South Dakota May 2017
We arrived in Kadoka, SD before dark and decided to run out to the weta beds, this was the first time I had been back in
maybe 8 years or so. When we came up to the silo, the road that once was, was no longer there. I was sure that I was in the right
place. We drove down a bit further on the frontage road and found an unmarked, grated gravel road. As we drove and looked
back toward the silo and, you could see where the old road was and had been eroded away. This new road met up with the old
road at the bottom of the hill.
A short drive out, and we were at the weta beds. The rock hills seem to be a little on the redder side than I remember, but the
hills still were covered in rock just as they were in the past. We walked around and began to get a little excited for our hunt
After breakfast, out to the beds. After a quick little lesson as what to look for, we gathered our nail bags, buckets, water and we
When I walked around the car, I noticed that I parked next to an ant hill. A very big ant hill. I had never seen one that big. (3
1/2"feet across, 3 feet high) My first thought, gotta get a baggy and collect some sand. I began scooping this very course sand at
the bottom of the hill. As I put the last scoop of sand in the baggie, a little pebble rolled out. I could see it was a small fairburn. So
leaving it where it landed, I called the girls over by me. I picked up a piece of quartz and chert, explained the difference, and
reminded them that you need to turn over the rock and spray, spray, spray. I stepped back, and it wasn't long when Lisa found
the fairburn. So excited for her, you should have seen her face...priceless!
I suggested we stay near and around the bottom of the hill longer and to always look under the cactus. It was at that moment,
I remembered a very dear friend, told me on my first time to the Weta Beds. "You should always look on top of the praire dog
hills and on top of ant hills because, sometimes you might just find a pretty little agate" and that we did. Soon Gloria found one,
and I also found one from the now little ant hill.
Not to worry, the ants will rebuild........Did I mention that they were red fire ants, and were about and inch long. They were not,
and I repeat not, happy with us!
We ventured out on the hills, and we were soon filling our buckets. In mid afternoon. I found a fairburn, left it where it laid, and
I ran back to the car to get my cell phone for a picture. The girls came over and I picked it up. This will be my 10th self collected
We had a tailgate lunch around noon, and then back out collecting. We were not on the hills alone today. There were 3 others
out. Believe it or not, they too were from Wisconsin. Monroe,WI club members http://www.badgerrockclub.org/and Freeport, Il
rock club members http://nwilrockclubfrpt.blogspot.com/ members. They went way back on the hills, collecting bigger pieces of
A super fun day, 75 sunny with a lite breeze. Couldn't have had a better day. Day 2, we will be collecting up at Railroad Buttes.
Between Wall and Rapid City.
Weta Beds. Outside of Kadoka, SD