A beautiful spring is here, and went out to Cherokee Ruby Mine on Saturday the 2nd. Found a really nice violet sapphire with a termination early on; the photos below don’t show the color well. Also including a few pics from the grounds, showing the lovely conditions and some of the improvements the new owners have made!
On something I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ll go ahead and name the old gold locale on Forest Service land that I did get a chance to check out: Ammons Branch, which flows into the Chattooga by the old Iron Bridge. If you are ok with “hands and pans” only, and feel like roughing it, hey, might give it a shot. Free, and signs say prospecting is allowed (but no mining; once again, hands and pans). The area by the campground on Bull Pen Rd is about the only area of that creek I saw that could be easily accessed. Panned some there but didn’t see anything. Somebody willing to bushwhack might do better? If nothing else, it is a beautiful area, with plenty of places to hike and fish along the Chattooga itself. Bull Pen Rd itself is a bit of a nightmare, IMO… much is only wide enough for one car, rough, and sharp bends.
Bit of an update… bought a piece of property on Hogback Mountain that turned out to have some interesting boulders right off the back edge. Actually, one of them may even fall on the property, but I think the others are in the green space belonging to the development. Quite different than anything I’ve ever seen. They are settled into a ravine area and I’m guessing rolled down from somewhere higher up.
Long story short, this purchase had nothing to do with rockhounding — jumped on a lot valued at 30k but being unloaded at 1k by a developer so that we could be able to pay the fees (all combined breaks down to about a hundred a month) and so be able to use all the Sapphire Valley amenities. Very worth it for us, and also, this isn’t a typical “amenity lot” but actually seems to be a pretty decent piece of land. Who knows, may build at some point. For those who stay in the area, might want to take a look at Sapphire Valley Resort and see all they have– three pools, three hot tubs, a couple saunas, gym, game room, Fairfield Lake, ect. The fees for a lot break down to about $105 a month, about what you’d pay for a couple people to belong to a gym, but lots more here for a family to do. I actually saw a lot go for $100; there are some steals now if you just want membership.
Anyways, I do know there is corundum in various spots on Hogback, though the closest documented occurrence, Brockton, is down the street a bit. This property is roughly a mile east of the north tip of Hogback lake closer to Rock Creek than Hogback Creek. When taking a look around this property for the first time, was surprised to see an old overgrown trail behind, with stone steps going up as far as I could see.
How long were those steps put in, I wonder? Also, who else was chipping at the boulders? It sure looks to me like they’ve been chipped away at… local rockhounds who have been shut out of the old sapphire mine on 64 in recent years, or maybe remains of older explorations? Or both? Or maybe it just looks like chip marks and
was caused by water? There are creeks on the property, looked a bit at the material, heavy in quartz and mica.
And what exactly are we looking at here? Maybe decomposed mica on the yellow? Decomposed feldspar on the pink, perhaps? Maybe garnet schist? I admit I took a few thwacks at the boulder I think to be on my property, and found it to be very soft, almost a talc-like material produced when hit.