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Thanks Mr. Polly 

I did a little bit of collecting in the winter season last year and I think I got spoiled because it was a nice warm week of mid to upper 60s in January. Unfortunately I was only able to make it to a few sites...and I made the mistake to make the Ray mines the last on my list, just as I got there a strom rolled in....
So needless to say I learned a lot from my first season of digging in NC. 

I've also done a little digging in lincoln county at the Propst Corundum mine.
Being from the Michigan I was not quite prepared for the North Carolina red clay....I still have stains on some of my rock hunting clothes! ha
Harry Polly
That NC red clay does not come out after repeated washings.  The clothes I wear to Propst and Bowers farm are worn at those locations only.  And if it is wet when you are digging, it is worse.  That red clay turns to sticky red mud that will suck your boots off. 

You always have to be on the alert for that stray thunderstorm in the mountains, even in the summertime.  Those storms can come quickly and be very dangerous, especially if you are out in the open like at the Ray.  When I am up there, I try to be on the lookout for them and seek shelter when they do pop up.

What part of NC are you in now?  I am in Caldwell County.
I am in Mecklenburg county (Charlotte). Or I will be living there soon, I was going to school at Queens University last spring but had to return home to Detroit, Michigan for some family issues. I will be returning to Queens by the end of the month!!! (woo hoo)

My classes don't start for a little bit into I was kind of planning a mini rock trip for myself...I really want to get back to ray but that one is kinda dependent on the weather really.  

Any suggestions on sites I should visit?
Harry Polly

Any trip this time of the year will depend on the weather.  During the winter months, I like to concentrate on Propst farm and Bowers farm.  Joining a club will help you too.  You will get to go on club field trips that are not accessible to individuals.  There is one in Charlotte, but I do not know how often they do field trips.  There is one in Gastonia, and one in Hickory.  I am a member of the Hickory club, as well as Mr. Streeter. 

I would encourage you to at least find one other person to go with you.  It is never a good idea to go out by yourself, especially at the Ray. 

Hello Alexander. I work in Charlotte but live over the river in Gastonia. A few of us go to Propst regularly during the winter months. It has been raining a lot so probably be a week or two before we start going. We try to find some dirt to get into as much as possible. 980 then 522 and ending with 6138 and the name is Peter
also, we are also members of the Gaston Club. I'm new so don't know about the Ray or Bowers Farms.
Joining one or several clubs is a good idea. The Catawba club is pretty cool. Along with the sites mentioned, the Reel Mine is within close proximity to Charlotte. Another benefit with the field trips is the experience and knowledge the senior club members poses on individual locations. Knowing exactly where to dig can be the difference between a bag full of rocks and finding that glass case specimen. Not to say our mentors don't get skunked once in a while but think about why they keep going back.
Would like to thank Harry Polly and the Catawba Gem and Mineral Club for a wonderful fieldtrip. The group in attendance was a little bit larger then when I was there two years ago and saw several nice crystals in hand and situ. The rain held off until that afternoon and when it did arrive only improved surface collecting. Spent most of the day breaking boulders and was pleasantly surprised at the quality and clarity of what lay hidden inside! I had an opportunity to converse with Francis Sutphin, property owner of the Reel Mine. Nice person, very outgoing and he kindly passed a little secret about the site along to me. Just hope I'm present on that day, he, he, he![smile]
I would love to get in a club and go rock hunting with my little girl. She'said just like me loves the out doors and she'said been collecting rocks already. So I know she would love to hunt gems as much as I would....
Harry Polly
Shaun, where are you located? We can point you in the direction of a club if we know the general area.
I just moved to charlotte nc a year ago.
Harry Polly
Shaun, There are three clubs in your vacinity. Charlotte, Gastonia, and Hickory. You will have to do a Google search for the first two. I am with the Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club. It is located in Hickory. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at St. Alloyisus Catholic Church h in Hickory starting at 7 pm. We usually have an attendance of about 30-35. You will be welcome to join us. Our requirements to join entail coming to two meetings, at which you may join at the second meeting. Dues are currently set at $18 for family, 12 for individual. If I can be of further assistance, email me off list. Click on my name and the email address will appear.
Lynne Tyner Melby
Where is Reel Mine? Have lived in Lincoln County for 12 years and never heard of. This is a rural community and very small.
Harry Polly
Located in Iron Station. Off Hwy 73.
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