Our July Trip To North Carolina and Kentucky 2007



We where busy paying bills Monday July 2nd when Randy got a hair brain idea to leave after we got done running around. So here he is packing the van while I was doing some running getting things done. We got home at 5:00 PM and he wanted to leave right there and then. I told Randy I still had things to do. So he and dad made supper. After we ate at 6:30 PM we where on our way. I drove the first part of the leg to KY. After we filled up at the state line he took over till 3:00 AM. We got in to Henderson, KY at 5:38 AM and stopped at the local café for some grub.

On July 3rd we pulled in to Sylvia’s at 7:38 AM and Rick was out side working on his lawn mower.

The next day July 4th Randy went down the raven looking for fossils. He said he would be gone for two hours. Well it was more like four hours. After two and a half hours we started to worry about him. After four hours went by we where getting ready to go search for him when he popped up over the hill with a pail full of rocks. We had a cook out that afternoon and we had some fireworks for the kids to see. We packed up the van yet before we retired for the night.

KY Minerals 07

It was 6:10 AM July 5th when I got up and got ready for the leg to NC. We said our good byes and all at 7:15 AM and got on our way. We had a little rain at first but it sure was a nice morning to travel. Around 11:30 we stopped at a Country Kitchen for lunch and it took us over an hour before we got out of there. Next we stopped at a Shell for gas and Randy seen that a part was missing from the side window that holds it so it opens and shuts.

We got to Newport, TN at 3:30 PM and stopped at the Ford Dealer to get that piece. Well after a ½ hour of them looking I finally said I’ll go to Canton, NC and see if they had it. We got there just in time with a few minutes to spear to find the part. Well they didn’t have it either so I told them to order it and I’ll pick it up next week. We got in to Burnsville, NC 6:30 PM just in time for supper. We were tired and unpacked the van. After supper we went to find Everett to see where the group was going to do the next day. He showed us what he had found so far. Well he was tired too from walking all over the top of the mountain by the Ray Mine.

July 6th I got up later then I wanted to. I got Randy up so I could take him to the Ray Mine for the dig. I was headed for Gem Mountain to see if I could get in to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine. Charles told me it is booked up to 4 weeks and they are going in there every day with a group. So we talked for a while and then I went back to the house. Around 12:00 noon I went to see if a friend was home but he was gone. So dad and I went to Smokey’s for a Hamburger. At 4:00 I went to the Ray Mine to see if Randy had come down yet but no one down yet so I went back to the house till around 5:00 PM. Gary and I went back then and I seen the Everett’s car was gone and no one else was back down yet so I went back to the house to if Everett had dropped of Randy. Well he wasn’t home but 15 minutes later he came in tired. LOL

July 7th I got up at 7:30 AM and then dad got up so we went down to Smokey’s for some coffee and to see old friends that we made from past trips down here. We got back to the house and started to get things packed in to the van for the BIG Get Together at the Bear Den Campground. We got there around 11:30 AM and Tom & Eagle was there sleeping in the truck. At around Noon Everett and Celia showed up then a little while later Wayne & Patty, Mike & Chrisy came. I gave Wa9ne a Sapphire that I faceted just before I came down for he is a great friend of mine that I had meet in Bobs Rock Shop before the McRocks board came on line. I faceted a Ruby for Patty a few years before so I wanted to give Wayne that Sapphire from Seagon Africa. We visited till the grub was ready then we paid our fee for the food and all. We ate around 3:00 PM. Ron Maddox and his family can in after we started to eat and so did Lloyd Brown. After we ate Tom gave out a few gifts to Wa9ne (got a Pretzel) and Mike (got a belt buckle with a picture of Chrisy and him) & Chrisy. (She got a jar of trouble rocks with a ribbon on it) A group picture was taken by Mike and me. After that the rock swap started and every one was checking out what others had brought to trade. We left around 8:30 PM along with others and I must say we all had a great time seeing old friends.

Mcrocks 07

July 8th we went to Smokey’s for coffee at around 8:00 Am After that we went to Wally World for some things to make Home Made Bread on Monday YUM YUM. Then we went to Rio Doc and I bought some facet rough. From him. After Donna ate some lunch we went back there to do a bucket. We got home around 5:30 PM and made super. We played cards after super till 12:00 PM. I got a call around 9:30 PM from a Mike Douglas that wants to meet up with me on the 21st to rock hunt. It is his first time doing this. We talked for about a 45 min. and he said he would call me two days before he gets down here.

Click to enlarge

July 9th after we got up I made home made bread. Then we went to Smokey’s for coffee. Around 11:00 AM I punched down the bread and read my e-mails and the board. At 1:30 PM I cut the bread dough in to three loafs and now I’m getting close to putting it in the oven at 4:00 PM. The bread came out great. After super we played cards till 1:00 AM

July 10th Dad and I went to Smokey’s for coffee. When I got back to the house I went to read the board and my e-mails. At 1:00 PM we went to Gem Mountain and I did an Opal bucket. Donna and Randy each did a mix bucket. I got a lot of great Opal to facet and cab. (NO TOM YOU CAN'T TUMBLE THEM) LOL. Charles gave me a big surprise by tell me I could go in to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine and dig when ever I want to leave from right there today yet. You should have seen the biggest smile on my face! I got Randy and we headed right to the mine. We got there at around 5:00 PM and started to look right after I took some pictures of the mine the way it looks now. Well low and behold I started to find Beryl right away after I moved some rocks. The Randy yelled that he had found one. This kept up for an hour till a Thunderstorm came up on us with lightning and all. So we packed up the van and got down from the mine. We got over two five gallon buckets full of Beryl. We stopped in to Gem Mountain to let Charles know that we where ok and off the mountain. After super we played cards till 1:00 AM.

Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine 1st Trip 07

July 11th we stayed at the house waiting for a call from Ford about out part being in. They called around 11:30 AM and we went to get it. On the way back we stopped in to Sam’s club to get some stuff for making home made bread. It rained off and on all day and my knee was killing me that I hurt during Ice fishing this past season. We stayed at the house the rest of the day.

July 12th we went down to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the old friends we made. After lunch we went to Gem Mountain so Donna could do a bucket. So we did one each too. I did an Mixed Bucket and got a lot of facet and cab grade Gems. When I got mine done I looked at his facet grade Tourmalines and bought 10 crts of them in pink, greens and a few blue ones. It coast me only $1.00 per crt. After super we Played cards till 1:00 AM.

Facet Grade Tourmalines

July 13th we went down to Smokey’s for coffee. At 12:00 non we took Donna down to Ashville to the VA then we went out to eat at Applebee’s. Tara came over to see us for a few hours. After she left we played cards till 1:00 AM again. LOL.

July 14th I got up and started to make the home made bread. We then went down to Smokey’s for coffee. The bread came out great and they eat 2 loafs of it. I got a hold Ed Dibble and set up a day to meet. After super we played cards.

July 15th I got up and started to make the home made bread again. Then we went down to Smoke’s for coffee and to chew the fat with the locals. We went down towards Marshall Hill to a flee market to see what they had there. After lunch we took a ride up on the Park Way to see the Rhododendrons in bloom. We went all the way to Boone and then came back on hwy 105 to hwy 221 to 19E. After super I started to get ready for the next day to meet Ed in Franklin. We played cards till 12:00 AM

Park Way NC 07

July 16th We got up and went to Smokey’s for coffee. When we got back to the house sis was getting ready for the trip to Franklin. On the way down we stopped in Waynesville to the bakery get some sweets for Ed. Next we stopped in Dillsboro to see if the steam train was in but found out that both of them are being tour down and being restored. We left early enough so we stopped at the Ruby mine to do a bucket. We got down in time to get to Franklin but first I stopped at a rock shop just down the road that sells facet rough. I bought some real nice Rhodolite Garnets for $2.00 per crt. We got to the Franklin Museum at 1:02 PM. I thought I was late but soon found out that Ed wasn’t there yet. Ed got there soon after and we talked for about an hour or so then said our good byes for he had some other things he needed to get down. We stopped in to the local restaurant for a light meal for dad was hungry. We went to the Mason Mountain Mine and each of us did a bucket there. After we got done we left for Dillsboro to eat super at a BBQ joint and I must say the food and service was great. I had BBQ Ribs and I couldn’t eat them all and Randy asked me if he could have them. So he ate the other half of my ribs. We got home at around 8:30 PM.

July 17th we went to Smokey’s for coffee and some grub. Then we stopped at the Shell station for some ice for the water jug. After we got back to the house Randy decided he wanted to go to the Ray Mine and left before I could say anything. A thunder storm came rolling in and soon after Randy came in with a small Aquamarine crystal from the Ray Mine that looks facet grade along with some other stones. After super we played cards till around 1:00 AM

July 18th I got up and read the board and my e-mail till dad got up. We went down to Lil Smokey’s for coffee and  shot the bull. LOL We where just about done when a good friend Frank came in so we sat for about another 1 & ½ hours talking to him. He asked me if I ever cut Sunstone and I told him you bet you I do. So he asked me how to do it and I said I’ll stop over after we get back from Ashville. Frank said that it was his wife’s birthday today. I asked him if he wanted anything from the Farmers Market. He said his wife loves muskmelon so I told Frank I’d pick a few for him. We got back around 10:30 and stopped in to Frank’s home. We gave Frank three of the muskmelons that we caught from down there. Frank cabs Gem Stones for Gem Mountain. So he showed me the two stones and I started to look them over and over and then tried to tell him where the best area is for the bass of the cab to get the color out. (They are Shiller in color and I would of faceted them) We went out to his work area in a shed on the side of his home and we sat down to study those Gem stones. After a few minutes we decide the best spot for the base of the first Gem. Frank went and trimmed the stone and ground on it till we got it to the area we wanted it to be at. That was the easy one. The next stone had way less shiller in and it was in different areas to. We decided to cut the gem in half where there was no color at all and ended up with three piece from this one. Frank asked us what he owed me and I said just enjoy them and that they was a gift to them both. Before we left Frank thank me for my help and that I saved him a lot of trouble. I told Frank that we would stop back in before we leave for home. He said you’d better do that. LOL We got back to the house around 2:45 PM. We had super at 7:00 PM for this is when my sister can eat. After super Gary cut dad’s hair. We played cards the rest of the night.

July 19th I got up and read the board and my e-mail till dad got up. We went down to Lil Smokey’s for coffee and shot the bull. Dad went with Donna & Gary to the VA in TN. I had to make some calls so I couldn’t go. Randy went up to the Ray Mine for a few hours. I spent the day sorting out the Gems I got so far. Randy came home around 3:00 PM. He had found three Beryl’s at the mine. When the rest got back they had stopped at a restaurant to eat so I said I’m going to check out that Stake & Sea Food jaunt in Spruce Pine. Dad came along to have some coffee. Randy had stake and I had Lobster yum yum. The food was great and told them we’ll be back. After we got home and relaxed a bit we played cards the rest of the night.

July 20th I got up and read the board and my e-mail till dad got up. We went down to Lil Smokey’s for coffee and  shot the bull. We left there and went back to the house to get some of the rocks with Beryl in from the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine to show Mike when I meet him at 10:00 AM. We talked a bit and I paid Mike for the book. We went and showed Mike the beryl’s we got from the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine. After a bit he said do you want to time this one and Randy said Ok. So Randy got out a chisel and hammer. Mike showed Randy where to put the chisel and to hit it lightly. When that baby popped open WOW is all we could say. One of the Beryl’s is terminated and Mike wanted that one. We said no way. LOL After we parted we went to Gem Mountain to see if can could get lucky a second time to get backing to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine. Well I got there and went in to ask Charles if he’d like to look at what we had found last week up at the mine. We stood there and talked for a while and then I popped the question to him if we could get back in to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine. He said they are booked up for four weeks all ready. But then he said yea we could go in on Sunday. Man that sure made my day. So to show our appreciation we each did a Gem Bucket. After we got done and we got home at 3:38 PM I tried to call Tim to let him know the good news. Then I went on the computer after I couldn’t reach Tim and did my updates and read the board and checked my E-Mails. After super we played cards till 1:00 AM

July 21st I got up and read the board and my e-mail till dad got up. We went down to Lil Smokey’s for coffee and to shot the bull. I got back to the house and I called Tim to see if he could make it. He said he might get up here around 12:30 PM or so. Then I called Mike Streeter he me said it is a go for him. Randy went up to the Ray Mine for the day. Donna & Gary took dad and me for a ride up to Roan Mountain. We got back home around 5:00 PM Randy was back from the Ray Mine all ready and was taking a nap. LOL After super we played cards till 1:17 AM I had to get to bad for the next morning we where to meet Mike and Chrisy at 8:30 AM at the BP station below Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine.

 Roan Mountain


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