Spring trip 2004
June 4th - 2004 At 6:00 PM we was on our way to Henderson, KY. We made great time for we got in to Henderson at 4:15 AM. We laid down for a while and when our sister got home from work we got up and visited with her. We went out to eat 5:00 PM. We went to the Golden Coral and had the buffet. When we got back to the house we sat out side for a bit then watched TV till 10:00 PM.
June 5th – We got up early to pack up the van and started for NC. We ran in to a lot of road construction. We got in to Asheville NC at 3.00 PM ET. We went to Mike Streeter’s home and talked for a while and Mike showed us his new addition to his rock collection. He gave randy and I some real Nice minerals. Thank you Mike for them fine minerals. I bought a real nice quartz cluster with Amethyst on it. We got to our sister’s home at 6:00 PM
June 6th – We went to Smokes Coffee shop to talk to the locals about the old mines here. Then I had to go to the library and look up my ISP 800#. Then we went to Gem Mountain to talk with Charles and Kay. Charles is going to let us in to the Mine during the week Yea hoooo. I did an Emerald one and got a real nice Emerald to facet.
June 7th – I got up early around 5:00 AM. We went to Smoke’s for coffee then headed for Hendersonville NC to see the museum with Mike’s minerals in it. LOL we got down there real early for it didn’t open up till 1:00 PM but the fellow that came in early said to give about 15 min. and he’d open up for us. They have lots of great minerals and gems there oh and fossils. We spent about a hour in there looking and talking to people there and I told them the next time I come down I’d bring some minerals from WI and the Lake Superior area. From here we went to the Farmers Market to get some things LOL I spent about $100.00 here. Our niece and her children just came in to visit. Bye for now.
June 8th – We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We went to Wall Mart shopping.
June 9th – We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We just stayed around the house today.
June 10th – We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We took our sister to Asheville to the VA and went to the Farmers market. On the way home we stopped in to Fuddruckers to eat. The food was real good and we meet one of the managers, to find out his folks are from Marion, WI just 9 miles from us. It sure is a small world hay.
June 11th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We took Tara and her two girls to Gem Mountain to do a bucket each. The girls had fun and found some nice stones. After we went out to eat for it was getting late. So we went to a new place called the Skyline that we where told about. We had the rack of ribs and man where they great YUM YUM.
June 12th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We went for a drive to check out a new Gem sluice place. It turns out that we know the owner. We sat and talked for awhile then went back to the house for it was thundering out.
June 13th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk Frank Howard. We are just staying at the house waiting for two calls, one from Tim Baker & one from mike Streeter and resting for our trip tomorrow to the Mason mountain Mine. Mike called first so I gave him the details of where to meet in Asheville then Tim called with the time change so I had to call Mike back with that. Mike says this is bad when a WI boy gets me in to mine in my own state LOL.
June 14th – We got up at 5:00 Am to get ready for the Mine trip to Mason Mountain Mine. We left for Asheville at 5:30 AM to meet with Tim Baker and Mike Streeter at Shoney’s for breakfast. We stooped at the Shell station for gas then went to the restaurant at 6:35 AM. Tim came at 7:00 and Mike and Christi came right after Tim. We all eat then Christi left and went out to pack the trucks up. We left around 7:30 AM for Mason Mountain Mine. I showed Tim a short cut to the mine with out having to go down to Franklin then back up to the mine. We got to the mine around 9:00 AM as planed and checked in and paid our fee. We had to wait for Mr. Johnson to come and unlock the gate. We got to the mine after one wrong turn that Tim not remembering where it was LOL. We got out and started looking around and started collecting some rocks that where lose. Then Tim found the seam he had worked the last time he was there. Soon Mike jumped up there to help Tim get the big chunks of rock down so we could all hammer on them later to smaller sizes. Mike was down by me taking a break when all of a sudden we both get hit with mud from Randy trying to bust up a big one that he didn’t get to break LOL. We only had one minor accident and that was when Mike was hitting a big rock and a big chunk fell on his leg. He let out a yell and I thought we would have to run him to the hospital LOL. It turned out to be a scratch. It was a hot day and we all went through water like crazy. We worked in the mine till about 3:00 PM and decided to load up the trucks after we split the pile of rocks full of Rhodolite Garnets. Being such a nice guy as I am :O) I let Mike & Tim flip for the piles they wanted for I got the one I wanted. After we loaded up the trucks we stopped in at the office and store and thanked Tim and his dad for letting us in. We all got something cool to drink before we left. He told Tim where we could stop and take a dip in the river. We found the spot and Tim, Mike and Randy all went in to cool off. I couldn’t because of my leg :O(. Well they wadded around for about 15 minutes then changed in to dry pants. On the way back to Asheville one of Tim’s storage tops was coming of and Randy told Tim he’d hold the cover down till got to Asheville LOL. Tim pulled over and snapped the top down. We got to Asheville around 4:00 PM and unloaded our tools and rocks. We said our good byes and every one was on their way home. Lucky Mike only had about one mile LOL. We got home around 5:00 PM I went right for my pain pills LOL and more water. I sat in front of the air-conditioned for a bit. We played cards later after we had supper and cleaned up.
June 15th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. Frank Howard was there and invited us over to his shop in the afternoon and we accepted. We went and did some shopping for grub and for some things to make jelly with (our niece Tara is going to make us Peach jelly). We meet up with Frank Howard at 1:00 PM. And he showed us some great AU Opal that he just got for cabing for some guy. Then he showed us his way to make Gem trees (different then Cindy Maddox’s trees). We where there for over two hours.
June 16th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We meet one of the locals that we know from the last visit and he told us that he son has Moonstone on his land and that he would take us there to get some. Well it turned out that the rocks are all Quartz. So did pick up a few, one for Patty’s yard rock LOL. Then we went to look for the place near Spruce Pine that make water wheels and I bought one for our pound at home :O). then we went to Gem Mountain to set up the mine trip to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine they own that we find Aquamarines, Golden Beryl, Tourmalines and Garnets oh and opallite. At 6:00 PM we are going out to eat.
June 17th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We went to the Sink Hole Mine but only found small Garnets.
June 18th – We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. I’ve been trying to talk a local in to letting us in to a Kyanite Mine on his land with green Kyanite in. he didn’t say we could or couldn’t get in but left us hanging. I’ll keep working on him.
June 19th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We are going to Asheville to the Gem & mineral show and to meet up with Mike Streeter. We met Mike and Christi after we seen some of the gem Show and talked for a bit. I talked to Mike about going to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine this next week, and then we went on our way looking again. I bought some gem stone stands that I was looking for. :O) Our brother-in-law showed us around town for a bit then we headed home for the rest of the day. Tara and her family come over and we had a cook out.
June 20th - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. We met Frank Howard’s and his with there and he invited us to his home Monday afternoon. We played cards and I called Tim Baker about what day we are going to the Brushy Creek Mine. We talked about going up to Grandfathers Mountain to see the Rhododendrons in bloom.
June 21st - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. I stopped at the Burnsville USFS office to talk to Paul
June 22nd - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. Then we went over to Frank’s home to talk a bit about cabing. He gave me some facet grade and cabing Gems. I tried to talk him in to selling me another Green Apache Tear for faceting but he said no way LOL. We took our sister Donna up to Grandfather Mountain to see the Rhododendrons but they where just starting to bloom. I went up to the swinging bridge to take some pictures. We went to the zoo and museum part next. I saw the mineral display of the North Carolina Minerals. I went and took some pictures of the Humming Birds and then I went down to the café to meet dad.
June 23rd - We went to Smokes for coffee and to talk to the locals. A local named Charles came in that we know and he let me look through his box of rocks he had that his kids collected years ago from the area. He told me & randy to pick out what we wanted. One piece was Kyanite from the Mas-Celo Kyanite Mine about one mile behind Donna’s home. There is some other stuff yet that I have to identify. Then we took Donna to Johnson City TN, to the VA. The evening was spent getting ready for the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine trip in the morning.
June 24th – Randy woke me up at 6:00 AM to go to Li’l Smokey’s for Coffee. We had to be at Gem Mountain for the Mine run to Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine at 9:00 AM. We got there at 8:30 and Frank was there setting up the sluice area. So we talked to him for a bit till Tim Baker came. We put our gear in the Van and we had to wait for some other people to show up. We waited till 10:00 AM then Charles told Frank to take us up there and wait no more :O). It was cloudy when we got there and nice but then the sun came out it got HOT. First we picked up what we could find on the ground then we started to bust up big rocks. After about ½ hour Tim found the first piece of Golden Beryl. Then Randy found some I started to find a few. Tim found the most and he worked the hardest with the sledge. We where there till 2:00 PM then we had to go back to Gem Mountain. We unloaded the van with our goodies and started out for the Crabtree Emerald Mine. We stayed there for about one hour and then Tim had to leave for home for he is coming to the Little Pine Garnet Mine in the mourning. After we left Tim we headed to the Bear Den Campground to see who all came in so far. Are first visit was with Tom and his wife. We went out to show tom what we found today and there was Wa9ne and Jack coming down the road. So we showed them all what we found and sat to chew the bull LOL. After a bit Everett and his mom showed up from the Walker Creek and we all said our hellos and all. Everett you never did tell me what you found up there LOL. We talked about where to meet in the morning and decided to meet at Li’l Smokey’s LOL. Wa9ne wants to try their coffee. We left there around 6:50 PM to come back here for supper.
June 25th – We got up at 6:00 AM to get ready for the mine trip to the Little Pine Garnet Mine. We went down to Li’l Smokey’s for some coffee and to wait for the others to get there. They where going to be there by 8:00 AM but they didn’t get there till 8:20 AM. Half of them went in to get some grub and coffee. By 9:05 we were on our way. It was raining light and after we were at the mine for a bit it started to rain harder. We got to the BP station at 9:03 AM and paid our fee and went to the mine. The creek was high but we all made it in OK Most of us went to the Adit and a few went to the dump site. Man you should have seen it when you looked in side with every one in there with all then lights on LOL. Every got garnets and was happy and wet LOL. Jack H. and his wife were the first to leave for she wasn’t feeling good. Everett and his mom the next ones to go and then Tom K., his wife and Carol and us where the next to leave at 2:00 PM. Mike, Virgil, Jay, Tim B. and the kids where the last to go an hour later. We all meet at the shelter that evening to talk and for good WI Cheese. We all so talked about where to go on Saturday to dig. Most of the adults tried the Limburger cheese, we ate ¼ # of it :O). Dad, Randy and I headed back to Burnsville at about 9:00 PM.
June 26th – We went to Smokey’s for coffee this morning and when we got back here we got the rocks put in the Van for the trade. We are all meeting at 3:00 PM for the cookout and rock trade at the Bear Den Campground. Over 40 people showed up for this great event. It started at 3:00 PM and I'm sorry but I wasn't there when it ended so I don't have the time. While some of the gals were setting up the food area others set the grills for cooking the brats, hamburgers & hot dogs. The rest of us were setting up our rocks for the swap meet part. Man there was a lot of different types of rocks & minerals for every one to trade with. Tom had asked Carol Poole to sit down front and center to open a gift he made her. Well she started to open her gift and again and again and so on till she finally got to the gift LOL. Tom made her a big chain with a piece of coal on the end of it. Good one Tom. There were a lot of pictures taken so you should be seeing lots of them posted here in time. After the meat was done cooking by Ron Maddox, Wa9ne, Everett and a few others we had the blessing (sure did miss Dave T. for doing that) we all sat down to eat a great meal. There was a lot of food so if any one went home hungry they can only blame them self’s for it LOL. Patty brought her famous Pecan Pies. Every one had a great time.
June 27th – We went to Li’l Smokey’s and talked to the owner. He told us about a mine right behind my sister’s place here. It’s not the Mas-Celo Mine either. Then we went over to the Bear Den Campground to say good by to who ever was still there. We met Jay coming in to the campground, he was checking out. Then we stop by tom and his wife the Eagle and said our good bys. Then we went over to Wa9ne & Patty’s to say our good bys.
June 28th – We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. Today we start packing for our trip back home on Wednesday.
June 30th I woke up at 5:00
AM and got Randy and dad up for the trip home. At 5:30 we were ready to leave
the great state of North Carolina for the great state of WI. We said our good
bye's to Donna and headed for Asheville. We stopped off to the Farmers Market
and got some things to bring home. The day went real well till we got to
Nashville TN. It started to rain and it did so till we got near Henderson KY. We
got in to Henderson at 1:30 PM and went to see one of the puppies’s that our
sister bought for her in-laws. Then we went to the restaurant for supper and
then went to Sylvia's home. Dale was there so we talked to him till he went
July 1st - Randy got me up around 4:30 AM so we could get on the road for home. We had good driving to we got to Rockford IL. a mile before we got to the toll both we hit a big back up. It lasted all the way in to WI for three miles. You talk about slowwww, it was a long stop and go stop and go. We stopped in to dad's brother's home for a few hours for he wanted to show us where his new house is. We had no rain till we got near Beaver Dam and man did it pour. We stopped in to our other sisters home for a few min. and then left for home. When we got to Fondulac we stopped for supper. We got home at 9:00 PM.