This location came to my attention from the Keokuk bible. I wanted a geode with 'malachite on brown calcite' for my collection. In 1969 Steven wrote that numerous geodes containing this copper mineral were 'in situ' in the bed of the creek just north of the railroad bridge. This creek runs through the backyards of several homes and one business.
I asked for permission to hunt from the business owner and got a big no. I spotted an older couple in their backyard at one of the homes along the creek, and asked them. Although reluctant, this nice couple said yes and followed me to the creek. I spotted the vein immediately from their backyard. There were pot mark skeletons where the last of these geodes were dug out. There were absolutely no more geodes to be dug at this location. The only way to expose this vein/pocket and find more is to dig up the backyard of the nice couple who gave me permission to hunt. One end of the vein/pocket runs into a bluff, the other into the backyard. So again, there are no and will be no, geodes found, in my lifetime, at this site. I noticed some fresh diggings slightly undercutting their backyard, and asked if they had given permission lately. They said a geologist from a local college had brought his students up this creek last week. They did not ask for permission but the nice lady said she couldn't be mean and make them go. The kids were having so much fun banging on all the rocks in the riffle.
When she said 'riffle', I looked a few yards downstream and spotted a few 'solids', hung up by their weight, in the rapids. I gathered up all of these solids (two buckets full) to take home and crack. It turns out, just one had a cavity. The cavity was small, but it was brown calcite!. I could see chalcopyrite crystals with a few teeny spots of green, that under a 10x loop, came to life. I had my specimen!
I told the couple thanks (they declined compensation), and drug the two eighty-pound buckets of solids to my truck. After lifting these buckets in my truck, I knew all I had was trash; leaverite for sure. A five gallon bucket of hollows should weigh fifty pounds or less. I thought I had to keep hunting to find the 'malachite on brown calcite' specimen I wanted, and the Keokuk bible showed an exposure upstream.
I drove to the landowners house, upstream, to ask permission and got a big no. He was a deer hunter and he didn't want anybody on his property making noise. Well... I begged and pleaded and promised riches (I am pretty sure I was teary eyed, I really wanted to dig here), and he relented.
This exposure ran for about 100 yards and mostly in the bed of the creek that circles around the landowners backyard. Solid, golf ball sized geodes, were numerous at the beginning of this exposure. I dug about twenty of these and found no hollows. Down the creek a few yards, the bigger geodes start showing up in the water. The shale is very tough and prying these geodes out, while under water, was hard work.
It seemed that every geode I chiseled up was solid. I was digging in a foot of water so I figured the geodes may be full of water and that made them heavy. But that turned out not to be the case. The geodes at this exposure are almost all solid. I only had a dozen hollows out of hundreds of geodes dug.
I cracked a few of these when I returned home and I liked them. They have a very distinct look to their skins and the cavity contents were a grab bag. Gray/blue chalcedony dominated, with calcite, malachite, chalcopyrite, and pyrite secondarys. One I opened was white dogtooth calcite sprinkled with micro chalcopyrite and malachite. Another had gray/blue chalcedony totally coated with stacked pyrite cubes. Those few I opened were not super-geodes, but copper sulfate was present, in some form, in half of them. Three geodes were just common old beautiful gemmy quartz, darn!
I was able to make a deal with this landowner to dig once, every other year. I am to bring no one with me and not to infringe, on or near, hunting season. Please, don't try to sneak up this creek! This exposure is literally in the landowners backyard and they don't want you there. If you want whole geodes from this exposure (I have cracked less than ten), I have a few that I will put on my 'for sale' page from time to time. But these geodes are scarce. I list this exposure as a 'collector' site. That means these geodes are best sold to collectors or geologists who are looking for a particular specimen or location. It would be a big waste to crack these for children who would not give the geode the care it needs to keep the contents undamaged. My 'for sale' page has whole geodes for the 'crack your own geode' kids.