My Name is Taylor Fentz. I am a metal smith and jeweler that has always been fascinated with rock collecting and with what treasure can be found in and around our earth. My husband and I have recently picked up rock hounding as a hobby and I am planning a week long rock hounding trip with him this summer before I go back to school this fall. Our main hounding trip is planned in North Carolina. I've been doing research for days planning for this and have a couple decent spots, i think, but am realizing that a lot of the openly known spots have become private property and I need help finding the nice spots that are not illegal or irresponsible to collect in. so far I know we want to check out Little Pine Garnet Mine, Sharpes Emerald Prospect, The ray mica mine and surrounding area, and around Chunky Gal mountain. I'm excited for the hiking and exploration of Hurricane mountain and Chunky Gal, but I have to admit I feel like, with the info I have, I will just be shooting in the dark out there and that may be unproductive or even potentially dangerous. If anyone has any information on these locations or info on other locations you may be willing to share, that would be wonderful. Also, we are driving through Kentucky from Indiana so we figured we might as well check to see if there are any sites we'd like to stop at along the way. I've heard part of green river lake and Cumberland lake can yield geodes. Any info here would be much appreciated as well. p.s. With all the extensive research I've been doing online, this website and forum has popped up the most and has been most helpful by far. Best, Taylor
Sounds like you are planning really well to me!
If you're going to attempt dig near Hiddenite, you may want to spend at least part of a day collecting at the Propst Farm for corundum - see http://mcrocks.websitetoolbox.com/post/propst-farm-sold-8421414?highlight=propst+farm and http://mcrocks.com/ftr06-2/Streeter11-18-06.html Although I will tell you that collecting in the North Carolina piedmont in August may not be your best bet due to dangerously high temperatures, so you may want to put this off until it cools off. When the temperatures soar into the 90's with high humidity as is most often the case in August, it can literally be too hot to dig without getting heat exhaustion or worse. The Ray Mine, Little Pine and Chunky Gal are much cooler that the piedmont in August, so you'd be much better off spending quality time these locations. Just remember that picks and shovels are no longer allowed in North Carolina national forests, so you'll want to leave them in your vehicle at the Ray and Chunky Gal. While in the vicinity of the Ray Mine, you may want to take a run over to the Sinkhole Mine - see http://www.mcrocks.com/page10.html The GPS coordinates for the Sinkhole Mine are 35.975653, -82.176736 It sounds like you've got plenty on your plate for just a week, so have fun and stay safe. Mike PS - Keep a close eye out for copperheads while rockhounding on Chunky Gal mountain as they seem to like the area.
Thanks for the tip about Propst Farm! As for the weather concern, I don't have a wide range of time to work this trip in. I start school again in mid August. I looked at the weather forecast for this coming week and I think the bigger concern may be rain and thunderstorms. We are preparing as best we can for weather. If nothing else, it may just have to be a more laid back rock hounding trip. I will definitely keep heat exhaustion in mind along the trip. Thank you! Yeah, we plane to go to a couple national forest areas. Tools will be staying in the car and we'll be packing lightly as if we are just hiking; maybe just a sifter and brushes for tools. Sinkhole and Abernathy mine are on our list to end the trip I think. Thank you so much, Mike, for all the tips and info! Like I said, this website and forum have been the best place for info on the web!