By day, the Ace of Diamonds quartz crystal mine’s piles of “tailings,” the rocks dug out and left over from larger crystal excavations, sparkle in the sun. Slivers of what almost look like glass buried in the dried mud shimmer across the property. A welcome breeze always seems to cool a sweaty brow at the exact right moment. People of all ages clamber up and down the dusty piles of rubble, looking for errant shiny gems, or smash chunks of rock out of the ledge with sledgehammers in search of crystals.
By night, smoke from campfires gives the area the smell of burned wood and roasted hot dogs. Patrons sporting old Megadeth and G’N’R tee shirts with bandanas tied around their heads sit, passing blunts back and forth. Tents in all sizes and colors dot the hillside, giving the place the feeling of a Grateful Dead show afterparty. The air tastes sweet.
Courtesy of Jessica Delfino
This is just one of the crystal mines I escape to when the city gets to be too much.
A four-hour drive north …