I have been lost for some time now, but it’s only now that I’ll admit it.
I went to look for crystals. It’s not a secret place by any means. It's listed on maps, on line, and in all the rock hound and local geology books. Usually there are other cars at the trail head, but this day, I was alone.
The rocks here are very special. theses appeared by my feet - often separated from the rock by erosion (or by digging) - then floated up through the soil by water. It takes a lot of looking - staring at the ground - which, I found, can be disorientating.
The planet is alive! There are some amazing outcrops of exfoliating granite - the pressure is off the pluton and layers of rock are simply peeling away like dead skin cells.
You walk on the side of a mountain. The trail is uphill and open for the first half mile, and for the second half is more like a tunnel through the woods with a steep cliff on the down hill side that opens occasionaly for views of mountains - currently dusted with snow - on the other side of the valley. The ribbon of I-90 growls far below. At the end the path just stops - a landscape opens before you – actually the woods more or less close around you - as you move into a very dark and barren looking area - the trees and the steep angle of the slope create constant shadow.
I noticed there has been a lot more digging since I’ve been here in the spring. A lot of people have been at work. I met some of the young self-styled miners at a recent gem and mineral show. A few come here but, the ones hosting tables have claims in other places in this valley. They post photos of crystal formations freshly dug and for sale as well as photos showing them with gas powered jack hammers on Instagram. Their finds are impressive.
Some crystals I found lose - and a crystal bearing rock left behind by someone with ambition to dig and break rocks.
It was around eleven o’clock when I turned off the path and headed up the slope – it looked like an area with some new digging and the earth was the yellow ocher color that I knew hosted crystals.
crystals in a rock - lots of big rocks filled with crystals - I wanted to take home some big ones, but could not carry them.
I am watching the ground, focused on the specific details of each patch of earth - like fishing, or birding, I am looking for the anomaly in the chaotic pattern, that which shines.
Hey, I have cell service!My phone works!
Friday, the next day, I see a pal in the grocery store. I tell her I was lost in the woods.
Some of what if found after being washed up. I think the one in front has a tiny bit of purple -which would make it a tiny bit of an amethyst. These are not worth anything - but so cool to wonder about the crystals growing inside the rocks. It's an amazing planet!
this section is devoted to what's on my mind - and reflections of the process of being an artist and blogging about it. - Ann Heideman