Chrissy and I took advantage of having 4 days off work over the Thanksgiving holiday to head up to Kentucky to do some prospecting for minerals that may be found in geodes and limestone vugs. Having been to the area many times, we planned to check out some of our familiar haunts and also to check out some other area road cuts that were knew to us. In my research of Kentucky geology and geography, I determined that there were many roads that appeared to cut through a limestone formation that is known to contain geodes and mineralized vugs.
On Thursday morning, we drove to Somerset and set up our Coleman pop-up camper at a nearby campground. We spent the remainder of that day prospecting the road cuts along the Cumberland Parkway, but didn't find much of anything worth keeping. There was one that contained lots of huge geodes, but it didn't take long to find out that they were pretty much all duds. Since it
gets dark early this time of year, we were back at camp by around 5:30 PM where we settled in for what would turn out to be a very frigid night. Our little heater ran overtime that night trying to keep up with the subfreezing temperature. It was a good thing that we had the foresight to bring our down comforter under which we stayed snug and warm. We made sure that Opal, who has her own bed in the camper, stayed warm by pointing the heater in her direction.
We got up on Friday before the sun rose to find an incredibly bright full moon sinking in the western sky.
Our plan for that day was to head north into Lincoln County to a familiar location. We discovered that US-27 was under construction, with the road being widened from a 2-lane to a 5-lane. New blasting, grading and other work was well under way for about 10 miles. As we were driving along the road construction zone, we spotted what appeared to be a couple monster geodes on the side of the road.
It couldn't have been more obvious that there were geodes there. We pulled off
to investigate large piles of dirt and rock that had been pushed up and also bedrock that had been stripped bare. Although there were many more geodes with some up to 4-feet in diameter, all that I busted open were filled with dirt and extremely unimpressive spheroidal quartz. While some may have liked these geodes, they were pretty much crapola to us having collecting much better ones elsewhere.
While we were checking out this location, we came upon an area where the gray limestone bedrock had been laid bare by blasting and heavy equipment. Amidst the loose rocks were the tell-tale signs of mineralization, with broken white quartz and calcite scattered on the ground. Upon further inspection of these rocks, we discovered that they contained an assortment of fine minerals, including quartz, calcite, pyrite, dolomite and sphalerite - Yahoooooo!!! We just happened to in the right place at the right time, as you will see in the following pictures!