Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, sometimes. Not necessarily if you have to dig for them.
I can’t believe that we hit two towns named Murfreesboro in the same week. One is in Tennessee and the other is here in Arkansas. This one is home to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park. This park is the only diamond mine that the general public can enter and play “finder’s keepers”. The location is just outside Murfreesboro, Arkansas.
The state park’s RV park was closed for remodeling and promises to be outstanding next spring. But the road there is as narrow, in spots, as driving in Mexico. We elected to stay 40 miles away at the Arkadelphia Campground. The folks there are quite nice. Most of their sites are a little narrow. With our four slide-outs, we only had inches on each side. They did have good cable TV, which is a plus, since we couldn’t get satellite reception because of trees. Anyway, we stayed for two nights.
Our goal for this stop was a trip to the Crater of Diamonds to make our fortune. It had rained the night before our arrival and for a nominal fee, we set out to attack the muddy diamond field. This place is called a crater because it was created by the Prairie Creek Volcano.
After some brief instruction, we rented some tools, which consisted of a shovel, three screens, and a bucket. We marched to the field and started to dig for our fortune.
Rick found a spot to dig that looked like all the other places to dig. Thank goodness that it was overcast, the humidity and sunshine would have made it unbearable.
After digging, we had to sift the material through the screens and end up with some various aggregate substance, rocks. This sifting process takes place in one of many dumpsters full of muddy water.
After sifting, you spread the remainder out on a table and look for gems. Tinka, on left, is using a pocket knife to pick at the rocks.
The largest diamond found at this location was over 40 carats in 1924. On average, the park has about 3 diamonds found each day. Our count, ZERO.
If we lived in the area, we would certainly try it again, but perhaps after one of the periodic plowings. The last time it was plowed was in mid June.
Our joint consensus is that panning for gold provides better odds at finding something. We had a ball on our gold trip in California a couple of years ago. View our report on finding gold.
One thing we did find was the quaint town of Delight, Arkansas. They may, perhaps, have some of the oldest Main Street buildings still in use.
We called it a day at about 2:00 PM and just as we returned to the park office, down came torrents of rain followed by blazing sunshine. Once again timing is everything.