Saturday at the Calavares County, CA Rockhound Pow-Wow

Saturday at the Calavares County, CA Rockhound Pow-Wow

The Snyder Pow-Wow in Calavares county, CA  was a real success this year, it seems from the large amount of vendors and visitors having fun there yesterday.  I was a bit wowed when I got there as I  hadn’t expected the event to be so large.  It took me around an hour of wandering around just to find Bob (RHS1 member, coldwatergold).  I won’t pretend I was in any hurry to get to his club’s tent after I got to the show, though.  What an interesting array of rocks and fossils, not to mention a few other things I had to walk through to get to there.  Bob’s tent, by the way, was the Calavares Rock and Gem Society tent.  That was a fun bunch of folks to talk to.

There were a few pretty spectacular rocks in that place this year.  I talked to many vendors who I hope we’ll see pictures from in the photo contest In June.  I saw a few specimens that are spectacularly vote worth at the very least.  It was also fun just standing around shooting the breeze with people who don’t give you the RCA dog head tilt when you say you’re “a rockhound”.

I saw the best piece of Graveryard plume I’ve ever seen there (and am really hoping to have that pic entered in the contest) and some of the nicest chunks of Virgin Valley black opal I’ve seen to date, too.

Thanks go out to Al who was at the Tuolumne Sunshine Mine display with owner, Gilbert Gonzalez.  If the soapstone I get after talking to Al about “what to do” in this neck of the woods is anywhere near as nice as some of the specimens he had, I’m going to have a lot of fun on the find and afterward, too.  Gilbert had a pretty spectacular display of gold there, too.  I enjoyed that one.

The most spectacular display of the day, for me,  was the tourmaline and sunstone display at the Spectrum Mine booth. The tourmalines were gorgeous, greens, pinks, watermelons, predominated.  One  pencil like and beautifully faceted raw crystal that went from green on one side to a watermelony pink was particularly striking.  The sunstones were plentiful,  with both cut and polished sunstones of the pink tones with copper inclusions.   I caught a good look of their items just as they were packing for the day.  When petite Jessica picked up that huge glass display with all those beautiful tourmalines in it and carried them to the back of her rig I held my breath a little bit.  If she’d dropped that case, I know it would have brought a few tears to my eyes – I’m sure she’d have completely melted down.

The best part of the show apart from the people I met though was while people were packing their wares for the day and I was walking to the gate to leave.  Okay some background is called for here.

A few years back in Idaho, I found this really neat little “rock” that sparkled like it had metal in it – I thought it was some different metal dusts cemented together from some sort of mining procedure or another.  It was a pretty piece and so I took it home and never really looked at it under a light with a loupe.

So when I saw something just like it at the show, I ducked under the tent the folks were trying to shut down to find out what that thing was.  Well it turned out to be corundum.  So I came home and got that rock  in the sun with a magnifier glass and it is phenomenal.  The crystals are a too thin for lapidary, but as a display piece, it is beautiful.   It was better “finding” it the second time than it was the first.  I can’t believe I had it all this time and never looked at it closer. The metal shine on the faces completely disappears at some angles and allows me to see the sheer beauty of that blue.  Next time I am in that area I can hope to find something a bit more phenomenal.  At least I’ll recognize it for what it is even if I do see some metalic sparkles in the light.

I took a few pictures at the show but won’t know what turned out and what didn’t for a few days.  It’s the first time I ever used that camera so I’m not sure how skilled my shooting was.  Whatever turns out will be on the photo gallery in a few days.  Maybe some more of my finds will, too as long as I have the camera accessible.  The corundum, I’m afraid is going to have to wait until I can get a worthy shot of it and to do that I might have to find someone who knows more about photographing minerals than I do.

Until next time

Life’s Short, Rock Hard.

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