On the road back to Florida there are many paths that we could have taken. There's a special reason though why we picked coming through Arkansas. We had such a good time hunting for crystals at the Wegner Crystal Mine that we just had to come back and do it again!
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Wegner Crystal Mine - Again cause we loved it so much! 2022/10/20
Oh but it's early!
Watching the sun rise (okay, maybe not quite, but it's still early) over the entrance sign.
It's a chilly morning as we get ready to go.
Welcome to Wegner's! You know the world is a magical place when Mother Nature grows her own jewelry.
We entered the store. All the rocks here must be cold, cause they still have blankets on.
I asked and learned that it's because the walls in this store don't entirely keep the outside out. It can get dusty and that can get inside and dirty up the items for sale.
And there's a lot of really cool things they have for sale.
It'd sure be something to find that today.
The boy loves gold. That Pyrite is looking tempting to bring home as a souvenir.
Once the line had died down, we signed our waivers and got checked in. Last time we hunted for Quartz crystals in the Crystal Forest Mine for 2 hours. That was fun, but I've read lots of things about the Phantom Mine. For $50 per person, you get 4 hours to search their best fields for the world famous phantom crystals!
And just for visiting the shop, you can take a crystal!
I'm ready to get digging!
We hopped back over to the truck to grab all our tools. Last time we borrowed their tools, but they no longer give those out. That's fine because we've got metal shovels and scrapers to help our digging today.
Layers on top of layers. And a mask acts like a scarf to keep the air around your face warm.
Already hunting for shiny rocks in the parking lot.
Here's our transport! A converted pickup truck with bench seats in the back.
Our guide today, Lance, roll calling everyone who booked today's tour. It's a popular one, so you need to reserve it ahead of time.
This boy loves finding special rocks, so I'm sure he's going to have a fun time today.
At 8:50am, the truck headed off into the deep woods.
Going through a few gates.
Passing a big excavator on the way. This was a long and bumpy ride!
At 9:30am, here we are! The Phantom Mine! It's a giant section of turned up earth where we're free to hunt to our hearts content.
Lance giving us the why-tos and where-fors and suggestions for finding good crystals.
We're wasting no time! Let's jump right into it!
Ian was quick in finding something shiny! It's exactly what we're after! A Phantom Crystal! These clear quartz crystals have manganese inclusions, making it look like there's a dark crystal trapped inside a larger clear one! And we've only been hunting for 10 minutes!
Lance came over to check it out and said that Ian might have the "find of the day". He asked if he could get a picture.
And not too long afterwards, the Wegner Facebook page showed Ian with his new crystal find!
Lance was all over the place, helping people with things. Using a hammer and tools to separate pieces, carrying heavy things, offering other advice. He was hunting for things along with all the rest of us.
Ian - If we hunt on the edges where people aren't we'll have a better chance at finding something.
Good idea buddy!
Alli has already found something. What's that Alli?
A crystal, but also a yellow spotted ladybug! How unique!
Theresa has found her spot and decided to focus her work there.
While Ian, Alli, and I are more roamers.
Lance said that they do their own excavations over here and we're free to look through the tailings piles for anything that might have been missed.
The really good stuff comes from down in that pond.
Us guests though aren't allowed down there due to safety issues. The side walls can collapse and bury you if you're not careful.
Not having much luck with the tailings, we headed back to the rest of the group. While the kids ate snacks, the rest of us kept digging! This 4 hours is going fast!
And you never know when you'll find something interesting.
Any dirt could be holding a treasure.
I helped Alli and Ian move large amounts of dirt, searching for crystal pieces. We'd go for a few minutes without anything, then come across something special.
Lance gave countdowns as the time to leave grew closer. We kept hoping for one more good crystal, one more good phantom. In the end, we were all pretty happy with the things we came away with.
Loading back on the truck at 1:45pm, after a good 4 hours of digging through the dirt.
We got some regular crystals, but also some big rocks too! The back of the truck was loaded with some heavy pieces that are sure to make nice yard decorations later.
Everyone in the back of the truck showed off some of their favorite finds of the day.
Lance got a photo of the kids with their best phantom crystals and a few days later, they're on the Wegner Facebook page again! Love it!
The early morning and bumpy truck ride proved too much for this one, who fell asleep on mommy not long after we got moving.
By 2:45pm we were back to the entry and taking all our new treasures back to the truck. I'm excited to get these cleaned up to see what we got.
Thank you Lance for the help today and the great crystal hunting experience! When we got back, the kids were already asking when they could return! These are the rocks you've always wanted to find as a kid.
Getting another photo on the diggers in their sandbox out front. Has it really been a year?
This giant crystal is still for sale. It's massive!
Ooh, Alli found something she likes.
Fluorite is purple and it's one of her favorite colors. Along with the crystals we found, we let the kids pick one special thing to buy too.
Last time, we stopped by the Dairyette for ice cream when we were finished too.
But this time... I don't know. We weren't feeling it. Ian wanted something. Alli wanted something else. I've got another idea.
Just down the street is a grocery store.
Where we'd find Superman Ice Cream (for Ian) and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (for Alli). Everyone was pretty happy with our choices.
Now it's time to get all our rocks washed up. I filled a couple buckets with soapy water and sacrificed a few toothbrushes for the cause.
That's a lot of rocks we came home with.
Self classified by how much we liked them.
Theresa showing off her best finds of the day.
I found this 56 pound monster with crystals embedded throughout and I've got just the person to give it to. More on that in a future post.
It was an awesome day!
Some of our favorite clear crystal shaped pieces.
Some of our best Phantom Crystals.
Here's their special things they chose. Ian, my little gold lover, chose this vial of real actual gold. Gotta love it. Alli went with her heart. Literally. It's a purple and green fluorite heart.
Next time, gloves. It didn't take long, digging through sharp rocks with bare fingers before I cut 3 of them enough to draw blood. I'll recover, but yes, next time gloves.
Alas, since we are traveling in the RV and weight is a factor, we can't take all of our treasures with us. We chose the very best to take with us, and left the rest for some other adventurous soul to find.