A Woody Weekend Rockhounding Central Oregon

A Woody Weekend Rockhounding Central Oregon

Labor Day weekend gave me an extra day of weekend to go out hunting.   I decided to go for wood.  A member of RHS1 posted that he was taking his son out for his 13th birthday into the area and named a few spots they were going to go.  I had recently been to both and was sad that the areas were so severely hunted out, so I offered to take them where they would be sure to find something.   We met Saturday morning and they followed me in on a journey down a road that makes me wonder how some things get called roads.  It’s one of the roughest 4WD paths I’ve been on in a long time.  It’s absolutely annoying after a few miles, but I guess that’s what keeps the rockhounding good.

Here’s some of what I took home.

hampton wood

The wood in that area is highly agatized.  Some is still pretty woody (top and side view):

Some pieces leave few hints, if any that they are actually wood.  This one took some cleaning up to see the banding that gave it away:

highly agatized wood

There’s a lot of yellow jasper out there, and yellow/clear or white jaspagate that I always suspected was wood from the patterns in it – this piece really cleared that up for me (top and side view):

This is my favorite piece from that day out.  The side view is a little bit blurry, but you can still see that the wood contour is still in tact (top and side view).

Favorite wood from Hampton

The next spot I visited was new to me.

Tyler’s crew and I split up the next day after we left the butte.  He wanted to go check out a popular area for green wood that I had no real desire to go back to.  My last time out it had been hunted so heavily it was disgusting.  I couldn’t decide where I did want to go to for a bit, but finally chose to check out a road I’d seen but never had been down before.  That’s when the real fun started for me.

Green wood, new spot

I drove the road for awhile and got out here and there to look around.  It was a beautiful day to just enjoy the sun and scenery, too.  I hadn’t found anything but some low grade green jasper after some time, so I decided to turn around and head out to an area I’d been to before.   That’s when I saw the piece of white rock on the side of the “road” that I hadn’t seen going in.  I stopped and examined it.  It wasn’t a keeper but it told me there was mineralization in the area so I grabbed my crowbar and pack and started to walk.   Very soon I was overwhelmed with excitement and ran back to the rig to grab the phone and find a spot to call Tyler and see if he was still around to get out there with me.  Unfortunately, he was already on the way back home for his son’s birthday dinner party.    So I dove back in on my own.

Some of the wood is very woody looking like these pretty little chunks:

Green wood, central oregon

small chunk of green wood

green chunk

Some is so highly agatized that you can barely tell it’s wood.  Without some pieces with hints of wood  some of it is impossible to identify as wood at all.  Here’s some with hints included:

agatized green wood

This is the top view of the one above.

green agatized wood 2

green agate wood 3

Some of this stuff is pretty colorful:

wood coloful

Some is hard to say if it’s actually wood derivative or not.  Sure is nice agate, at any rate, whether wood or not:


Guess there’s not much surprise in saying that I’ll be back there this weekend.  There’s one heck of a lot more ground to cover than I got a chance to play on, and I’m looking forward to getting more of this gorgeous stuff.

All in all a great weekend.

Life’s short – rock hard.

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