Bob and I had been having some luck in a fairly remote area so we headed back there this day. It takes about 40 minutes to walk to our spot but a hillside along the way seemed unexplored. Each time I approach an area I try to do it from a slightly different angle, that way I can prospect some new territory on my way to my planned destination. This particular day I prospected up some hills on a rather circuitous path to our site. Bob stayed in the valley on a more direct line to our destination. I never got to the destination that day.
As I was walking along a hillside I noted a little blue poking out of the ground. I carefully looked the area over and determined the blue amazonite fragment was in a slight water run… who knows where that could have come from? Of course the most obvious choice is right there despite the water run. Maybe the water run just uncovered the tip of the pocket. I poked around a little bit and hit more pegmatite and some plates with amazonite and smoky quartz crystals.
The water run was slight enough to uncover some scree
and expose the pegmatite and crystals but not significant enough to wash much material down the hill. After digging a couple of hours I felt guilty and went
in search of Bob at our initial destination. Bob was busy digging and finding
some noteworthy crystals on his own, so he wished me luck and I
went back to my dig. Best dig of the year and best find I had made thus far. I
cleaned out several small plates, a few solo smoky crystals and a number of
single amazonite crystals. The amazonite was very difficult to remove as it was coated in pocket mud and was
I spent that day and the next working the pocket. I managed to get a little over 2 flats of crystals from this pocket so it was a very nice find!
After finishing up the pocket I prospected below the site hoping to find a few float crystals. I found some nice float crystals as well and decided to come back another day. If there is one pocket there, maybe there are more. I went back home and examined my finds. I noted that the roll-down crystals or float were different than the smokys I had found in the pocket. Most of the float crystals below the pocket grew out of white quartz and went from white to smoky, while the smokys in the pocket were all just black all the way to their growth points out of the pegmatite. I deduced there must be at least one other pocket on that hill. How right I was! While first pocket was the only nice combination smoky/amazonite pocket I found on this hillside.
Bob and I extracted crystals from well over a
half dozen more pockets on that hill. While none of the crystals were large (>
6”), they were gemmy and lustrous.
The next pocket we found was split between
us and consisted of smoky quartz crystals. I had followed quartz float about 40ft up
the hill and determined it stopped nearly 50ft below the original pocket (above). Both
Bob and I dug in where we found the last surface float and had to dig nearly
another 10 feet to find the pocket. Of course there was float under the soil
leading us to that pocket.
We probably pulled out 500+ crystals from this area.
We also found quartz with goethite
inclusions (onegite), amazonite, green fluorite, goethite and smokys.
It was very rewarding to find an area undiscovered by anyone else and pull out beautiful crystals from billion year old undisturbed pockets. Hurrah, what a rock hounder's paradise!
|Fresh out of the ground, first piece I found at the site|
|Fresh out of the ground combo|
|Specimen above cleaned up a bit|
|Nicest combination plate of the lot 12+ complete crystals!|
|Ready for display!!!|
|Digging through some float we found another pocket with smokys|
|Nice size to these, between 3-6"|
|Nicest smoky quartz cluster in the pocket and hillside for that matter 4x4x5"|
|Onegite with a purplish hue (Amethyst)|
|Onegite with a yellowish hue (Citrine)|