The first three day weekend of 2012 sparked a need in me to get outdoors (farther than the backyard, that is), and do something "outdoorsy" (other than weeding, feeding squirrels or sweeping leaves, that is).
A quick summation of cost, distance and time led us to visit the "Black Chasm" Caverns out in Volcano. Which is close to Jackson. Which is close to...uh...Lodi..which is...you get the picture - we were out where the cows roam and the GPS signal does as well.
Of course, DP came along for the adventure:
First Step: Purchase Bag of Mining Sand ($7-9 dollars)
Second Step: Take bag outside to mining area to"ore" it:
Third Step: Reveal about $7 worth of gemstones:
This activity was so much fun that DP insisted we purchase another bag of sand (this would be the fourth step). After mining another $7 worth of gemstones, DP could not understand how not all the real miners were able to make a living at mining. I mean, look at all we found in just two bags of mining sand!
This formation is the famous "dragon" formation, which explained why there was so much Dragon themed crap in the gift shop:
One last photo of the cavern floor:
After about an hour, it was time to ascend to the gift shop level:
We spent the remainder of daylight perusing shelves containing such gems as below:
Here's the link!