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Mad Dash Fossil Hunting, Day #3


mmaley

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Today, I continued my trip to the West. I stopped in Arkansas, not to fossil hunt, but to explore another site that had been on my radar, the Crater of Diamonds State Park. This is located in the Southwest area of the state, outside of Murfreesboro.

I am glad I went.

The State of Arkansas did a great job forming the park and taking steps that makes it informative and fun. You can bring your own materials, or rent it for reasonable prices from the park.

I now have a better appreciation of what it takes to find diamonds.

I arrived at the park shortly after it opened, and already the parking lot was filling up. There were cars from all over the country. I had my own shovel, rented a dry sieve and went out in the middle of the field and gave it a go. I ignored the notification for the first lecture on diamond hunting. I wish I hadn't. I made the second lecture an hour later when I took a rest and hydration break. Everyone at the park does a good job reminding people to drink water and what to watch for when both adults and children get heat stress. The park ranger/geologist was very helpful in demonstrating the most likely way to find diamonds in the park. That involves wet sieving materials that are in wash ways that can be found around the turned fields. So, I turned in my dry sieve and rented a wet sieve. That is what I did for the next 2 hours before I packed up and left the park. I got hot, sweaty, and dirty. And, I had a good time.

Needless to say, I did not find a diamond. Later in the day, I even scoured through about 2 cups of microgravel I saved from my wet sieving. It would have been sweet to come home from my trip with a diamond that I found. This diamond would be given to my wife. Even if it were the size of a pinhead.

If I have the opportunity, I'll come back. Next time, I'll give myself more time and better strategy.

Here are a couple of photos from the day

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That sounds like fun! Even though you didn't come home with a diamond, it sounds like a really memorable experience. I'd like to go there someday myself!

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I'll never forget the 2 days I spent in Habachtal digging and washing for Emeralds. I never found one, but I still had a great time.

 

Greetings from the Lake of Constance. Roger

http://www.steinkern.de/

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Crater of Diamonds state park is on my bucket list. Congrats on getting there!

-Dave

__________________________________________________

Geologists on the whole are inconsistent drivers. When a roadcut presents itself, they tend to lurch and weave. To them, the roadcut is a portal, a fragment of a regional story, a proscenium arch that leads their imaginations into the earth and through the surrounding terrain. - John McPhee

If I'm going to drive safely, I can't do geology. - John McPhee

Check out my Blog for more fossils I've found: http://viewsofthemahantango.blogspot.com/

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Looks like a really neat place to visit. Does the material in the field get replenished some how so you aren't looking through the material that others have looked through?

Marco Sr.

"Any day that you can fossil hunt is a great day."

My family fossil website     Some Of My Shark, Ray, Fish And Other Micros     My Extant Shark Jaw Collection

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Enjoying your "mad dash" manuscript. Reminds me of every trip I make, except that road food is a big part of my trips. Not just truck stops et. al., but the best BBQ pits, taco stands and bakeries I can find for food truly worth getting fat on. And on rare occasions, I actually find some fossils too!

Grüße,

Daniel A. Wöhr aus Südtexas

"To the motivated go the spoils."

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To MacroSr, concerning the diamond fields in Crater of Diamonds State Park, The fields are plowed over occasionally every year which brinks up new material. The park rancher that instructed the public how to diamond prospect had anecdotal stories of people scanning the tops of the furrows close to where people are digging trenches, and finding nice diamonds.

Most of the diamonds re small, less than 1/4 carat. They are still diamonds.

To danwoehr, On this Mad Dash, food is on the agenda. While travelling through Oklahoma, which I am about to post on, I came across a wonderful Bar-B-Que establishment in Shawnee that I would gladly patronize again if I have the opportunity. I had the best ribs there that I have had in a long time. I almost ruined it for me when I picked up the XXX Hot sauce instead of mild. I am glad that I sampled it before I smothered my ribs with it.

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As i recall after hearing about this unique spot (only public place in the US where you can try your hand and fossicking for diamonds) that on a busy day with lots of people digging only one or two diamonds are actually found. I believe it is uncommon enough that there is a bell on site which is rung when someone turns up such a shiny piece of compressed carbon.

The place has been on my bucket list (but not near the top). It's the kind of place that I'd stop in and give a try if I was en route (as you were) rather than making a special trip solely for that purpose.

Glad you enjoyed your time there. You have the right attitude in that you had fun, learned a bit, and weren't overly upset when the long odds didn't pay off. Motivation and determination like that will pay off in your treasure hunting forays.

Cheers.

-Ken

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