Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Digging for Diamonds

We just got back from our vacation. We got to spend some time with my lil sister Jennifer in southern Missouri on the ranch and river. Then took our time relaxing in Arkansas. Then back to Missouri to spend time with family and friends before heading back to STL. We arrived Saturday evening in Mountain View where we spent the night and next day with my sister

We visited Alley Springs, where the water was beautiful and the mill was rustic and charming. We took a quick walk around the spring ooohing and awwing at the gorgeous waters coming right out below us in our own missouri. We have know seen almost all the springs in Missouri. By the way now after seeing Arkansas's springs. We by far have the cleanest and most beautiful springs.

After spending some time taking pictures at the spring, and getting to see my sis for awhile we headed onward to Eureka Springs, Ar. Where we starting the Arkansas trip with a ghost tour at the Crescent Hotel. This was my second time visiting the most haunted Hotel in America. We enjoyed our tour guide and the eeriness of the Crescent's presence and history. Check out the Dr. Norman Baker story online...creepy! 
We spent the next day visiting the many tapped and still natural springs of Eureka Springs. Then dinner and another ghost tour at the Basin Park Hotel. Really enjoyed this place. The people in Eureka Spring are wonderful and it has such an eerie ambiance with it's 50 something miles of stones walls and pathways..everything connects, the town is something out of Transylvania, even with it's victorian buildings.
From Eureka Springs we headed to Hot Springs. On the way we stopped and dug for Crystal Quartz...so fun and muddy! BTW...we found lots of amazing crystals...loved it! But it was super hot..

We saw many hills on our trip, even Arkansas's Grand Canyon. Lots of beautiful rivers and lots and lots of tiny towns. Next up on our trip was Hot Springs were we rode the ducks on the tri lakes and learned about absolute nothing other than where the psychic's building burnt down and where we should eat dinner that night, but still a ride in the water in a WWII duck is always a must in my book. I love the ducks ......quack, quack! We also visited Bath House Row where back in the day they used the water from the hot mineral springs to feed the bath houses with water to heal the ill and for spa services. It was neat to see the old spas.
On from Hot Springs we headed to Murfreesboro to dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park. We had fun searching, digging, and walking over the 37.5 acre 8th world's largest surface mine. Over 25,000 overall and 600 diamonds a year have been found at this eroded lamproite volcanic pipe. The largest being a little over 40 carats...sounds large enough to me. Most diamonds found at the Crater are under 1 carat but some are well over that. Btw...a diamond has to be 3 carats or over to cut it. A 3 carat turns into a 1 carat stone when cut...a unneeded FYI i'm sure :)

    Next on our list was the                   capital of Arkansas. Little Rock. yes we even got to see the rock. The most exciting event in this city other than yes, get excited Justin Beiber was there in concert....but was the Famous Peabody Ducks! So cute!   

Sadly, the next day was our last in Arkansas..tear! On our way out of the state we stopped at The Old Mill which is famous for being in the opening credits of Gone With Wind. Really cool lil place, great for pictures.

Heading out of the state we saw their largest spring. 
Mammoth Spring.

Finally, after seven days, we 

arrived back in our own state of apparently exciting Missouri. Starting our weekend with friends we heading over to Klepzig mill before meeting up with everyone at Rocky Falls near Eminence. By the way the guy on top on the falls is my future brother in law Steve conquering the great Falls...before we watched a kid repeatedly sliding into rock with his open legs and hunched over afterwards...not smart. Then the same kid almost clobbered Chris with a bolder. Yikes!!! After the Falls we headed over to Blue Springs for a short hike to see the deepest spring in Missouri. So gorgeous!

We were anxious to swim again so we went to Blue Springs down on my sisters road. We jumped into the freezing cold spring long enough for a picture then out again. The boys made friends with a young boy who showed them a cave system behind the spring. We enjoyed our refreshing dip and were off to our campsite for campfire pizza, jiffy-pop, and s'mores.

On our second day of our wonderful weekend we took a morning hike to the Silver Mine and Silver Mine Damn. On the trail we saw the largest caterpillar ever..can i say creepy crawly!

Later in the day we visited Caster and Johnson Shut-Ins. Both were awesomely fun. I'm ready to go back...maybe with knee pads though..geez! Hope you had fun hearing about our vacation to Arkansas and southern Missouri.