An everywoman blog of the daily "opportunities" of a southern belle in training.
Road trip report
Published on August 9, 2004 By Sly But Shy 1958 In Life Journals
Picture this: Granny, D and Cathy (women of indeterminate age), and Helen (nearly 8, still young enough to enjoy digging in the dirt) taking a road trip from Houston, Texas to Mount Ida, Arkansas. We leave after Helen's karate lesson, Friday night 7pm planning to drive thru the night. We are scheduled to return on Monday. The journey should take about 9 hours of driving each way. We plan to get 2 good days of digging for crystals.
We are loaded down with digging implements, mining clothes, attitude and a map. Oh, about 45 minutes down the road I (Cathy) realize that I forgot to pack any shoes for Helen. She can't dig in flip flops. We must stop and buy shoes on the journey, which we do and eat a sandwich for dinner while we are at it.
Zoom, we head out into the night to drive, drive, drive, when... retch... D's sandwich comes up repeatedly. Carsickness. Yuck. We drive a bit further but not all the way and stop for the night. Everyone collapses in exhausted heaps in a gloriously still, not moving, inanimate room soon filled with snoring.
We awaken refreshed, and set out, with only a few hours of travel left. Along the way we pass towns named Fate and Hope. We pass a small-town parade, just scraping thru before the grand marshall. We arrive at Mount Ida, find a mine and start digging in the tailings. The tailings are the truckloads of dirt left after the commercial mining operation is done. We find many small to medium crystals and are delightedly covered in red clay. We meet some lovely fellow Texans. Then, sweaty and exhausted, we say enough and go to check in.
The hotel doesn't have our condo ready. We stand there in a dazed stupor till they upgrade us for free and we stumble to our landing place. It is gorgeous. 2 bed 2 bath condo in the woods near a beautiful lake. Helen and i go swimming, and are the only 2 in the pool. We fill the place with our silliness and laughter. Then we drag back to the rooms, order burgers delivered and collapse for the evening.
After a long and restful sleep, we awaken early, ready to start in the cool of the morning and dig dig dig. We walk outside and discover... a flat tire! 4 women, 1 flat... hmmm... One of us calls AAA (hint - not me). One of us changes the tire (hint - me, earning the new nickname: BUBBA SUE). That fiasco behind us, we seek food and then a mine. The mine of choice is either closed, or not open to the public, so we find another. Fiddler's Ridge.
It is a great experience. We pay, and they call a dig master to meet us there. We travel miles down a dirt road and wait by the locked gate til Becky, our illustrious dig master arrives in a battered old Ford escort, with her battered old escort. Truly they are earthy people. Becky turns out to be quite endearing with a modest charm and a desire to please. The mine is a big hole in the red clay where veins of rock can be seen in cross section. Crystals are everywhere, small ones mostly.
Experiencing the mountain revealing sparkling secrets was fabulous. The forest was gorgeous and raw. Where we chose to dig had bear tracks fresh since the last rain. Glorious. Exhausting. Exhilarating...
Laden with bags of rocks almost to heavy to carry in the sweltering heat, we head back to the condo. We stopped to buy some groceries on the way back and cooked them up for dinner. Early the next morning, I drove into town to get the tire fixed. We checked out and headed home on the much less eventful trip. We made it home in time to share our booty with brother P, and the neighbors down the street.
We are the mighty miners! We sparkle in our earthiness...
WOOHOO for Bubba Sue and her band of ne'er-do-wells!

on Aug 09, 2004

cathy, this sounds simply wonderful !

Along the way we pass towns named Fate and Hope.

what an amazing trip, through fate to hope !

We are the mighty miners! We sparkle in our earthiness

you really are !. i enjoyed this 'modern womans' fable', cathy. thanks for sharing it.

vanessa/mig XX
on Aug 10, 2004
Thank you so much! I have enjoyed the writings you have been generous enough to share too!!

It was a fabulous experience. We have been gloating over our treasure hoarde of crystals and sharing them with friends.

Yours truly, a diamond in the rough,
Bubba Sue
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