It's a beautiful July Sunday morning and we are looking forward to two beautiful weeks of active rest (surprisingly that means collecting minerals), we set off with all our gear from the Geosvět shop in Londýnská street through the empty streets of Prague towards border crossing Cínovec. The expedition has a strong set up - Jirka, Pavel (collecting minerals and prospecting), Honza (documentation) and Milda (provisions etc.). Our main objective is over 2000 km far - just below the polar circle in Norway. Today we are heading for the Swedish city Malmö, a little over 900 km far, where we have reservations for accommodation. Aside from a little glitch by the new highway roundabout at Dresden and some problems with the brand new coolbox with provision our trip was trouble-free. The second day we put another thousand behind us to Sundsvall and in the afternoon of the third day we are already saying hallo to our friend Arno by his cabin at the first locality. The car is no longer empty by then - on our way from Sundsvall we found a quartz dike, or more like stock-work with beautiful cavities full of small crystals up to 2 cm combined with crystals of dolomite or ankerite. Again nothing much, but for starters an encouraging find. Jirka and Honza know Arne's place pretty well (see Jirka's reportage "In search of the northern crystals"), Milda and I came this far north in Norway for the first time. The cabin is perfectly furnished, only electricity is lacking (but what would it be good for, as it's light here almost 24 hours a day) and water, which we bring from a nearby spring. One thing that's not lacking is the scourge of the north: omnipresent mosquitoes and bloodthirsty black-flies, against which there is practically no effective protection. They get anywhere through layers of repelent, especially into hair and beards, and the sun acts really funny too - anyone who'd try to stick to old scout rules and localize the north by the hands of the watch would most certainly get lost - it does not come down until after three AM in the far northwest! I couldn't believe until I've seen it with my own eyes.
But let's get back to stones: this locality is formidable and you will not find many likes of it across Europe. Basic information is contained in Jirka's reportage, I will only add a bit of deposit geology: it is a system of quartz dikes and cavities strongly silicificated regionally metamorphosed rhyolites, thick about 400 m and longitudinal length of over half a kilometre. Some zones with cavities in the overlaying body part strongly resemble the Slovak localities Šobov or Banská Belá, but they are much older. Only a smaller part of the surface (approx. ¼) is prospective for collectors, the rest is covered by iceberg sediments and boulder rubble. Mineralization was rather drab - the oldest mineral filling the dikes and cavities is a lump adular of a reddish shade, the cavities are predominantly filled with quartz and rarely there is the youngest crystallized calcite, chlorite and clayed minerals. Quartz appears in many varieties - in the bedrock of the zone it's mostly smoke quartz (in short prismatic crystals up to 20 cm in druses several meters large), towards the overlaying formation the predominant types of quartz are common and milky quartz (frequently "petticoat" development) and in the overlay from several dozen centimetres up to several metres there are numerous large cavities with perfect crystals and milky quartz sized up to 20 cm, of many varied shapes ("s" surfaces, rare Japanese intergrowths). The cavities are mostly loose, with partially loosened druses, which can be taken out carefully by light leverage. At the time of our visit it was obvious that this part of the locality is the most popular among collectors: all accessible cavities were mined out, including the one Jirka and Honza found during their last visit and did not manage to mine out fully.Page 1/4 Story continued