We just returned from a wonderful trip to Maine, where we went mining at two different locations. We had beautiful weather for most of the trip, and enjoyed our stay at Bradbury Mountain State Park. Check out the view through the top of our tent!
The first location we visited in Greenwood was absolutely gorgeous. It is an area that is mined actively by the most famous rockhound in Maine, but he allows the public to visit the site to collect as well.
Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck at this site. It was also buggy and very very hot, so we ended up cutting our visit kind of short. When you're not finding much it makes it a lot less fun! Back at the campsite we inspected our finds. Here's a specimen of bubblegum-pink Montmorillonite...
and a tiny quartz scepter!
At our campsite, we recovered from our hard day of mining in the sun and enjoyed a game of horseshoes. Check out my double-ringer...my second of the game!! I'm as shocked as you are. :)
The next day we arrived at our new location, an active crushed stone quarry in Casco.
Neither Jared nor I love mining at quarries, as we don't enjoy seeing this large scale disruption of the natural Earth. But during this visit, we realized that we are glad to have been there, to rescue these perfect little crystals created by the Earth from being crushed for gravel. Here's a picture of a perfect garnet, exactly how I found it. Isn't that color and shape incredible?!
Garnets were our primary find at this quarry, though we did find a few other minerals too, like pyrite, chalcopyrite, chamosite, and schorl. We found some of the garnets already loose in the smaller pieces of stone, and others were still in their host rock. Jared found a large rock with many garnets in it, which he carefully removed with a chisel and small sledge hammer. Here you can see the steps of this process:
Hardhats were required at this location. I know I'm quite the fashionista here, but I'm so glad I could fit my sunhat underneath my hardhat...it was sunny and hot! Notice that we still wear long sleeves and heavy pants no matter the temperature. This helps protect us from any brushes with sharp stones.
Overall, it was a wonderful weekend! Jared and I both love being outdoors, mining and camping. This was our idea of a perfect getaway - and a working holiday!