Saturday, September 25, 2010

AR Diamond hunting and Clarksdale MS Blues

After the AR women's RV forum gtg, I decided to go to Crater of Diamonds State Park in AR and look for diamonds. I had read about this place and had seen it on Treasures to Cash and decided since I was so close to go. One of the ladies, Sarah Pitman, wanted to go to so off we head.

The diamond mine was created as a volcano pipe that sent diamonds to the surface when it exploded. There were several diamonds found while we were there but none by either Sarah or I. It was so terribly hot and the temps were 97 degrees and on the field up to 110. It was cause for lots of water and as much shade as possible.

Sarah and I decided to get out when they opened at 8:00 am and stay for a few hours. The first day we used the dry sift method which consisted of renting a sifter,putting dirt in the sifter and shake, shake, shake. I took a beach umbrella which helped. I ended up using my bucket as a stool. By the time our few hours were up, I was so stiff I could barely move.

Sarah found some shade and searched her pile and moved with the shade. Good move but she still got overheated. We called it a day and didn't even consider going back that day.

Instead we went into Murfreesboro for lunch at Buddy's and decided to drive over to Nashville AR. Nothing much there but you will see what a difference Nashville AR is to Nashville TN. I've decided I may have to visit all the Nashville's in the country.

Next day we decided to try the wet sifting method. Much better. When I return, and I will, I'll only do the wet method. It consists of going to the field, putting dirt in your bucket, go back to the water trough and sift like crazy. The idea is that diamonds are heavy and they will fall to the bottom so when you turn your 2nd sifter over, there will be your diamond. Not!

It was fun and I can't wait to do it again when the weather is cooler. The campground opened about 2 weeks before I was there. It is very nice with full hook-ups, level sites, nice bath house. There are sites that will accommodate 65' so I would say that AR is really trying to attract those big rigs.

Sarah came back from the bath house the first night and she said "everything was fine but why didn't you tell me about the mechanics of the shower?" I looked at her with a dumb look on my face and she went on to explain that there is a button in the shower that you push and the water only stays on for 2 min and you can't adjust the temp. I had to tell her that was new to me but that I don't really use bath houses that much. Since the park has been redone this is AR State Park answer to conservation (I guess.) They also use solar panels at the bathhouses and laundry.

It's a lovely park. I shall return.

After we had done all the hunting we could, we decided to go to Tunica. Of course there was a bridge over the MS river at Helena AR that was very daunting but it wasn't as bad as first glance. Sarah had never been to a casino and she wanted to go so since it was on the way back to TN I told her we would go. I made reservations at the Sam's Town RV park which was very nice and very hot. Not a tree in sight. Full hook ups and $15.99 per night plus Good Sam discounts so for 2 nights the price was $25.00

Sarah was amazed by the casino. She couldn't get over how noisy it was and that there wasn't any "old fashioned" machines in the place. She found a few machines that kept her entertained. I believe she came out even for the trip. I came out about $20 down. We ate at the buffet and got a $5 senior discount on it.

Next day we decided to travel about 50 miles down the road to Clarksdale MS. Clarksdale is the Birthplace and World Capital of the Blues and location of the famous Crossroads intersection of Highway 61 and 49. There was a Delta Blues Museum and then one place that I really wanted to stop was Ground Zero Blues Club. We went in to eat a bite and 2 of the owners were in there eating lunch but Morgan Freeman was not one of them. All the walls are covered with signatures, messages and sayings. You can see in one of my pictures that even the bathroom walls and mirrors are covered. One day I'll go back to stay for a couple of days and "do" the nightlife.

Clarksdale has an original Greyhound Bus Station that they have turned into a visitor's center. A native of the area, Jim, was very helpful and full of information to share with us. I think even Sarah found a nice B&B to visit if she returns, I think it's called the Big Pink House.

We were even in the area for cotton pickin' time. I captured a few photos showing the fields and the equipment used to pick the cotton.



Margie and Roger said...

It looks like you have been having fun, fun, and more fun. Darn, I was hoping you would find some diamonds...maybe next time (and pick cooler weather).

Ground Zero looked really neat - another place to add to my Bucket List.

Liked your idea of visiting all the Nashville's!

Sharon said...

Looks like to much fun! If you had gone to Branson I probably would have followed you down there...but then would have probably been in snow going home...that's my luck! LOL!

Beckles said...

Clarksdale looks like an interesting town! And Nashville and Murfreesboro! That does sound like fun to visit all of the Nashville's. Keep the stories rolling on out! Enjoy.....