Jason and Dawn - Around the world 2011 travel blog

Guess who woke us up this morning by walking on top of the van, actually running back and forth....yep Frank and he brought his friend with him. So of course we had to supply them with some peanuts. Frank's friend caught the peanut in mid air showing off his stuff.

We left Graves Hill and drove into town to the local Sapphire general store. We rented a shovel, pick and two sieves for the day. We drove down to the river and carried our supplies down to the rock bed near the stream. There were a few claims already made to some of the trees and rock bed around us. There was an old man setup just down from us so Jason wandered over to see where we could dig without taking over an existing dig site. This man had a long white beard with yellow smoke stains around his moustache. A very weather worn face and long fingernails, gum boots (rubber boots) and a real ratty pair of sweat pants. He told Jason anywhere that you can see holes being dug or fossicking gear setup that is where you don't dig. He also made sure that he told Jason he had made claims to the trees around his gear. But he gave us some helpful hints so off we went, setup our chairs and Jason started to dig under a tree by the river bank. It wasn't too long in after sieving the rocks in the river and dumping them out that we started to see a clear shiny gem in amongst all the rocks. Cha ching! We had found our first sapphire. Not to big but so exciting and gorgeous it was. We continued on all day, I went to the van and made some peanut butter sandwiches and peeled some oranges, carried them down to the river and continued on with Jason. By the end of the day we had found over 30 shiny gems of various colors. The old man would come by now and then to see what we had found and told us what was garbage, which ones to through over our shoulders and which ones were sapphires. Prior to leaving for the day he showed us a little film bottle he carried with him that contained a weeks worth of sapphire gems. One was awesome, as big as my thumb nail, clear blue sapphire shining through in the sun. He told us he drove train for over 48 years and just retired 5 years ago, needed something to do so him and his wife stay around here so he can fossick. He sends a lot of his sapphires to Thailand to be cut, the really good stones he keeps for a local man here in sapphire to cut, some he sells which pays for his stay when they are here and others he has cut and set for family on their birthdays and such. Cool old dude.

Once it got dark we called it a night and stayed in the van just up the hill where we had it parked for the day. Free range cows come through here so once in a while we could hear them walking outside. It started to rain sometime during the night and continued as a drizzle into the morning.

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