Ray Mine, Burnsville, NC
Nov. 12-13, 2004

The rain started Thursday on our drive to North Carolina, and we were hoping that the front would move through by Friday morning. When we woke up Friday, it was still raining with the clouds settling over the mountains.   We backed up our departure time an hour and a half hoping to miss the worst of the rain.   We arrived at the parking lot at the Ray Mine about 10:30, and the rain was easing up.   Ron, Gary and I got organized and walked up to the dumps where Mike had been digging for a couple of hours.   He had already collected some nice specimens of beryl and amazonite.   I spent most of the day collecting in the creek figuring that I could collect in the dumps on the second day.   My first specimen of the day was a nicely terminated apatite crystal.   I had soon found a couple of green beryl crystals, and the rain was soon forgotten.   As we packed up for the day and headed down the mountain, it started raining much harder and we ended up getting a shower when we changed out of our digging clothes.   Luckily, the temperature had risen to nearly 60 degrees by the end of the day, so the rain felt refreshing.   On the way back for the evening, we stopped at the NC Mineral Museum on the Parkway to see the renovations.   It is a wonderful educational museum, but I missed seeing some of the beautiful specimens that they once had on display.

Randy Jones, Ron and Gary Maddox working the dump.
Mike and Chrissy Streeter, and Dave Peterson packing up for the day.
Hi-Ho, but where are the other three dwarfs?
Chowing down at RD and Cindy's.
On Saturday, we woke up to clouds, wind, and light rain(heavy fog) and wondered if we would get a break.   The weather forecast was for the clouds to break and the sun to shine.   Again, we delayed our departure and arrived at the Ray with the sun trying to peek through.  I told Mike that we were keeping banking hours for this trip.   As the sun appeared and everyone was working the dumps, I had a chance to pull my camera out and take some pictures.   The leaves had already fallen from the trees which helped with the sunshine but hindered the search for nice specimens.   Digging in the dumps yielded some nice specimens, and at the end of the day we were ready for the feast that Ron, Cindy and Lory had prepared.

Ray Mine Specimens
1.75" x 1.0" beryl with muscovite
1.5" x 0.75" beryl with small schorl
1.0" x 0.75" beryl crystal
1.0" x 0.5" terminated apatite crystal
Same crystal under SW UV light
Terminated feldspar crystals
Plain looking rock
Same rock under SW UV light