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The Wisconsin Adventure

       The Meteorite that fell on April 14th, 2010  was the second new fall that I have ever gone to. This meteorite fell around 10pm at night and was witnessed by people in many of the surrounding states. It was eventually named Mifflin, and is a common chondrite L5.
        A friend of ours called us early in the morning all excited that he had been studying the information and was already on his way to try and find one. He invited us to go with him, but we were actually in another state doing some hunting of our own (which didn't pan out!).
        As with all new falls, there is a huge rush of the meteorite crowd - you have your "professional" meteorite hunters, your "wanna be"  meteorite hunters, your "newbie" meteorite hunters, your "media hounds" and your local folks. Us, we are just a little married couple who likes to chase rocks - whether they are new or old! Because of all these people, we decided to wait and not go until the bedlam settled down, and things got calmer.
      So, consequently, we didn't arrive until  about a month after the meteorite fell. There were several of the regular people we see all the time still there, but the big rush was finally over.
      You pick a spot, start asking people questions, and then start searching!
      Getting permission was not a problem anywhere except at one farm, which we came to find out later had a meteorite stolen by a meteorite hunter that refused to compensate the landowner  for the meteorite they took off of their land. This is a very sad thing; and regrettably, something that seems to be happening more and more in the meteorite world, possibly due to the amount of publicity that meteorites in general have gotten lately.  The highly inflated pricing that has been attributed to meteorites on television seem to be inspiring greed amongst people,  and those of us who are honestly trying to just make a living are the ones who get hurt the most

     I grew up in a ranching and farming community in Southeast Kansas, so going to Wisconsin for the first time was absolutely amazing! I had no idea that it was so beautiful and green - for some reason I thought it was mostly flat. Boy, was I wrong! It was also actually the first time I had seen fields planted in strips of different crops instead of complete fields of one crop only.
      We ranched beef cattle, but I also drove to Sulpher Springs, Texas every few months and would purchase around 40 newborn holstien bull calves to raise on bottles and nurse cows; so seeing all those beautiful black and white cattle was like seeing heaven to me

     We stayed in Mineral Point for the first week we were there, and met up with Larry Sloan, who is a meteorite hunter and friend of ours. Larry is a great guy, and a great meteorite hunter, so it was an honor  to get to hunt with him.
     We didn't find any meteorites, but we did find a landowner who had found one in his yard that was willing to sell it to us. Does that count as a find? LOL.

       During the first week we were there, Keith spent hours every day searching acre after acre of land, while I - well remember how much I like cattle?....I had become friends with people at four dairys, so I could only hunt for a short time before it was chore time for me! At 3:30 pm I went to one dairy and helped there - then I went to another at 5pm where we not only fed bucket calves, but also miniature horses; and finally I checked at two others to see if they had any calves that needed fed....
       It is a lot of work but someone has to do it...those babies get HUNGRY!

Some of the Babies I was feeding!

        So, our  first week was great for me because I made some friends and got to do chores - not so great for Keith who walked and walked and walked.......
         I think he was starting to get worried that he would never get me away from all those calves, so we decided to go see some other friends of ours in Missouri.  Before we left, one of the landowners invited us to come back and stay with them, so we made plans to be back in a week or so!
         Keith says that I made a bigger impact on Wisconsin than the meteorite did - and he may be right. At least, I have a couple pictures that may suggest it is....

Brand new baby Dana!

The Other baby Dana!

    We went back in about a week and a half and stayed with our friends, which made it really easy for Keith to do some serious searching....

Keith picking his teeth with a rake....

Well......maybe no TOO serious.....

I didn't find anything either trip, at least not of a meteoric nature, but I did find these things......

A Nest of goose eggs

A 1918 quarter we found sticking out of the ground

Baby birds hiding in the dirt!

       Top pic is a nest of goose eggs - the parents flew off before I could get a picture with them in it. They went a little ways away then honked at us as if to scold us for being close to their nest!
        Second one is a toad who was hiding in the grass...
        Third is a 1918 quarter that was sticking out of the ground!
        And the last one is some baby birds in their almost impossible to see nest in the dry ground!

Here's what Keith found....

The fragmented Mifflin Meteorite that Keith found

A complete specimen in situ of the Mifflin Meteorite that Keith found

There is quite a contrast to the searching conditions between the fields and the pastures....see how difficult it is to see these things?

So anyway, we ended up having a successful Wisconsin adventure after all, for more than one reason! Below are some random pics that I took...

Awesome morning in Wisconsin

Me with a new miniature horse

My helper!

Wisconsin scenery

The second largest tree in Wisconsin!

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