By Jim Mellos

Met 18 people, total of eight vehicles.  Included in the caravan were two low-riding sedans and some poor soccer mom's minivan.  Anyone who has been to the Hauser Geode Beds and then to the Opal Hill Fire Agate mine knows what a grueling drive that is for a high-clearance, four-wheel drive, let alone a street car.

Everyone made it to the first dig site in one piece – AMAZING!  The collecting site was very rich and many fine pieces were collected.  A stiff breeze made the 95-degree heat feel like 94.  After about four hours, everyone had filled their bags, buckets, et cetera, and it was time to move on to our campsite which was the Opal Hill Fire Agate mine.

About 30 minutes later, we all rolled up to the mine site which is really a shallow pit.  We were minus one of the sedans which had broken off from the group to head for home. All others accounted for, the minivan and the sedan both making it to the mine and up the hill to the dig site – DOUBLE AMAZING!  Okay, there were some parts missing, but the only way you could tell is if you could see both sides of the vehicle at the same time and we all know that's impossible.  Anyway, what happens in the desert, stays in the desert!

Everyone set up camp and/or collected agate.  After a few hours, it got dark and campfires were lit, stories were told, good food like chile mixed with green beans was eaten.  I personally had none – it looked like it sounds, awful.  About 11:00pm everyone was ready to turn in –it had been a long day.

The next day most everyone was up with the sun.  Making breakfast, hiking, hammering, and enjoying the use of the only bathroom for miles.  At about 9:30 we packed it up, and due to the heat I decided to head to a collecting area closer to home called Indian Pass.  Most everyone had never been there, and there is plenty to find in a short amount of time.  We arrived there about 11:00am and by 1:30pm, we were headed home with beautiful pieces of palm root, jasper, and dumortierite.  The trip ran smoothly and was problem-free.  All of you, thanks for coming.

Learn how to finish those Fire Agates you've prospected for at Opal Hill Mine
read an excerpt from L.D. Hughes' book »

Read about the discovery of the Hauser Geode Beds by Barbara Kimball Hauser

Learn more about the Opal Hill Fire Agate Mine »

Still more on Fire Agates in "Quest For Fire At Opal Hill Mine," by Dusty Rhoads, available online at


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