Arkansas – A Diamond in the Rough

by Funhog Family on September 21, 2011

On the hunt

All along our trip we have been adding state stickers to our van as we have our adventures. It has been a real treat for the kids! We noticed Arkansas had a picture of a diamond and “The Natural State” printed on it, and at Crater of Diamonds State Park, we discovered why Arkansas is called the natural state. Crater of Diamonds is basically a large open field filled with minerals and gems. All you have to do is provide the man power and the perseverance to search it out, and you get to keep whatever you find. The visitor center has quite a few stories of people who have found some amazing diamonds – one that was completely flawless! It also has stories of the faithful few who would show up regularly to dig for diamonds, some of which found a great number of diamonds during their lifetime. Over 300 diamonds have been found there this year alone.
Thus, our Arkansas adventure of choice was treasure hunting! The afternoon we arrived some people advised us to bring lots of sunscreen, as it had been brutally hot in the open field that day. We planned to do most of our hunting in the morning, praying God would grant us cooler weather, and we awoke the next morning to the sound of THUNDER!! It was great! We got our tents packed up quickly before the rain began, and we ate cereal in the car while it poured for a while. It let up a bit soon after, and we headed to the field under the cloud cover. We have joked many times about the Israelites being led by a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day and how God has been either leading or prodding us along from behind by crazy weather, and this was no exception. How thankful we were for God’s little blessing! Yes, He is in the little things, as well as the BIG!

Serious Diamond Hunters

After checking out the visitor center and the fun stories of numerous diamond hunters and after saying a prayer, we headed to the field to begin our hunt. We decided to head to the south, just as Edmund, Lucy and Eustace did at the end of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. There we came to the area where the biggest, flawless diamond had been found, and we proceeded to dig around and sift through the dirt. It was great fun for the kids, as we actually let them get as dirty as they wanted. We found several possible treasures that we bagged to take back to the diamond authentication desk. After an hour of digging in the rain we were ready to head in. At the diamond authentication desk we were told that we found some wonderful pieces of Jasper, Volcanic rock, Quartz, Calcite, and Hematite. We found no diamonds, but what we did find was a wonderful time full of family fun. And we were reminded that our greatest treasure here on earth was right there with us – our precious family.

Happily Digging

The Real Treasure

Just a little deeper...

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