Just down the road off Hwy 98 there is an exposed vein of garnets. FREE for the taking! There are literally billions of carats of this gorgeous purple/red semi-precious gem waiting to be found! All you need is a hammer and chisel and you are good to go! If you go after a heavy rain many of them can easily be worked out and most times they are virtually "free" due to the erosion caused by the rains.
To get to the site from US1 Raleigh (Capital Blvd.), drive north towards Wake Forestand exit right at the Highway 98 interchange, make a left at the bottom of the ramp (McDonald's in the corner), and go exactly 1.9 miles, the cutface will be to your right.
To know WHERE to dig I suggest you read this highly informative piece written by H. Kent Craig. He give tips on mining, which areas you can and CAN NOT go, what to look for and what to expect.
Now, how's THAT for an afternoon of adventure?
Always something happening in My Back Yard....