Saturday, October 25, 2008

Final Vacation Post - Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas

I didn't take my camera into the park so any photos are borrowed from online sources. The final adventure of our vacation last week was a trip to an actual diamond mine. In fact, the only one in the United States! The special part is that this tract of land belongs to the state of Arkansas and is open to the public for prospecting as opposed to leasing out to commercial entities.

I've always heard that it's easier to find these gems after a rain because the rain washes the dirt off so I was excited when we sat on our Murfreesboro inn porch reading in comfy rockers and watching it rain the day before we went to the mine. What we didn't know is that the "dirt" is actually clay and a day of heavy rain makes for a slippery mess.

If you can stay upright the clay actually builds on your shoes and they get heavier and heavier and began to resemble the feet of that man known as the tree man. For some unknown reason I cannot get that guy off my mind since seeing him on TV a month ago. Anyway, sometimes the muck would take your entire boot, shoe, and sock right off your foot when you tried to walk. We found lots of nice stones but no diamonds. The day we were there they only found 2 diamonds but I'm thinking that was due to the difficulty in working in the sticky mud.

The park is nice with other things to do so it looks like a good family vacation to me - in the dry season! There is a small water park, wildlife viewing, nearby lakes and fishing. The quaint little downtown has nice shops and antiquing. There was also a great BBQ trailer called "May's" with real down-home type BBQ served on "lite" bread.


Julie said...

OMG...everything I love all in one place!!! Rocking chairs on a wide porch, BBQ, nature, antiques...Ahhhhhhhh, to be there must have been like a dream come true!!!

tina said...

This is so interesting. I did not know America even had a diamond mine. Too bad you didn't find one of the two. That would be way cool. What a nice vacation you had. Hope you get well soon.

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