Thursday, October 24, 2013
We go by the state capitol. The rotunda is being renovated and we’re able to get an up-close view of the massive electric chandelier that usually hangs as a focal point in the rotunda. Made around 1914, it weighs over 4000 pounds.
We visit the state treasurer’s office to hold $140,000 in bills. We also receive special coins as a memento of our visit.
Outside, we walk around the memorial to the Little Rock Nine. They bravely stepped through the doors of Central High School in 1957. The Arkansas governor had tried to prevent the school integration, but President Eisenhower intervened and the students were admitted.
That GPS did it again!!! It sent us down a narrow dirt road that deadends. We get the correct directions from a local business and go two miles down to the Crater of Diamonds State Park. A couple we met in West Palm Beach were the ones to tell us to check it out if we go through Arkansas. It doesn’t look like a crater to me, but it is – a long ago volcanic crater. It’s the ONLY diamond producing site in the world where the public can search for diamonds and keep their finds. Basically, it’s a big field (37 1/2 acres) divided by a raised dirt path and marked by sections. People are scattered about, carrying their tools – buckets, sieves, shovels, knee pads.
I use the recommended technique. Walk along and just keep your eyes open. Just two days ago, a teenager from Oklahoma found a 3.85 carat yellow diamond just sitting atop the dirt! She named it “God’s Jewel.” That makes it about 400 diamonds found here this year. (The largest diamond ever discovered the the United States was also unearthed here. It, “The Uncle Sam”, was a whopping 40.23 carats!) Lonnie stays up at the center. He thinks that’s a low yield and not worth his time. I tell him that if God wants me to have a diamond, I’ll find a diamond. Well, God didn’t want me to have a diamond. That’s fine, I have everything I need and even a memento of my diamond search.
We get into Dallas and go through two construction jams on the highways before arriving in Fort Worth. We’ll be staying with relatives tonight before heading home!