Blue Ridge Baby

Gentle Readers, I great you at 4 ‘o’ something in the morning with a brave heart and excited tidings.  I normally wouldn’t be awake at this time but our pup had a bone treat and that means a wee bit of the ‘squirts’.  She was trained fantastically to alert us to potty moments and it was my turn this morning and now I am awake.  The morning birds have started their song heralding a new day:  the grass is dew-soaked and the lights from the nearby community college made a giant nimbus of yellow light in the morning mist.

My excitement comes from having gone on my vacation to The Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of the jeweled city. Asheville.  The club I belong to is MAGMA and still to this day they are an exceptional family of rock hounds and mineral collectors.  As usual my tent was pitched next to RB and his wife C and my dearest friend and adopted aunt, Pat.  One member is truly an unsung and gentle hero who brought his giant  rock saw for our club’s Kentucky Geodes.  That saw ran all week thanks to the watchful volunteering of some members!  All we had to do was line up our stones in order and they would be sliced open or slabbed to request.  It was like a jewel box being opened every half hour or 45 minutes as another breath taking wonder was pulled out.  We even had the marvelous Kay cooking her heart out in the camp kitchen for our dinner.  At five dollars a plate to recoup her grocery costs, the plates were mounded with delicious hot food.  Yours truly baked three cakes to accompany the start of the week and once people learned my golden rule, ‘the uglier it is the better it tastes’, the cake flew off the serving plate.  We had new vendors who were enthusiastic collectors, jewelry makers, and crystal experts.  Uncle Bob’s Rock Cave was there and I was thrilled to finally meet someone that I only knew as an internet pen pall on Face Book.  A fabulous metaphysical merchant had his wares and I watched during the heat of an Appalachian afternoon as he prepared mailing envelopes by the dozen for his Etsy shop.  Die hard diggers turned up with beryl from the Crabtree Mine, thulite and garnet from the Sink Hole Mine, garnets and tremolite/actinolite from the LittlePine Garnet Mine, and of course mineral deposits from the ever surprising road cut for a new highway.  Just being able to visit and talk with fellow enthusiasts who did NOT ignore me for being a woman was thrilling.  A sad truth inline is we all age out and the Saturday Feast was followed by a heart felt toast to fallen member, John D.  I teared up then and am tearing up now.  He was a founding member, a rogue, a veteran rock hound, and above all else well loved by everyone.  For myself who still has the health of a migraine sufferer it was Wonderfull to stay at camp and see the treasures as people came in with their buckets.  Kay even spent a few outings at the abundant thrift stores of Asheville and is a shopping diva; her finds being as wonderful as the rocks found.  One member who I will label S, had been digging in Peru  for 6 months and had thin slices of Peruvian agate that knocked my socks off.  And my wallet even opened for a few slabs, and we all know how terribly thrifty I can be.  Our die hard and veteran leader Rick brought out some stunning pieces the first night and after ten minutes it looked like piranha with dollar bills around him.  I picked up two matching cuts of petrified palm from Camden NC and will somehow find shelf space to proudly display their beauty.  Luther is a quiet and unassuming man but his vending items covered several tables and were as stunning and fun as usual.  Bradley Prospecting showed up and had geodes cut, plates of fossils to sell, and crystals from across the South East and areas between:  only a true lover of this earth could have had such an inventory.

And, well, it also rained every evening four five days straight.  It was that glorious mountain rain shower that creeped in with dark grey clouds then left in the early night to a starry sky and near full moon.  When the moon was full and round dearest TL made a fire and proved once again that he is a modern alchemist and created magic moments for some of us until two in the morning.  Truth be told we are not all young anymore so there were long faces the next morning but the crackling fire and wonderful company was well worth it.  I got to pet and adore some of the best behaved dogs even when some turned into overly playful puppies.  One of our vendors brought a friend who is a massage therapist and she charged a dollar a minute:  I paid for two during the week and am indebted to her for deciding to set up her table in a side room.  Part of Friday and all of Saturday was dry and the Southern heat beat down on us, which was a sweaty day for the diggers but did dry out some of the mud.  Lucky me my tent stayed dry through out although I am now packing an air mattress.  I gladly say goodby to sleeping on a thin foam mat and my sleeping bag: migraines require pampering; and I was well taken care of by members:  A piece of decadent and adorable birthday cake was even held aside for me.  God bless you all for the love.

My Dearly Beloved was my unsung hero because he drove me up and then returned to come get me.  While I would liked to have stayed far longer the Boy Scouts need their camp back.  So a most loving thank you to my husband who made this trip possible.

I wil also sing the praises of Motel 6, inexpensive but clean and at the perfect juncture in the road home:  You have my business now.  And an eternal Thank You to Bob for telling me about the Newport exit!  Darlin’ you really saved us money and time.

Blatant Promoting of Great People

Levi: Metaphysical and healing stones, artist/wire wrap, stones, tektites

Beth Huntzinger: Massages therapy and Reiki

Carol and Mark: Driftwood Silver and Stones,  Silver Smiths and Gems

Bob: Robert Jordan Photography,  Photography and crystals/stones

Bob (the other Bob): Uncle Bob’s Cave, Barnyard Flea Market in Greer, SC (worth the visit!);  Crystals, wire wrap, geodes, stones, slabs, geodes, Amethyst

Tony: Bradley Prospecting,  Also on FB.  Crystals, stones, minerals, geodes, collections

Rick:,; bone   Author, salvage/restoration, diving, fossils, stone, crystal, private collections

There are many more fine and fantastic people who vend at MAGMA events and shows.  This is one of the finest group of ‘extended family’ anyone could ask for.  I certainly hope that my Gentle Readers have gotten the same ‘warm fuzzies’ from this post as I got seeing my friends and soaking up the stones for a week.

May the Late Summer Sun warm you, the cool breezes bless you, and the path before you always have green grass and clear water,

Be Well.

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