Southeast Micromounters Winter Gathering
Dowling Park, FL
Feb. 20-23, 2013
There isn't really a formal organization called the Southeast Micromounters. The Gathering, of which this is the twelfth annual one, is a very loosely organized Micromount Symposium in a beautiful setting in northern Florida. It started out as a two day affair (Friday and Saturday), but now many participants are arriving on Wednesday.
The event is held at the lodge at Advent Christian Village, and hosted by Ed and Martha Cunningham, who are residents of the Village.
Ed & Martha
The lodge consists of shops, including a cafe, on the first floor and motel rooms and a conference room on the second floor, where the symposium was held. It overlooks the Suwannee River.
The river as seen from the lodge
The conference room, and the entire gathering is very comfortable. There are lots of "freebies", presentations (mostly on Saturday), and good discussions among the friendliest micromounters I know.
The conference room
I arrived on Wednesday, in the early afternoon and got set up in the conference room. I wasn't the first to arrive. That evening Ed and Martha invited the early arrivals to dinner at their home, about two blocks from the lodge.
Thursday and Friday the rest of the group arrived, and the days were taken up with looking at the free material everyone had brought, talking, and getting help identifying unknowns.
On Saturday the presentations started about 11 AM. Ron Gibbs gave a presentation on the Belmont Pit in Maricopa Co., AZ. There was a group lunch at another building near the lodge, and then more presentations. Ron Gibbs talked about the Evening Star Mine, also in Maricopa Co., and the Georgetown, NM area. Steve Watts and Julian Gray described the techniques they use for photomicrography.
The meeting broke up around 9 PM, when we all packed up our microscopes and minerals and prepared to leave. We would usually haul everything to our vehicles at that time, but it had started to rain around dinner time, and but then was a downpour. We all took our stuff to our rooms, and loaded our vehicle in the morning.