Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gem Mining in Little Switzerland

This week was a somewhat rough week for the Roberts' family, but we are past that now. Savannah is almost fully recovered now.  Thank you all for your prayers and kind words. Because Savannah and I were cooped up all week,  we decided to spend our beautiful saturday afternoon mining for Gems.  It is something I have wanted to do for a long while now, but did not realize we had a mine fairly close to our home.  We drove down to a small town called Little Switzerland just past Old Fort, NC.  I think all this town is known for is the tiny gem mines all over the road side.  We saw 3 on our journey.  We chose Emerald Village because it had other things to do rather than just mining gems.  Of course when we got there, we realized you had to pay for some of these things.  The website had it worded differently, but I guess that is how they get you there.  Our kids had an absolute blast anyways.  I hope you all enjoy the pictures.

Here is Savannah and Ethan sitting in an old store
playing checkers.  

Here is Larry & Xander posing by an old stove.

Here is one of 3 mines at this tourist spot.
The dig out loads of dirt and rock full of gems.

Notice the fall colors above the mine.
I was so excited to see such beautiful colors.
Everything is still green here in Black Mountain.

Here are the kids waiting to get this party started.
Take a close look at Ruby.  Her top is a zippered hoodie.
When I turned to help Larry Denzil, she had it off
and was running around topless.  I do not know why
this girl loves to be naked.  The workers loved it.

Here are the boys with their strainers.
They are ready to get dirty and wet.

Look at Ethan picking out his stones.
He was entertained for about 20 minutes.
That is really good for a 4 year old I suppose.

Here is Ethan with some of his finds.
I will make a rock hound out of him yet.

Here is Xander with one of his findings.
The bigger the stone, the happier Xander was.

Here is Ruby.  She loved splashing around and
throwing all the duds over.  I think she will
make an excellent soft ball player some day.

Here is Little Larry with his big find.
He was trying to find the most colored stones.

Here is Savannah with a large piece of quartz.
She kept very busy, looking for the smallest of gems as well.
She was extremely thorough.

Here are the kids straining away.
Larry is showing off something tiny.

That large 5 gallon bucket was our dirt bucket.
It was full of rocks and gems.  The little buckets are what
the kids put all their gem stones in.

Here is Ethan with his tray of rocks.  There were 
mineralogists on hand to let us know what we have found.

Here is Savannah sorting her tray of rocks.
We had to match everything by their color.

Here is Larry working on his pile.

Here is the mineralogist telling Xander what he
has found.  I was very impressed.  Xander had a 
large rough Ruby and Emerald in his pile.  He also
had a small Sapphire.  I tried to keep it, but he
noticed.  I was amazed out how fast this mineralogist 
was naming the gems.  I had 2 years of geology courses under
my belt before I changed majors to fashion.  Just 1 more geology class
and I could have had a minor.  Anyways, I took a mineralogy class
and could not remember the names of any of these stones.

Here is Xander showing off his bag of
Gems.  Tiffany's mined these mines back in
the 1920's.  I was hoping to find something brilliant.
All we found were rough stones that needed
to be cut and polished before they would resemble a gem.
There was a couple sitting across from us who purchased
a $1000 barrel and were finding huge gems.
Being nosey, Larry Denzil asked them what they were
going to do with all their findings?  The man replied they were
going to cut and polish all their findings and make jewelry.
Now I am really curious if you can make a profit off 
rocks that you paid a grand for?

Here is Ruby.  If she is around when I am taking pictures,
she insists of some of herself.  And then she yells "see!"

Here are all my babies with their gems.

Here is Ruby and her bagful, on loan from little
Larry.  She is so spoiled.

She borrowed Larry's bag a little longer than he had planned.
She carried it all the way back to the van.

This was a cool train museum they had there.
All the kids loved it, but Ruby would not leave.

Here are some more fall colors.

Here is one of the train models.  This was
Ruby's and Ethan's favorite.

Here is Larry pulling the real train whistle.

Here is Ethan pulling the same whistle.


Lynette News said...

You guys sure looked having adventure! Makes me jealous. I am so glad savannah is doing well. Man whatcha gonna do with those gems now? Make me a wedding ring perhaps? Or a nice ring?

Lew said...

Looks like SO much fun! I totally want to take my boys there. It was so great to see Savannah back to her "old self" today at church. She even played "Old McDonald" for us on the piano. Your kids are so great!

Holly and Dan said...

You got to keep the gems in your bags? Hmm, maybe I'll make a visit.

JoJuan said...

WOW xander found a ruby, emreld,and sappir?