In an old collection of whole geodes I purchased, was a bucket full of oil stained geodes marked... 'Tyson Creek bridge'. On one of my travels to Keokuk I decided to take a drive up the Great River Road to check out this area. I parked at the bridge and spent a few minutes checking the ditches on both sides of the road. There was nothing but top soil and grass, and I worked my way up the ditch on the east side of the road. On the hillside, across the fence, I could see a few small geodes weathering out of the soil, so I headed on up the hill, to the house on the top, to ask permission. I passed an old pickup along the driveway, with its bed full of geodes and a 'for sale' sign, and I stopped to feel a few for hollowness. They were all solid. The man who owned the geodes came out to see what I was doing and I asked him where the good stuff was. He laughed and said this was the good stuff.
I asked for permission to hunt the hillside but he did not own the property by the creek. He had only a few acres and didn't know or wouldn't tell me who the owner was. As I headed back down to my vehicle I saw a pickup pull in behind my truck. Dread filled me as I made my way down to the bridge. It is never good when a landowner finds me... before I find them. He was nice and asked what I was doing parked at the bridge. I told him my business and asked for permission to check out the creek. He said he was the caretaker of the property and that no permission was allowed. They had trouble with rockhounds leaving gates open and ruts in the fields, etc. so they were done with letting people hunt. He kept chatting... something about a bridge they had moved and rebuilt piece by piece and pointed to a cool bridge for a driveway that crossed the creek on the other side of the highway. I was nursing my disappointment in not being able to hunt the creek, and wasn't listening. As we said our goodbys, I told him about the oil geodes I had purchased, and asked where they may have come from. He said when the highway department folks were working on the bridge, they hit a pocket of geodes in the drainage ditch along the west side of the road. This was a long time ago, and it appears to me that what is left of this pocket is now buried deeply in overburden.
It seems that this locality will be off limits for some time. I don't know if there is a pocket of oil geodes up the creek, but this property is posted and patrolled, and I will never know. I think a full bucket of hollow oil geodes will be enough to accommodate all of you who needs one for their collection. I intend to sell the contents of this bucket of whole oil geodes for you to crack yourself, or leave whole... so check out my 'for sale' page if you need one of these less than fabulous Keokuk oil geodes from the Tyson Creek bridge.
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