Friday, November 7, 2008

Crater of Diamonds State Park, Arkansas

"Tourists, (I don't think I had ever heard that word said with such derision and contempt), Look at them wondering around in that plowed field. The park people plowed three weeks ago and it will take about 1000 inches of rain to expose any rocks or diamonds. If you want to find a diamond go over there and look where....
The grizzled prospector returned to his hole and started digging,(He also warned me about putting the picture of his payload zone on the Internet).
We had left Toad Suck and drove south and west to Daisy State Park, located on Lake Greeson. There Renita had reserved us a great spot on the lake. The park itself is a dense mature hardwood forest. Its filled with oak and hickory trees, many of which seemed to fall and hit our truck and house.
Two days later we were at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, looking to find a stone big enough to name. We were both surface picking, as it was the first day we had ever been here and really wanted to learn how to look for diamonds
It was such a mystery, the proverbial needle in a haystack, except the needle was in a 37 acre field.
Everywhere people were either surface picking, dry sifting or hauling their load of soil and rock to the washing stations. There they would wash and settle the soil before flipping the pan over on a table, where the diamonds had, hopefully settled to the bottom.
Taking a break we sat at a bench and ate snacks. Renita showed me her specimens. I told her how the prospector had bemoaned the fact that the state had found another 88 acres that held as much as 58000 carats of diamonds and wouldn't let people search there. We decided to go over to the boundary signs that stated that no prospecting was allowed beyond the crater.
At last we were seeing lots of rocks. Large boulders of a very resistant conglomerate lay around the area. It was so hard that even a sharp rap with my rock hammer barely showed any scratch. We both searched the low ground far from most of the people. Digging down some lamprolite could be found, highly weathered.
Finally tired and hungry we decided to call it a day. No luck finding diamonds but still a trip worth taking, as we both agreed that it wasn't the finding but the searching that makes life so exciting. Clear skies.

ps the prospector had told me to look for hematite stained soils, that they were the key to the diamond bearing layer.

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