After a few weeks of bad weather, flooding, then snow and ice, I decided to take Saturday the 16th off, so I could return to MFQ and do some rockhounding again. Nathaniel was out of the country with his chef activities and Chuck was tied up with his college classes and flooring work, so as soon as I got home from a long night at work and caught a three hour nap, Onyx and I headed out. We took the scenic route this time, driving down Hwy 72 from Rolla…got to take a look at Fugitive Beach, which is an old limestone quarry converted into a big commercial swimming hole now, and then south of Salem just inside of Shannon County, we got to see the new temporary bridge over Sinking Creek…Modot will be replacing the old Arched bridge over Sinking Creek soon…and the huge rainstorm we endured a few weeks ago, brought the floodwaters right up to within a few feet of the temporary metal bridge with a heavy mesh floor. The temporary bridge sits at least six feet lower than the old arched bridge, so maybe the new bridge will be as high as the old one or higher. Modot had also done some roadwork thru there, attempting to straighten out some curves due to the new state park entrance that is now located in that area, one entrance on the north side of Sinking Creek and one on the south side of the creek. They will have their work cut out for them there, cause that part of the road is so windy and hilly through there, that one has to slow down in many places to about 35 mph, and probably slower for those pulling campers and recreational vehicles as well. We saw a few deer and turkey and a few people outside their homes burning leaves and that was about it.
We arrived with enough daylight left that I had four hours to collect in….
…so we didn`t waste any time getting started…above is the view to the east from the coved wall….my buddy Jim had told me Friday that there was no material on the ground that he could see, so no new blasting had taken place in a while…the last time we were there, they had material on the ground in three different areas to clean up and it was apparent that they had cleaned up that huge blast pile and the one to the right of it, both of which would have been visible in the photo above if they had still been there. In the middle of the coved wall tho, there were the remains of a small blast pile….
…and very little to the right of it….
…so I decided to check the remains of that pile for pockets first and then make my way to the right…altho now, in retrospect, I wish I had started on the wall to the right first, and made my way to the left, cause I found some really nice dogtooth pockets along that wall to the right by the end of the day. When we arrived, there were also some folks on the far left side with a trailer, and some four wheelers, told Jim I thought they were four wheeling up at the top, but as it turned out, they were actually cutting trees up there and using the four wheelers to drag them down to the truck and trailer. They were up there all day too. When I reached the center of that pile, I found a huge boulder set into the loose stuff and a large opening in the boulder, where it appeared someone had found some nice stuff and pulled it out, leaving this huge opening in it….you can see it behind my truck over the top center below….
…and closer up in the photo below….
…I began checking the pocket and on the sides and top of the pocket, I found some beautiful poker chips with matrix encrusting and enveloping them, inseparable from the matrix, and soon I was pulling several out that had big and gorgeous dogtooth crystals sticking out from the ends of them as well, some were a bright orange color and some were a bright chocolate brown with some irridescent razzle dazzle to them. It took a couple of hours just to clean that pocket out, let me tell ya, and then I was able to move over to that wall to the right, and when I did, I found four pockets in a row in a seam a few inches wide at the entrance, that looked very promising. By that time, the sun was beginning to set, and I had to work fast….
…the pockets were along the bottom third of the wall and are only faintly visible in the photo below, right in the middle and above that white line across the bottom of the wall….
..in short order tho, I was able to remove several small plates of orange dogtooth crystals and some larger brown ones as well, one pocket even had some green and brown mixed colors of calcite…I filled two bags of wrapped crystals pretty quickly and then Onyx and I got out of there, but not before snapping a few photos of my truck with the new Cooper tires on them that a friend had requested on the Tacoma website…Onyx decided to pose for me from the passenger seat so I snapped a few extras….in one photo he was licking his chops as if to say…” come on dad, lets get out of here, I`m hungry “…..