States visited: 49!

visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800

Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Crater of Diamonds State Park: Wednesday, February 3rd

It had been our original intention to go the Crater of Diamonds State Park on Sunday but we couldn’t face another long day, so we took a field trip day in the middle of the week instead.

Crater of Diamonds was further north in Arkansas. To get there, we drove through Hope – the birthplace of President Bill Clinton. We also drove past a FEMA center, as we rounded the bend, all we could see were fields upon fields filled with trailers, it was bizarre! We stopped on the return journey to ask the security guard if he knew how many there were (this is where the English accent helps, what other weirdos would stop to ask these kinds of things?!). We figured there had to be 40 or 50 thousand. He said he wasn’t too sure but 15,000 had just been sold and were awaiting collection – FEMA realized that perhaps they had too many! He told us that this site was the holding point for trailers distributed immediately after Hurricane Katrina, once they were no longer needed, it changed to the storage point! We were in awe, it was quite a sight.

On arrival at the Crater of Diamonds, we watched a short dvd letting us know how best to search for diamonds. It was quite cold and the mud in the fields was damp and very sticky. It had just been plowed and we were told the best way to hunt, for a novice, was simply to walk up and down the furrows to see if we could spot anything – a daunting task indeed. Sadly we were unsuccessful in our first attempt as diamond prospectors, however we had a fun day and found a lot of jasper and a couple of pieces of quartz.

We read about a number of people who spent day after day there, particularly after retirement. They are serious and know the best ways to search and find, many dig 3-5 feet down and sift through the mud to find their gems. I’m afraid I wouldn’t have the dedication to spend hours knee-deep in mud in hopes of finding something. The kids probably would have liked digging in the mud though, their clothes were coated, Caitlin lost her shoe at one point, like I said: it was sticky!

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