RHS1 Connector – October 2007

RHS1 Connector – October 2007

In this issue...TRICK OR TREAT -TREASURE HUNTING…Lost goldĀ UPDATE… “Earthwatch Earthquake”… THOM’S COLUMN… Rockhound Recipes and Tips… FEATURE ARTICLE… DEATH VALLEY.. FEATURE ARTICLE… Meet the members… —RHS1 News.



Of the 23,000 meteorites on record only one is different in that it shows evidence of bearing material from a moon of a planet.

The fist sized rock fell unto a Soviet Military base in 1980 and has been studied extensively since its retrieval. Scientist from Moscow’s Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry conclude that the meteorite contains material from Mar’s moon Phobos.

The meteor is a conglomerate of materials, including some never seen before. Along with material typical to asteroids the meteor also contained material indigenous to bodies with an earthlike construction (core, mantle, crust). NASA Johnson Space Center scientist Michael Zolensky suggests that the meteorite originates from Phobos, a moon of Mars in close enough proximity to catch fragments of Mars that were projectiled by asteroids colliding with the planet.

We may have to wait until studies reveal more information about the unknown minerals to find if this theory remains the best explanation for the origin of the mysterious rock from space.


The Egyptian Embassy in Berlin has had a stolen carving returned from them for reasons stated in the note attached that the item is cursed.

A German man who will remain nameless had stolen a carving during his visit to Egypt in 2004. Upon returning to Germany he began to suffer from unexplained illnesses such as fevers, nausea, paralysis and finally died of terminal cancer. His step-son, convinced that the stolen carving was cursed returned the artifact in an attempt to make amends for the theft and free the family from any further repercussions from the curse.




Legend tells of an expedition lead by a local Indian heading from Pima Village located Northwest of Tuscon finding a canyon of gold. The party had been disallowed by the Indians from prospecting the rim of the canyon. While searching the forbidden rim for an escaped horse, however, one of the men returned with a nugget the size of a large egg. Of course, the men began exploring the rim for gold. They were predictably killed by the Indians – all except a few who had gone to look for a party who had gone in search of a local fort for supplies and never returned. When the search party returned they grabbed what they could recover of the gold and headed out – this time on foot to find the fort, which they found after 13 days of wandering.

Here are the clues from the expedition to finding the gold. Good luck if you search. At least you won’t have to worry about Indians as your ancestors did!

  • -The start of the trail is at Pima Village, Northwest of Tuscon.
  • -Head Northeast up the Gila River.
  • -At the confluence of the San Carlos River with the Gila River head North.
  • -Follow the river until it turns East.
  • -Continue North into heavily timbered mountains (er…well they were. Not sure about now).
  • -Continue on for a distance that would take 4 days for pioneers on horses and foot. (until you have crossed 2 streams and come to a very tall mountain (Baldy peak?)
  • -Follow the East fork of the river there into the White Mountains – a pioneer trip of 2 days. You should now be in the area of Mt. Baldy and near the headwaters of the stream.
  • -Find a viewpoint and look for a place where two mountain peaks sit closely together.
  • -Head Northeast toward those peaks. Hope to find an old Indian trail to follow. You will pass a box canyon in a high mesa with abandoned irrigation ditches (if they can still be seen).
  • -About a half day from there you will come to a reddish colored solid rock wall around 60-70 feet tall.
  • -At the base of the wall look for a portal. This will lead to a Z shaped canyon which will be extremely narrow in some places.
  • -Go upstream to the end of the canyon and climb to the mesa. From there you see the two peaks again but they will appear close – a few hours journey.
  • -Continue down into a canyon with a stream at the floor. You are at the bottom of the gold location. The stream should contain much gold – but the rims of that canyon will be phenomenal according to the legends.There – it’s that simple. HAPPY HUNTING.


RHS1 Members News

Here we are at the end of the Northern areas hunting season again. (Of course, we can all hope for mild winters.) So far it looks like there may be another month or two we can squeeze a few good finds out of. This is the perfect time of year for hunting the Northern Desert areas before the rains set in.

For those of you with rock clubs or businesses, do note that you can now become part of the RHS1 network have a site hosted on RHS1. If you don’t know how to build a site or are in a club that changes officers, some of which have no means to keep a site running this is a perfect solution for your online needs. If you are interested in having a site on the RHS1 Network or would like your own Network forum, please contact me by pm in the forum or an email and I will be happy to discuss your needs with you.

For those of you who follow the news and the site, last month it was reported I had moved to Michigan. While I was there on family business shortly, I am now in beautiful New York just South of the Adirondack Mountains. The trees are just turning and it is breathtaking here. The beauty of New York is unexpected but very welcome. I never thought of the place as mountainous or even forestry. After rockhounding the Northwest I am going to be finding what the country’s Northeast has to offer. We have heard much about the West in the forums — it’s time for you Easterners to step out and say “hi” and tell us what the digs are where you are at. Right now I am pursuing a rumor of geodes not far from me. I’ll let you know how that goes. Perhaps I’ll have to get my feet wet (or dusty) digging some of those incredible garnets instead.

Rockin’ the Third Rock – and the 4th.



Squash Soup

I always get pretty excited when the first signs of Fall appear. The leaves are starting to turn and it’s getting chilly at night.

One of the signs of Fall that I really like is that the winter squash are ready to harvest.

So with that in mind, get ready for a few squash recipes in the coming months. To start things off, here’s a great simple recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. It’s an easy recipe to make, and can be made up to two days before you eat it.

  • 1 med. butternut squash (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 3 tart green apples, peeled & coarsely chopped
  • 1 med. onion, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. rosemary OR marjoram
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 (10 1/2 oz.) cans chicken broth
  • 2 soup cans water
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish. Peel squash and seed. Cut into chunks. Combine squash with apples, onions, rosemary, salt and pepper, broth and water in large heavy saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.Puree soup in blender or food processor.Return mixture to saucepan and bring just to boiling point, then reduce heat.Before serving add cream. Serve hot with chopped fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

    Can be made 2 days in advance and reheated.

About Thom…

Thom Meyer is a retired professional chef who has a degree in Culinary Arts – Also an avid camper and most importantly a person who likes to eat. Lately he has been involved in marketing and building websites when not using WordPress for them, a process of which in some circles he is considered an authority. Among his many websites that he maintains are www.recipes-4-all.com and www.wp-revealed.com

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”

Hunter S. Thompson



Death Valley

“These rocks move.”
What better travel suggestion for the Halloween season than a trip to Death Valley?

Located in California and Nevada, this 3000 square mile area is comprised of the lowest points of altitude in North America (282 ft BELOW sea level) and is bordered by several mountain ranges ( Amargosa Range, Panamint Range, Sylvania Mountains, and Owlshead Mountains. It doesn’t take a rockhound to take interest in the rocks in the Playa Racetrack area of Death Valley. They might be just a little harder to catch than the average crystal or agate, however. These rocks move.

Racetrack Playa from space
The Playa Racetrack is flat area (2.8 miles long by 1.3 miles wide) that lies between the Last Chance Range and the Cottonwood Mountains. This area is free of any vegetation and is completely dry most of each year. The only thing that moves on the Playa is the stones. Visitors to the Playa can see the tracks of the stones, which reportedly move every two or three years, by what means is still left to be ascertained. It is reported that no one to date has ever seen the stones in motion but the tracks can last for several years after the stone moves. The tracks reveal that some stones flip while in motion and the track will change accordingly. Some with smooth surfaces have tracks which meander a bit while those which are rough make a fairly straight track. It is presumed that the rocks move in reaction to disturbances in the Earth, but no concrete reasons for the traveling rocks has yet been forthcoming.

Now if Mom Nature hasn’t left enough for you to ponder, perhaps the ghosts of the many abandoned mines in the area might help to trigger your imagination. Small amounts of gold found in the Valley caused a gold rush to the area at the turn of the century, but no significant amounts of metal were extracted and the mining, with the exception of borax, soon died out leaving the area scattered with abandoned mine sites – many of which are reportedly haunted.

The Furnace Inn and Ranch Resort is reportedly haunted by the Ghost of a previous Chef. He is said to open and close doors, rearrange equipment, and make noises. Rebecca Gardner seems to have loved the Durango Hotel she and her Husband John built in 1852 that she still roams its halls. The motion detector has even sounded her presence. Several unknown children’s ghosts are thought to make the hotel their home as well. The Amagosa Hotel and Opera House has been home to many ghosts who have been bold enough to cause attention enough to generate the filming of documentaries.

For the ghost hunter, the many ghost mines, buildings, towns, and grave sites can keep you busy for an entire visit to Death Valley on their own. If the solitude of places abandoned by the living begins to get too eerie, you might want to search for the lost silver found by the party of Captain Jefferson Hunt in 1850. He was leading a group of emigrants to the gold rush in California. During the trek the party split up and reunited at White Sage Flat where Hunt was fashioning a new gun site of pure silver his portion of the party had found en route. Not having the supplies to stay, the party moved on. It is said the silver is still where Hunt’s party found, and left, it. Long before the Gold Rush brought prospectors to the Death Valley area, ancient cultures called this area home. On the rocks above Mesquite Springs and it’s field of cotton-top and cholla cactus, you can view petroglyphs up to three thousand years old left by the Mesquite Springs culture (now extinct). Species of life also have thrived in this realm. At Saratoga Springs, an uncommon desert wetland, you can view the Death Valley pupfish which finds home nowhere else in the world and a variety of other rare species which have adapted to the hostile desert climate.

Colorful geological features can be seen at many points of Death Valley. Along Artist’s Drive, Artist’s Palette displays a breathtaking array of colored rock. Pink, red, yellow, green, and purple colors have emerged in the volcanic toss of rock in the area due to oxidation of minerals along this spectacular drive.

Death Valley holds many canyons for the hearty canyon hiker. Mosaic Canyon dazzles hikers with its water polished marble and dolomite rock formations and in Titus Canyon where the limestones have been folded around by various geological upheavals, petroglyphs are to be found in areas of springs or other points of interest to the ancient tribes. In Natural Bridge canyon, as the name specifies you will find a natural bridge between the canyon walls.

While in Death Valley you can enjoy hiking to the bottom of the volcanic Ubehebe Crater, or play on the Eureka Valley sand dunes. There is even a waterfall and small lake in one area for those who crave lushness after exploring desert regions. There is just no limit to the wonders you may run across while searching through the ghost mine camps and cabins in the region.

If visiting Death Valley in the winter, please do note that if it does rain while you are in a canyon you must watch out for flash flooding. The ground is extremely dry and can’t absorb water fast enough to prevent temporary flooding. In summer the temperatures can be formidable so take plenty of water if you hike in the heat and make sure you don’t wander too far from your car during the extreme heat of the day.

Also please note that much of the region is park area and collecting artifacts and treasure is not permitted within the park. If you find something within the park you will be expected to point it out to the authorities and leave it where you find it. Please check with the park authorities before treasure, rock, gold, or artifact hunting within the park.


This month Member Dragon (a.k.a. James M) took a trip back to my old stomping grounds in Oregon. He’s sharing some highlights of his trip and some awesome pictures of some of the areas you have heard so much chatter about in the forums.

Take it away, Dragon.

Red Lace
September 15th I headed out to Oregon to visit some of the dealers I had been buying from for the past several years. My trip started in Portland, down through Salem, East to Burns, and then on to Boise, Idaho. I saw many terrific collections and bought several pounds of Willow Creek, Owyhee Blue Opal, China Hollow Biggs, & Morrisonite, then Back to Burns, Oregon.

Glass Buttes
In reality, I was going to look for a rare obsidian, Fire Obsidian, found only at Glass Buttes, Oregon. My guide has been collecting and hand knapping obsidian from this area for over 30 years. He assured me we would find this elusive stone without too much problem. What he failed to tell me was to bring plenty of band aides. Everyone who has ever cut obsidian knows how easy it is to cut oneself while working it. Well, think about sitting in a pit hammering rock from a vein; glass flying left n right, suddenly you slide a little. You hardly notice but then you see the blood! Naturally you didn’t feel the cut so you think its the other guy. Wrong, by the time we left I had cut every finger several times, both arms, my head, and had glass needles in my butt. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Burns Green.
We dug over 200 pounds of obsidian and found only a 5 gallon buckets worth of Fire. It still has to be separated into three categories; lunar, hot and practice. Practice fire is exactly what it says, use it for practice orienting the fire and cabbing the stone. The fire layer is only a micro thin layer that is easily ground through if you are not too careful; Hot, which shows good fire and shines well in artificial light. But the premium Fire Obsidian has really striking fire, shines bright under a full moon and has geometric angels which intersect making the cab almost come alive. It is very difficult to photograph, but I will be experimenting and will post pictures of this stone as soon as possible. The final grading yielded about two quarts of practice grade, one quart of hot and 1 piece of lunar. I think I will keep this one for myself.

The remainder of the trip I spent with Emory Coons watching him and his father Cecil knap out several arrow heads and listening to the tales of their adventures.

Emory at work.

Sunset from Vale to Burns.


EARTHWATCH UPDATE: Statistics for the 2nd quarter of Earthquake Watch Year 2.

Statistics for the 2nd quarter of Earthquake Watch Year 2 are now posted in the Gazette. Because we started our watch in March of 2005, our Watch Year runs from March 1st to the last day of February. Not only have we some dire figures posted for the second quarter – so far the third quarter has been daunting. With 5 months to go in a watch year we are already up to 78% for the average annual number of magnitude 6 earthquakes, with 104 of these events on record. Magnitude 7’s which had all but disappeared over the last year are making up for lost time – and with 5 magnitude 8 quakes over a 10 month period we are treading completely uncharted waters.

Studies done by Valentin Ulomov, specialist of the Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of Sciences, shows that from 1982 to 1993 the earth went through a calm period. His study of 600 large-scale earthquakes between 1965 and 2005 revealed that not only the frequency, but depth of earthquakes during the 11 year calm stretch were shallower, generally less than 70 km. Between the years 1993 and 2005, however, deep quakes of magnitude 7 started happening with a frequency of 5 per year.

It has been explained that the calm may signify that lithospheric plates are submerging slowly and smoothly thus causing fewer quakes or possibly that the plate settling is causing an accumulation of geodynamic tension which later is relieved in the form of deep quakes. Of course, now we are experiencing rapid movements of the poles, so plate movement may be expected to not act according to “Hoyle” – there are many areas of science that things are not acting according to “Hoyle” in these times. Up to this date pole shifts have been merely studies into possible earlier earth events. As Earthquake watch progresses, we will note the depth of magnitude 7 or greater quakes and see if we can find any relevant co-occurances to these deep quakes show up in collected data.


If you have been following our Earthquake watch in the forums, you have probably wondered, much as I have, how any piece of land can take as much shaking as Indonesia has and not just completely disintegrate. What the heck is going on over there?

For now, though, volcanoes are a very real danger. Indonesia has 76 volcanoes which have erupted 1,171 times (at least) within historic time. Merapi has alone erupted 68 times since the mid 1500’s. Surprisingly, about 70,000 people live in the Merapi volcano area. Indonesian volcanoes have produced more fatalities in recorded history than any other volcanic region.

Information gained by science in recent years has allowed monitoring of these volcanoes and has been instrumental in evacuations which have almost eliminated fatalities from eruptions.

Advanced warnings of possible tsunamis are also coming into play after major earthquakes. As scientists learn more about giant quakes by studying the major subduction zones, early warning systems may become a possibility for earthquakes as well. While we may not be able to slow the acceleration of the frequency of major quakes, we may through research learn enough to develop earthquake warning systems, too.

Next month – The Pole Shift. Can we survive?


Image and info credits for this edition: Wikipedia :James M (Dragon) : : :

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