Day 1 – Arkansas

| September 4, 2010 8:12 pm

We’ve opted to head for Arkansas this Labor Day weekend to do a little diamond prospecting!   Actually, Bart has been wanting to go diamond prospecting ever since he was a very young kid and we finally decided to take this opportunity to do it before he lost the sparkle for it.  We spent a few hours driving here and our cabin was warm, inviting and welcoming when we arrived late on Friday.    We spent the evening dissolving our sore muscles in the large hot tub.  We’ll have photos of the cabin later including a complete review but for now, we’ll share how our first full day went in Arkansas.

We started the morning with a hearty breakfast of eggs and biscuits while the kids gorged themselves on the usual cereal.   After breakfast, we headed over the diamond crater with dreams of striking it rich with a large 8 carat diamond. 

The next several hours were spent doing a fairly repetitive process as outlined in the photos below.   First, you find a site which looks promising by walking around until you get the vibe that there may be diamonds on that particular spot.

After finding the right spot, the next step is to dig, then dig some more and finally dig some more and fill your dirt into a bucket for further analysis.   After the dirt pile is transferred into the bucket, it gets put into a diamond screen where you shake it until the small clumps of dirt fall through and leave larger stones and rocks to review.

There are two types of diamond screening: wet and dry.   We started with dry screening but as you dig deeper, the soil becomes a bit more moist which results in the screen clogging.    After an hour of dry screening, it quickly became necessary to do wet screening…

As you can see by the photo, wet screening consists of pouring dirt into your screen, submerging the screen in a water trough and shaking out the soil leaving only larger stones to screen.  While this method is much faster than dry screening, the constant need to add water to the screen increases its weight and the work is much harder!

After spending a few hours dry screening and wet screening in the bright sunshine, it quickly became apparent that prospecting is a great deal of work. We left the crater empty handed except a few souvenirs and expenses for renting all that equipment!

After our day trip to the crater, we made a quick stop at a nearby shop for anything uniquely Arkansas made and the only items we could come up with were a local fudge dish while everything else in the shop was made in China.   After our quick stop we headed back to the cabin to cook lunch and relax by the nearby lake.

As you can tell by the photos, we had the lake all to ourselves. 

Seriously, we had the whole lake all to ourselves except for a few people on motor boats!

As the sun began to set and the beams of light bounced off the warm blue water and onto the leaves of the trees making them turn a firery orange, we decide to power up the grill and cook some dinner.

On the menu was seasoned chicken quarters and a nice smoked sausage.   We feasted on the patio overlooking the lake as the sun set down behind the trees.

After dinner, the kids tried to catch a couple of fish down by the lake but returned empty handed in short order.   The rest of the evening was spent laughing and talking of the crazy things kids and their parents talk about when soaking in a hot tub on a lazy Saturday evening.

One Response to “Day 1 – Arkansas”

Vanessa wrote a comment on September 7, 2010

Awesome!!!! I love the view you guys had when you were at diner and that lake looks amazing!!!!