Indiana Geode Field Trip
Harrodsburg and Salem, Indiana
By Jay Loch
This trip started off at 7 am in the parking lot where I work. I had just gotten off from my 12 hr shift at work and met with Jim D. from the Stark County Gem and Mineral Club. I am the field trip leader there and had scheduled am impromptu trip to the Harrodsburg and Salem area to collect mineral filled Geodes at roadcuts. We met up with Steve Garza at the roadcut around 1 pm. This roadcut is the most southern cut before Harrodsburg, on Rt 37.
Steve is a native to this region and does lead field trips for anybody that mite be interested( he recommends bringing lots of buckets to! ).
While Steve worked with Jim (his first time there) I started to scout out a good location. I settled on a spot about 20 yards north of Jim were there was a few large geodes already exposed that had Calcite, Dolomite, Quartz, and Barite xls in them. Somebody had already removed the loose rock from around them so I
started above them in what I thought was a more mineralized zone.
A short word here as to why I go there during early spring. With the freeze/thaw cycle over, the matrix is very loose and you can peel it back very easy. The main thing to watch for during this time of year is that there was enough of a thaw that any ledges that are going to drop, HAVE dropped. At the very northern
part of this cut a ledge had dropped, so it looked as if any other were going to drop they would have by now(hopefully....).
It didnt take long before I found a couple nice Geodes with a mixture of Quatrz, Dolomite, and Calcite.
Then I finally found what most collecters think of as the " Holy Grail " at this site! Millerite! I had just popped the top off of a Quartz xl lined geodes that had two strands of Millerite, both were close to two inches across and were attached to both sides and were parrellel to each other. I actually at first
thought I had found a very thin blade of Barite!
I called Steve over to see what he thought would be my best plan on trying to extract this lovely specimen, as it was solidly embedded in the limestone wall! Well, I did the best that I could but it ended up cracking and dropping both hairs to one side of the Geode, but still, I had found and collected my first
Millerite at Harrodsburg Indiana!
After that, I took a short break and started to look ALOT more closely at what was exposed close by. I found a 1/4 inch green spray imbebbed on the side of a solid nodule. I called Steve over and he verified that it was indeed Jamborite! Jamborite is altered Millerite, and it is very rare to find at this location! This made me very happy! So I then brushed off the loose material from the top of the nodule to see where to attack it from, when I dislodged the top off of a 1 inch hollow that had several xls of Millerite in it! I searched for awhile to find the top in the rubble pile but did'nt find it, bummer...I did manage to dislodge the nodule whole though!
I then scouted the area again and found another 1/4 inch spray of Jamborite on a small partial nodule. At this point I had put in two very satisfying hours of collecting. Since I could find nothing else already exposed, I started to peel the matrix from the area were I had already exposed some Millerite. I managed to find two more geodes with Millerite in them, as well as several whole ones to be worked more carefully at home! The largest of the Geodes even had Millerite growing in and thru a nailhead Calcite! I tried to get some pics of the Millerite in the Calcite but I doubt if it can be seen on the pics... Following are several pics of these........
These are pictures of the one that I partially sawed a line around at home, and then cracked open. It was the only one that was even hollow, but wow, what a hollow! It contained Quartz, Calcite, Dolomite, and Millerite crystals!
Jim did not find any Millerite but did manage to find Geodes with Quartz, Calcite, Dolomite, and Barite( that eluded me on this trip!) Steve also found these along with Millerites.
Jim, Steve and I then gorged at The Golden Corral! Steve was going to KY to collect the next day and Jim and I didnt feel like going that far so we bid adue to Steve for the rest of the trip.
So on Saturday we had breakfast, again at the Golden Corral, and then headed to Salem, IN to collect at a roadcut that I had previously collected at. The top of this roaddcut is sloped so you dont need to worry about anything dropping on you. Jim and I spent 3 hours collecting here. The main mineral found here are
frosted Calcite Geodes. I did manage to find one with Barite in it though!
The bottom of this rdct is a sheer 30 foot wall, and it was still dropping spalled pieces so I had to content myself with collecting pieces already dropped.
This area is known for its geodes that are lined with iron stained saddle Dolomite crystals that have sprinkles of Marcasite on them. Then on that are a type of Calcite crystal that Steve told me is called "Schullsberg Twinned" Calcites.
We left that rdct and searched a few creeks on the way home but found nothing in them. We got home around 7 pm, but what a busy 2 days we had!
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