Quartz Dig
Manchester, Vermont
September 22, 2004
By Tom Kuzia

This past Wednesday (9/22/04) afternoon I was down in my rock shop playing with my rocks.It was around 6:00 or 6:30 pm when my wife Nancy told me we were leaving for VT ASAP!!I didn't have time to do any research on collecting in VT but figured i'd wing it.

I grabbed my collecting tools,a couple buckets,enough underware and sox for a few days,my toilet kit and from start to finish we were in my pickup in 20 minuets flat!
I had to stop for gas and then we were off to VT.

We got on State Rt 8 north to Waterbury CT and then I 84 west to Hartford Ct where we picked up I 91 north which took us to Bratleboro VT. We got off I 91 and headed to our original destination which was to East Townsend VT to see our friends Jay and Ginny Miliken.

Jay and Ginny weren't at home, which we thought might be the case, so we headed north to Manchester where we got a room at around 9 pm.

I was still in my old torn jeans and sweaty tee shirt from our rapid departure so I took a shower,changed my close and we went out to eat.

The next morning we got up and went to the center of Manchester and all of it's quaint little shops (tourist traps).After a good bit of "shopping" we made one last stop at a book store for Nancy's final attempt at boosting the economy!While we were there I thought I might as well see if there were any books on VT collecting.I asked the attendant who was more then happy to help me spend a tad over $40.00 on books and maps of VT and the local area!!

As he was ringing me out he asked if I was serious about doing some local collecting.I of course said yes.With that he told me that right up the road about 3 miles there was a very good collecting site which held some exceptional quartz specimens!

Did you notice he didn't tell me about the collecting site until after he had my money??

We headed up State Rt 7 for about 3 miles and sure enough there was a site that had been visited recently by other rockhounds.It was on the right side of the road and could be seen with ease from the road.

Looking north on State Rt 7

The collecting site. Note the tailings from eager rockhounds.

I couldn't wait to get my hands dirty so I grabbed my tools and a flash light and headed for the "hole" in the side of the ledge.

The entrance.

I crawled in and went right to work.

I was lucky because as soon as I started to dig and pry I found a pocket that someone had started to open and had tried to hide it with debris for another day!

Water was dripping right on my head and back and was getting the best of me but I kept right on working!After about 2 hrs I had dug quite a way down following the pocket and it seemed that the longer I dug and chiseled the faster I went!!I was getting VERY excited to say the least and the water dripping that had bothered me so much 2 hrs ago now felt pretty darn good!!

I kept working the pocket for about another 1/2 hr but still hadn't seen even a sign of a crystal!! Between the sweat and dripping water I was soaked and entirely out of gas!!

Note the real dark area at about 8 o'clock in the above photo. That was as far as I worked the pocket and was about 5 - 5-1/2 feet from the front wall where I had started to dig!!

The pocket I had worked so hard to open had yielded absolutely nothing.I was very tired and mostly disappointed that even hear I couldn't find my first ever quartz crystal!!

I crawled out and joined Nancy who was collecting clear quartz for tumbling.

I'm not sure of what these wild flowers are called but they were very pretty.

This collecting site is not in any book. It's strictly a "word of mouth" location.

The rest of our trip didn't involve collecting so I'll end the report here except for the photo's that follow.

We ended up with some very nice clear and white quartz tumbling rough.

Some of the shards I found.

This is one of the bigger pieces I found.

One of the clearer shards

More big shards. Note the clear shard in the photo.

A close-up of a clear shard.

I didn't hit the "Mother Lode" at the road cut in Manchester but Nancy and I had a real good time and that's all that really counts.