It was Saturday May 2nd. I had a decision to make. My brother and longtime rock hounding partner John and his son Joe had a lot of work to do, they would be busy all day. To make matters worse, Jordan my daughter and other long time rock hounding partner had nursing finals the following week, there was no way she could get out. I was itching to get out as I had been cooped up in the house for longer than I could remember. I had never gone rock hounding outside of my hometown by myself before. I packed my bags the night before to help make my decision easier. I woke up, made three scrambled eggs, and got in my car to make the two-hour trip to Moat Mountain. I was nervous and excited. Thinking back to a warm sunny day when I had made my most incredible find in the Uncanoonuc Mountains in Goffstown. A beautiful aquamarine crystal perched on a wonderful matrix of Smokey quartz and white feldspar. As I drove, I thought about the amazing feeling I had experienced when I found that piece. I also remembered the feeling that I wanted to share this incredible specimen with someone, but, I was rock hounding by myself. Even though showing the piece afterwards was exciting and satisfying watching the joy on faces, it just is not the same when you experience it together on the mountain.
As I approached the mountain area there was a sign that read “road closed ahead”. I decided it was a suggestion and drove past the cones and sign. A few hundred yards ahead there were five cones blocking the road, I stopped the car. I drove back to the first sign and turned off the car. The hike from here could be more than four miles to the dig site. I had four bottles of water, and I drank a full Nalgene bottle on the drive up. Decisions, decisions, decisions. I called brother John, no answer. Well, I decided I made the two-hour drive, at the very least I could get some fresh air and exercise. I hiked a little over a mile when I came upon a section of the road that was washed out. A grey truck pulled up to the broken rode. “How long is the road going to be down?” A nice man yelled to me. I laughed a little and said “I don’t know. I am going rock hounding; how did you get here?” He gave me directions and I got really excited. I hiked back to my car with a jump in my step and drove to the gate. The gate was closed, but, a little over two miles, is much better than four. I guess I was going to make it up there after all.
I arrived at the dig site around lunch time. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and I heard a familiar sound. The sound of metal on metal as it worked its way through good old New Hampshire granite. Well, I wasn’t going to be alone today after all. I yelled hello, and a friendly face popped out of a whole in the ground. It is always nice to meet a fellow rock hound especially a friendly one. Sam and I talked for a while and then we gave each other the universal look that it was time to start digging again. After I ate lunch I found my face buried in some mud for about an hour when I brushed past a familiar shape, microcline. I donned my headlamp and a huge smile came across my face. Amazonite!!
My heart started pounding as I brushed more mud and dirt away. I had two bottles of water left and one of them was going to be used to help clean and see what I had found. After about a half hour, I was ecstatic that I had a few nice specimens and one really cute plate. I went over to Sam and said, “Do you like Amazonite?” He asked what I had and he smiled. He then showed me some beautiful matrix pieces of Smokey Quartz and some sizable Amazonite of his own.
Sam Guyer’s - Smokey Quartz Crystal’s
He had gotten into a pretty nice seam. I laughed, the pieces I had found were small compared to what he was showing me. I am a real sucker for the small stuff though. We talked for a while, it sure was nice to share and talk about our finds. We decided when the day got on that we would walk back to the area where we had parked our cars. I packed my bag, it was full of specimens and was much heavier than when I had started the day. I drank down my last water and we headed out. Sam and I had great conversation on the way back and the trip back seemed like half the time it took to get to the dig site. I decided as I drove home I would probably get out there again soon. Nothing beats a great day of digging.
Small Amazonite Plate