Park Hills Gem and Mineral Show June 2017

Everyone has been asking me if I went to the Park Hills Show….

….I did go on Sunday the 11th, and met Chuck Reed and his daughter Mackenzie and her friend Faith, as well as my Chef buddy Nathaniel Reid, there at 8 am,  and walked the booths with them…my plans were to visit with my dealer friend Johnny B from Mt Ida, Ken Vaisvil from Arnold, and Virgil Richards from Tulsa. We also spotted a couple of vendors with some very beautiful gray druse coated with gorgeous chalcopyrites, sphalerite crystals, and snow white barite crystals attached to some of them…very pretty stuff…like this one now adorning my coffee table…

Onyx and I arrived about 7:30 am and after letting him out of the truck for a few minutes in the parking lot to stretch his legs, I photographed the old hoist house of the Federal Hill Mine at the old St Joe Mine in Park Hills….

….it always looks good from the vendor area too, little windy this morning tho….

…..then put him back in the truck in the air conditioning, locked him up and headed off to see my Arkansas dealer friend Johnny B…

….who is up there each year with some beautiful quartz crystals and other odds and ends…he had some neat stuff this year as well, some green quartz crystals from China that had been ” enhanced ” as he put it, sprayed with a green frosting that really made them stand out. While they caught my eye, I really liked the Desert Rosettes that he had on the table…six clusters of them…he made me a sweet deal and I bought all of them….

Shortly after that, my phone began blowing up…Chuck calling to confirm the exit off Hwy 67 to reach the park and show…and soon arrived while I was looking at the large goodies covering three tables at a local vendor`s booth…from a local quarry where miners had blasted and found two huge pockets full of gray druse quartz, coated…and I mean heavily coated…with blankets of chalcopyrite, dotted with large balls of sphalerite, and some had snow white bladed barite attached to them as well….

…Nathaniel showed up soon after and after he had a chance to check out the local goodies above, we headed over to see my buddy, Ken Vaisvil, who collects and sells Keokuk area geodes. The past few years I have been going to the Park Hills Show, I was always impressed with the amount and quality of geodes that Ken always has on display for sale at his booth….

….so I have always purchased a couple of them from him at this show each year. I saw him at Geodefest last year in Keokuk, and purchased a few more from him there…then earlier this year, I purchased a few flats of smaller ones from him for my shower remodel, that I hope to get moving on if my carpenter ever finds some free time to work me in to his busy schedule. Ken was sitting back enjoying the morning sun when we walked up on him and soon he had Chucks daughter and friend picking out some geodes to crack open….

…I posted a video of him operating the cracker and opening them up for the girls, on my Facebook page if anyone is interested in seeing it. Ken is a great guy to talk to and deal with, he truly loves collecting them as much as he loves to crack them open and sell them. He has always liked the dogtooth crystals that I have collected in the past so I took a couple of them to him that morning as well.

Ken started getting some customers, so we headed over to visit with Virgil, who was located behind Kens booth, along the back fence of the dealer area. Virgil had some nice stuff for sale at his booth, including azurite, malachite, snakeskin agates, chrisacolla, petrified wood, and he had a helper at the show, named Aaron, who was selling some huge sheets of selenite there too. While talking to Virgil, he pointed out a booth across the way and said we needed to go over and see what the guy had for sale, turns out he was a local miner that works at the quarry where the gorgeous druses coated with chalcopyrite, sphalerites, and bladed barites attached to them. So we walked over to see what he had…one was so big he had it on display in the back of his pickup, prob a five hundred pound piece, it was very pretty tho. He was offering build your own flats, so I took advantage of that and built one for myself and paid for it. Soon after that, Chuck and Nathaniel said they had to return to St Louis County, so we packed up and headed to our trucks in the parking lot…they took off headed north while Onyx and I headed south to MFQ to do some rock collecting. 

Arriving about 1:30 pm, we got out of the truck to find it a very warm day…somehow I figured that Onyx wouldnt last long in the heat, but he surprised me that afternoon, staying outside the cab in the shade, prob due to a very nice breeze that blew all afternoon across the quarry. There was a nice ramp leading to the walls above….

….so I hiked up there soon after and began finding pockets of black and dark green dogtooths almost immediately, and set to opening them up and pulling out the goodies…filling one bag very fast and returning for two more as well as a bottle of water. There was a dozer working on the coved area walls til about 3 pm…otherwise we never saw anyone else that day there. I worked about ten to fifteen pockets along the wall before wearing out and heading home about 4 pm. Made for a long but pretty and enjoyable day.