A Girl's Best Friend

Trip Start Jun 03, 2008
Trip End Aug 12, 2008

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Where I stayed
Adirondack Gateway Campground

Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, August 8, 2008

We woke up early for this was one of the days the kids had been waiting for the entire trip.  They had seen Kristin Gum on Cash and Treasure, a show on the Travel Channel, where she was mining for Herkimer Diamonds.  They had their sights on finding lots of diamonds and making lots of money.  Enough to pay for the trip and be set for the rest of their lives! 
We checked in with our host of the "Farming Camp Sight".  She was delightful and loaned us a couple of buckets and tools.  She also gave us helpful hints of where to and where not to buy jewelry, if that is what we were going to do.  So off we went to the mines with big hopes.
At the Herkimer Diamond Mine one can buy a pass that is good all day from 9am-5pm.  It includes a rock hammer, admission to the museum, zip lock bags for your precious mine finds and an instructional video to get you started.  The Griswalds were in!  They even had a couple chisel that were left behind that they let us use.  You get to keep everything that you find. EVERYTHING!  That includes diamonds, gems and fossils.   If you find a large pocket full of diamonds, even if it is thousands of diamonds they are ALL yours!  The kids didn't even want to finish watching the video because they knew they were about to find their lives abundant beyond their comprehension!    
The part of the video that they did watch, told of how easy it can be to find diamonds there at the mine.  As easy as scooping up a handful of dirt.  Though this was true, of course that wasn't the norm.  The most common way of finding Herkimer Diamonds is to find a large rock that is porous.  Start banging the heck out of it with the rock hammer and hope it cracks easily.  If it does, chances are you will find a perfect diamond.  It wasn't too easy at first, but Ellen got the hang of what rocks contained the diamonds.  She would find them split them and leave them for Clark to chisel the beauties out.  The kids were not having too good of luck, so Ellen gave her fellow rock hounds a lesson on what to look for.  Rusty caught on and started finding his own riches.  It appeared to be a little too much work and a little too dirty for Audrey, though she wanted the "mine finds".  She would wait by Ellen's side when she found a gem and ask if it could be hers.  Of course, mom gave up a couple, but after a while decided that Audrey needed to get dirty if she was going to take home any more loot.  Audrey wasn't too excited about getting dirty but even more so about actually working.  She made her way over to Clark where he was chiseling away.  She tried to work the same program on Clark, but it didn't work.  The tears ensued but didn't last long when Audrey realized no one was watching or cared.
Clarkism, "Kids did you know these gemstones are very unique because they come out of the ground appearing like a multiple-faceted, cut diamond. Real diamonds come out of the earth as very rough stones and must be cut in order to bring out the diamond's beauty. A Herkimer diamond known by its unusually bright reflection and clarity, however, is formed in the earth with a natural geometrical shape, giving it the appearance of having been cut by a jeweler. Because of this natural formation, many people value the Herkimer diamond over a real diamond.  It also is a powerful healing crystal. The natural double termination, points on both ends, creates a powerful and constant energy flow.  The metaphysical properties include the ability to raise the spirits and enhance the dream state. They are very good to wear especially to chase away unhappy emotions or during stressful times.  Energy workers tout these unique crystals as having special healing properties due to the natural formation."  
After lunch it started to cloud up and finally decided to rain.  We stuck it out as long as we could, but the skies opened up and began to poor.  Drenched from head to toe, we ran inside the museum for cover and decided to value some of our riches.  We were doing pretty good.  We had several Grade A diamonds and even though some were small they were perfect and pretty.  We also asked about how to chisel them from the rocks without damaging them because we all were having that issue.  We were told to leave them in the rock....they were worth more that way.  "Leave it an expert to extract them."  That would have been nice to know up front.  Maybe it told us the part of the video we didn't watch.
The rain let up and we went out and continued mining in the now muddy rocks.  We all were having better luck as many of the people were chased away by the rain.  Ellen found a large perfect diamond embedded into a large boulder.  If we were going to take that one home we hade to extract it.  Of course, good old Sparky was able to the job.  We were loading the buckets full of rocks that had several stones in them to take home.  It began to rain again.  It was almost closing time so we took one last look and started to collect our things to go home.  That is when Ellen did find the 2" diameter diamond just sitting there.  It didn't pay for their trip, but it was a nice way to end the day.
Wet, full of mud and sweat we stunk as we made our way home to the campground.  We needed to pick up a couple things from the grocery store when we realized we couldn't find one.  There wasn't even a small convenient store anywhere to be found.  We were going to have to drive about 40 miles or so to Utica to find one.  Where were we?  We loved the area and it felt like we were in a different country.  Oh that is right....we were either in Norway, Poland or Russia all the small towns we drove through looking for a store.  So that explains it.  We skipped the store as it was probably best based on how we looked and smelt.
We made it back to the "Farming Camp Sight" though it was a little difficult as everything looked different in the daylight and fog.  We all took showers, made dinner, did laundry and got ready to depart for the next adventure awaiting us the following day.
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