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  • Writer's pictureShane Moore

The Battle of the Elements

I do not like the cold. To be more specific, I hate, I loathe, I despise the cold. I have never been the type to venture out of doors in under 30 degrees even as a child let alone now that I live on blood thinners. That's what makes it almost comical that me, Sherry Moore, I, went digging in freezing weather.

Any extreme weather comes with challenges. In the summer, for instance, Herkimers need to be kept cool or they can pop. I am not kidding or exaggerating this. Herkimers can have tiny air pockets or water pockets, enhydros in them. If they heat up too fast, they expand and crack or pop the crystal.

Actually, this happened to crystals that came out of the first pocket at Area 52. Shane was stoked finally hitting a pocket. There wasn't too much in it but there was one perfect, and I mean, PERFECT double terminated skeletal. Shane took it out, we checked it out and it was placed on the table we keep covered. The only problem with this was the sun moved and at some point the crystal was warmed by the sun. Pop! It was now a still pretty single terminated skeletal.

Well, the winter is not different. If you are lucky enough to have ledge or by some grace of the gods, the ground has yet to free, you can still get some material. Now, I am talking about by hand not by machine. I will write a whole other perspective of machinery another time. Anyway, if you are blessed and find a pocket or a crystal in the mud, there is a stronger chance it can break unless brought to temperature slowly. We try to keep the crystals in their pocket mud until we get home to help with this.

Another challenge of winter digging is all of the gear you need. Now this is me, and I may, (probably am) a bit extreme but I wore 1 set of leggings, heavy two layer sweatpants, snow pants, a tank, t-shirt hoodie, and fleece, 3 pairs of socks under my boots, a hat and ear warmers all covered with a heavy coat. Again, I hate the cold. With all of this on, it is extremely hard to move. There was very little chance of me slinking like a cat around the rock walls.

Probably the most difficult thing about digging is the ice. You see, as we dig pits, they fill with water and then freeze. Yea we can drain them but if they freeze over, there isn't much you can do. Luckily we have a lot of ground scores available to play with at Area 52.

Digging is not for the soft. It's rough on the body, the skin. You can dig for days, weeks, months and yes years and find nothing. But there is just something about it that is just intoxicating. You get to enjoy nature, get some exercise and maybe find a treasure.


I am so excited to say that the new shirt designs are almost finished. They are just fun.

We are now doing live auctions, two a month during the off season. Be on the lookout for material from Area 51, 52, eventually 53 and 54, some of Shane's collection. We also will feature some material from a friend of mine who passed. He was a great man and I miss him dearly. His family asked us to see if anyone wanted some of his pretties.

Be ready for some new content of youtube and IG. Shane will be doing tutorials, information content as well as our usual fun stuff.

Herkimer oil and incense is now available. Keep an eye, more scents are coming.

Finally, we are beginning to book shows for this year. Keep an eye on our IG, Facebook and of course right here. We are developing a new look to our booth and creating a very interactive experience.

Keep warm everyone, Keep safe and remember Minerals=LOVE

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