As you may have already figured out, my crew cannot get enough of treasure hunting and so you can imagine, digging for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park is all anyone could talk about leading up to the trip. For some reason, this particular area holds a treasure trove of diamonds and on an average between 2 and 5 are found daily. The area is plowed twice daily in the hopes that the diamonds will come to the surface and be found more easily. Inside the check in area we learned about what to look for and then rented our gear—shovels, buckets, and pans—and set out in the hot sun to scour the ground for real diamonds. The kids set off with illusions of becoming rich and got to digging, picking spots that they felt were particularly lucky.
We dug and sifted and dug and sifted some more. It was brutally hot and after awhile, I sat under a tree to rest. In order to not leave my camera in the dirt I hung it in a tree and then set out to dig some more. When everyone had some gravel to wash, we headed to the sluicing area which consisted of some large tubs filled with dirty water, and rinsed our pans to see what we'd found. Sadly none of us found any real diamonds...Everyone had a long face as we handed our tools back in. The rangers told us some truly awesome stories about some incredible finds (although I am not sure I believe all of them) and then we packed up and headed to our next stop.
About and hour down the road, I realized something was missing. My camera was still hanging in the tree. It was way too late to go back so I called the ranger station at the park which by now had already closed and left a message. The next morning the ranger called me back and informed me he'd found my camera. He offered to pack it up and send it to my home since were on the move for the next couple of days. It arrived safe and sound after we got back home and I was thrilled to have it back. I would have been devastated since it had all my trip photos. It warmed my heart to know there are still good hearted and honest folks out there who believe in doing the right thing.
Crater of Diamonds state park is a thrilling adventure, and I wish you all the luck in the world if you go and hope you find your diamond in the rough. Though we didn't find any, the memories we made were worth more than any diamonds and that's all that really matters.