NC trip 2005
June 2nd – We decided to leave in the evening for NC for Randy was too antsy to go. So at 8:30 PM we was all packed and was headed for Ky. This is the longest part of the drive. We took our time and got in to Henderson, KY around 8:00 AM. June 3rd. We stopped at the local restaurant for some coffee and grub. The waitress know us right away and asked how we were doing. At 9:00 AM we went to Sylvia’s house and took some things out that we needed. That evening sis made us supper and after we sat and talked.
June 4th – We got up around 8:00 AM and had breakfast and coffee. After we was done eating we went to the flea market to look for some things we wanted. After we left there we stopped in to Joe’s BBQ house for supper. After we got to Sylvia’s house we sat and watched some DVD’s.
June 5th – I was up at 6:00 Am and watched the news and seen WI was finally getting rain. We just relaxed for the day before our long drive to NC the next day.
June 6th – I woke up at 5:00 Am and started packing the van. At 6:00 AM Sylvia got up and we said our good byes and was on our way to Burnsville, NC. We had a good day traveling with out any rain till we got to NC. I think Mike Streeter put a hex on us that as soon as we hit the boarder it would rain. We stopped in to the Farmers Market for some things and got in to Burnsville, NC at 5:00 PM.
June 7th – We went to Smokey's for coffee and to talk to the locals. They all remembered us and greeted us back to NC. After Donna got done reading her E-mails we went to Gem Mountain to talk to Charles about getting in to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine. He didn’t give me a yes or no on it and said he has to talk to Frank first. Donna decided to do a bucket so we helped her then went to Wally World to shop. We had supper then played cards.
June 8th – We went to Smokey's for coffee and to talk to the locals. After I read my E-mails and Donna read hers we went to Best Buy to get her a new computer. I spent the rest of the day setting up her new Sony.
June 9th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. Then we went over to Gem Mountain to see what the word is on the Brushy Creek Mine. It is a no go so when I got home I called Tim to give him the bad news. Tim is going to call back later to decide where to dig tomorrow, either the Ray Mine or the Crab Tree Emerald Mine.
June 10th – I got up early and we went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. We took dad back to the house and we went on to meet up with Tim Baker at 9:30 AM at Gem Mountain. We talked to Charles for a bit then made our plans on what to hit today for digging. We decided to go to the Ray Mine and then try and find the other mine I was told about. We got to the Ray mine and right away we found a dead snake and then walked up to the cut and started looking for what ever we could find. It took me about 25 stops before I got up to the cut. I found a piece of Apatite and Black Tourmaline. I see a snake skin in the creek. It rained lightly till about 12:30 it started to thunder. So I headed back to the truck and by the time I got there Randy and Tim made it back there to.
We next headed for the Mine behind my sisters home but we couldn’t find it so that will have to wait till next time. So we decided to go to the Crabtree Emerald Mine. I took my shaker along to try out but the dirt was to wet. We found there pieces with Emeralds in it. It started to thunder so we packed up for Tim had to be home buy 6:00 PM. We got home by 4:20 PM. Man talk about sore, every mussel in my body hurts. Sis ordered out pizza tonight for supper.
June 11th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. We had to go to Asheville today to get one our tires fixed for we picked up a piece of metal in it. We got to Sams Club at 10:00 Am and the service man said it will be around 2 hours before our will be done. So we walked around the store and sat for a bit then walked some more and sat etc. Well it was done at 12:00 PM and when we got the paper work they gave us the wrong one. They gave us a copy of the order but when I checked for our original receipt it was not there. So I went back in to tell them and they looked and they looked but couldn’t find it. We were there 3 hours when they decided to call the Wausau WI store to have them fax a copy of it down to them. I asked to talk to the manager and he agreed there was no reason for the paper work to get lost. They told him they must have given our paper work to some other person so now they have or receipts and not theirs. The manager gave me a gift card worth $36.00 for our time being wasted having to wait. Low and behold we finally got out there around 4:00 PM and went to the Farmers Market for some fruit. Man what a day shot to H$!!.
June 12th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. We stopped in to Real Doc Gem Mine and did a bucket each. We got some real nice gems even thou most is cab grade and tumble grade (Tom would loves this stuff LOL). We went over to Wall Mart to get some chickens and other things. I made the drunken chicken for supper and man was that good. After supper I helped Donna do her refund slips for her computer then we played Pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 13th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. We took a ride over to Gem Mountain to see how the Saturday dig went. They found a lot of Golden Beryl, man I sure wish I could have made that trip. We went back home so I could call Tim baker and see what is in his plans for the week and to tell him we might be able to get in to the Brushy Creek Mine. After supper we played Pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 14th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. We took a ride over to Gem Mountain to see what Charles decided about letting us in. He was not there and Frank said that Charles didn’t talk to him yet about it. We went over to visit with Tara and her kids for awhile. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 15th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. Frank Howard was there so we talked to him for some time. Some other gentle men came over to talk to us to about the Crabtree Mine and they gave us some of the history on it. Like it goes down 560 feet, and they hit a spring at the bottom. And how Ted L. blasted out some of the columns that held up the roof of the mine. We took a ride over to Gem Mountain to see what Charles decided about letting us in. Donna wanted to do a bucket so we let her do one and we did one each all so. I did an Emerald one and found some nice ones. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 16th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. Around 1:00 PM we went over to visit with Frank Howard to talk about Gem cutting. I talked to him about my XS3 faceting head and we talked about cabbing. We left there at 5:00 PM to go to the store for some grub. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 17th – We got up and went to Gem Mountain to meet up with Tim Baker for a day in the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine owned by Charles of Gem Mountain. We left Gem Mountain for the mine around 9:30 Am. Frank was our tour guide or the day. I went in to the right and started looking but I didn’t see any sign of Beryl in the rocks so I made my way to the left and to the wall of the pit and low and behold there was my first piece of Aquamarine Beryl setting in the rock. I called Tim and Randy over so we all could work the spot. We got the first piece of Aquamarine out and low & behold there was another one right under it. We busted rock to get it out and we spotted another one under that one. Wha hoooo I yelled in excitement.
Before we could get that one out Tim decided that we should move some of the bigger rocks that lay next to it out of the way so we could work on the Beryl better. We spent a good two hours moving them rocks, man what a job it was. Well we got them moved and started to get some of the top rocks of so we had room to work on getting that Aquamarine out. While we were doing that Randy spotted his first piece. Then a second one but smaller. We started to work on the bigger Aquamarine first but we could not get the big rock to bust or even crack. Man it was stubborn.
So Tim told Randy to go ahead and work on the one he had found. Randy worked hard to try and get his rock to crack to but it was so hard also that he had to work closer to the Beryl. He finally got it out but it came out in two pieces. In the mean time Tim was getting frustrated with the other Aquamarine for we couldn’t make any head way on it either. So he decided to work closer to the Beryl to. Well after some time it was getting close for to leave so he worked harder to get it out. When it came out it was in pieces. At 3:00 PM we packed up and headed back to Gem Mountain. When we got back I let Tim pick the first piece being he worked the hardest. I got the next big one and Randy got the one he had found. We showed Charles and Frank our take and said our good bys and let knowing it was the last time we would see each other till we get down to NC again.
We got home around 4:20 PM and cleaned up to go out for supper for some great BBQ Ribs. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 18th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. I read my E-Mails and checked out Mcrocks message board to see what others had posted. After lunch we went to Asheville to the Farmers Market for some fruit and veggies. On the way home we ran in to a thunder storm. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 19th - We went to Smokey’s for coffee and to talk to the locals. Around 1:00 PM we went to Spruce Pine to see if Everett and his mom got in yet at the motel. They didn’t make it in yet so we went to Wally World to shop for some things we need. On the way home we stopped in to see if they got in yet but they didn’t get in yet so we went home. Tara and her family came over to visit with us. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night. Everett called me around 8:00 PM to say that he got in and we talked a bit about the Hawk Mine as to where it is at and how to get to it. We talked about where to meet Monday morning for going to Walker Creek. We decided to meet up at Smokey's for breakfast. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 20th - We went to Smokey’s for breakfast and to meet up with Everett and his mom. I showed him some of the Emeralds I found at the Crabtree Emerald Mine and the Ray Mine. Randy went with Everett to Walker Creek for I couldn’t go because I had to make some phone calls to WI that had to be done in the morning. Around 4:00 PM Everett and them came back from trying to get in to Walker Creek. They wanted me to show them how to get in to the Crabtree Emerald Mine. We got there and started to look right away. It started to thunder so Everett’s mom and I headed back to the car to wait it out. After the thunder stopped we went back out to see what Everett had found so. Will talking to Everett he handed a rock to his mom to have me look at it and wow he had a nice piece of Golden beryl or golden Apatite. The next rock he had me look at had small Emeralds in with another piece of the Beryl or Apatite. At 6:00 PM he decided to head back to the house to drop off Randy and me. We talked for a bit then they went back to there Motel. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 21st - We went to Smokey’s at 7:30 AM for breakfast and to meet up with Everett and his mom. We talked about what mine to go to and decided to go back to the Crabtree Emerald Mine. We got to the mine around 9:30 AM and started to dig. I went over to the other side of where the tracks are that go in to the mine. Everett’s mom found the first piece and it was a nice small Golden Beryl. Then Randy yelled out that he found a small Emerald. Everett went over behind the old boom truck to dig. I didn’t find anything where I was so I went behind the boom truck also. I dug for awhile but all I found was small black Tourmaline’s so I went behind the old tracks and dug for some time. I found an Emerald and some other small Back Tourmaline’s. Around noon I went to the van to see how dad was doing and had some cold water. I stayed there by dad and we talked about the history of the old mine and we even snoozed some LOL. Everett, his mom and Randy came back to the cars around 1:38 PM for Everett and his mom had to go to meet Mike Streeter at his home. So we talked about meeting at Smokey's in the morning around 9:00 AM. So we said are good byes and parted. We got home to Donna’s to find out that her daughter Tara was rushed to the hospital with a High fever and pain in the stomach. So we had to wait for a call from Tracey on what they found out about Tara. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 22nd - We went to Smokey’s at 7:30 AM for breakfast and to meet up with Everett and his mom. We talked about some local mines will Bill a local here. One was about the Ray Mine and the other one was about the Crabtree Mine. Everett said he is going to the Ray Mine today and Randy went along for I had other obligations that had to be done before tomorrow. I got an E-mail from Ken whom I had mat on my second trip I ever did to the Brushy Creek Aquamarine Mine back in 1997. He had asked me where in the mine I found the good Beryl’s, and that he is bringing his girl friend to the get together. After supper we played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 23rd – We got up early to go to Franklin, NC to meet up with Ed Dibble at the museum. We stopped in to the bakery in Waynesville on the way down for Ed would yell at me if I didn’t pick up some goodies for him. We got down to Mason Mountain Mine around 9:30 AM and did some buckets to pass the time away till we was to meet Ed. While we were there I talk to Tom Johnson the owner’s son for awhile. We got to the museum and had to wait for Ed. While talking to other members of his club we found out that Bruce was coming to the Mcrocks get together. Well Ed finally got there and we said our hellos and started to get caught up with what has happened with each other over the past year and about each others travel plans for this summer. Ed seen the donuts and said good you didn’t for get this time LOL. After two hours of talking Ed had to go so we all said our good byes and we left for Ashville to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack. I had the Crab Daddy’s Feast LOL yum yum. We got home around 7:30 PM. We played pinnacle the rest of the night.
June 24th - We went to Smokey’s at 7:30 AM for coffee. Randy wanted to go up to the Ray Mine so I dropped him off and I talked to Bessie Bennet for a bit. He said he was born in the house there in 1927. His first mining job was at the Catstail Mine when he was 17. He joined the Navy at 19 and was in for 3 years. When he came home he went back to the Catstail Mine to work. He worked in mines in three states. One was the Ray Mine. There are five shafts at the Ray Mine. His brother was killed in the Mase-Celo Mine when the air hose blow and knocked him off the cliff where he was drilling holes for the dynamite. I asked him if I could come back later to take some pictures of him and of the old pictures he has of the mines he worked at. I went back to Bascombe (Bessie) Bennet’s home to take pictures at 11:00 AM. We talked for a while about the old mines. We went next to see Celia, Everett’s mom and visited with her for about 1 ½ hours.
We went for coffee next at a BBQ joint then on to Bear Den Campground to meet up with Patty and Wayne. They had checked in so we went to their cabin but they where gone so we headed back to Burnsville. On the way down the Parkway we meet them coming back to camp so we turned around and meet them. We said our hellos and talked about the Chunky Gal and the old times. We talked for about an hour then left for home away from home.
June 25th – We got at up 7:00 AM and packed the chickens in the cooler and ice in the water cooler and headed for Smokey’s for coffee and then to the Bear Den Campground to meet Ron. On the way over there we stopped in to Gem Mountain so I could talk with Ken before he went to the Mine but Kay told me he had stopped in and said he wasn’t feeling well and canceled his mine trip. We got to the Bear Den a little after 9:00 AM. I stopped in to the office to see if anyone had checked in yet. The only one was Ken so far. So we went to see if Wayne & Patty was in there cabin but they where gone all ready. So we went to see Ken but he didn’t come back from Gem Mountain yet. We went to the group campground to see if any one was there yet and Wayne & Patty was sitting there walking around waiting for some one to show up. A little while latter Everett and his mom Celia showed up. About an hour later Mike & Chrissie Streeter showed up and said the Ron wasn’t going to be camping because his transmission went out in his truck. A little while latter Ron, Gary and his family showed up. So we started getting things set up for the cookout. We had to get the chicken marinated for a while before we was to cook them. I handed the chicken to Ron and he cut the bag off then cut the 7 chickens up that were to be BBQ. At 11:30 Ron put the charcoal in the big grill and lit it. At 12:00 non we put the chickens on the grill, 7 for BBQ and 3 drunken chickens. It took a little over two hours to cook it all including the 4 pork butts that Ron had smoked at home for this cookout. At around 3:00 PM we all said a prayer before we started to eat. Man was there the food here. We had Sweet potato pie, potato salad, coslaw, beans, BBQ chicken, Drunken chicken, Smoked pork butt, pickled beets and eggs, some other salads, Nanor pudding, muskmelon, watermelon and many deserts. Every one had put out there trade rocks and was trading. Cindy Maddox made home made ice cream that was great, one was vanilla and the other was a peach flavor. There was a lot of food left over and some people came in after we eat. We had around 29 folks show up and we all had a great time. Around 7:00 PM some of the people started to pack up and left. We got home around 8:45 PM.
June 26th - We went to Smokey’s at 8:30 AM for coffee. When we got back to the house I started to do some of my packing for our trip back home in WI. We took Donna to Wally World for some shopping then when we got back to the house we played cards.
June 27th - We went to Smokey’s at 8:00 AM for coffee. At 9:00 Am I went to the library so I could read my e-mails for my sister’s ISP is down. I got an E-Mail from Mike Streeter saying something weird is going on with my web site. So I checked it out after reading my e-mails and I see what he is saying. It looks like either some one hacked in to it again or the server is having trouble being they are in CA it went down on the 21st of June.
Today is a sad day for we have to pack up to head back home L tomorrow morning. At 11:00 AM we went to Gem Mountain to say good bye to our friends.
June 28th – We left North Carolina for KY at 7:00 AM. The ride was faster then the going to WI. We got in to KY at 3:00 PM.
June 29th – Went to the East Gate Café for coffee. Today was a day of rest.
June 30th - Went to the East Gate Café for coffee. We went back to the house and I read my E-mails.
July 1st - Went to the East Gate Café for coffee. We went to IN to the flee market to see what they had. I bought some peelers made of SST and two little light tables. On the way back in to KY we went to a old coal mine to see if we could find anything but they had finally reclaimed it.
July 2nd - Went to the East Gate Café for coffee. At 2:00 PM we went to Washington, IN to the Black Buggy an Amish Restaurant. I had the BBQ Ribs (yummy) I bought 5# to bring home. When we got home we started to pack up the van for the final leg home in WI.
July 3rd – We left KY at 6:15 AM for home. Man what a long drive that was. It took us 10 ½ hours to get home. The End.