Walworth NY Rock Hound Weekend
The Walworth weekend was a great and for somebody that had never been out there before and I was a bit apprehensive. I had heard a lot of stories and did quite a bit of research on it but it's nothing like first had experience. We arrived on Friday about 1pm, checked into the hotel and found our way to the quarry so we knew where it was. We needed to be at the quarry for 6:30 am on Saturday for the safety meeting or we couldn't dig so wandering around Western NY in the dark was not an option. We arrived at 6:30 sharp to coffee and donuts and after the safety meeting the line of about 30 vehicles headed in to the massive quarry. We picked our spot and parked while the bulk of the people headed for the fresh blast area.
I stayed away from the fresh blast because usually the rock is dirty and the minerals are harder to see so I stuck with my plan of going for the older material and not following the heard.
It didn't take long to start find nice Dolomite specimens, and it didn't seem like there was any end to them. We basically did surface collecting so we could cover as much ground as possible and we were very successful in doing that. It wasn't long before the large excavator with a hydraulic hammer attachment came clanking along the quarry floor to the first group of rock hounds. All you needed to do was point at the boulder you wanted broken open and the guy would make quick work of it then he was off to his next victim. We located one smaller boulder with a large pocket and we found our first Fluorite crystal on the ground next to it in the dirt. Once we started looking closer at the rock we found it was covered with nice clear Fluorites and we started working on recovering them.
We only stayed at the quarry until noon on Saturday and by then we had 3 flats full of wrapped specimens plus several pails with bigger specimens, fossils and garden rocks. We collected quite hard and after the almost 5 hours we were dirty, sore and tired, all signs of a good day of rock hounding.
This trip is well worth the time and money to go out there. You need to get your motel secure well in advance as the closer you get to Columbus Day weekend the more the room will cost you. There is so much to do and see out there that we didn't even collect on Sunday we went to Niagara Falls and took in 4 light houses along the shore of Lake Ontario. At this time we are still washing and going through our Walworth specimens. We are up to about 14 Fluorite specimens and the more we wash, the more we find.
I hope this will get more members interested in going on this trip next year as it is a great experience and loads of fun, I know I'll be going back to Walworth!!
Story & photos by: Andrew Brodeur