached to the side of the pocket, but since it was hollow underneath, I had high hopes of chipping it out later….

13 Another Hole Opens

…and as it was…I was able to chip it out and it turned out to be a nice cluster, although it doesnt look like it here. I kept digging and the pocket kept on expanding in a seam like fashion…..

14A  Pocket Expands


I stopped to take a water break, and returned with my four pound hammer and chisels, and was able to chip out a few nice clusters….

15 Clusters Chipped Out

…as well as a few nice plates of druse and chips combined….

16 Clusters and Crystals

…and so the pile continues to grow….

17A  Pile Grows

…and pretty soon I had a pile of clusters big and small sitting nearby as well….some days you can chip them out and some days you only tear them up it seems like…today was producing some nice ones….

18 Clusters Big and Small

…and I was even able to chip out a nice druse plate with a chip or two attached…I gave this one to my friend Kaye…she wanted to come with me but had to go to a memorial service instead this evening….

19 Yard Rock For Kaye

..and below are some of my finds after cleaning them up a bit with soap and water….

Chips and Druse Plate


Chips and Druse Plate 2


Chunk of Druse with Chips


Cluster of Chips


Cluster of Chips 2


Set of Twins Found in Pocket

Small Chip Attached to Druse


this next little guy was kind of unique…it looks like another poker chip attached to a plate of druse from this side….

Small Plate with Chip Attached

…but when you turn it over, here is the backside, which I normally dont get to see…..

Small Plate with Chip Attached 2

…and this next one was actually laying loose below a huge chunk of bubble druse…I had reached under the chunk and tried to wiggle it back and forth and bring it out by itself…but it wouldnt budge, and not wanting to risk damaging it, I left it alone. Instead I took my hammer and chisel and knocked the back end of that chunk loose and then was able to retrieve this beauty afterwards….

Top of Plate Piece

…after taking a closer look at it, one might say it has damage, and maybe it does, maybe it happened with that chunk came down, maybe it happened before when it possibly fell off on its own…doesn`t matter to me, I still like it….even if they don`t.

Top of Plate Piece 2

…and between these beauties and this twin below…I was convinced that I needed to return and see if that pocket would expand and produce more than it did today….

Twins with Dark Centers

…so I decided to come back a few days later…..stay tuned….