The Surprise Pocket
in Gilman Notch, Center Ossipee, Carroll County, New Hampshire

by Jonathon Herndon and Eric S. Greene

All photos by Eric Greene. Click on photos to see enlarged versions.


View of Bayle Mountain reflected in Connor Pond, Ossipee, New Hampshire

This is article was first published in the March-April, 2011 edition of Rocks & Minerals magazine. The only changes that have been made are to add extra photos. This article is reproduced with permission of the publisher. Rocks & Minerals is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g935274222.

Arguably the greatest thrill for any serious field collector is discovering, opening and collecting an over-sized, jam-packed crystal pocket. Unfortunately, it's an event that most field collectors never experience. When such an exciting find does occur, it's a thrill that we believe should be shared with the mineral collecting community. The tale of the Surprise Pocket is such a story - with an appalling twist - as told through the eyes of coauthor Jon Herndon.

Ossipee Mountains, Ossipee, New Hampshire, October, 2011


A pristine 3" smoky quartz crystal is removed from the pocket


Fortunately, it cleaned up pretty good!

What a perfect day for collecting! It was early October - the sun was shining, the temperature was in the low 70's, and the bugs had packed up and headed south for the season. Our day started with the long drive up from Western Massachusetts to Ossipee, NH, which is about halfway up the eastern side of the state. The fall foliage was at its peak, which unfortunately was none too glorious due to 6 weeks of heavy rain and the lack of a killing frost. We arrived in Ossipee at about 10:30 AM.