|First, an exploration crew armed with a trackhoe scouts those areas where good crystals were found in the past. At each location they will spend a few hours digging a trench||Here an experienced SVMC technician examines the mud crystals from a test trench to see if they are good enough for our show visitors.|
If the specimens look good, the backhoe scoops out the mud, and loads it into waiting ore trucks. Some years, the technicians have collected mud from as many as thirteen different holes! That's a lot of work on our behalf!
Trucks carry the mud to the collection site where it is dumped. Each truck may make many trips over a period of two or three days, making 150-200 tons of crystal ladden mud available. The final step is to spread the mud the afternoon before the field trip to reduce your work to find good specimens.
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