“Finley, how much do you think that huge agate is worth?” I ask. “$100.00,” Finley responds. Daley adds, “No, it’s worth $24.00.”
Finley found her treasured agate during the Agate Stampede at Moose Lake Agate Days. Two dump trucks spilled mixed loads of 400 lbs. of agates, 1,600 quarters, and rocky gravel along two of blocks of Elm Avenue in downtown Moose Lake. After a cannon sounded, it was a finders-keepers wild scramble for all ages.
We thought we were prepared with nail aprons for the kids so their hands were free. We were clearly novices. Others used spray bottles to instantly clean the dirty rocks, verifying they were agates and not just random rocks. Others had hand-held garden rakes to work through the pile quicker. Others scooped large 5-gallon buckets full of the mix to sort through off to the side.
In the end, Daley and Finley were thrilled that each found a quarter, lots of random rocks, and a handful of raw agates, one of which was as big as Finley’s hand.
After the stampede, we headed to the art fair a few blocks away at Moose Lake City Park. The park had a playground, picnic area, bathrooms, changing rooms, and a public swimming beach. The kids played on the sand beach.
Finely even took a refreshing dip in the lake…in her clothes (Rule #3, broken again! But luckily we did follow Rule #2).
Adjacent to the park was a free gem and mineral show at the local high school. Outside, several plastic baby pools were filled with dirt and polished agates for kids ages 8 and under. Tim and I sat in the much-appreciated shade of a tree while the kids dug and dug and dug.
Little geologists excavating for prized — and priceless — gems.
Moose Lake Agate Days is always the third weekend in July. It’s worth a trip.
Have you been to Moose Lake Agate Days? Share your tips in the comment box below. Thanks!