While the drive is doable in one day, it would be a tiresome day driving through the Ouachita and Boston mountains. We choose to split our driving days allowing us time to sight-see & shop.
We spent our first night in Fort Smith, AR. Did you know the only bordello/brothel listed on the National Registry of Historic Places is located in Fort Smith, AR? We didn't, now we do.
Miss Laura's Social Club
There's a lot of Fort Smith history in this bordello.
Later that evening we enjoyed dinner and live music. Marj was taking photos at dinner. It seems my eyes look mostly closed in photos... one of those awful pleasure of aging.
So, I shared how our youngest son as a little boy would do "Big Eyes". Here's my rendition of "Big Eyes".
Goofy, at least my eyes were widely opened for the photos.
And "Big Eyes" was before we drank one of these.
Day two, onward to diamond hunting!
It was an overcast day, the temp was light jacket weather and simply a beautiful day to spend outdoors. We spent the the whole day at the mine playing in the dirt (mud) and rocks looking for diamonds and other gemstones. It had rained the two days before our arrival which is supposed to be good for walking and looking for surface diamonds. We also did dry-sifting and wet-sifting. Originally I thought I would enjoy wet-sifting the most, but learned I prefer dry-sifting the best. None of us found diamonds here. We did find lots of Jasper and Agate. It looks like a box of rocks, which it is, but these rocks are Agate, Jasper and Volcanic Tuff.
The mine is surrounded by the beautiful Ouachita State Park. The mine area is several acres of exposed dirt, the results of a once volcanic crater. This is the restored mine shaft that was once privately mined for diamonds. The state of Arkansas bought it and it is now available to the public.
It was a great day for mediation, playing in the dirt and most of all, sharing it with friends. Day three our adventure took us to the Wegner's Quartz mine. It rained hard over night, the mine trailings and mountain digging sites were too muddy to enjoy. Nonetheless, Wegner Quartz Mine had a lot to offer.
Tables and tables of quartz in all sizes along with chucks of colored glass.
Wegner also offers museum gemstone beauties as well as being a gemstone retailer.
Can you image cracking open this incredible Amethyst geode?
Citrine, Quartz and Gail beauties!
We bought bags of dirt seeded with diamonds or gemstones. Here we are in the Wegner discovery room where you sift through your bags to find your guaranteed treasures. The seeded gemstone bags guarantee around 15 gemstones. The diamond seeded bags may have one or several diamonds in them.
Here is my bag and light board. Notice the small plastic box in the bottom right-hand corner... see the two circles of light? That is the light from the light board shining up through my two diamonds!
They are smaller than they appear in this photo, but here are my two uncut, raw diamonds
One appears to be clear and the other chocolate, Yum! We came home via Branson, MO...lots of shopping and finally on our way home, stopping to eat lunch at Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, MO.
Girlfriends are the best diamonds...rare, strong & beautiful!