Field Trip April 2016
One member went on vacation to the area and met us down in North Carolina at the Emerald Mine. Two others headed down early to get camping spots. The rest of us drove down together and met up at the camping spot. We all set up camp and had some great campfire food for dinner and went to sleep. The next morning we all met up at the Crab Tree Emerald Mine in Little Switzerland North Carolina. We looked around the gift shop and decided to do the museum tour. After the tour we headed over to the mine to start digging around. We all found a lot of material to bring home but unfortunately it wasn't Emeralds. One member did find a really nice stone full of emeralds and a couple of other members found small flakes of emerald in stone but for the most part we all brought home a bunch of quarts, tourmaline and other similar rocks. We all stopped for some great lunch we prepared that morning after we had our awesome campfire breakfast. We finally decided to call it a day after a few more hours of digging. We headed back to camp and prepared dinner.
A wind storm with gusts up to 75mph blew in from Canada and made for an interesting dinner. We decided to wait it out and it would go away but it did not and after failed attempts of sleeping in our tents that were collapsing and blowing away we decided to get a motel for the night. We returned the next morning to find several trees down and one even leaning against another tree above all of our tents. Could have been an interesting night with us all getting squished so good thing we chose the motel.
We packed up and headed to Madison County North Carolina a little over an hour away and found ourselves at a riding stable for Horseback riding. They own the Little Pine Garnet Mine so we paid our mining fee and went over to the mine. We drove back over the creek to park and hiked up the hill to the mine. Some of us went into the mine itself to beat on the walls while the rest of us went to the tailings pile to dig. We all happily found garnets. They ranged from the size of a penny up to the size of a fist. They were found in the mine, digging in the tailings pile, in the creek and surface collecting. This was a great place to hunt garnets. We brought home some quartz from this site as well.
Overall it was a very successful and fun trip with good friends that share a great hobby. We all found material to cut at both mines and also a fun treat was finding quite a bit of different material at our campsite like rose quartz, mica, and other types of rocks. North Carolina was good to us but Canada's winds treated us rough. Special thanks to the president Keith who is also our field trip coordinator for setting this one up.