Today was the first longer day of the trip. In fact, there’s a few of those lined up over the next couple days. But more on that later…

First, a disclaimer: I apologize in advance if this reads like the ramblings of a madman. I’m writing this from our tent, rain fly off of course, and it’s currently 87 degrees. 87 DEGREES AND ITS ALMOST 10 AT NIGHT!

Alright, now that’s out of the way. 

We left Uncle Gary and Aunt Michelle’s house this morning just before 9. Our goal was Crater of Diamonds State Park by dinner time.  Before that could be realized, a major milestone of the trip occurred: we crossed the Mississippi River. I had never done so by car so it was kind of a big deal. For Nicky, she had done so before so I’m grateful for the fact I was driving. 

We made it with good time to spare, rented our panning equipment and headed to the mine. 

Take a look at the video on our YouTube channel, because I neglected to take a photo. It is clearly not a mine in the sense one usually thinks of mines. It’s more like a scene from roots, but with more white people in the fields.

…like I said earlier, ramblings of a mad man. 

Anyways, we dug shovel fills of dirt and dumped them into a bucket which we then carried to sluice trough for sifting. 

Shaking the screen to and fro, we sifted out the larger rocks from the smaller ones and used my pocket knife to pickier small, clear baubles we believed to be diamonds.   

The heat got to me and I was no longer a pleasant diamond miner. So, we turned in our equipment and had our hopeful jewels appraised. Unfortunately, we walked away poorer than when we had arrived. No diamonds for us. But we certainly wanted to pitch our tent as the sun was slowly setting. 

  Daisy State Park is situated about 25mins from crater of diamonds. The brief trip brought us to a lakeside campsite and just enough time to pitch our tent and enjoy the sunset. This would be my favorite view on the trip so far, at least from a camp site that is.   

Remember how I mentioned earlier that it’s hot as hell? Well let me make that more clear: it’s hot as Arkansas in July. There. Now you get the heat here. 

We fortunately had the luxury of showers on the campsite so we took a nice cold one to cool off. Nicky gave me the advice of not moving around like a northerner and just move slower, like people in the south. Funny thing is it worked. I didn’t want to die nearly as badly. 

The temperature is due to cool off as time goes on but not dip much below high 70s. On that note, all of you people with AC right now can go pound salt.