Linda Marie Plume
Agate Dig (10/4/2013)
Jake discovered this spot years ago. Jake, Linda and I
staked the claim last Fall 2012.
The claim has predominantly plumes of forest green, yellow,
gold, white and a new small discovery of red. Linda Marie
also has white opal mixed with the plumes, mosses and a
weird petrified wood looking agate too.
Jake pointing out where we
should put the claim stakes.
Here's my wife Linda doing all the work.
Setting up the Southwest Post
Linda Marie claim is more productive and a little easier to
dig. The location of the agate is already known and the hole
is not very big. But, this time I’m going to spend a little
more time setting up the hole for future diggings. I plan on
enlarging the working pad, so I can move and pull at the
basalt from different angles. This is essential, since the
agate veins are trending west and north, I need to enlarge
the pad on the south and east sides. I put locators on the
surface (big boulders), from last time I dug in May, marking
the ends of the hole at all points.
Digging out the old and
setting the pad up.
Having the hole dug out and the pad set up, I begin at the
vent where I left off in May. The vent is surrounded by hard
basalt, which like Feather Ridge, generally has better agate
in it. Green, gold, and white plume agate veins start
appearing. So far at the Linda Marie, I find that the big
veins are not as good as the smaller 2” to 4” wide ones. The
large ones still have good plume agate, but it takes too
much time and effort cleaning off the bad parts and you end
up with less than a quarter of what you started with. So
the large ones, (20 to 50+ pounds each), I put into a small
hole that I dug in the pit and save them for some other time
to work on, perhaps with a small jackhammer.
The days at Linda Marie went fast, especially when the veins
need extracting by hand. The excavator is a great machine,
but removing the hard basalt from around the delicate agate
veins requires more of a surgical procedure approach.
Well, The Boss finally shows up (Linda my wife). She says, “
hi”, walks over to the excavator and gets in. “Hey! Wait a
minute! I don’t even get a kiss or anything? Just a hi and
get out of the way!” She gets down out of the machine walks
over the rocks, gives me my kiss and then says in one
sentence, “Hi honey, how you doing, been eating well? Good…
Now get out of the way.” With a smile, she then says,
“please”. Linda’s not quite there yet with mastering the
excavator, but she is learning very quickly. She’s wanting
to get more practice, so the next few hours I spend time
working with her. The time is well spent since it not only
gives us great one on one together, but she can easily be my
digger in a short amount of time in the future.
The same day Linda shows up, Jake showed up and
offered to operate the machine for a few hours.
Immediately, Jake starts aggressively, ripping down
the north wall with lots of banging and scraping.
I’m down in the pit watching. Then I hear this
yelling and whooping. Linda is sitting on top the
edge of the pit, looking down watching. Jake in fast
order ripping the crap out of the wall and cheering
like a spectator at a bloody gladiator fight! “Yeah!
Yeah!... That’s what I’m talkin about!” she yells.
Jake looks up at her and starts laughing and says,
“Linda, I never knew you where the aggressive type.”
She says, “Ohh Baby!” I’m learning new
“interesting” things about my wife, after our 28
years together. Kinda puts a new spin on things.
Anyway, soon the agate
starts flowing into my buckets. Mining efficiently
is a two man job, so when Jake offers to help, I
jump at it. Together, in just those few hours, I get
more agate out of the mine than I did the last two
days. While ripping at the wall, we expose a 15’
vertical vein reaching up to the very surface. It is
six inches at the widest and 2” at the narrowest
point. All of it is gem material of the gold’s,
green and white plumes in clear agate. Jake says,
“With that, I’ll leave you to it, I need to hit the
road. It’s all yours Linda”. Linda and I
enthusiastically thank him for helping out as he
The day is getting late and Linda needs to head back
home to go to work in the morning. This is my last
day of digging. The sun is going down and I have a
15 foot vein wanting to be free, after being
enslaved millions of years in the grip of the hard
basalt. Looks like a night dig. After eating
dinner, I grab my Coleman and start heading down to
the pit. The
lights on the machine do a better job of
illuminating the working area, so I need to keep the
engine running. It’s a good trade, burn some fuel
for great agate.
digging a while, I notice a certain section of rock
has a red cast to it. Digging out this section
revealed fantastic colors. Taking one piece of the
vein out, I then knocked off the edge and Wow!. Red,
green, white, gold colors just in time for
Christmas, but unfortunately I only got about two
dozen veins out of this section. Since red is a rare
color for Linda Marie, I’ll keep them for my
collection. I know people might get mad because I’m
not sharing, but until I get more I’ll keep these
close. However, it did get too late that night to
do anymore digging on the vein. There’s a good deal
left to dig out, so I covered it up until next year.
It was a
great two weeks digging at Linda Marie and Feather
Ridge. I still have two other new claims I haven’t
opened up yet or told anyone about. Next year about
April or May I’ll open them up. These new claims are
very promising and look to be excellent plumes. So,
until the next adventure… Thanks!
Jake ripping it up
Mining Feather Ridge Plume!