Ray let me know that he was available to go rockhunting again on Saturday, the 29th, and he would do the driving this time he said. I made arrangements with my parents to leave Missy with them for the day, and we couldnt have picked a better day weather wise…we nearly burned up the Sunday before and the forecasted highs for this weekend were in the upper seventies…turned out to be a breezy day as well, much more comfortable to go rockhunting in at a place with little shade. Once again, we headed out mid morning and arrived late morning, and found some work going on in another section of the quarry. We drove over to the right side and checked out the older walls first, finding some pockets of dolomite druse and Ray found a pocket with some gorgeous white as snow, druse quartz soda straws…I have never seen anything like them that far south in Missouri, so that was quite a find by itself !!
After about fifteen minutes of poking around there, we drove on over to the blast area and started nosing around where we left off the week before. There was a trackhoe sitting there with a hydraulic jackhammer attached to it, it was obvious they had been busting up the big boulders in the past few days, down to basketball and small beach ball size. We crossed over them to get to the chunk of rock again….
…and we started in digging in pretty much the same area as we left off last Sunday….
…and we pretty much started finding pockets of crystals once again, in the same areas as the week before, too. Ray began following a trail of crystals up high and discovered a pocket of them, while I followed a pocket of druse that led to even more crystals. I was working on the left side of the major crevice in the middle, and he was working on the right side….
…and as you can see in the next photo, it was an absolutely beautiful day, there was a nice cool breeze blowing all day long, and the temps were seasonably perfect….
As I was nearing the bottom of the first few pockets I found, we pulled a large chunk of rock out of the way and it turned out to be covered with crystals including a nice pocket containing a dogtooth or two on one corner, here seen on the tailgate of Ray`s truck…..
After removing a few more boulders in key places, Ray found yet another pocket of crystals, mostly in clusters and removed what he could. We were still dealing with some loose rocks above us, so we were trying to remove them as safely as possible, knocking a few out whenever possible to make things safer.
We finally took a break and as I was returning from getting a good drink of cold water, I noticed Ray checking out the right side of the pile, where it sloped up next to the wall. I walked over and we started making our way up and checking for pockets along the way, in the wall, finding a few small pockets but nothing major. Once I reached nearly the top, I looked over to the chunk of rock we had been working on, but way up higher, and saw a small shelf of dark gray crystals sticking out. I made my way over and was able to pull a few out…I noticed an area of crystals about five feet below me and suggested that Ray check it out, so he made his way over and no sooner sat down, than he started pulling out some beautiful deep brown dogtooth crystals, many of them with a sugary looking frosting all over them. Within minutes, he had opened up a HUGE cavernous pocket that was chock full of more of these beauties….
This next photo will show you how high up he was working this pocket on the sloped pile from where we had been on the floor below…..
…about thirty feet up at a sixty degree angle, yet compared to the rest of the wall behind him, he doesnt look that high up….and it was about this time that I noticed his big blue bunny ears…..
…course they only looked that way from a distance….
…and here is that beautiful HUGE pocket up closer that he was working on….
…and here he is working the pocket even more, as I am climbing back down the rocks and pile, carefully, with my camera in one hand and a crystal in the other….luckily there was a nice staircase near the bottom, complete with a ramp….
…and just before I reached the bottom, I looked up and he had pulled out yet another large crystal with a dogtooth coming up off it….
…and then he went back to working it yet some more….
…and from the front, you can barely make him out….
…we took another break and got some more water, and discovered we now had shade…figured it must have been around 4 or 5 pm now…
…after the break, I decided to walk over to the other wall and see what I could find. I was getting tired but still had some energy left and wanted to find a pocket as nice as the one Ray had found up on the slope. As I walked along the edge of the short pile against the wall, I saw some crystal pieces that had rolled down from somewhere above. I looked up higher and saw that someone had been digging around a little bit so I moved up and dug into it as well, It appeared to go left as well as to the right, so I kept on digging and soon enough a small hole opened up going back toward the wall, As I explored it more, a deep pocket opened up and I was soon pulling out one small cluster after another, and then another pocket opened up below and above as well. Within 30 minutes, I had put enough crystals to the side to fill two bags full, and I kept on digging. I pulled a few out that had bright yellow dogtooth crystals on them as well, but most were just simply poker chips nestled in the pretty dolomite druse. After a bit, Ray decided to come over and see what all the excitement was about…he had been hearing me say ” holie cow ” several times…I took a break to go get some water and another bag with wrapping material, and he took over digging for me…
….I started wrapping them up, and he brought me some wrapping paper and a roll of paper towels as well, as I had exhausted my supply of wrapping material with the prior pockets. Ray walked back over and began looking for more pockets…
…and working a pocket that I had worked on the right side earlier in the day….after knocking down more boulders….
.shortly after he did, I was trying to chip out two beautiful big clusters, and the inevitable happened…I mashed one of my fingers between the rock and the hammer. Luckily i was able to remove both of them still and then wrap up the remaining crystals and carry everything back to the truck, where I stuck my finger down into the ice cold water in my cooler…boy did that hurt even worse…for a few minutes only thankfully…fingernail was already turning blue tho….
I also grabbed a couple of aleve and took them as well, and within twenty minutes, the pain was starting to subside…I walked over and checked on Ray. After returning to the huge chocolate dogtooth pocket one last time and pulling out a very large boulder with a few crystals attached to it, and cobbing it down, we decided to head for home. We were both happy with our finds from the afternoon and it appeared that rain was coming our way as well. As we drove thru Ellington, we noticed the rain had already come thru there and then north of there at the turn off to Hwy 72, we spotted this beautiful double rainbow….
…and then soon after we turned west on 72, we began seeing the sunlit clouds as the sun was setting….we were the only ones out on the roads, so when we came across this nice scene, Ray came to a stop in the road and I shot this sunset photo….