Kentucky Geode Field Trip
September 2007
Report by Harry Polly
Pictures by Mike Streeter

Once again, the Catawba Valley Gem & Mineral Club made its annual trip to Kentucky over the Labor Day weekend to collect geodes.

We had arranged to meet at the Holiday Inn Express in Danville, Ky at 9:00 am each day, where most of the group was staying. Mike and Chrissy would be coming in later on Saturday and would meet up with us. We caravanned to our first collection spot. When we arrived, we were all in for a big surprise. The drought had taken a huge toll on the stream. Last year, the water was knee deep and about 10 feet across. This year, you could walk the streambed with hardly getting your feet wet. There were still lots of geodes to be gathered, but we had to walk upstream about a 100 yards to gather them. Most of these geodes contain quartz crystals, with a few amethyst, calcite, barite, and botryoidal chalcedony also. We stayed at this location until just after lunch, and then decided to join up with Mike and Chrissy.

We drove over to another local stream to meet them, but they had already come and gone. Cell phones have very poor reception around there. We decided to go ahead and collect what we could. After walking up the stream bed a couple of hundred yards, we found a good spot and found several good keepers. As I walked back to my vehicle, I saw 'ol whitetop standing on the bridge. Seems that he had lost his underwear!!, and had come back for it. We all had a good laugh over it. After cooling off, and loading up, we set a time to meet for supper at a local restaurant.

Sunday morning, we met in the parking lot and made our way over to our third collection spot. Jeff Deere met us on the way. This spot yields mostly botryoidal chalcedony, but there are some smoky quartz and citrine geodes there as well. This location had also been effected by the drought. The geodes were plentiful, but they had to be dug up out of the streambed. Everyone had a very productive day. Mike really likes this place because a lot of the geodes are monster size. He wants those that are bushel basket size.

After lunch, several of the group had to leave to go back home, but the rest drove over to another spot to collect geodes in limestone walls. These geodes there are small, most are baseball to softball size, but are beautiful containing amethyst, pink calcite and dolomite. We stayed here a couple of hours and then called it a day.


By the next morning, most everyone had left, but the few that were left decided to stop at a roadcut on the way out and collect pink calcite, white calcite, sphalerite and barite. These are also in a limestone matrix.


We worked on this wall for a little over an hour and called it quits. Time to head for home. I estimated that I had collected about 1200 pounds in the three days.

So many creeks, so little time . . .