Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A few days in Arkansas--Day Two

The motel did not offer much of a free breakfast, so we had a couple of their snack cakes and a couple of bananas we brought from home. We packed up our stuff and headed to Hot Springs.

We did not find the motel we had coupons for, but we found a place with a name that we recognized and is usually okay but a little less money than Days Inn or Super 8 and places like that where we usually stay. Fifty dollars got us a room that we liked well enough, but no free breakfast, and the pool was being repaired. Never mind, we didn't come here to swim anyway.

So we headed to Mount Ida and stopped for lunch. My husband had meatloaf and I had a chili dog. Chili dogs are not health food, so I had a side of yellow squash. Probably still not health food with that much butter on it, but it was good. Then we split a piece of peanut butter pie for dessert, and my husband took pictures of everything with his new camera.

I should have had something with BBQ sauce, so I would have known whether I should buy some of the sauce to take home. It had the funniest label. Stuff about possum and roadkill and such. I probably should have bought a bottle for my brother, but I didn't think about it in time.

We left, and my husband left his nice new camera at the table. Lucky for us that we had a nice waitress who ran outside to catch us before we drove away.

About three miles away was the quartz crystal place. It was easy enough to get to, and they had signs though not really big ones. That was a major concern this trip, because we had an almost new van instead of an old pickup truck. The place we went to owned two mine sites, but we didn't go to either of those. A trip to an actual working mine site costs about twenty-five dollars per person with a minimum of ten people, or a smaller group willing to spend two hundred fifty dollars. We were only two people, and we didn't bother asking if there were eight other people who wanted to go to the mine with us. Besides, we weren't sure about road conditions to the mine sites or if we were even supposed to take our own cars or what. We just went to what was called the tailing area, which has some dirt brought from the mine area and probably had most of the good stuff taken out already.

Compared to the active mine we went to on an earlier trip, this was a bit of a disappointment. But we spent a couple of hours there anyway, just in case. I brought a lot of stuff home, but I haven't cleaned all of it yet so I might still find something. I have a bunch of just rocks, some quartz that isn't clear, a bit of clear crystal that's in broken pieces, maybe a few nice points that are small, and no nice clusters to speak of. And a lot of dirt. Maybe three or four buckets of dirt. I'd hoped that I'd get some clay from this trip, but I think most of this is sand. I'm trying not to be disappointed about that. If it is just sand I'll use it in the garden. I think a lot of this is going to end up in the garden anyway.

When we were at the diamond mine the plastic handle broke off of my bucket, which made carrying it go from really uncomfortable to almost intolerable. Right before we went to the crystal place I stopped at a dollar store, wanting to buy a sponge or something that would make carrying the bucket more comfortable. When I was explained this plan to my husband he went and bought the sponges as well as some washcloths and twine, and then he made a couple of really nice comfortable handles. And he was ready to quit about an hour before I was, but he waited for me while I went out and got a second and third bucket full of broken crystals and dirt.

On the way back we stopped at the rock shop and bought a couple of really nice pieces. Then the sales lady said that there was a minimum on credit card purchases, and I bought a couple more things that were not from that area. And then I bought a pound of acid so if I did find something nice I could clean it properly. I'd like to clean the stuff from the earlier trip, but that was several years ago, and I don't know where the stuff is. I'm not even sure if we packed it when we moved.

Then we stopped for ice cream before driving back to Hot Springs. We were tired and just ate stuff in our room again. It was a nicer room than the one near the diamond mine, but I was starting to regret that we didn't get a motel with a pool. I read a book for a little while and went to sleep. For some reason I didn't get as much sleep in the nicer room as I did on the smaller bed the night before.

1 comment:

Babybull40 said...

Sounds as if it was an alright trip.. You got to do something that most people wouldn't think of doing.I've been to see the mineing operation in Sudbury Ontario and it was interesting and very longwinded tour of about 20 plus people.. you ride down in this elevator and watch a video and then continue down to the bottom and put on hard hats and then a tour guide tries to involve you in the process of mining... it damp, dark and humid... But it was a learning experience..