collapse

Author Topic: Fullerton and Toppsters Most Excellent Harts Range Adventure (Part 3)  (Read 7860 times)

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
PART 3 – SNOREFEST, MORE ZIRCON AND A GARNET INTERLUDE
At this stage of the trip report, I should mention that Toppster and I ran two competitions during the course of our stay in Harts Range. The results of the first competition was discussed in the mornings when we would compare the ‘alleged’ volume and continuity of our respective snoring.

We were both so bad (apparently as I can only vouch for Toppster’s abilities as I’ve never heard myself snore) that it became necessary to race each other to sleep … the loser bearing the noise of the winners snoring. So perhaps it was the incessant snoring that actually kept the ferocious dingoes at bay?

The second competition was discussed at days end. It was for the biggest and best zircons. Invariably, I would find the biggest zircon bomb but Toppster would find the best facet quality.

We’d done quite well on our first two days when we received word from a Gem Tree staffer than a club had done well near the mine only a few weeks back. So we left a bucket to keep our Mud Tank hole and proceeded on the morning of the third day over to this new site. Two hours of digging and only a cutter or two. Anything big was a clear colour while most of the little pieces (2 to 4mm) were orange and reds. From talking with some of the older regulars, back in the 70’ and 80’s many fossickers were after the clear stones for facet material. It looks boring to me but maybe back them it was more desired as it was a close match to diamonds for lustre.

So back we went to our original site which had been kept safe from marauders by our bucket site claimer.  We did one more day here until again we met up with our GT staffer mate. The information provided now indicated a change of focus to garnets was required. We maintained our zircon claim and did a day trip to the garnet fields. First port of call was a site opposite the Mineral Lease where old diggings were present. We couldn’t see anything fresh and there were very few ‘scraps’ of garnets lying around … give it a miss we thought. And I was starting to think the staffer might not have much of an idea about fossicking after all?

We continued east along the Plenty Highway and at about 36km turned right into the main garnet field. This time Toppster recalled running into an old fella somewhere that said if you followed a certain track into the hills and then walked on foot a further kilometre or three, there were still some bigger than golf ball sized clean garnets to be found. I questioned the story but Toppster had actually seen the stones that came out of there … so that was that.

We passed the main garnet diggings and continued on a track past an awesome knife-edged ridge

...until it stopped at the base of some low hills. We put our backpacks on and started up into the hills and were soon inadvertently separated and in our own little fossicking worlds. I approached the hill the same way as at the Fullarton Garnet Fields of Qld and looked for where garnet may erode out of schist between sheets of other harder rock.  I was soon rewarded with some garnets the size of large marbles. They were intact crystals that would roll out as you dug … it seemed as good as it gets. In the back of my mind though, I knew these may be heavily weathered and fractured.

After an hour I started wondering how far Toppster had gotten only to see him coming up the hill wearing a ‘I’ve found a better gem than you’ look. He was right as he’d come across some clear, yellow and orange calcite crystals that were super clean and in pristine condition. Though only an inch or two long, to me they looked museum quality. Toppster explained that he’d gone off track several hundred metres and came across a burnt out area and these few crystals were just ‘ripe for the picking’.

We busted  up a few of my garnets … a potentially wasteful task … but one that proved that indeed, most of the garnets were in fact weathered and cracked. Here's a pick after tumbling when I got home with them

So we headed back to the main garnet field and sieved for intact clear pieces of what had started as large garnets.

I found a large and deep fox hole while Toppster scraped the edges of a more open site. I was getting some big garnet bombs and even though Toppster protested that they were junk … I said I haven’t come this far not to take back a half bucket of garnet, whether they were any good or not. Within an hour I had my half bucket. Some pics ...


This garnet foray led us to believe that there was in fact garnet in lots of places in Harts Range but perhaps the best material was limited and it would take more time to narrow a search. So with several facet-worthy shards of garnets each, we retreated back to our reliable zircon patch and did a few more hours digging to finish the day.

More pics ...



Edited by Admin to include the pics as thumbnails (this works better).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 08:20:22 PM by Fullerton »
For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

Bucket

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 952
    • View Profile
As expected another good read.  I hope the next chapter reveals the spoils (with photos).

Thanks again.

Bucket
Common sense isn't exactly common

mehoose

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 3606
    • View Profile
well, set up a star light powered cassette recorder and then the proof will be in the pudding as to the snore stakes winner ;)
Speaking of stakes.. maybe the guys from gem tree had their own betting chits for how many they could send on a goose chase. ;)
MORE!!!
Keep em comin!!!

Sioux

  • ALF'er Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
    • Email
Sounds like a great trip. We leave for Rubyvale tomorrow to pick up our daughter and then we are off. Plan to stay at Mt Isa Tuesday night and then through to Gemtree on Wednesday. We are all keen fossickers so hopefully we will cover a good bit of ground.

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
Apart from thne usual picks, sieves etc ... you need lots of water and some tubs for washing the stones. We took 5 water containers and 2 tubs.

We dry sieved on a shaker table and then wet seived in a willoughby. Your water will silt up after a while and need changing.

We used up to 100L per day and changed the water two or three times. The water was mostly used in a tub in conjunction with our willoughby. We also had another tub to wash the larger stones and look for zircon bombs.


For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

daz

  • ALF'er Silver Member
  • *
  • Posts: 63
    • View Profile
Great read, looking forward to reading part4.

Jimnyjerry

  • Global Moderator
  • ALF'er VIP
  • *****
  • Posts: 2578
  • balts pingvins
    • View Profile
    • Email
More story please  :)

It has been great reading  :)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.

toppster

  • ALF'er Platinum
  • *
  • Posts: 255
    • View Profile
what about the cats at gem tree?You tell the story better than me

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
I wondered when you were going to stick your head in. You fill in the gaps ... and poke fun at me if you feel the need to.
For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

mehoose

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 3606
    • View Profile
toppster there's 2 words that don't go well together...cats and Fullerton. Does Jamo need to cover his eyes?
Keep em comin!!!

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
I don't want to start any 'big cat' romours ... but that Gem Tree 'panther' was massive  :o

By night three at GT, I was less concerned by the howling dingoes than I was by what else was out there.
For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

Bucket

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 952
    • View Profile
Perhaps those stories could be left until Toppster and Fullarton's Bogus Journey.....
Common sense isn't exactly common

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
.. we might have to syndicate those one's ... too many to tell in one go.
For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

toppster

  • ALF'er Platinum
  • *
  • Posts: 255
    • View Profile
The cat we I woke up to on the second night was four times the size of your normal "putty tat' and was black with white back legs-come to think of it it did look like a bit like jamos avatar in the dark

Fullerton

  • ALF'er VIP
  • *
  • Posts: 1087
    • View Profile
    • Friendly Heart Gems
Quote
come to think of it it did look like a bit like jamos avatar in the dark

Rolling on the floor laughing  ;D
For Australian lapidary materials and gemstones  https://www.facebook.com/FriendlyHeartGems

Tags:
 

* Sponsor

HTML Online Editor Sample

ALF is hosted by Aussie Sapphire as a free service to the Lapidary community.

Visit our website here
Phone 1800 50 21 40
Or find us on Facebook

Recent Activities

Illegal mining near Inverell by Jimnyjerry
[November 29, 2020, 12:40:03 AM]


Areas now Closed in Nth NSW.. by Gemster
[November 28, 2020, 11:37:27 PM]


The Photo-Atlas of Minerals - Version 2 by RoughCreations
[November 27, 2020, 01:34:50 PM]


Buying a slab saw by Dihusky
[November 26, 2020, 04:32:32 PM]


Combination unit by Faceting Frank
[November 25, 2020, 01:18:46 PM]


Joke of the Day by Ghost
[November 22, 2020, 01:21:51 PM]


Gemboree 2021 - Fossicking by Faceting Frank
[November 14, 2020, 09:05:54 PM]


Gems stolen, Mt Surprise by Jimnyjerry
[November 11, 2020, 07:28:00 AM]


Diamond Cutting Blades by Dihusky
[November 07, 2020, 02:20:32 PM]


Findings by FlashGP
[November 06, 2020, 10:04:46 PM]


Buying a saw: comparison videos by pito
[November 06, 2020, 03:25:17 PM]


Pilbara fifo rock hunting by steveo
[November 03, 2020, 04:04:31 AM]

* Calendar

November 2020
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 [30]

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 77
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Find us on Facebook

* Forum Stats

  • stats Total Members: 4419
  • stats Total Posts: 56561
  • stats Total Topics: 6030
  • stats Total Categories: 6
  • stats Total Boards: 27
  • stats Most Online: 773