Sunday, May 29, 2011

Diamond HIll Mine Adventures!

Margaret Wesley hauling the last of her loot to the car before we left...

call us tired and DIRTY!!

I know i have been neglecting my blog for the last year or so...its now almost 6 years old...another OMG moment...who would have thought i would blog at all let alone for 6 years...yesterday i was considering WHY I don't post as much as i used to...and it came to me...I am too busy doing and having a life to write about it all the time...Lately it seems like there is something more interesting to do than blog like....

Saturday my friend the other Margaret hauled me off at 6 am in the morning to Diamond Hills Mine in Antreville SC 100 miles north of here to dig for amethyst crystals with the rest of the Augusta Rock and Mineral Club... it seemed it would involve two of my NOT favorite things...digging and sweating in the HoT summer SuN!! I don't like to I thought why not i can always sit in the shade and read or draw while Margaret Wesley digs and sweats in the sun!! the high was predicted to be 88 sunny degrees OUCH drip drip...but i sat in the driveway on my now antique cooler of Dasani water in biodegradeable bottles waiting for her...yearning for my nice AC cooled house...and perhaps to be sewing on that quilt on the design wall upstairs...

By 9 am we were looking at these HUGE dirt was full of pieces of rocks called Drewsies...small quartz crystal covering everything from small rocks to boulders...NO amethyst in site...UNTIL along came one of the owners Brian who started talking to us about what we could find and where to look ...and how several people had dug up huge crystals within minutes of their arrival in the last couple of young boy found a $2000 double pointed crystal almost a foot long inches under the ground...on the OTHER side of the huge hole we had been digging around on...

To quote Brian on his ebay store page:

"The Diamond Hill prospect is located in upper part of South Carolina. Over millions of years, erosion has occured to the southern part of the Appalachian Mountains which is one of the oldest mountain chains in the world. This has exposed a small 3 acre spot full of some of the widest variety quartz crystals in the world, known as Diamond Hill! Some of the best Amethyst, Smokey, Skeletal(Elestial), Angle Plated, Iron & Manganese Oxide coated, Aura, and other crystals are found here! Other rare minerals have also been recovered! Since this is such a small area(3 acres), there is only a very limited supply of material left!"

What you can find!

This young man did an awsome job finding amethyst crytsals yesterday putting the grown ups to shame.

Under Brian's tutelage off we hiked around the huge pit...he showed us how to use a potato fork to dig the soft dirt, and sure enough with his help we started t0 find some smaller crystals within a half an hour or so...another nice club member showed us how to search that we dug up for the crystals...combined with my previous shark tooth hunting at Edisto I found quite a few amethysts in my 'claim.'

Here are some of them. They don't look like much right now BUT they have to be soaked clean in super iron wash to get them purple instead of the yellowy haze on the crystals. They will look more like this when they are cleaned and you too can have one by buying one from Brian's ebay store.

I learned all kinds of new vocabulary like skeletal quartz which is what these are...I picked the one on the left up off the ground...remember these still need to be soaked clean.

And i learned the term Drewsies

kept calling it dritzies till i realized it was my youngest son's name Drew...too much dirt in the brain...Drewies are the smaller crystals that are frequently given away to kids at rock shows...but they can be quite glittery and pretty...

Margaret with her stack of leavrites...another new word aka leave it right where you got it:> because it's not anything you would want to carry!

Here's a new rule learned yesterday...fall forward NOT backwards..backwards would take you tumbling down the rock studded hill side into the very DEEP was at least a 20 foot deep pit.

More shots of the prospectors!!

Margaret stacking up the leavrites and drewsies!

Another shot of the Diamond Hill pits!

There were three of these deep pits. People were all over them earlier in the morning! I wish I had gotten a picture of this lady and her husband who found a HUGE rock studded with Amethyst crystals in less than ten minutes of her was so big it took two hands to hold and was worth at least $1000....she was dressed in white shoes and white pants as if she was going out for a Saturday stroll with her husband. As we three sat on our hill of dirt eating our lunch covered from head to toe with dirt and dust, we laughed and told her that soon she would look like us and her pants would be a lovely SC clay red!:>

The Diamond Hill outhouse...
looks more charming than it was!!

A Shot of my Amethsyts crystals in some of the mud from the rain on Th and Friday.

On the way home we stopped at Scwartzentruber Mennonite Bakery between Abbeville and McCormick ...and yes we were covered in dirt...the owner was so sweet and her offerings were of course yummilicous as Mennonite bakeries always are. She had all kinds of questions of us "worldly" people as Mennonites call NON Mennonites...what had we been doing and tired though i was I hiked out to the car and brought in my pile of amethyst crystals. I mean afterall she let us in her store barefooted and dusty from head to toe back and front!! What a woman!

Note to self for next trip to Diamond Hill:
Take a shovel and a potato rake
trowels or other small digging implements
Gloves a necessity
Sunblock and a wide brimmed straw hat
Bug repellant
Oldest Shoes
Oldest rattiest clothes
Boxes or Bags to hold the loot!
Or A 5 gallon bucket.
A hand truck could be useful
LOTS of water
and DUH LUNCH...there's no where to eat for miles and thank goodness Margaret W brought some lunch which she shared with Wayne Parker and I.

And bytw all that dirt DID wash off my $100 sneakers, my $26 levis and my fav old hand painted shirt that i paid $20 for back in 1990 or so!

An excellent nite's sleep from a day out digging in the dirt and the fresh air and sunshine! All's well that ends well right?!

1 comment:

YankeeQuilter said...

That is so cool...would love to dig in the dirt...but on a cooler day!