Faye and I did decide to go to the DMC dig hosted by the KYANA Geological Society of Louisville, KY. It was a good decision. The day was beautiful. Temperatures reach the low eighties by the afternoon, but then we were out of the quarry by noon and breezes persisted all day.
Surprisingly there were only a dozen of us guests. Familiar faces included Georgia Mineral Society field trip leader George Libby and Daniel Miller, president and field trip leader of KGEMS of Knoxville, TN. There were four KYANA hosts, including David Horn and Alan Goldstein. The remaining membership had been asked not to attend but to wait until the following weekend. How’s that for graciousness? Elbow room was not a problem. We felt even more privileged when we learned that the quarry had been closed from 1999 until this last year, when the new owners again opened the quarry to clubs.
Our group made three stops and accessed four levels in the three hours we were in the limestone quarry.
It was apparent at the first stop that the pink dolomite was going to be plentiful. Crawling over the rubble, we spotted and claimed material without much effort. Often pieces could be found lying loose so it wasn’t even necessary to pop the crystal plates off the host rock.
The second stop gave us the opportunity to sort through the remnants of a cave that excavation had uncovered. Several nice formation pieces and plates were found that had survived relatively undamaged. At this level, I also found some chunks of fairly clear calcite that appeared to be fragments of large nodules.
The final stop put us at the lowest levels. We had the choice of pursuing more dolomite-lined vugs, or fluorescent calcite and possible fluorite micro-mounts. We chose to glut ourselves on the dolomite. I’m not sure any fluorite was found, but did see some dark smoky looking dogtooth calcite crystals (1/4”) that were the fluorescent material to be found at that level. Our efforts proved frustrating only in that time was limited. Dolomite lined vugs literally were end to end in a three-foot band about shoulder high from atop the rubble all along the wall face. Chunks of the rock could be pried out from the wall without difficulty. This effort was a bit scary as each rock seemed keyed to next and there seemed always the possibility that more rock might be removed than you’d counted on…maybe all the way up the 40-50 foot high wall. Some vugs were large as your face and lined with sparkling dolomite and accented with creamy calcite crystals.
We only had about 45 minutes left so it was a bit of a scramble, but with Alan Goldstein’s help we managed to collect more than in all the time before.
By the time we got these loaded everyone was gathering up to leave.
We all had lunch at a near by restaurant and swapped tales and took directions to other sites in the area. After lunch we traveled further west on I-64 to the road cut where the remaining day was to be spent collecting fossils. We spent a brief time with the group here, but not being into fossils that much we left and drove to a road cut out of Salem, IN. Here we looked for geodes containing calcite crystals. Most of what we found were solid, but saw enough to convince us there could be some good finds if you hit it right.
The following pictures were taken of some of the material from the Corydon Quarry.
Thanks to all of you who responded to my questions about Corydon and for encouraging us to go.
We hope to get the opportunity again.