Saturday morning we made the first official vacationy stop of our vacation. The boys have been after me to take them to the Crater of Diamonds State Park ever since they found out about it. They wanted to strike it rich and sell the diamonds for millions of dollars.
Baby A’s still aiming for the Botler.
I had not told the boys that we were going to Crater Park on this trip. All I said was that there was a secret destination on Saturday that they were going to love.
I had to keep it a secret so that I could have something to hold over their heads so they’d behave while I spent hours catching up with old and new friends the day before.
Worked like a charm.
We left Arkadelphia and headed to Murphreesboro and the whole way I tried to warn my city boys that the park might be a little bit….um… what’s the right word….OUTDOORSY and they needed to be prepared to get dirty. They swore up and down that they were ready for whatever Nature would throw their way, as finding loads of bling would be worth every grunge encrusted minute.
They were not prepared.
But this guy was.
I became slightly concerned when I saw this picture of the appropriate way to look for the stones.
This looked way too much like a typical school morning at the Casa de Carpool looking for the homework that got shoved underneath the couch.
It did not scream “relaxation” to me.
The boys didn’t seem to mind though, and they definitely did not have time to read stinkin’ instructions. They had acres of field to conquer.
And I do mean acres.
Did I mention it had recently rained?
And this was a field?
And I was wearing sandals?
While they didn’t hand out those protective shoe covers like the pest control guy wears when he’s in your house, they did hand out latex kitchen gloves to keep our hands relatively clean.
Again, reminded me of toilet scrubbing.
Not the happy place I was envisioning.
If I have any readers that have physically handicapped kids, just know that this park is NOT handicap friendly. I was able to get T’s wheelchair down to the edge of the field, but then it was lifting and carrying to the nearest furrow. There’s no way we could make it to the sluicing tables.
It didn’t phase him.
He dug for about 15 minutes and then announced he was ready to go to Target or play with my iPhone, whichever was more convenient for me. I put him back in his wheelchair and he proceeded to watch videos and call China and take pictures of me with very bad hair.
The other two lasted about 15 minutes longer and came back beet red and sweaty and announced that diamond mining was not going to be a career choice in their future. I sent them over to play in the water hoses while I continued to dig in the dirt and generally enjoy thirty minutes of quiet, albeit dirty, solitude.
I had a LOT of togetherness over the previous 48 hours.
We finally had what we thought was a good amount of diamonds and we went to the classification center to learn our fate.
JJ was pretty sure he had a rare brown diamond, and it turned out to be a diamond of the brokenbeerbottle variety.
No valuable rocks were to be had that day, just some jasper, which sounds exotic, but really it just weighs a ton and rattles around in the car, so we headed up to the gift shop and got a little souvenier to commemorate our adventure.
Even though we struck out, it was really a neat experience, heat and dirt notwithstanding. The boys got to do something new, it was educational, hands on, and something that we got to check off our bucket list.
All in all, a gem of a day.