See this sign?
This little shop is between rafting and float shops along the road for the Illinois River, just outside of Tahlequah. See this fella?
This here's Steve. He doesn't own a computer, so the shop doesn't have a website. He's a really intelligent guy, though, and knows his rocks inside and out. I'm here to tell ya that stopping at this gem shop was a half day adventure. The kids had a great time, got an education, and everyone went home with something sparkly. Always a plus. Even the boys loved their sparklies.
I won't tell you about or show you everything. You'll see Lucky in a moment, the resident mutt. Let's start with a couple of highlights. Who wants to tell me what these two items are?
The one on the right is probably somewhat obvious. Steve said it was a dinosaur fossil. I knew immediately what it was, because I'm a weirdo that way. But Steve made sure all the kids held it before confirming that yes, it's dinosaur poo. Everyone held dinosaur poo.
On the left the piece is composed of nickel and ... stuff. And didn't originate on planet earth. How cool is that, holding dinosaur poo and a rock from outer space on the same day? Everyone but the birthday girl thought it was cool. She wasn't too happy about having held poo of any kind.
The other cool oddity on the property was a rock Steve found and brought home. Lucky guards it while Steve sleeps. Steve swears it's by far the largest of its kind to be found. He's looking for a buyer. Check it out:
This, my friends, is Oklahoma's state rock, the Rose Rock. Steve says this one's about 4,000 pounds. Any gift shop in the state will turn up little Rose Rocks in bags, cheap. Cute things. Made of barite, even though they look like they're made of sand. These suckers are heavy, and this one is ginormous.
Pretty cool little roses, huh? I think they look more like barnacles.
That there's Lucky, guarding the rock. Good dog.
The kids' favorite part of the afternoon was the popping of the geodes. It was AWESOME. Steve heads to Keokuk, IA, every year to dig up geodes to pop and sell in the summer. He has crates of different sizes, so you can pick your own, and they're priced according to size. The ones my kids got were six bucks apiece.
Steve's quite the showman, bringing the kids into the sunlight before opening the geode, telling them that they'll be the first person on earth to see what's inside the rock they chose. Look at the happy children with their geodes!
The boys also like the geodes. Even though Red Rocks tried to burn a hole in Steve's hand with the fru fru lens.
And that, my friends, was our trip to Natural Delights Rocks and Gems. I highly recommend a visit. Tell Steve that Flea sent ya. He won't have a clue who you're talking about, but I'll bet he'll pretend he does. Oh, and ask to see the leverite rocks. They're amazing.
Until I write again ...
P.S. Here's the info, should you chance to be out that way: