In my last blog post, I told you about the conductor of the Nevada Northern Railway….showing off her Garnet!
She made it sound easy. “You should go to Garnet Hill.” “Just drive up there, and there’s tons of garnets on the ground, and you can take them.”
“Garnets?” I asked, wide-eyed heart beating with excitement!
“Yep,” she said. “Lying right there on the ground. You just pick ’em up to take home.”
Even the sign near the entrance to Garnet Hill in Ely, Nevada said you could just “(find) them lying on the ground.”
Well…this girl was lucky! You know my dad was a rock hound and so when this adventure was introduced…I felt like Elly from Up…Adventure is out there!
Along the way I know DH is being very supportive but skeptical! He had every right to feel that way…the road is dusty, twisty, and bounces the heck out of you to put it mildly!
Here is the best part…I said a little prayer! Please, make this happen for me. I would so love to feel my dad’s spirit guiding me along! Sure enough prayers answered. Almost to the top of the hill…2 trucks stopped in front of us…One going down hill the other going up! They seem to be having a conversation about directions…so out of the truck I jump. Walking bravely up to them I say, “It looks like you are giving directions for finding the garnet???” The very friendly gentleman driving up hill says, “Well….I have some very nice specimens in my truck…follow me to the parking lot and I’ll let you have a look.” Almost skipping back to our truck…I tell DH the sales pitch!
I now not only have ….A garnet from Garnet Fields
but….drum roll…..a mineral collections as well
Now that is what I call being able to rock hunt….like camping at the Hilton!
Paul also told me to find any garnets takes hours and hours which is something we just didn’t have…nor do we have the equipment to dig them from the ground!
Pictured below is a digging area….
And across the way to the south is this……..A baby Kennecott Copper Mine! Once even owned by Kennecott!
Garnet Hill gems are of the variety known as Almandine, named after Alabanda, an ancient town in Asia Minor. Almandine garnets are composed of iron-aluminum-silica-oxygen (chemical formula= Fe3Al2Si3O12), and vary from brownish-red to hyacinth-red in color. The dark color of these garnets is due their high iron content. Garnets from this locality also contain some manganese, which is the major element found in the Spessartine variety of garnets. Most of the garnets found in this area have natural flaws, although some perfect gem quality stones can be found. Flawed or not…I’m a happy rock hound!