Sunday, June 17, 2007

GARNET DIGGING IN IDAHO














Above is a picture of one of the garnets I pulled out of big pile of clay, dirt and rocks. There are only 2 places in the world that you can find star garnets and I happen to be lucky enough to live only 3 hours away from one.

Fathers day weekend seemed like a good weekend for my dad, hubby, one of my brothers and I to go digging. my son couldn't make it due to a job interview which he got so that worked out great.

So what do you do when you go digging??

First you fill your bucket full of dirt from the pile that has been brought in by the forest department. I use to be that you had to go to a dig site where only about 12 people at a time could dig and yes you dug down about 5 to 6 feet to get to the pay dirt. Now they do that for you.





Dirt pile where you dig.




Dad filling up his first bucket





















Then its off to the sifting section. Where you dump your dirt into the screen and shake and shake and shake. this sifts out some of the small sand.

Still leaves some lumps of clay that you need to break up with your hand. this is where the garnets can hide. Inspecting the big stuff as you go. Sometimes though you can't tell they could clean up and be a garnet or a rock that holds one.


Nest you take your sifted pile to the water dredging section. This is where you will finish cleaning your rocks and the garnets will really stand out to you


Here I am cleaning and searching



And me at the end of the day with my baggie of rocks. This is after I cleaned up a bit in the dirty water. Yes you do get dirty.




Here is my husband and mines dig for the day and little closer of a few of them showing size.




Now we can polish them or cut them an hope one is a star inside. which we might do someday. But for a day of fun with the guys on fathers day weekend is what it was really about.


For $10. a piece you are allowed to take out as many garnets as you can dig up in the hours they are open. If you go a few things to take: lunch, baby wipes or something to clean up with, wear dirty clothes, and gloves can come in real handy as well. there is only a porta potty so beware of that as well. And its a good work out too your arms will get tired from sifting and your back from the up and down. But the short walk up the hill in the beautiful forest is a great way to spend the day.

If you are lucky enough you might even see some deer like we did or a moose which we caught of glimpse of on our way driving out. He was in no way wanting to stick around long enough for a picture.


You can find more information about garnet digging here:

http://www.fs.fed.us/ipnf/rec/activities/garnets/index.html

and more pictures are being uploaded to my picturetrail here:
http://www.picturetrail.com/stampmouse

3 comments:

Kirstin said...

very cool....these rocks made me decide to tag you with the rocking girl blogger award...go and check out my blog for details!

Judy said...

I found your blog about the garnet digging. My husband and I visited Idaho from Texas a couple of weeks ago and our friends took us to the site. I appreciated the pictures you posted and the whole process! I am using this to share with friends to show what we did!

Stampmouse said...

Judy thanks for leaving a comment I am glad you were able to show the pictures to others but even more happy that you went. It is so much fun.