A Vugaliscious Vacation with Geodes Galore
Lincoln Co., Kentucky - Monroe Co., Indiana
Hancock and Adams Co., Illinois - Clark Co., Missouri
Davidson Co., Tennessee
April 30 - May 8, 2005
By Mike Streeter

Have you ever felt like you needed to take a vacation after you got home from a vacation? That's sorta how Chrissy and I felt after we finally dragged our butts home from a 9-day rockhounding trip that took us through 7 States and nearly 2,000 miles. We often wonder what it would it be like to take "real" vacation where we'd lay on a beach or scream ourselves silly on a ride at Disney World? But, who are we kidding? We'd be bored stiff if we weren't able to collect something. The last time we were on a beach in Michigan, we spent the day snorkeling in the frigid water just off shore looking for Petoskey stones until we got hypothermia. But, I digress . . . let's get back to our latest "Vacation", shall we?

We hooked up the pop-up camper and hit the road bright and early Saturday April 30th on our way to the Harrodsburg area in Indiana where we planned to spend a couple days collecting geodes. Our ultimate plan was to hook up with some of the McRocks gang in the Keokuk, Iowa area to collect geodes there but that would have to wait until the middle of the week. On our way North in Kentucky, we stopped by a roadcut that Everett Harrington had clued us in about where he said that one could find pink dolomite and other minerals in vugs. Boy, was he right! We spent about three hours at this location and recovered some wonderful specimens as you can see in the following pictures.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge.

Click on each specimen picture to enlarge.

We camped that evening at the Hardin Ridge Campground on Monroe Lake in the Hoosier National Forest in southern Indiana. Mushroom and turkey hunting seasons were in full swing and the springtime weather was near perfect albeit somewhat cool at night. We were told that it had rained heavily in the days that preceded our arrival bringing out an explosion of flowers in the nearby pastures and fields. We talked to a mushroom hunter at the campground who told us that the conditions were nearly perfect for the edible fungus, especially for the much sought after morel. I fondly remembered my late father's yearly springtime ritual of hunting morel mushrooms in the forests of Northern Michigan. He'd bring bags of them home, fry them up in butter and pretty much stink up the house, but boy did it make him happy. But, I digress again . . .

We spent the next couple days collecting at various roadcuts that were mostly on Hwy-37 near Harrodsburg and Bloomington. I have found that the best way to recover geodes from the Indiana roadcuts is to locate a spot on the roadcut where geode halves and impressions are showing and peal away the limestone in large blocks or sheets, if possible. This can be very difficult, but the use of a good prybar really helps. Going after whole geodes sticking out of a wall would seem to some to be the best idea, but most often these are in incredibly hard rock and recovering them is generally much too difficult and time consuming - that's why these whole ones are still where they are. If you are in the right spot, you will find plenty of geodes hiding inside the limestone.

Report continued . . . . . . .

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