Holie Cow Pocket at New Secret Spot

Wow what a weekend it turned out to be…great weather, much cooler…temps down in the upper 70`s and lows in the fifties, nice break from the high 90`s and humidity last week. I got an email from a mineral dealer friend that was going to be driving up to the Denver Show this weekend and wanted to stop by and see what I had that he might be able to purchase from me. He said he would be by on Saturday afternoon after stopping off in central south Missouri to see a good friend of mine who is also a mineral dealer of Viburnum Trend minerals. Knowing he wouldn`t arrive here til at least mid afternoon, I decided to drive down to the new secret spot and see if I could find some more dogtooth crystals. I always pray for a safe drive and also asked for less horseflies and a few dogtooth crystals as well this time…I believe in the power of prayer and let me just say that my prayers were heard and answered.  

Missy and I woke up early and got on the road in the cool predawn darkness, arriving about 7:30 am to a cloudy but cool day. I had on a long sleeve shirt that felt pretty good til I started working along the north facing wall….

01 North Wall

and within an hour, I had found a small pocket of poker chips and druse combos…the top three in this photo are the first ones I dug out of the initial pocket in the wall….

02A Initial Combo Finds



…and after pulling those three out, the pocket basically just closed off to me…so I began looking to the right and above and below…and finally to the left side a few feet, I struck paydirt once again…pulling some brown dogtooth poker chips out of some loose sandy matrix….

02C Initial Brown Dogtooths Found


…so I began digging around in that area and soon located an opening, that continued to grow and expand til I had a pretty large opening in the wall. In the next photo you see the initial pocket above the bag and the new pocket to the left about seven feet, just to the left of my green mattox handle….

02 Pockets Above Bag


I was initially pulling out some brown dogtooth crystals, so I knocked out some of the rock above the opening and took out the sides abit more, and looked inside….

03 Dogtooth Pocket Opens Up


…and the first thought was HOLIE COW…another big pocket….and immediately thought back to the time my good buddy Ian Merkel was here visiting…I had found a pocket that day at the secret spot quarry, similar to this one, except that in that one, there was a huge pocket inside and above my head and everytime you jostled a rock inside, crystals would come falling down like a big slot machine…and after I had cleaned it out as much as I wanted, I turned it over to Ian…later looking back to find him with his head and shoulders in the pocket, digging it out even more…however, this pocket contained alot more than that one had and in even bigger form….little did I know at that point what lay ahead….I started reaching in and pulling out several singles right off the bat…

First Finds in Holie Cow Pocket

First Finds in Holie Cow Pocket 2

First Finds in Holie Cow Pocket 3

and then found out that there were some big clusters buried upside down in the mix like this one….a real sweet one….

First Finds in Holie Cow Pocket 4

…so I would carefully pull them out, a few of them with the tips already chipped off, likely from either the blast damage, or resulting from the fall from above to their current position upside down in the mix and broken off from impact. Once I had several pulled out and lined up on the ledges of the wall where I could place them, I would pick up the better ones and carry them to my truck tailgate. This would enable me to take a water bottle break as well…and once I had the tailgate lined with them, about an hour later, I stopped to take some photos of the clusters on the tailgate….I set my mini flashlight down by them to give an idea of size reference….

Clusters I Could Not Fit in Bags


Clusters I Could Not Fit in Bags 2


…and then I proceeded to carefully continue to pull them out of the pocket…eventually having to stop and expand the pocket a bit more in order to be able to reach in and bring them out without bumping the host rock in the process….

Holie Cow Pocket Expands


Holie Cow Pocket Expands 3


and when you look at the expansion photos above, you`ll notice a dark area at the top…that pile of rocks in front of it, consists of several medium sized clusters laying upside down with dogtooths all over the place on them…once I had carefully picked each one up and removed it from the pocket, after cleaning out all of the crystals from in front of the pile of upside down clusters first…then that dark space opened up into the back of the pocket, filled on the bottom floor with even more single crystals and small clusters….even more WOWs and HOLIE COWS coming from me by mouth and thoughts….I had planned to only be there a few hours, intending to get back in time to clean up and get a nap in before the mineral dealer friend arrived, so about an hour later, I had pulled all I could remove from the pocket, and took a water break, and then wrapped up what I had and filled five bags full of wrapped crystals, with all of those you saw on the tailgate, wrapped separately and placed in my floorboards of my truck. Here are the rest of the crystals I removed, after a  good rinse at my house later in the day….

04 Clusters Found


05 Druse and Single Points


06 More Single Points & Druse


07 More Singles & Clusters


08 Mainly Druse Pieces


09 More Clusters


10 More Druse & Singles


11 Small Clusters & Singles


12 Medium Clusters & Singles


13 Awesome Dogtooth


14 Awesome Closeups


15 More Clusters


16 Extra Clusters


17 Four More Clusters


18 Closeup of Sweet Cluster

and some pretty druse pieces…..

19 Druse Pieces


…the next day, I decided to return and clean out the pocket if possible…when I had left Saturday afternoon, the opening pocket was fairly cleaned out but I suspected there was more in the very back, which was a pretty good reach for me…and there was a turn to the right that I could not reach as well. Once there, I decided to knock out some of the rock on the right side that impeded my reach and once I had that out, I was able to reach in pretty good…but I had to hold my flashlight in my left hand and still couldnt reach in with both hands, so I then widened the opening some more so that I could get my upper body inside and then more freely grab crystals and pull them to the area just inside the opening. I laid down a few empty bags to make things easier on me and then proceeded to empty that pocket out as much as I could… 

Pocket Entrance Expanded Again

…I worked it the same way I had the day before, pulling out severa and setting them on the ledges til I had the ledges full, then carrying the bigger ones to the truck tailgate and wrapping up the smaller ones and bagging them. here is what the tailgate looked like once I had it full again….

Returned & Cleaned Out Pocket

Returned & Cleaned Out Pocket 2

Returned & Cleaned Out Pocket 3

…and after three hours, I had it all cleaned out…after removing the rock on the right side, I was able to get inside and pull more clusters out that were buried in the ground floor rubble, while holding the flashlight to see by….and there was a pocket that opened up to the left from the pocket on the right side, so in all, there were actually three pockets within….I`ll leave you with some closeups of the finds yesterday….

Close Ups

Close Ups 2

Close Ups 3

Close Ups 4

Close Ups 5

Close Ups 6

Sweet One

…one of the best pockets I have found there….all in all a good weekend too. 🙂

if you have any questions or wanna say hi, give me a shout at jwjphoto7@gmail.com






Horsefly Weekend

Nearly two weeks ago I drove back down to MFQ, after getting word that there was a little bit of new activity. Missy and I arrived about 6:30 am and it was just getting good and light on a cloudy morning…by the time I had my boots laced up and grabbed my gloves, mini mattox, and bags, I was able to see pretty good. I found a small pile of new material to climb up and around on and while I found a few shallow pockets along the wall, as I started down the steep, short pile, I discovered a few crystals teetering on the edge of the wall and was able to pop them out without too much trouble. By this time the sun had made an appearance and yet we still had some good shade to work in. It was due to be a scorcher temp wise by noon, so after filling half a bag with the crystals from the shallow pockets, I decided to move on down to the other wall and see if I could locate anything there. I loaded up everything, including Missy`s water bowl and Missy, and drove to the east side of the quarry floor.

Once there, I found that the gravel pile with the graded driveway up to the bench, was actually a short bench with the pile camouflaging it on three sides. The drilling rig had been up on it and holes drilled into the short walls, so I decided to stay on the ground floor and see what I could find. I was walking around the edge of the short walls and finding shallow druse pockets once again, when I dropped a nice druse piece…as I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a nice black crystal sticking out of the dirt at my feet. I reached down and pulled out a beautiful palm sized cluster of dogtooth crystals in a chocolate brown color mixed with black calcite druse. I wasted no time in kneeling down and pulling out several more, enough to wrap up and fill one bag. I returned to the truck for two more bags full of wrapping cloths and a bottle of water. Within two hours, I had filled both of those bags and was quite happy with what I had found. It was really starting to get hot by this time, so I took yet another water bottle break, loading Missy into the truck and turning on the ac for her, and then decided to check out one other place along the wall.

Within a few minutes, I had found yet another pocket, this time in an older section of the wall further east.  Out of this pocket, I found two more druse pockets and filled one more bag before giving in to the heat. By this time, I was drenched and my shirt felt more like canvas. We headed home and rested up the remainder of the hot weekend. I cleaned those crystals up this week and filled at least five flats full of some beautiful clusters of poker chips and druse, many with dogtooth crystals.

I received another call last Thursday and advised that more activity occurred at the quarry, this time on the east wall…I was excited to return and see what could be found, but at the same time, had been having thoughts of returning to see if more of those clusters with dogtooths could be found near the other pockets…guess that will have to wait til the newest pile is cleaned up some more. I took off Sunday, the 31st, and comped out of work about  4 am…drove home and picked up Missy, changing into rockhunting jeans and grabbed half a case of water, and then headed out. We arrived about 8 am and found a nice sized pile on the east side of the quarry floor waiting for us. After getting my boots laced up, I grabbed a mini mattox and climbed up on the rock pile to see if anything obvious stood out…it was a cloudy morning to start and really didn`t look like I was going to have any sunlight for quite some time that morning…that was fine with me, cause the cool temps were just perfect. As I walked around on top, I started spotting a few crystals here and there, and then on the way down to the truck to retrieve a bag, I came upon a nice pocket of druse, some of it with poker chips attached and even a few dogtooths. I was able to dig down and liberate a full bag of them, then checked along the wall and found some more nice druse pieces in a chocolate color that shined even in the muted light. I returned that bag to the truck and the sun started to pop out of the clouds about that time…in addition to the heat with the sunlight, several horseflies also showed up and started to annoy me. I don`t mind, and can actually tolerate flies, flying around me and buzzing me and landing on me to check me out, but let me tell you, when they start biting me, they are going to pay the price Karma is, after all, a b…..ear. 🙂

By the time I left, I believe I had killed at least ten of them…now I know how horses feel when they are getting buzzed by them…they can sure bite and leave a welp on ya….not fun at all. I seriously wonder what good they are to mankind.  

Well I have to say, I filled five bags full of some beautiful crystals and nice combos of druse and poker chip clusters. Even found a nice beach ball sized chunk covered with poker chips all over one side…made a great yard rock. I was exhausted and drenched once again, and had to fight to stay awake on the drive home…as I age, it gets harder to do this type of thing on just a few hours of sleep. Needless to say, once home, Missy and I took a nice four hour nap in the ac and I slept well that night as well.

The next morning, we had intended to get up and head down to the druse spot, however the weather did not want to cooperate…it had started raining about 11 pm the night before…I didn`t hear it, read that the next day…I didn`t hear a thing after 10 pm, slept like a log…and the rain was forecast to clear off by 8 am, however it was at least 11 am before the skies cleared and then we headed out once again. I decided to drive on down to the new secret spot to start, and see if I could locate some more dogtooth pockets. There are a few waterholes there that seem to stay full of water all the time, spring fed I always thought, but when I got there, I found them all to be dry as a bone, which was great, cause one of them had what I suspected to be a dogtooth pocket inside one wall of it, and now I would have the perfect opportunity to check for sure. I drove over to that area and didn`t even take the time to change into my boots, just grabbed my gloves and mini mattox and walked to the spot and began digging down…within seconds, I had pulled half a dozen single dogtooth crystals out of a shallow pocket and followed the trail of the crystals popping up out of the loose matrix, around a big knobby dolomite dome to the other side and then around a smaller dome and moving the other way…within an hour I was drenched in sweat and had uncovered several crystals in a fifteen foot long swath….dealing once again with horseflies…they must have followed me from the day before…they were all over the place.  Before this would have been impossible without scuba gear due to the depth of the water in this one waterhole alone. I took a water break, grabbed a bag of cloths and had it filled in ten minutes. I decided to walk along the walls and see if I could spot anything new…and no sooner walked about thirty feet down the wall when I came across a few nice clusters of poker chips and druse. Due to the heat build up, Missy and I took off and headed to the druse spot shortly after. I didn`t last long there either…it had been a while since I had been there last, most likely back in the springtime before things got to growing, cause the weeds were waist high and it was hard to see where you were walking. I did manage to find some beautiful smokey quartz druse plates within a short time tho, and then we headed home.

Earlier today, I rolled up my shirt sleeves and decided to sort out all my flats of crystals that I had stored away in the corner of my basement, something I had been putting off for some time. I actually started on it Tuesday afternoon, worked on it for six more hours Wed morning, and will prob finish it up by Friday evening, with any luck. I had completely forgotten about some beautiful crystals that I had found earlier this year, uncovering many of them this morning, dogtooth clusters and singles in many colors, and some great calcite druse pieces too. No horseflies to deal with tho. 🙂