For the most up to date events, check out our Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Newswire.
So hunting for orange garnets we were following the varied instructions from the web about an outcrop, located about half-mile from the West Redding, Connecticut train station. Easy enough to set your GPS to “West Redding Train Station.” First thing we noticed was a cop car idling in the train station parking lot. We had not even begun excavating and they were after us already.
So we did not know in which direction from the train station that the half-mile outcrop actually was, so we drive right. After about a half-mile we pulled over and found a woody area, with a path visibly starting long the tree and weed line. So we step out and start walking, and while walking we notice a number of discarded Listerine Mouthwash bottles lining the path, and then some Popov Vodka bottles, and then some rubbing alcohol bottles, and then we arrive at our destination,,,,,an old abandoned meth lab! There was the propane tank connected to various drums and barrels, out in the middle of the woods! We looked around, realized “yeah, this is a meth lab,” then we cursed, and then proceeded to walk back.
So we drive a half-mile in the other direction, and at a half-mile mark we are seeing nothing. We drive back and forth, and remembering the cop just a half-mile back, and our trunk full of crow-bars, sledge hammers, and canvas bags we realize we need to find this place fast. So I get out of the car, and decide to walk along the tree and weed line, and Joe will drive a little further ahead.
Joe finds the site, an outcrop above the weed line, up the hill about 60 feet from the road. We pull over, get out the gear and walk up the hill.
The outcrop has been worked over for years, so the trick is getting to new material. This sounds like hard work, but you are just far enough above the road below, with nothing but wood behind you, that you can swing a hammer as hard as you like and disturb no one. We broke as many slabs as we could that afternoon, but like many sites, if you had a jack-hammer you could really do some damage, literally, but figuratively you could hit new material.
Our specimens are fairly small, but typical for the area. They are a beautiful orange however, and once you find the place, well worth your time. Be sure to fill up on energy, a good meal, a few iced coffees or Red Bull energy drinks, because the rock is very hard.
We would classify this site as “Fairly Difficult.” Take a look at our specimens. We plan to return during 2015.