Gold Panning, Mine Tours, and Rockhounding: The Bucket List

The gleam of gold. The sparkle of crystals. Chasing after rocks has an allure different from many outdoor activities, but it still draws the avid mineral collector into a walk in the woods, a paddle down a stream, or a descent into a mountain in search of buried treasures.

Sterling Hill Ore under ultraviolet lamps

Finding Fluorescence at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, New Jersey

A constant drip of water accompanies us as we follow our tour guide into the depths of an old zinc mine in Ogdensburg, New Jersey. It is pouring outside, so the occasional drips on us as we walk down the mine tunnels aren't a big deal. It's a little Read More

The dream is to find one of these.

Sapphire Hunting in North Carolina at Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Mine

I’m covered in mud. It’s oozing up my boots, smeared on my shirt, and covering the seat of my pants. I’ve been swinging a mattock and digging holes in the side of this mountain all morning—and yes, I call this a vacation. If you’re a mineral Read More