Blandford Kyanite Swansong

Saturday May 6, 2017

I started with 11 on my list for this trip and by the day of, there were just four of us. The day was grey with bands nuisance showers, but at 9am, we hit the trail on stop 2 on the 2017 Tour of Sharon's SweetRox. Our carts and legs got a workout on the rocks and roots along the trail. Several times we stopped to relocate orange salamanderswho were apparently having a convention of sorts that morning. Each of us was covered in insect repellant so we could not handle any of the salamanders directly, we used leaves to ferry them off the trail as needed, and out of harm's way.

Half-way along the trail one cart lost a wheel…and the cotter pin that held it on. Someone grabbed one corner of the injured cart and the four of us continued on. FINALLY we emerged from the mountain laurel forest into the powerline corridor. There were puddles of standing water everywhere just perfect for washing off our finds.We parked our carts and dispersed to look for treasures.

A few hours later none of us had anything to brag about, but the sun had come out and the weather was glorious. Peter Ames found what will probably turn out to be the best kyanite of the day, once it is washed off. I hate to say it, but I think the Blandford Powerlines site is pretty much done. Peter and I left about an hour after the first two folks called it a day.

On our way to the cars we saw a man walking on the trail coming towards us. Jokingly I said to Peter, “You watch….he's going to tell us we're on private property and can't collect here.” After speaking with the man we found out exactly that. We could not collect there anymore.

To appreciate the irony here, a little history is in order. A few weeks prior, Sharon's SweetRoxTour kicked off the 2017 season at the former Atwater quarry. I led my first club trip to my favorite spot, having already been there over six times the previous year. I was smitten with the beautiful green rocks and actinolitepseudomorph after diopside (unofficially known as uralite). My trip went fine, but the following day on Andy's trip we met a local resident who told us a long story about years of trespassing and destruction at the site, which by the way, was private property. We were all trespassing. What an epic bummer! Cross the Atwater quarry off the trip list.

Now here I am at Blandford, being told that collecting rocks is verboten. Well, cross the Blandford Powerlines site off the trip list. Sensing a trend here? Tune in for my next trip lead to Chester Emery Mines….third time's a charm!

Sharon McKechnie

Digging in the tomb

Peter finding the best specimen

My Blandford lot.