|South Dakota Agate Collecting May 2009
Well another year has come and gone, and what fun we had!
This year we had 12 club members head out west for our annual rock collecting field trip to
South Dakota. We would start our week with the Fairburn rock swap in Rapid Ciyt, then
collecting in the Grassland, and then onto the Black Hills for TeePee Canyon Agate. However
this year would be a very different one for me.
I would normally be a tag along grateful to be a sponge (input) like #9 in Short Circuit, and
would be hangin' with the 3 D's and company (Doug, Don, and Dave.) They knew what they
were doing, and knew where they were going. They were what I call seasoned collectors. They
have been rockhounds for many, many years, and have been collecting in South Dakota many
times leading the pack with us newbee's sort a speak. I would ride to South Dakota with Dave,
or Dave would ride with me, and I played follow the leaders. Dave and I never ran out of
things to talk about, and the 11 hour drive just flew by.
This year 2 D's (Doug and Don), would not be able to make the trip out to South Dakota
because of prior commitments. So it was only going to be Dave and I taking new club members
out for the first time. This would be Dave's gazillion, and my 5th year out. So needless to say,
I was excite.
Dave has been a rockhound for most of his life, and is a retire engineer for Bowing. But just a
few days before our departure out west, my best friend Dave had a myocardial infarction.
Not to worry, he's fine now, but he scared the crap out of all of us!!! With the divine
intervention from the good man upstairs, Judy's (Dave's wife) quick thinking, he is still with
us, and almost as good as new, with an occasionally nap.
As for me, I quickly realized that I was going to be the only club member going that has been
collecting in South Dakota, and knows how to get to all our favorite collecting sites (At least I
hoped I could!)
Just a little bit of pressure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now on with our journey~
We are on the road by 8am. Cindy and Sue was riding with Ted and I, and we were to miles
before Babcock, (we were no more than 40 miles from home) a roaring tire made a loud
ca-boom! Thank goodness Ted was paying attention as the steering wheel wanted to go kiddie
wam-pus, not to mention we were going about 65 mph. With quick thinking and a heavy foot
on the brake, we came to a screeming halt! O My Goodness, was my first thought. Not!
We pulled into Wall about 10 pm., and did a head count. We were the last rockhounds to arrive.
The plan was to go to the Fairburn rock swap on Saturday after breakfast. Then head out to
Quinn after lunch.
This is not the kind of delay that I would have expected. About a month ago, concerned that the
tires on the truck was a bit warn. Ted took the truck down and had 4 new tires put on so I
wouldn't have any problems on our yearly trek out west. After all, I had put 100,000.00 + miles
on the truck in the last 3 years. This gives a new meaning to being prepared. Ted had the tire
changed in about 10 mins., and we were again on our way. We did make a detour thru
Winona, MN to get a replacement tire at Fleet Farm. So in a couple extra hours we had a spare
and was back on the road.
|Ted changing the tired tire.
May 16th, Saturday
Up and at em', and to the rock swap by 9 am., thanks to the GPS my son got me for Mothers Day.
A cool neat toy!
We met up with Roger Clark. He had drove out Thursday alone. Mary Jane had back surgery on
Wednesday and wasn't able to travel. This week was the debut of his new Fairburn Agate book,
the new and enhanced as he called it.
I also ran into Glen and he invited us out to his place later this evening. There were many
vendors and the Fairburns were amazing. I went to the truck and grabbed the camera to
snapped a few photo's.
|Woo I don't like that one
I was about noon and we wanted to get some collecting in today in the Quinn area. So after a
couple hours, we gathered up the troops. As we headed back to our vehicles, there was a couple
standing by my truck. They were hoping that they would run into our group at the rock swap.
Terri and Bill were from LaCross, WI. and they had googled TeePee Canyon Agate a couple
months back and our website came up. Terri said,"They alone had added about 50+ hits to the
counter on the website. She said, they had paged thru the stories and club news a number of
times, and knew we would be out at the rock swap this particular Saturday. Terri figured if
they hung around the vehicles with Wisconsin licence plates long enough, there was a good
chance they would run into us. Well they did, and we stood around and gabbed awhile. They
were hoping they could tag along with us to the hills in hopes to collect some TeePee Canyon
Agate. I told Bill and Terri we planed to be in the hill's Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday
and no we didn't mind them tagging along. So we exchanged our cell numbers and Terri would
give a call Monday evening as to were they would meet us. So that was pretty way cool.
Anywho! .......Feeling very confident that I knew where I was going, we headed to Quinn. Once
thru Quinn, I began looking for the little dirt road out to the site. Making a right turn heading
south, a few miles down I ran into Hwy 90. Well, I didn't remember passing Hwy 90 the last
time I was on this road. So I kept going, knowing I was to far. Finally with a train of cars
following me around like I knew where I was going? I turned around and proceeded to going up
and down that road a few more times. Consulting my grassland map and conversing with Ken
on where I thought I was. I gave up and I pulled in the grassland area just north of Hwy 90 by
some bluffs. Apologizing profusely for not getting us to the correct Quinn and feeling not to
much like a leader, I proceeded to explain what type of material you might find in the area.
Everyone gathered up there spray bottles and buckets and head out down to the bluffs. Still
confused to my where abouts, I was frustrated that we were at the fake Quinn, but none of my
tribe really cared, they were just happy to be collecting.
I gathered my walking stick and spray bottle and headed down the bluffs too. Ted Lyons one of
our new club members, brought a few pieces of jasper and prairie agate over for me to take a
look see. Jane came over as well. While explaining to Jane what to look for, I picked up a piece
of jasper by my foot to give her a visual. As I rubbed off the silt, Jane and I realized at the same
time it was a Fairburn, and a pretty little one at that. I gave Ted a hard time cause he walked
right by it.
Just about 10 minutes later, Cindy has a pretty. I was also a Fairburn! So I decided this wasn't
a bad site after all. So problem solved !
|Sandy and Cindy's Fairburns
|A few things that I
picked up. Notice the
little bubble gum on
the left of the Fairburn
|Jane's pretty little Jasper
|My husband Ted's
|See that same little bubble gum
that was next to my Fairburn,
Cindy found one too!
We named these two,
Little Boobs and Big Butt
We called it day about 5 pm. Everyone had found a few rocks they couldn't live with out. So
we headed back to Wall to get a bite to eat at the Red Rock Cafe, and then over to Glen and
Marti's house at 7.
Glen had found 4 unbelievable Fairburns in Wall last fall. He had had shoulder surgery and
wasn't able to hunt most of last summer. So when some local retailers had rock brought in for
landscaping he took his rollie chair down town Wall and went Fairburn hunting. Man they
are awesome! They are as big as a baseball!
|Some of Glen's big bubble gums
|A few pictures of
Glen's 4 he found
Which way do I go!