Three AMAZING Pockets at Eminence

Earlier this week I was watching the weather forecast, thinking about making a drive to Eminence on Sunday, which is today, the 27th, with a new rockhounding friend joining me as he was off on Sunday and could go that day……however as the forecast began to change, it became obvious by Friday that I would be changing my plans to Saturday instead. Originally they were talking about a cold Saturday and warm Sunday, but by Friday, the Sunday forecast started with freezing rain at daylight to rain all day  after 9 am, so I opted for the cooler day to go hunting this weekend. As it turned out, it was alot warmer yesterday than they forecast, and after finding so many nice pockets full of gemmy material, it turned out to be a win-win day all around. 

I had set my alarm clock to 6:15 am, figuring to be on the road by 7 and arriving about 9 am, but my fire dept pager went off about 5:30 so I opted to get up then and hit the road a little after 6 am. It was an ems call and our full time crew could handle it just fine. As Missy and I drove over to Mc Donalds to get an egg and sausage biscuit for breakfast, there was a nice full moon coming up in layers of pretty clouds…I shot these on the move so I apologize for the blurriness….

01 Sure Was a Pretty Moon


02 Sure Was a Pretty Moon

 We headed west to Cuba and then south to Eminence, through Viburnum and by all of the Doe Run mines on Hwy KK, TT, and B…a route I prefer to take these days when headed that way because its a straighter road and no tourist traffic to slow you down. As we crossed the Current River bridge on Hwy 106 east of Eminence, the sun was coming up through a  thick layer of clouds and I stopped on the bridge to shoot it…..

04 Clouds Over Current River

I arrived at the quarry a few minutes later, meeting no traffic until I climbed the hill just above it, and pulled down into the parking area below the west facing bluffs. It appeared to me that only about thirty feet of sloped loose rock had been removed since Docia and I were there last with my Colorado friend Ian, and a subsequent trip after that as well….

10 Pile Looked About Same

I no sooner had my boots on and laced up, grabbed my mini mattox and bag, and started nosing around, when I spotted this number and took it back to the truck tailgate….chocolate brown poker chip triple….

27 First One Found

…I remember thinking, as I walked back over to the loose rocks and began to look for more gems, that this might shape up to be a nice collecting day after all. I walked down the wall to the left first, seeing if I could locate any new pockets in between the ones already found, and while I found a few smaller pockets, they turned out to be shallow and only pulled a crystal or two out of each one. I then moved over to a chunk of solid rock wall, that nosed out a bit,  with a crevice separating it from the rest of the wall, a crevice wide enough that a person could easily climb up into it and up between the two walls of separated rock, the nose of rock is seen below to the left of my blue bag….

06 Started on Left Side

As I climbed up into the crevice, I came up on the very large boulder that was there the last time, only farther up that crevice the last time I was there, it was even there when Ian was here visiting…the last time I was there though, it harbored several large poker chip crystals, some the size of the one now sitting on my tailgate, and some even larger than that, several that I was unable to pry out of the pile due to that large boulder and some that were attached to it. It was obvious that while it didnt appear that much of the pile had been disturbed and removed since I had last been there, after a close examination of that boulder and the area around it, much of those crystals were gone and removed, some possibly having slipped through a hole under the boulder and slid down the pile to the waiting jaws of the quarry front end loader and taken to the crusher, where their fate was sealed. 

I was able to get down and look under and around the boulder this time, and was able to pry and chip a few crystals from the bottom of it as well as pluck a few out of that large hole under it where some crystals were lodging and laying there waiting to be found. I figured that is where the tailgate poker chip had come from as well. There was still a lot of material just sitting above that boulder, that I didnt want to take a chance on dislodging to slide down upon me…there would be no escape from it as there were no areas to jump over to out of the way from it, so I left it alone. I could see a few chips exposed on the right side of the boulder, but no where safe to stand and work them loose from.

By this time of morning, it had warmed up considerably, now likely around 50 degrees, so I removed my coat and placed it back in the truck. I then returned and turned my attention to the wall of the main bluff to my left, and after a little searching, found a few little pockets that I was able to get to and remove a few crystals from, enough to fill one bag anyway. I then moved around to the right side of the nose of rock and began finding smaller single crystals,  and even a double crystal, that had rolled down from a pocket above, so I began searching along the left wall of this side…which by the way, was sloped alot less steep and easier to climb as well…..

07 First Major Pocket Above Calcite Line

…right above my blue bag, in the photo above, you can see where I found my first pocket….I was seeing evidence of crystals exposed along that wall…..and began pulling some loose rocks away and OILA…a pocket became exposed…and boy what a pocket it turned out to be !!  There were two parts…a top part with a very pretty partially exposed golden brown poker chip laying sideways in it, and the bottom open area of the pocket revealed edges of another golden brown poker chip inside it….…you could only see the crevice shadow above of the bottom pocket, but the next photo shows the golden brown poker chip I saw in the top pocket, just beckoning to me like a lighthouse beacon….

14 Top of Pocket

…and the bottom pocket was just as inviting looking….

13 Bottom of First Pocket

I decided to work the top pocket first, after bringing my bag up there with me, clearing off a nice level spot for it and placing a couple of towels above it, to set the crystals on it as I pulled them out. One of the very first ones I pulled out was a narrow two inch long piece of gemmy dolomite druse, brown on one end and bright yellow on the other with a poker chip attached, just glistened in the sunlight…I was just dumbfounded as to it`s sheer prettiness, and after looking back in the pocket, I decided I should go grab two more bags, full of wrapping cloths, and really get ready to work that pocket open. I took that gemmy little druse combo back to the truck with me and grabbed two more bags before returning to the pocket.

After pulling a few smaller crystals out, I latched on to that big one in the middle, the golden brown one and boy was it pretty when I got it out in the sunlight finally, had some real sparkly dolomite and calcite druse covering the base of it, just absolutely beautiful…..

22 Golden Brown Poker Chip

Within moments, the pocket was open and more were waiting in the back to be removed as well…. 

15 Top of Pocket Opens Up

…more like these crystals….

17 Poker Chip from Top Pocket


and this one….

18 Second Poker Chip From Top Pocket


…I then turned my attention to the bottom pocket, wanting to try and remove that facepiece first….

16 Bottom of Pocket

but had to remove alot of loose rock around it that was holding it in place….

19 Started Cleaning out Area Around

…and after removing that facepiece, the slab of rock on the left side covering the pocket to protect it, I saw that I wouldnt be able to remove the pretty golden brown chip behind it, the one you see in the photos above, because it was embedded into the rock behind it, and there was no way to get around it and chip it out at all, without damaging it. I opted to leave it in the pocket and then turned my attention back to the top pocket again. After removing a few more crystals from the top pocket, I started working on removing the cluster…tried chipping it out and tried prying it out, but it seemed to be hung up on something bigger behind it, and I couldnt get a good angle in order to chip at it or pry on it,  so I opted to leave it as well….

20 Down to This Piece & Unable to Remove it

…when you see what all I pulled out of there, later on when I get them all cleaned up…you`ll see it was no problem for me to leave that bottom crystal and top cluster in there and walk away. I started scraping around the face of the rock with my mattox and lo and behold, another pocket opened up about a foot to the right of this one !!  At first, I pulled out a few shards of limestone sitting at angles and then behind it, a few chunks of dolomite druse….

21 Second Major Pocket To Right of 1st

…then after clearing them away, I was rewarded with the sight of yet more poker chips nestled in the druse…

23 Poker Chips in Second Pocket and ripe for the plucking…..

24 Poker Chips in Second Pocket


25 Poker Chips in Second Pocket

…so after cleaning out AMAZING pocket number two, I wrapped up the crystals and took those three bags to the truck, returning with yet another couple of bags and more wrapping cloths, just in case I stumbled upon yet another nice pocket…I was feeling good and lucky by now. I climbed on up the slope, but didnt see anymore crystal signs, so as I was returning to the bottom, I caught a glimpse of some exposed crystals on the side of the rock wall near the base. I  decided to scrape and see if anything was loose, and all of a sudden, the rock wall just collapsed inward, exposing dolomite druse and a few poker chips along the upper edges, surrounding a large chunk of rock that was loose on three sides that I could see. I stuck the mini mattox in and pried back on one end of it and it came back to me very easily, so I grabbed both sides of it and pulled it out of the pocket it was protecting, and turned it over to see the pocket side completely covered in sparkly dolomite druse, with some hematite balls mixed in, and three poker chips attached at various spots, one on the top end had a nice partially exposed dogtooth crystal even…it was fabulous looking….

28 Third Amazing Pocket


29 Third Pocket

31 Chunk of Dolomite Druse with Poker Chips


32 Dogtooth on Druse Piece


As you can see in the first of these four photos above, this third pocket was in a direct line below the other AMAZING pockets above, and I was about to find out just how AMAZING this pocket was going to turn out to be, surpassing the other two pockets combined !! 

I looked inside the pocket after removing the big chunk, and there were poker chips laying around inside it all over the place !!

34 Poker Chips All Over Pocket

Or at least, I thought many were single chips, but once I started poking around inside there with my fingers, I soon discovered that many of them were small clusters, and after pulling about ten small clusters out of there….

35 First Clusters From 3rd Pocket

this large one the first one I pulled out….

36 Cluster From 3rd Pocket

….I decided two bags were not going to be enough, so I grabbed the big one and headed to the truck with it, returning with more wrapping cloths and more bags… I brought back two more bags stuffed full of wrapping cloths, and wrapped up what I had pulled out so far…..

37 Chips From 3rd Pocket

 then reached in and began pulling more crystals and clusters from the third pocket….

38 Clusters From 3rd Pocket


….after pulling the crystals out that were showing, I reached back in and saw several laying just out of sight under a thin layer of dirt and rock dust….

39 Partially Covered Clusters in 3rd Pocket

…these were clusters in the floor of the pocket near me…and the photo below shows how it looked like at the back edge of the pocket….

40 Dolomite Druse and Chips 3rd Pocket

….including that gemmy little chip by itself in the middle near the back edge, or at least I thought it was the back edge…..

41 Chip and Druse in 3rd Pocket

…but we`ll get to that part of the story in a few minutes….I pulled a couple of druse chunks out, one with a gemmy little crystal attached to the end of it….

42 Dolomite Druse Pieces with Chips

…and after about thirty minutes of pulling out crystals and clusters and setting them on the white cloths again, this is what I had accumulated….

43 Another Set of Chips & Clusters

…pay close attention to the upper left hand side of the pile above…one of the crystals I pulled out had two small dogtooth crystals embedded in it, almost looked like fangs….

45 Another Set of Chips & Clusters


46 Twin Dogtooth Chip 3rd Pocket

…and a few more of the clusters I pulled out this time as well…

44 Another Set of Chips & Clusters

47 More Chips & Clusters


48 More Chips & Clusters

49 More Chips & Druse 3rd Pocket


50 More Chips & Combos

…after wrapping these beauties up and taking that bag to the truck, I returned with another bag, filled with the last of the wrapping cloths I had, and pulled even more clusters out of the pocket….

51 Even More From 3rd Pocket

52 Even More Chips & Clusters

54 Dolomite Druse & Chips

…including this nice little cluster that had a dogtooth crystal poking out from one side… 

55 Small Cluster with Dogtooth

It soon became obvious to me that I would have to chip out a couple of  bigger clusters …so I retrieved my hammer and chisel from the truck and began lightly tapping and soon removed a couple of nice large clusters as well as a few more small clusters….

56 Big & Small Clusters

57 Big and Small Clusters


…and some druse pieces that appeared to contain some of the red colored dolomite druse I had seen from there before…

58 Clusters and Druse


59 Large Cluster

…as I was pulling this lasst bigger chunk of crystals out, I looked back into the pocket and saw that the remaining clusters were locked into the floor of the pocket and would require a hammer and chisel to remove the rock holding them in below the floor, so I set about chipping the sideplates and bottom rock plates….

60 More to Clean Out


61 More to Take Out

…in doing so, I came upon yet another pocket…and it turned out to be mainly dolomite druse, which often accompanies poker chip pockets or surrounds them….

62 Another Pocket Underneath


63 Pocket Opens Under Floor

…after removing that plate above that is plain looking on this side, I could see inside the pocket better…..

64 Inside New Pocket

…by chipping this side of the rock out, I was able to remove clusters from the left side of the pocket floor, shown in the next photo….

65 Chipped These Clusters Out


66 Clusters Chipped Out Above New Pocket


67 Clusters Above New Pocket

After cleaning out the left side of the pocket, I turned my attention to the large plate at the bottom right side of the pocket. I had scraped out a few plates of dolomite druse on the right side of that large plate and discovered it was hollow in the center spot at the bottom of it, and once I had pried it out, discovered it was pockmarked with little pockets of druse throughout the other side of it….which you can see some at the bottom of it in the next photo….

68 Floor Now Removed

…and once I removed it, I discovered yet another pocket lurking behind and below it…this one full of nothing but druse plates and chunks, most of them rather drab and not pretty at all…this pocket seemed to tunnel back a bit further into the rock as well, and the further it went, the material was even less appealing. Its been my experience hunting there, that quite the opposite is usually true, the further into the rock you tunnel, the prettier the crystals and plates become…..but not in this case….

69 Another Pocket Opens Under Floor

I also removed several small and large clusters after removing the large plate….

70 Druse and Clusters


71 More Clusters & Chips 3rd Pocket

..including these two centerpieces that were on the center column holding the two sides together….

72 Centerpieces

…by this time, I was fast approaching exhaustment…I took a break, carried two bags over to the truck and grabbed a can of Arizona tea, then grabbed as much wrapping material as I could find, having to utilize walmart bags and old t shirts to finish up my wrapping. I then added those last two bags to the truck, wrapped up the bigger chunks and clusters and placed them in the bed of the truck, loaded Missy and headed north. It was now 2 pm and I had just finished six hours of digging, hammering, and wrapping…I was tired but elated at what I had found, and decided to stop off at Viburnum and check out the new druse spot to see if anything new could be found. 

As I was driving north on Hwy TT, passing by the Fletcher Mine, I looked ahead and saw a large column of smoke in the sky, which looked to be up near Viburnum. As I entered the city limits of Viburnum fifteen minutes later, I observed a heavier column of smoke coming up near the airport….

73 Woods Fire Viburnum


75 Near Airport Viburnum


74 Woods Fire Viburnum

I stopped off at the Viburnum fire station to check on it and see if they were in need of any help…Bill the dispatcher there, told me that it was a few acres on fire and they would have it under control shortly, burning up the hill near the airport runway. I visited with him a few minutes, he is related to one of our firefighters here as well. I then drove over to the druse spot and checked it out, spotted a beach ball sized chunk of smokey colored druse and loaded it up in the truck and then headed home with it. All in all, it had been a very nice day to hunt and I was very happy with my finds. 

if you have any questions or wanna say hi, give me a shout at


A….Holly…Jolly…Dogtooth Day

What a nice day it was for rock collecting Saturday, January 12th…couldn`t ask for a better day in the middle of January, one of our coldest months normally, and I was feeling better after a week of a nasty cold, so Missy and I loaded up and headed south to meet up with Docia about 9 am at the secret spot. It was around 55 degrees when we started down there, and even though it didn`t warm up  much more than that, we were just fine with it…the forecast was a cold front pushing through around noon and rain developing between noon and 2 pm for that area, so we had about four hours of dry weather ahead of us. What was coming in later that evening wasn`t very good either…. it was gonna go from nice to nasty in the next twelve hours, so we would enjoy it while we had it. 

Missy and I arrived about 8:30 am, ahead of Docia, who said she would arrive nearer to 9 am, and we set about to seeing what we could find. The back side of the pile had been removed, leaving us with two new walls to inspect for pockets down near the ground floor level….

01 Back of Pile Cleaned Out

03 East Wall

I started looking at the fractured areas of the east wall first…wanted to look at the north wall due to great success there the past few weeks, but there was too much debris to dig through down below, where the east and south walls were clear and easier to check on. It soon began to warm up and I took my jacket off and hung it on a nearby boulder, and took a closer look at the pockets to the left of my jacket…

06 Signs Everywhere


…and about midway between you see a small hole above…as I approached it, it was obvious to me that a pocket was lurking behind it just waiting to be discovered…

07 Pocket Just Waiting For Me


…and lurking inside this pocket, was a beautiful yellow poker chip crystal, attached to bubbly gray druse…. 

12 Poker Chip Nestled in Gray Druse

…and off to the side about two feet was an exposed area of the wall, appeared to be half of a pocket, with a nice big poker chip attached to the druse bubbles of the left over pocket….real pretty but hard to remove from the wall….

11 Poker Chip Attached to Wall

…and off on the other side a couple of feet away…I found a nice pocket that contained several orange dogtooth crystals in plain sight…a good sign of things to come from inside the pocket….

10 Dogtooths All Over Pocket

Docia arrived soon after I grabbed another couple of bags from my truck. I took this next photo to show several pockets in a direct line with each other…

13 One Pocket After Another

…and closer up, showing several crystals, combos of poker chips and druse, sitting on the front edges of each pocket, just waiting to be plucked out….

14 Poker Chip Combos at Entrances

…and more waiting inside to be removed as well….

17 Druse and Poker Chips


19 Waiting to Be Discovered

…after cleaning out each pocket, I moved to the next…this next one had a combo and cluster sitting side by side on the front edge…

20 Combo & Cluster in Front


21 Combo and Cluster Up Front



…here is the cluster out of the pocket and up close….

22 Cluster Removed

…and the combo removed and up closer….

23 Combo Removed

…and the very next one I pulled out from the mouth of the pocket was this cute little combo….

24 Small Combo Removed

As I was working on these pockets, Docia started out way down the wall to my left looking for more pockets and then moved down to the right of my jacket and toward the south wall. After finishing up these two pockets, I moved left about three feet and discovered two more pockets in the fractured section of the east wall….

26 Two More Pockets

…the fractured, broken up area in the middle above, only produced a few small combos, turning out to be a very shallow pocket….

28 Combo From Pocket

…while the pocket on the right, actually opened up into two openings and produced quite a few palm sized combos and several single poker chips….

30 Last Pocket


31 Combos In Last Pocket

After cleaning this one out as much as possible, I checked up and down the wall, but didnt find any more pockets to check, and moved down the wall toward the south wall, where Docia was busy pulling out beautiful dogtooth crystals from a pocket she found ten minutes prior…..

32 Docia Looking for Pockets

I walked down and asked her if there was room for two up there and she said sure, and pointed to a pocket she hadnt been able to get to yet and told me to feel free to check it out. I walked over toward it and as I started to climb up the loose slope, I looked down and saw this pretty piece of bubbly druse with a big yellow dogtooth crystal attached to one end of it…

33 Found at My Feet


34 Found at My Feet

It has obviously rolled down from a pocket above, but I wasnt sure if it was the pocket Docia was talking about or another one up there nearby, possibly located between that one and the one she was working on now, so I climbed up and checked the area in between but didnt find anything substantial, so I then looked up at the pocket she had pointed out to me…from her higher vantage point, she  could see some dogtooth crystals up high inside the pocket, where I could only see a few smaller orange crystals sticking out of the muck below…

36 Docia Said Check Out That Pocket

…and just as I climbed up and created a spot for my bag, she yelled over and said, hey look at this….one she just pulled out of the pocket she was working on about ten feet to my right…. 

35 Docia with a Nice Find

As soon as I got comfy, I began carefully working my way into the pocket, and soon began pulling some beautiful orange dogtooths out from the much, covered over and out of sight, working my way up to the higher points that she had been able to see before, that I could now see as well…

37 Pocket Up Close

….within moments, I pulled free a couple of larger chunks of crystals with dogtooth points sticking out all around them…she called over and told me that I should give her one of them since she graciously allowed me to check out the pocket…I climbed down with this one, to my other two bags below…not wanting to merely place it in my bag above…and told her she could have it since it was the one she asked for…..

38 Docia Said I Want That One


39 Docia`s Goodie

I turned around to climb back up the loose slope, and didnt take two steps and looked down to see this nice chunk of druse and yellow poker chips at my feet….picked it up and turned around to set it by my bags before climbing back up to the pocket….

40 Nice Chunk At My Feet

…and I no sooner got back up there, then I started pulling one dogtooth after another out of the pocket…didnt take long before I had one bag completely full. Docia climbed down to take one of her bags back to her suv, and on her return, handed me another bag to fill as well. She also wrapped up the one I gave her and then climbed back up to see if she could find more pockets. Soon after, it began to rain on us, a light sprinkle at first, that turned into a light steady rain, a little after 1 pm. Since we were finding some nice pockets now, we decided to stick it out a bit longer. 

Not long after the rain started, she told me that she had found yet another nice pocket, and pretty soon I could hear Docia talking to herself…a few minutes later, she  let out a loud whoop……she had found a very nice chunk of calcite covered on at least three sides by big beautiful orange dogtooth crystals….

42 Amazing Piece Found

43 A Happy Docia

…I looked over and she was so excited by it, she was actually shaking…she said later it may have been a combination of excitement from the crystals and cold from the rain and cooling temperatures. She decided she had enough excitement for the day and began wrapping up her goodies and preparing to leave. I decided to stick it out a little longer and see what else I could find. I moved over to her pocket and pulled a few goodies out while she was still there, and then after she left, I pulled even more out. I will get some photos taken of them as soon as I get them cleaned up later this week. 

Well it`s Wednesday and I was finally able to get those pretty dogtooth crystals all cleaned up and photographed…I first had to do a little re-organizing and clearing out some room in my kitchen floor and sunroom, before I could even get to the sink to wash off the dust and dirt….here is the before photos….

46 Clearing Floor Before Cleaning


47 Clearing Kitchen Floor

…of the kitchen floor above, and the sunroom below is the before….

48 Making Morre Room in Sunroom

….and now there is much more room in the sunroom as shown below, Missy has much more suntannin room now to stretch out during the sunny days….

50 Afterwards

…and the kitchen floor is still a work in progress, we`ll just say. I did clean out the shelves on both sides of the sink before I started, giving me more drying off room for the dogtooths…speaking of which, here is what I now have cleaned up from last weekend….. 

53 Several Dogtooths From Last Pocket

…a mess of dogtooth singles above, this is just a few of the many singles I pulled from that last pocket that Docia turned over to me, below are a few more….

54 More Dogtooths From Last Pocket

I actually pulled a few singles out the first few times, but then while feeling around the edges, I snagged a much larger treasure and this is what I pulled out next….

55 Druse Dogtooth Combo

…and here is the other side of this beautiful dogtooth combo that I pulled from the pocket….

67 Druse Dogtooth Combo

…so I stuck my hand back inside and I`m moving around the edges again, and pulled out several more singles, and then latched on to a larger piece that was in the middle…could feel the one end and it felt like bubbles of druse on the one end I had ahold of… and once I worked it loose, this is what came out….

56 Second Combo I Pulled From Pocket

 ….and below is the view from the other side of it….

66 Second Combo From Pocket

…Docia was still there when I pulled these out, but she was wrapping up hers and trying to get out of there before she got soaked, so not sure if she saw them good or not. Plus they were covered with a fine coating of dust, too. I really like the colors in the druse as well as the dogtooth crystals attached. After pulling two nice sized pieces from the pocket, the next couple of combos that came out, were quite a bit smaller, but very, VERY nice…like this nice little chunk of bubbly druse with attached twin, double terminated dogtooth crystals attached to each other and attached to one end of the druse bubbles….

58 Dbl Terminated Twin on Druse


…and then to top it all off, wouldnt you know…the NEXT one that came out felt like a single crystal all by itself, but when I got it out in the light,  IT was DOUBLE TERMINATED also !!!!

So here they are side by side….

57 Dbl Terminated Crystals


….I was like WHOA…..and stopped to do some wrapping before  I placed either one in the bag…and grabbed a few more bags too…then reached into the grab bag once again and came out with this little guy…..

60 Single Dogtooth Combo


…well by this time, Docia was driving off and I reached back into the pocket and rummaging around inside, snagged up on another large one, could feel several points and after working it loose from the middle once again, pulled this one out of the pocket…

62 Third Combo Pulled From Pocket


……and another view of it below….

65 Third Combo Pulled From Pocket


…I pulled alot more singles out again and then snagged yet another larger one inside the pocket and pulled this fourth combo out….

63 Fourth Combo Pulled From Pocket


…and the other side of it here….

64 Fourth Combo Pulled From Pocket


…I was having a hard time getting them out, scratching my arm up a bit on the boulder, and catching my sleeve by this time on a dogtooth attached to a plate on the left wall at the entrance to the pocket, so I started wiggling the front end of this plate and finally worked it loose…it turned out to be L shaped, which meant I was going to have to twist it a bit to get it out, and then wound up having to chip a bit of rock out of the way to make it easier, and then finally got it out of the pocket, and essentially, out of my way as well…

45 Front Wall Piece

…and by this time, I was becoming wetter due to the rain picking up once again, and the temps were still falling, so I was getting a bit chilled. I decided I would reach into the grab bag one more time and see if I could find a good sized chunk, and that would be that…and after rummaging around inside for a few seconds, I located a loose one and pulled this last combo out….

68 Fifth Combo From Pocket

69 Fifth Combo From Pocket


…I was quite happy with what all we had found, but after a week of cabin fever, ingesting all the zirtec and cough syrup, and not getting my workouts and exercising in, I was a bit tired and was ready for a little nap. Once home, I postponed dinner and jumped in the hot tub to warm up, then took a nice little nap, which helped the recovery process alot. Tomorrow I hope to clean up a few more crystals. 🙂

if you have any questions or wanna say hi, give me a shout at

Cleaned Up More Dogtooths From Christmas Day

I`ve been down with a bad cold for the past five days, courtesy of one of my co-workers at work, who decided to come to work sick and share it with everyone there. I relieve him on fire dispatch at work and the least he could have done was let me know to wipe everything down due  to it, but he didnt even have enough common courtesy to do that, so as a result, I didnt get to go rockhunting on Sunday, which I had taken off just for that reason, using a holiday that I was in jeopardy of losing if I didnt use it…therefore, I`m not too happy with my co-worker since he violated two major pet peeves of mine about the workplace. 

I really love my job, but my workplace could use some improvements…I`m sure most fall under that as well, but since we are provided with good sick leave benefits, I think it should be mandatory that we as employees, should place the welfare of others, like our co-workers for one, above our own discomfort and stay home when sick, in order to recover without affecting others in close proximity. One would think COMMON SENSE would prevail here and it wouldnt have to be a rule, but apparently some people just dont have the ability to think clearly sometimes and think about the welfare of others. My second peeve closely follows the first…if you are too STUPID to stay home when sick, then by gosh have the COMMON COURTESY to at the very least, inform your co-workers, as well as anyone else you come into close contact with, that you are not feeling well and suggest that they wipe everything down that you came into contact with…once again, common sense should prevail, but if you are so stupid that you come to work sick, then its obviously apparent to me that you have NO common sense at all. Nuff said. 

Now I know what people mean when they say they have a ” stupid cold “….it`s a cold they got from stupid people….while home recovering, I did get some of my larger plates of crystals cleaned up from the pocket I worked on Christmas Day, so I`m adding those photos below…some were covered in clay mud so after a thorough cleaning, I uncovered some very pretty yellow dogtooth crystals on a few of the larger plates. 

This is the first one I worked on cleaning up…its a solid chunk of druse at the base, with alot of calcite crystals on top, many of them a honey brown color of dogtooth crystals, and the rest are frosted over in lighter shades of brown and dark yellow…the honey brown dogtooths are more yellow at the tips of the crystals…there are even smaller yellow/orange dogtooth crystals embedded in the druse bubbles near the base….

Chunk of Dogtooths on Druse Base


…and here is a photo of the other side, showing the druse base with embedded dogtooth crystals…. I have rolled it over a bit more to show more of the druse base, and you can see it has black hematite balls all over the druse as well….

Druse Base Under Dogtooth Chunk 2

I also pulled a large plate out of the pocket that day that was coated on one side with the multicolored bubbles of druse, with a few large honey brown dogtooth crystals encased in the frosted poker chip formation with the tips of the crystals exposed, nestled on top of the druse bubbles…

Large Druse Plate with Dogtooths

Frosted Dogtooths on Large Druse Plate

….and the entire other side of the thick plate was coated with a pretty whitish gray colored druse that has tiny little needles all over the druse….

Other Side Large Druse Plate

….very pretty when it sparkles in the sunlight, which we have had little of the last few days.

I also found several large plates of bubbly druse in different colors inside the pocket and brought a few of them home with me, two are shown here….

Druse Plates From Pocket


And another nice surprise was this chunk of calcite crowned by several yellow and orange dogtooth crystals….

Chunk of Yellow Dogtooths

Chunk of Yellow Dogtooths Closeup




Eminence Once Again

I didnt have anything better to do on the 30th, so Missy and I loaded up the truck and headed south to Eminence, coming in the backway, which would take me right by Alley Spring Mill. Snow had fallen on Christmas night and then again Friday night, and was deep an hour south of me, which is my traditional route there. I had called a friend who has a weekend cabin not far from the quarry and he let me know that they had a light snow Friday night and most of it had melted on Saturday, however the roads between me and the quarry, along my traditional routes, were ice and snowpacked and covered, hence my decision to take Highway 63 south to Houston and then drive thru Summersville on Highway 106 to get there. This would also provide me  with a unique opportunity to photograph the Mill with snow on the ground, something I have never done there before. 

Alley Spring Mill is one of my favorite places to photograph, restored and maintained by the US Forest Service, located five miles west of Eminence on Highway 106…it`s a tall red colored mill building sitting on a huge spring pond, the spring water channels through a sluice gate and down a stream that soon empties into the Jacks Fork River. I have often photographed it in the summer and fall months…very pretty there then, and when we arrived late Sunday morning, while it was destined to warm up to 44 that day, it had not reached even 30 in that deep hollow. I leashed Missy and we both got some great exercise walking up to the Mill to photograph it on the stream side….

Alley Spring Mill in snow

….and then across the footbridge and up the spring pond path on the other side to photograph it from across the pond…

Alley Spring Mill Across Spring Pond


…we then headed back to the truck and on east to the quarry. 

There was a light dusting of snow in places on the rocks as I pulled down into the quarry parking lot…I slowed to check out the little bluff on the right as you enter, the area that Ian and I had worked for a couple of hours when he was here, and located multiple pockets inside it…it was covered with more snow than anywhere else so I decided to drive on over to the newer area and see what I could find there. The sloped pile there was halfway removed, and I no sooner got out of my truck than I discovered a very large chunk of matrix with a large green and chocolate brown colored poker chip crystal sticking out of it, sitting on the ground at the foot of the sloped pile. Before I could even get my boots on and laced up, I walked over and picked it up, using my legs instead of my back due to the weight of it, and walked it back to the bed of my truck. I dont have a photo of it yet, as it`s still in the bed of my truck…I left it there Sunday night as weight for the snow storm that was coming in on Monday mornng. I`m glad I did, because it was good weight and ballast for the bed of my lightweight truck. +

After lacing up my boots and grabbing some tools and a couple of bags, I walked down along the foot of the slope and then down the new wall…it looked like no one had been there since Docia and I had been there with Ian a few weeks prior. I was picking up some nice poker chips that had obviously rolled down from above somewhere. I looked up on the pile and saw a few potentials to check out when I got back from the wall walk, and made mental notes of their locations for my return. I even left one of my blue bags in place to mark the spot. 

I had no sooner walked about ten feet down the wall from the edge of the pile, than I spotted a small palm sized plate containing bright orange dogtooth crystals…I was like, HOLIE COW…mainly because it was just sitting on top of a flat boulder like someone had left it there.  While stunned beyond belief, I`m also not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I pulled out a wrapping cloth, wrapped it up, and then walked it to my truck for safekeeping…and no, I havent photographed it yet, but I will soon. I found several small poker chips down along the wall, some appeared to have fallen from way up, there were obviously some pockets about twenty feet up the wall that were entirely unaccessible, and within about ten minutes, I had completed my walk, and returned to the blue bag marking my return spot, with one bag filled with crystals. 

Dark Gray Poker Chip


I started climbing up the pile and hadnt made it very far up from the floor, before I found this beautiful green colored poker chip cluster….

Green Poker Chip Cluster


…and after getting my footing after wrapping this one up, I started a little higher up and soon started seeing crystals all over the place, including this beauty…one that I had spotted earlier and was making my way up to…it suddenly dislodged above me and slid right down the slope into my waiting hands, and what had appeared to be a chocolate brown colored poker chip twin, actually turned out to be a triple….

Triple Dark Poker Chip Found


…while it doesn`t look very chocolatey colored in the photo above, believe me it is….and I no sooner had it wrapped and placed in one of the blue bags, when I started finding chocolate colored dogtooth crystals all over the place up on that loose rock pile….

Dogtooths Side By Side

…within minutes, I had yet another bag filled up and I wasn`t yet halfway up the pile, so I slid down and took the full bag to the truck and returned with another empty one. I climbed back up the pile, checking out a couple of pockets in the wall on my left side as I did so, and then, after creating a couple of footholds with my mattox, I climbed on up to a very large boulder that had signs of crystals on both sides of it. The footing was more secure on the left side of this boulder, between it and the wall, so I climbed up on that side first and then nosed around with my mattox. Unfortunately, I knocked a few loose crystals down into a hole that opened up behind this huge boulder, and even more unfortunate, the hole was so deep I couldn`t even reach down into it to retrieve the crystals…and after cleaning off some of the loose material above and around the boulder, I discovered that there was a line of crystals, some small and loose, and some big and attached to solid stuff, all the way across the face and top of the boulder and extending about three feet on both sides of it. I soon found out, much to my disappointment, that I could not dislodge the bigger crystals from what they were attached firmly to. They were very pretty, some dark gray colored, some chocolate brown colored, and some were a bright green color. 

I probably could have hammered and chiseled them out, but I probably would have still been there had I done that, buried at the bottom of the mass of boulders above me, too. Since I really preferred that not happen, I gathered up what I could in my bags and after carrying them to the truck, I grabbed two more empty bags and climbed up on the pile to walk up to the top and see what could be found up there. It seemed very likely to me that some of the crystals I had picked up on the pile, had rolled down from the top of the pile, so I wanted to walk up and check out that theory as well. I soon found that climbing up on that pile was not going to be easy…like when Ian was there, only now more difficult because I was a bit more tired now…I had to literally throw my bag and tools up on the ledge, then grab onto a rock that was partially buried in the muck above, and pull myself up on to the ledge…all while doing this, the lip of the ledge was giving way and disintegrating from the edge and rolling down to the floor below…fun, right ?? NOTTTTT….I was really exhausted now, once I got up there, I just laid there for a few minutes to get my strength and breath back…where was that Gatorade when I needed it….shoulda packed one in my bag for just such a deal….maybe I can remember to do that the next time. 

So soon after I hiked up to the top where Ian and I had worked several poker chip and dolomite crystal pockets before…there was a guy there that day that went up to the top to see what else he could find after we finished working those pockets. I no sooner got to the top in that area, then I started spotting little clusters and twins and triples just laying around up there…I thought to myself…whoever left this gorgeous stuff here is even pickier than Docia and me combined…worse than Mike Streeter even….stuff like this one just laying there on top….

Small Poker Chip Cluster


…and here are a few more of the nice ones I found that afternoon while there, some up above and a few on the pile down below….

Some of the Pretties Found 2



…after filling up a bag full of the crystals I found on top and left laying around, and then prying a couple of larger clusters from the pocket, I wrapped those two up and placed them in the top of the bags and then carefully made my way back down to the edge of the pile. I decided to slide down the loose stuff on my butt from the edge, and boy let me tell you, that was some ride down the slide….with my hands and arms full no less….I dont think I will do that again with both arms full that is…gotta be able to steer….