Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prairie and Fairburn Agate Hunting

We were both excited as we put on our day packs and headed towards the stream. It was our first real day of prospecting for Fairburn agates and we had just been at a rock shop in Hermosa, Sd. There the owner had shown us what the rough Fairburn agate looks like and had told us how to get to the BLM Agate Beds.
We found the road easy enough but recent rains had turned sections into mud and we passed several deep places where trucks had been stuck. Reaching the stream we saw that it had flooded big time and while it had receded it was still of unknown depth. There were fresh tire prints in the mud and we watched as a four wheel drive truck crossed the deep water. The water reached above the bottom of the door and so we decided to pass on the famed beds this trip.
Several outcrops were along the way and we did stop and collect some Prairie agate, which is the state rock of Nebraska. We just didn't collect any Fairburn Agate, which is also called fortification agate as it looks like the old time forts of the 18th century.
The next day we decided to head towards Rapid City and look along the terraces of Spring Creek. Now its all private land and so we would be limited to looking in the road cuts, but we have found some nice rocks in the public places before, so off we went.
Our first stop was at a cut along South Dakota 79, on the south side of Spring Creek.It didn't take long before we found more Prairie Agate. While its not composed of the sharp bands as Fairburn is its still pretty bands of gold and white and even has some reds and purples. I found a few small pieces and by the time I got over to Renita she had a large pile of possible keepers.
Sortng through the pile was really hard as she had a lot of good agate. So I added it to mine and we already had enough Prairie Agate to keep us sawing, grinding and polishing for quite a while.
Returning home we washed the agates and sorted them into a keep and don't keep pile. There was a lot of keepers and so our long long long trailer has gotten some more weight added to it, and these rocks are round. Perhaps you should call us Luci and Desi, from now on! Clear skies.

1 comment:

Jim & Nanc said...

Oh NO More Rocks!!!!!!!!!!
You better get that rig weighed.

Safe travels