|Working between the jumble of trees|
|Elk on the run|
Within 5 minutes the sun was back out and I was digging in another interesting spot still not even half way to my intended destination. I ended up spending the rest of the day there. There was a small dig that showed considerable amounts of whitish/grey quartz scattered about so I dug into it and expanded that old hole. As I dug up the hill I noted quartz pieces tended to be found lower in the scree so I guessed there might be a pegmatite buried further up the hill. After digging about 6 feet up the hill and down maybe 3 feet following the quartz I hit some smoky quartz shards with my rock hammer. I put down my rock hammer and pick and commenced scratching though the scree and almost immediately hit a mud seam with a layer of pegmatite above it and diorite below the seam. The mud seam had some malformed crystal pieces in it and was only about an inch in height but I following the seam between the layers of pegmatite and diorite for about 5 feet. After taking down the sidewall to my right for the third or fourth time I noted the side wall had a seam of quartz. The quartz seam angled down towards my mud seam. Intersecting features like these often lead to a pocket and sure enough the quartz seam angled right into the mud. Microcline crystals started popping up as the mud seam grew in width. The area I was digging has amazonite shards scattered over the surface everywhere but it was just my luck to find microcline. Shortly afterwards I hit some nearly whole smoky quartz crystals so I gave my digging partner a call and he became the photographer and helped dig the scree away from the tree.
|Note pile of microclines in foreground, here I'm holding a smoky quartz crystal|
Day 2: I returned to this dig and determined to give the pocket area another hour or two. As I resumed digging Bob said "you're never going to get that tree out of there" well, that was just the encouragement I needed to pick up the tree Paul Bunyon style and heave it to one side. I kept digging and things kept looking promising, so I carried on til days end.
|Smoky quartz crystal engulfed in sticky pocket mud|
|The sticky mud made extraction of crystals an extremely slow process|
|Large Microcline "in situ"|
|The above microcline is a Baveno!|
|Top down view of the Baveno Crystal|
Continuation of the dig down and underneath a quartz seam produced more microcline crystals and a few poorly formed smoky quartz crystals. After working on this peg and digging about 5 feet down I decided the effort wasn't worth the reward and called it quits for this pocket (site).