Our July Trip To North Carolina and Kentucky 2007
July 22nd I got up at 7:00 AM and got Randy & dad up. I had to check dad’s blood and make sure he took his meds. I did a quick check on the board and my E-Mails then we left for the BP station. Mike and Chrisy got there around 8:30 AM and off we went to the mine. They followed us up and we parked to cars and got stuff ready for the day of digging. I show Mike where we found the good stuff a few weeks before. Chrisy manned the cameras for us all and took lots of pictures. The day started out cloudy and cool. We all got busy moving rocks looking for Beryl. I found the first piece of Beryl and Mike said don’t tell me that I want one. LOL Then Randy found one and again Mike says don’t tell me that. Mike seen a ledge full of Tourmalines and said wow that is cool. I want that group of them. He was just a hammering and finally after bit it came down. Well after a bit Mike went up on top and started to dig. Mike started to find nice Beryl on top and he stayed up there most of the day except when a few times. Once Chrisy and Randy went down to the area where they are working to open up a new pit down by the creek below. Chrisy found a big rock with Beryl in and Randy came up to Mike and said that Chrisy found one she wanted him to get out. So down he went. After a bit he came back up to his spot on top and resumed working. About ½ hour later Chrisy found another one for Mike to get out from down there. LOL Around 1:15 Pm or so I went to the car to take a break for my hand was killing me after about 5 hours of hammering on rocks to bust them lose. Around 1:30 PM Tim showed up and we said hi and all and he couldn’t believe how things changed. I introduced him to Mike and he said where did you find them good ones the other day. I showed him and then he looked around to see where he wanted to start digging. At around 3:30 Pm we quit digging and started to pack stuff up in the cars for the trip back down the mountain. Mike found a big rock with black Tourmaline in and started whacking on it when all of a sudden he yelled I got a charley horse in my @#$@ and at first Chrisy and I thought he was joking around. She says rarely do you want me to poll on your arm? He said no... Wait yes poll my arm now it hurts like h#$$. Well he came to his car and drank water for he was dehydrated. Chrisy says he get that way when he forgets to drink enough water when he works. We talked for a while and Chrisy noticed some yellow mushrooms up on the ledge and wow look at that. We all got our cameras out and took pictures of them. After about an hour of talking we all said our good byes and left the mine. Randy and I went to Spruce Pine to find Mike Douglas and his family to give them the book I pick up for them from Mike. I went in to Pine Bridge Inn’s office to get the site no. where they are staying. After going out to find the cottage we find them and said hi and they asked us in to talk a bit. We answered a lot of questions and talked about other things like where we each lived and all. We where there for a few hours then set up a time where to meet the next morning for going up to the Ray Mine. We got home around 7:30 PM and ate super. We played cards till 12:30 AM
July 23rd. I got up and read the board and my e-mail till dad got up. We went down to Lil Smokey’s to meet Mike and his nice family for breakfast. After about an hour we went out to the cars and Randy got his things out to go with them up to the Ray Mine. Dad and I went to Gem Mountain so I could pay Charles for the mine trip yesterday. We talked for a while and I thanked Charles for ever thing. Soon Frank came in from Burnsville with Gems that he did for them and I told Frank we’ll stop in tomorrow to see him one more time before we leave for KY. Frank said I better stop in LOL. When I got back to the house I started to slowly pack up our things and did a double check to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind this time. Donna wanted to go up to Roan Mountain and see if the flowers where blooming. We got back to the house around the same time Mike and them got back. LOL Around 4:00 PM Mike and them got back from the Ray Mine with two real nice pieces of Beryl that is facet grade. After super we played cards till 1:00 AM.
July 24th we went down to Lil Smokey’s to meet Mike and his nice family for breakfast. at 7:30 AM Today they are going to Thermal City Gold Mine and Randy is going with them while I stayed back to pack up the rest of our stuff to pack up in the van for our trip to KY in the morning. I made home made bread one more time before we left. I got done with the bread at 3:24 PM and waited for them to cool down so I could take a loaf to Frank. At 4:30 PM I went to meet with Frank and gave them the loaf of bread. Frank was real happy to get that and he said you made that your self? Yes I did Frank. I stayed there till 6:30 PM and I said my good byes to him and his wife. I got back to the house and Mike had brought Randy back at the same time. He wanted me to show him how to get the gold separated from the black sand. So I showed him the Blue Berry bump. Mike and his family stayed for around an hour or so and he thanked me for showing how to rock hunt and thank Randy for showing them what to do and where to dig. After super we packed up the van some more and then played cards till 1:00 AM
July 25th I got up at 6:30 AM and I started to pack up the rest of the things of ours. I check the house to make sure we got every thing. By 7:30 AM we said our good byes and were on our way to KY. We stopped in to the Farmers Market for some things for Sylvia. Around 10:30 we stopped in to Smoky Mountain Knife Co. We spent about an hour there. We got to Sylvia’s around 4:30 PM.
July 26th I woke up at 6:30
AM and started to get ready to leave for the Heltonville area to collect Geodes.
I had read about the area in Rock & Minerals a few months ago. Yea David that is
the one LOL.
We left here around 9:15 am after we eat breakfast. The trip would take around 2 hours 15 minutes. We made a pit stop in Owensboro, KY for some water and ice. Well the ride seamed to take for ever before we got there. We stopped by some local folks to see if they know where we could get access to the creek. They told us it was all picked over all ready (I didn’t believe them at all)
Well left town and headed back towards Bedford and found a bridge that crossed the creek. We stopped to check it out and right away I found a Geode. Randy ran to the creek and in a few minutes he came back with a few Geodes and got a pail. Off he went and I was picking them up right on the shoulder of the road. Soon he came back with a pail full and grabbed two pails. Sylvia and Raven where down there helping Randy fill them up and looking for fossils. In less then an hour we had all we could take back with out the springs in the van a groaning with pain. LOL I got to be around 94* by then so we where glade to quit picking them Geodes up.
On the way back home we stopped at an old covered bridge off hwy 50 back about 5 miles in he boonies. First Sylvia turned in to the small town thinking it was that way but it was not there so we asked the locals and she took the route they told her. LOL well we went about 1 mile when we met up with a log truck on a one lane road. We had to get over all the way to the bank. The truck only had a few inches between us (to back up it would of been over a ¼ mile back) Well the road turned in to a trail so we turned around and went to the next road to the north. This was the right one, after 5 miles there it was right in front of us. We took pictures of the bridge and left for home. On the way out I was watching the creeks we crossed for Geodes but none was to be found in that area. We got home at 5:30 PM.
July 27th we stayed around the house today and did some planning to go to the Cave-In-The-Rock area to check out the Fluorites. We went to town to do some shopping for a big dinner with relation on Saturday. Randy and Sylvia took a ride on the 4x4s to look for rocks. They found a few rocks and fossils.
July 28th we went to look at the coal mine across the ridge from here. Then went to the store to get some things and to gas up the van for the trip home. We had a great time the rest of the day with family members.
July 29th Rick had made us breakfast. At 12:30 we started to get ready for a trip up in to IN to Evansville to take Sylvia out to eat. When we got back Sylvia took Randy out to a ravine on the 4x4 to look for rocks. I stayed back with dad and Rick. When they got back to the house they showed me an arrowhead that they had found out there. Mom called around 6:45 PM and we told her we’ll be home Tuesday evening.
July 30th Today we are getting ready to pack up for the last leg of our trip. This was the best trip we had in a few years. Around 9:00 AM we headed to Cave-in-the-rock in Harding Co., ILL. It is only a hour or so drive to the cave. We got to the cave around 10:15 AM and parked the van near the cave. We had to walk down some stairs to get to the cave. The walk down wasn’t bad at all, but coming up was like walking part way up to the Ray Mine. LOL We went in to the cave and looked at all the writing on the walls and ceiling. I took some pictures of the cave and even a barge going down river along with the fairy that we will be going on when we go back home.
After about a hour there we left to go to the Fluorite museum in Rosiclare. Sylvia tried to close the windows and they wouldn’t go up and the door lights stayed on too. So we checked all the doors and tried again. No go so I checked her fusses and they where good. So she decided to go with the windows open hoping they would work. We got the museum and they where closed man luck just was not on our side today. We stopped in to the local library to ask of they know where we could dig for some rocks. They didn’t know, in the mean time Sylvia was trying to get the windows to work. It was a no go so I told her to stop at the Napa store and I’d get a tester to check the fuses. They let us use a 5/16 wrench to un hook the battery this would reset the computer. Sylvia said they had to do that before. Well that didn’t work so we went next door to see if they could look at it but sadly they could. So I went to get in and now the door wouldn’t shut on it’s own. Man this was turning out to be a bad day. We found out where to check at a local mine dump but Sylvia wanted to get back so Rick could fix it. Well we was on our way to Elizabethtown and guess what all of a sudden the lights went out and the windows started to work again.
So we went back to Rosiclare with the museum to look for the mine on the east side of town that is still a working mine. Well we found the mine dump but it was posted. So we went back Elizabethtown to have some lunch. We found a small cafe one a corner and went in. I asked if they know Bob Harding from there and they told me where he lived. I asked to use the phone to call him and I left a message on his end. Before we got done Bob had called back and said he would be home and told me how to get there. After we got done eating we went to meet Bob. I bought a fat of Fluorite from him. We talked for a bit then we had to leave back for KY.
We got back to the house around 6:30 PM. Rick was getting hungry . After super Sylvia took Randy down the raven to look for some more rocks. We finished packing up the van for our trip home in the morning. I hated to leave this time. Now that we have places close by to collect at.
July 31st we got up around 6:00 AM and put the rest of the things in the van that we needed for the night. Sylvia made breakfast for us before the long trip back home. We left around 8:00 AM for WI. We stopped in Horicon, WI by one of our other sisters home for a break in the driving. I paid her for our spot at the local craft sale in Sept. We got home at 9:07 PM. The next day I got word that a class mate of mine passed away while we where down in NC.