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nearby Lake Ouachita State Park

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Open Bike Rally
(Hot Springs 2006)

Malia's Notes on
Arkansas State Parks

Ron Coleman Mining

Hwy. 7 North (14 miles north of Hot Springs)
(12 miles from Lake Ouachita State Park CG)


Here's a working mine that opens an area to the public so we can have the thrill of discovering our own treasures to take home. You can get down and dirty while you mine for the sparkling quartz crystal beauties that are only found in Arkansas. The surrounding green mountains make for nice views, too.
It was great to meet some fellow RVers. This was also the first visit for Virgil & Dolores Shuster from W. Palm Beach, FL. They said they RV about 6 months out of the year, returning to FL once the hurricane season is over. Here they are holding their favorite find (insert shows larger detail).
Now here's a guy who knew what he was doing - Justin Thurman from Princeton, Kansas has been coming here for 5 years. It was his girlfriend, Dana Frerichs', first time and she's showing her 2 point crystal here. Justin was real nice about sharing his tips for making the most of your mining experience. He said his best finds are in the "peanut butter mud" so look for the mushy stuff and turn over rocks or pick around. The crystals look black nestled in the dirt as they're absorbing the color of the dark earth. Other tips: wear gloves because some of the shards are sharp and knee pads come in real handy. He said it's actually easier to see the crystals on rainy days when he just basically sits in the mud and digs around, so wear old clothes. On hot and sunny days like we had today, be sure to wear sunscreen and bring lots of water to drink. He warned me about "Crystal Fever" - a condition that makes you forget such important things in the excitement of finding your own gifts from Mother Earth.
And here's what I came home with - I was thrilled to find a traditional shaped single pointy one (sitting on top of the dark rock) and the double point to the right. Too bad the pic just doesn't do justice to the beauty of any of these treasures. Afterwards, I could have spent all day just looking at the rocks, crystals and slag glass in the gift shop - some truly incredible things there, but nothing compared to the blast I had finding my own!
Crystal Ridge RV Park - within walking distance from the mine is a nice little RV park with a total of 24 spaces. All have water and 30 amp service, and 10 have sewer hookups. All sites are $12.50/night on a first come basis - no reservations accepted. There's showers, laundry room and dump station here, too.

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