On a Treasure Hunt

TrailerPainting_t620I told you a bit about my “treasure-hunting” uncle in an earlier post [here]. He and my aunt have both passed on, having never really hit it big. But they always had that hope. They were always on a treasure hunt.

Perhaps Uncle Bill’s forebears went West in the late 1800’s along with thousands of others, seeking gold. Few of those struck by gold fever found the treasure they sought. But many stayed on, having found a treasure of a different sort.

This picture is not of my treasure-hunting family, but this is kind of how they started out, that first trip. What sent them down this path? A friend told them about a summer vacation destination where they could dig for gems. They hopped in the camper and set off. After talking to the owner and operator, it seemed like a good post-retirement source of income.

Not everyone finds treasure buried in their backyard. I’m not sure I’d recognize it if I did. Many gems in their raw form just look like rocks to me. But just for you, I found a list of destinations, if you’re interested in a treasure-hunting vacation. I’ll list a few of them, but there’s a better list available at Travel Channel’s History site [here].

gemstonesWhat’s your preference in gems? Opals? Emeralds? Diamonds? My personal favorite is aquamarine, since that’s my birthstone.

  1. Opals: Bonanza Opal Mine, Denio, Idaho, or Juniper Ridge Opal Mine, Lakeview, Oregon
  2. Emeralds: Emerald Hollow Mine, Hiddenite, North Carolina
  3. Diamonds: Crater of Diamonds State Park, Murfreesboro, Arkansas
  4. Aquamarine: Gem Mountain Gemstone Mine, Spruce Pine, North Carolina

Are you close to one of those, or passing through there on your next vacation? Might be a good day trip or aside to your other plans. In case you aren’t aware, the Blue Ridge Mountains are gemstone rich!

If you prefer precious metals like gold, Roaring Camp in Gold Pine Grove, California is a good place to go.

There are also Thunder Eggs or Geodes, found in Rockhound State Park, in Deming, New Mexico. Find meteorites in Glorietta Mountain, New Mexico, and Brenham Township, Kansas. Dive for Jade in Jade Cove in Big Sur, California. And pick up some turquoise at the Royston Mine in Tonopah, Nevada. I love turquoise and always thought there was only the blue-green variety. Until I visited The Grand Canyon last summer and found white, pink, and purple turquoise in the nearby gift shops.

Many people find these treasure hunts great fun, as well as an educational experience for their children. This would be especially true of the dinosaur fossils found in Devil Hills, South Dakota. Wherever you choose to look, treasure is often near. Many times we have to search for it or dig for it. But it’s there.

Happy hunting, treasure seekers. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…” Matthew 6:21 NKJV

Betty Thomason Owens