We had a full weekend of events planned including a nursing student from Taiwan, but there was a mix up in the scheduling and we were left student-less. I was bummed about this but came up with an alternate idea. I recommended that we go hunting for geodes in Indiana. A few months back at my son's science night at school one of the teachers displayed his rocks & minerals that he'd been collecting for years. My son (Parker) was fascinated by it all. We found out that there was great gem collecting the next state over. It's been in the back of my mind to go for a while, but it was never the right time. We decided to go for it and I spent some time researching on Friday evening.
When I realized that it was 3 hours away I started to reconsider, but my son stepped up and helped get things prepared. He had to be at camp at Sunday so we scrambled to get him packed and get things packed for our day out on Saturday. I had a 2 hour commitment on Saturday morning so we didn't get on the road until after 10am. We had some tools, plenty of water, and some snacks (including some FRESH kettle corn) and we got on the freeway. Even the dog went with us. After stopping for some lunch, which we ate in a nice grassy area, we arrived to the Lake Monroe area (south of Bloomington, IN) and started to search near the spillway. It just didn't look like what we were looking for so I asked a guy that was walking back to his truck after fishing if he knew good places to get geodes. He was very friendly and pointed us in the right direction. We went about 1/4 mile down to the emergency spillway and walked down to the shoreline. After we got past the spillway we started spotting small brain shaped rocks. After a few minutes we had piles of them! Some were already broken open and we saw lots of fossils. Everyone was very excited! The teen (Jake) hiked back up to the van with a small load and brought back the tools. We had fun breaking apart some rocks, skipping rocks on the lake, and just hanging out.
DH (Eric) & Jake carried a bag of geodes back to the van. They guessed it weighed about 125#. After enjoying the fresh fruit I packed we went up the road to a creek that the fisherman pointed out. Dori had fallen asleep, so Eric stayed at the van with her while the boys, dog & I explored the creek for more geodes. We found many more geodes, but had to call it quits when we realized we couldn't carry them all. We loaded them all in the van and headed toward home. We got to listen to the entire Cubs game, which helped time move along.
It was a great family day. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we all got along really well. I think this is important as we took Parker to camp today (7 hr roundtrip) and Jake leaves on Tuesday for a youth trip to New Orleans. So Dori will be an only child for a few days. She will relish it! Eric is on vacation this week, so she's sure to get plenty of attention!