Monday, June 30, 2014

Family Quarts Digging Trip (Arkansas II)

This is the second part to our Arkansas trip that I posted about last time!  In the post prior to this one, I talked about our trip from Oklahoma City to Arkansas, camping along the way at Mt. Nebo State Park, and some beautiful Oklahoma skies.  

The main point of the trip was to meet some of Tyler's family members for a fun weekend of hunting quartz by day and relaxation by night.

We arrived Friday evening to a quaint VRBO home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.  Everyone got settled in and chatted until bedtime.  Most of us went to bed early, because we planned to get up and be at the Ron Coleman Mine by opening.

As you may remember from our camping trip the day before, Arkansas and Oklahoma were experiencing some pretty wet conditions that weekend - and Saturday morning was no exception.

The basic idea of these "mines" are that the dirt that comes out of an actual underground mine is dumped here and quartz diggers come sort through the piles looking for the perfect crystals.  

This was the basic scene:

Tyler's grandpa is a pro-rock-and-crystal-digger, so just a couple hours in his crystal bag was nearly full!

All things are a serious matter for Tyler when he's digging.
This ain't fun and games, y'all.  It's serious business.

Tyler's grandma was finding some pretty great crystals herself!  She's another pro!  (But who isn't a pro when it comes to Tyler's family?)

Tyler examining a clump to see if there are any crystal formations inside.  He always looks for the big one.

No matter what age you are, digging can take its toll on your back.  You're constantly bent over digging with your shovel and sorting through the clumps of dirt.  And as you may have noticed, this is no clean and tidy affair - especially on a rainy day.

Sometimes the staff would use the backhoe and turn over the piles to make it easier to find things.  

The nice part about rainy days are the ease of finding puddles to wash crystals off with.  Sometimes you just aren't sure what you've found until you clean it up.

This is my second pair of soaked shoes for the weekend.  Thank goodness for flip flops, since I wouldn't have had anything else dry!

Despite being somewhat miserable to be wet, you can still appreciate how pretty the rain and fog are over the Arkansas hills.

My father-in-law and Tyler's Aunt did quite a bit of walking on the dirt mounds.  The rain uncovered many of the crystals toward the top of the pile, so they were already washed off and visible without having to dig for them.  

(Pardon the water smudges.  I knew I wanted to take pictures, but didn't want to have a water damaged phone, so I kept it in a ziplock baggy.)

My mother-in-law also looked for some pretty quartz rocks on top of the mounds.  She was hoping to find some nice yard rocks since they were planning to enlarge their flower/rock beds to help conserve water in lieu of watering grass.

These were her dream pieces, but they were too large to carry and put in the car to take home.  We took pictures just to admire them anyway.

We got back to the gift shop, and ate some lunch on the front porch before heading home!

We saw this super beautiful moth while we were waiting to go home!

We had to put towels over the seats, take our shoes off, and I even had to tie plastic sacks around my feet because we were so muddy by the time we left!

These are our muddy selfies.

With my sister-in-law, (and Tyler's bunny ears).

 This small little plate of quartz was my favorite find!  It cleaned up quite nice!

 This is one of my other favorites that I found, just a small little cluster.

My pile of cyrstals:  

Tyler's pile of crystals:

I'm glad I waited to post this, because Tyler just informed me yesterday that the crystals I found were "better big pieces" than his.  I love it when he says romantic things like that (even if it takes him one month to admit it!)

The little vacation home the family stayed in was cute as well.  It was right off the bay of the lake, and the best part about was a screened in porch area off the side of the dining area.

I somewhat adored the backs of these chairs - simple but unique.

The home also had a neat two-toned vaulted wooden ceiling, and a stone asymmetrical fireplace.  
Some older homes just have nice character...those were the nicer characteristics!

Another great aspect of this rental was that they also had two kayaks that we could enjoy during our stay!  One evening I went out with Tyler to explore the lake, and the next evening I went with Kelsey, as pictured below.

The weekend went by quickly, but we had a great time camping, digging for crystals, and spending time with family!
What adventures have you gone on this spring and summer?
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  1. Whoa, you definitely found some cool quartz, though you guys had to be pretty committed to getting dirty to find it! :)

    1. I tried to not get dirty for the first hour, but I stepped in a big puddle and mud got all inside my shoe, so I figured there was no point anymore! It was really fun getting to find them, and it seemed like there really were a lot of crystals to where I was finding something every few minutes, so it helped to keep interested!

  2. This looks like so. much. fun. Even though it was rainy, it's clear you all had such a fine time in the mud, looking for crystals! I'm impressed by the all the beauties you guys found. And amidst a beautiful Arkansas background? You can't beat that!

    1. It really was beautiful, and fun! Do you have any places to look for any kind of crystals up in your part of the states?

  3. Looks like such a good time, mud and all!

  4. Wow that's crazy! I never knew this was a thing! So cool that they allow people to just come and search for quartz! :D

    1. Yeah, I know of several places in this region where you can do things like that. There is a selenite dig site in Oklahoma that you can dig for crystals free, however the quartz mines we went to you had to pay a fee to dig. But the nice thing is the fee is flat rate and you can stay there all day, and leave with what you find. Its pretty fun digging for the different things!


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