Monday, November 11, 2013

Treasure Hunting


Blairsville, Georgia  (high 64, low 40)

Yesterday was a beautiful day, with sunshine, blue skies and no wind.  It only got into the 60’s, but it felt warmer and we enjoyed being outside.  Those kinds of days are becoming more rare.   We’re hoping today will be just as nice, because things will be going downhill tomorrow with predicted temperatures down to the low 20’s.  We usually are a few degrees colder than what is predicted, so we may even see some teens.  There is a 30% chance of snow, and we’re hoping for it.

Yeah, it’s getting cold here, and people wonder why we haven’t left for Florida already.   It was a really HOT summer in Florida this past year, and even though we weren’t there all summer, we got really sick of the heat, humidity, and rain.  Remember, we have lived most of our lives in Florida, so cooler temperatures are a nice change for us.  Plus, it’s nice to know that we can leave here anytime we want, and that warmer temperatures are waiting for us. 

We have been pretty cozy, with our little Source Green Quartz heater (which we love), and our electric blankets (one for us, one for the kitties), and all our warm clothes.  Of course it remains to be seen how we will feel it it gets down into the teens.  :)

Here is a view of our patio table this morning.  Notice the pretty sparkling frost?

frost on deck

This week is being devoted to re-organizing and winterizing things in preparation for our departure, but last week we did some more sight seeing.

We decided to go back to Consolidated Mines, in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Click here if you missed my post on our previous tour of the gold mine.  It’s well worth visiting.

We enjoyed the gold mine tour so much, that I’m sure we’ll go back another time, but this trip was to do some gem mining.

You can buy a bucket of sand with prices starting at $15 all the way up to $100.   We split a $30 bucket last time, but we decided to splurge and get the $100 bucket this time.  Each bucket of sand has the “chance” to find gems.

It’s a lot of money, but we rationalized it by telling ourselves, that since we very rarely go to a movie, this was our “movie money.”   :)

Here is Al searching for treasure.


You do the gem mining and gold panning inside of a building.  We’ve been to a few other places and had to be outside in the cold.  The water flowing through is pretty cold and your hands get pretty chilly, so it’s nice to be inside. 

The gold mine is right below us.  The blue tub was was our $100 bucket filled with sand and gems???

Would we find any treasure??

Here is our stash taken about 2/3 of the way through. The box on the right is where you put the sand. You put it down into the water to wash the sand away and find your stones.

The box on the left were my treasures.  We kept our stashes separate. :)

gem hunting at Consolodated Mines, Dahlonaga Georgia


The big blog in the top right of the picture is a big chunk of amethyst.  These were Al’s treasures.

gem hunting at Consolodated Mines, Dahlonaga Georgia


We ended up with 5-6 large garnets, sapphires, a few emeralds, lots of quartz, rubies, a piece of petrified wood and lots more.

We ended up with 6 plastic bags full. The small bag on the right front was the stones that could be cut.

gem hunting at Consolodated Mines, Dahlonaga Georgia

The emerald I got was a pretty good size stone.  They have gem cutters on the  premises, and I was told I could have it cut into a nice stone for about $300.  Yikes!   I think I’ll just admire it like it is.

I don’t know how much of this gem mining is set up and how much is real, nor do I want to know. I do know they get their stuff from North Carolina.  Every bucket seems to have gems in them, so I’m sure there is a little “preparation.”  We don’t care, we enjoy it and always find lots of pretty gems.

On they way home, we drove by Lake Blue Ridge.  It’s another man made lake formed by a dam.

Lake Blue Ridge

The water was a little low on some parts of the lake, don’t you think?

Lake Blue Ridge

I couldn’t believe how high the stilts on this house were.  Anything to get a better view, huh?


house on stilts

I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if any of that ground eroded?


Some trees are really getting bare.

bare trees 

There is still color in a lot of areas.

fading fall foliage

view of Mt. Yonah.

Mt Yonah

The grass around our RV park is brown, but some areas have the most beautiful green pasture grass.


This is one of the back roads where we ride our golf cart.


This is a dilapidated old building we see along one of the golf cart roads.  Now that the leaves are falling, it’s a little easier to photograph.


Remember this beautiful tree in our front yard?

our lot at Rivers Edge Rv Park, Blairsville, Georgia


Here are those same leaves now, laying in the grass.  You can’t even see the grass for all the leaves.

our yard with fall leaves on the ground

Today, we will drain and winterize the hot tub, but we plan on getting in one last soak.

I guess I’ll let Al drain and winterize the washing machine too.  Boy….am I going to miss that!


  1. That house on stilts sure looks a bit sketchy, I don't think I'd sleep too well in it.

    Great photos of all the scenic spots in the area even as the leaves begin to disappear from the trees.

    Good luck with your winterizing prior to heading south.

  2. Nice photos as usual. Your header photo is beautiful. The gems are terrific. I'm like you, I think I would just keep them and enjoy them. I have a 9 karat emerald that I could have cut to end up with 3 karats. Did your tumbler arrive yet?

  3. Get'er all done quickly before the weather takes a turn.

  4. What size of Quartz heater did you buy??

    1. Our heater is a 1500 watt quartz heater that is supposed to heat 1000 sq feet. It's made my Source Green. It works real well, and is nice and quiet.

    2. Thanks tons for the info...

  5. Don't let Old Man Winter catch you off guard! He's sneaky...

    Too bad you didn't find any diamonds...or gold nuggets. That would have really made your day! :c)

  6. You really did get a lot of gems in that bucket. What will you do with them? So sorry to hear you have to put the hot tub to bed for the winter. I have friends in Virginia who love to go out in the snow and sit in the hot tub and let it snow around them. Decadant don't you think??

    1. Very decadent Sherry.

      I put some of the rocks in our flower pot as mulch. Talk about many people do you know who use gems for mulch???

      We also bought a rock polisher and will polish them up....just for fun.

  7. It looks like y'all made a big strike. I don't think the colder weather is here to stay yet in GA. but like you indicated you can pull up stakes at any time and head south.

  8. The nice thing about being able to change locations when you want is that you can enjoy the seasonal changes knowing that when you have enough-you can leave:)

  9. What great pictures. I love the lot as well, have fun with the last soak! :)


Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to