This sign marks the entrance to the world famous Bear Lake Diggings locality near Bancroft, Ontario

It was 3 p.m. Saturday before my collecting buddy Dave Redfield and I met up to start the long ten hour drive to Bancroft, Ontario (the so-called "Mineral Capital of Canada") for a week of collecting. Dave is a wonderful traveling companion on a collecting trip for several reasons: First, he volunteered the use of his truck, which could carry back a ton of rocks (assuming we found any good enough to keep). Second, he insisted on doing all the driving, so my share of the work was to navigate and keep talking so Dave didn't fall asleep. Third, Dave is a superb raconteur, and supplied a never-ending stream of stories and witty remarks that helped make the trip fly past. We stopped for dinner en route, then pushed on to Bancroft, arriving after 1:00 AM at our campground. Although our reservation didn't start until the next night, we were in luck and found a spot to pitch our tent and crawl into our sleeping bags for some much-needed sleep.