To Travel. To Write. To Explore.
Mining Quartz Crystals In Arkansas
“The ride in the back of the truck is the experience, more so than the prospecting,” said a twenty-something woman sitting to my left on our return to the storefront from the crystal forest mine.
Two women in their early twenties arrived six steps ahead of me to the Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines registration counter on Saturday, October 5th. The next trip up to the crystal forest mine to prospect for the Arkansas quartz crystals was leaving at 11:30 a.m.
This was my second truck ride up the weather-worn two-track, through the woods to the open landscape of dark orange dirt mixture and the excavated pits dotted with of crystal points and clusters. My first experience was last year as I made my way west for the winter. I knew what to expect, where the bathrooms were and I would not have cell phone signal until I reached the town of Glenwood on Highway 8.
After paying the fee, I stood with twenty-two other individuals waiting to load onto the safari style truck. The bed of the truck is a specialized passenger area with a lift tailgate. The u-shaped seat wraps around the perimeter of the bed and a single row in the center. There wasn’t enough room for all of us to ride in the back so I, along with five others and the driver/tour guide, rode in the cab. At a speed above idling, we traversed up the lumpy, bumpy and sometimes steep incline to our destination.
I wandered an area that I found several nice points last year and didn’t have as much luck this October. With clear blue skies and the temperatures scaling well into the nineties, this Michigander kept to the shaded areas.
I decided to go to the prospecting area to the left of our drop-off point and scope out the possibilities there. The lay of the land was different from what I remembered and chose to go to a spot no one in our group had visited – BINGO! I found an array of small clusters and several nice points to add to my collection. Of course, like any morel mushroom hunter, fisherman or hunter/gather of any type does when when asked, “Have any luck over there?” I fibbed. And like any other hunter/gather, they came over to check it out for themselves but didn’t stay too long.
Experience taught me to be selective in what I pick up and keep. Whatever goes in the bucket for the keeping, you have to load and unload from the mine to home.
To plan your own exploration of the Wegner Quartz Crystal Mines, I recommend you begin by visiting their website wegnercrystalmines.com. The staff is friendly, knowledgable and loves dogs. And, the best part, the crystals you find in the mining areas are yours to keep.
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To Write. To Travel. To Explore.
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