Sunday, March 31, 2013

Geode Catching

When I was a student IU, I discovered there were geodes in the gullies all around the Monroe Reservoir.  I've been fascinated with rocks all my life and a geode I bought in a gift shop at age 8 was one of my prize possessions.  So, even though I was in college when I discovered the Indiana geodes, I thought I had found a gold mine.  I brought about 40 of them back to Michigan.  I smashed some with hammers (no easy feat) and my dad had the Pontiac Plastics guys cut some with their special saws.

After IU, I moved around a lot.  For one of those moves, I decided it was time to leave my geodes wherever I was.  I don't remember where that is, exactly   They're probably in Fenton near our old house baffling some amateur geologist.

Our trip out West a couple of years ago got the kids interested in rocks, especially Tate.  Like me, the kids always wanted to buy geodes in the gift shops of Rock City, Meramec Cavern, Yellowstone Park, wherever.   And they loved my stories of finding piles of geodes on the ground.  I told the them the area around IU was lousy with them and if we ever visited, they could get some of their own.  They remembered that promise, so this morning we trekked down to the Monroe Reservoir.  

The ones I found in college were around Eagle Point, a private golf course and resort.  The security is pretty tight there now, so we opted for a nearby State Park.  We searched around for a while until I  spotted a ditch along a road.  That's what you need, running water-- they were everywhere.

Here's Harper getting ready to explore

And we had geodes in no time!

Tate was so excited to find this flattish one.

Here's Fisher exploring geode creek.  Those round rocks behind him are all geodes/

Fisher running along the road.

Fishing geodes out of a ditch is dirty work.

Of course. the first thing the kids wanted to do was break them open.  I explained they were a lot harder than the road and throwing them at the asphalt would probably just make potholes.  Then I spotted an iron manhole cover.  It was like they put a geode opener right there for us.
The moment of impact

This one shattered.

And left a nice cloud of quartz and dolomite dust

This one split into perfect pieces.  Just needs some polish.

Here's a three piece one put back together.

And split apart.

Harper displaying her three piece geode.

EB loved the geodes and the geode hunting.  What you can't see is that her shoes  (only pair) and socks (only pair) are both soaked.  I had to give her some of my smart wool socks and Harper let her wear these old mocassins of Grandmas.   Remember my muddy jeans?  We looked fine walking in to the Olive Garden for Easter Supper.

One pose before leaving geode creek.

I look like a happy little kid, myself

Happy Harper
After hunting, we went down to Four Winds and the kids posed in the gazebo in their IU gear.

Seems our trips always devolve into something like this!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Visit to IU -- aka a walk down memory lane for Peter

The side door-- This didn't even have a lock when I was here.

On the front steps -- 11:00 am on a Saturday is like 6:00 am to college students

DU with the kids.

Checking out the new mantle and crest on the foyer.  We had the place to ourselves.

Fisher, admiring the Art in the DU foyer.

EB and sweet neon in the pool room.

This poor guy was up and around so he "volunteered" to be our tour guide.  He was great about it and he even had my old room.  Grateful at this moment that walls can't talk.

Getting ready to watch some water polo.

Harper is sporting her Michigan gear for the game.

Kids hanging out at a mural outside of TIS.
Harper during a break in the Water Polo Game
This was a tough match and both teams played really well

Harper with Michigan player and LT Alum Kirby Kaptur after Michigan's big win over Indiana.

We passed this on the way back to the car and couldn't resist.

The kids under a mural of Herman Wells and the Sample Gates

One more mural shot.  Should I explain to the kids who Kinsey is?

Last mural shot, and all that jazz.

Harper hanging out in the Peoples Park on Kirkwood

EB in Peoples Park on Kirkwood.

Daniels People at the People's Park.


Some of the Art the kids loved.  We may have to order some

EB's favorite-- check this guy's art out at the Poeple's Park .

Tate's favorite.

Harper's favorite.

The Sample Gates

Walking into Campus

Harper was made for college

Checking the time

The kids outside of the Union

The crest in the room holding the book of IU veterans

Beck Chapel

Clock Tower

Showalter Fountain

EB playing in the fountain


One of my favorite spots and where my love of coffee was born

This about sums it up after a long, tiring day.


The kids leaving their mark at Mother Bears

Tate imitating Art at the Union.

Posing by the IU Tree Cozy