I arrived mid-afternoon Monday and registered at the visitors center...if you wait until 4:00PM you can buy a ticket for access to the field for today and tomorrow. They give you your first hour free if you do it this way. After pitching my tent, getting my stuff organized and having some lunch,
I made my way back to the visitors center to be first in line for the the four o'clock rush. Turned out it was a line of one...me. Am I the only one that excited about this place? Anyway, I went out and walked the fields and discovered it was pretty hot and the sun was quite strong.
I also noticed that there are three distinct ways of searching for diamonds. The first, which is what I was doing is just walking around the field, poking here and there with a stick and picking up what you find. The second way is dry sifting. You bring or rent a sifting contraption, hand shovel and a bench of some sort, pick your spot and begin methodically sifting and looking for your treasure. I quickly discovered that you get your dirt from one place and sift it into another place. Don't mix them up or you will be working with the same dirt over and over again. So I found a spot and started sifting first thing Tuesday morning
Here is the sifter that I rented. I had not really sifted it enough to say there was nothing in that batch but I think you get the idea... try to get in down to pretty much all the small stuff, if a diamond is not waving at you, try again with another batch!
Actually, before I headed down the the field to search for diamonds on Tuesday, I took a nice little hike on the Little Missouri River trail which is about 1.2 miles long and is half paved and half single track. It was quite enjoyable and I had the entire place to myself!
There were a couple of these bridges over what was supposed to be a small stream, but with the very dry summer that we have had it was just over a dry gully.
I did not find any diamonds. I did find quite a bit of Jaspar, which is a brownish, smooth almost creamy stone. Anyway, I was there for the fun of it and I sure did have plenty of that.