The 2014 meet-up was a great success. It was wonderful seeing everyone’s smiling faces.
Um, oops. Here we go.
Of course, the joke gets a little lost when you consider how you actually find the members where they’re out in the field. RHS1 members are real good at recognizing other members both coming and going.
Members started rolling into the Succor Creek campgrounds mid-week for Memorial day weekend. The general region and campground hadn’t changed too much since I lived in the region almost a decade ago.
By the time I got there on Saturday, the others were already driving with full loads of rocks from Graveyard Point and a few other sites near the Oregon/Idaho border that they visited in the day or two before I arrived.
This year’s leader, Tony (member, catmandewe) was thoroughly familiar with the region and led the crew to huge amounts of some of the areas best agates and jaspers. The blue opal thundereggs dig seemed to be the generally favorite site, and was the first I got to join in. The sun was hot, but the digging was easy and the prizes were beautiful.
After the relatively easy drive to the thundereggs, we set off on a little more rugged trip out to a few jasper sites, one, a pink jasper site which Tony set for claim while we were there. The region is some of the most beautiful desert I’ve ever seen, and it was hard to keep an eye out for ruts and rocks in the road with the panoramic beauty to absorb while driving.
During the day we collected pink, blue and brown, and multicolored jaspers. While I picked up mostly jasper I could carry in my bag with ease, some were looking for sizes that would be suitable for bigger projects. They found what they were looking for. The region has no lack of jasper boulders.
Saturday night back at camp, members unloaded the rock they had brought with them and we had a rock swap. Everyone was more than generous with the caches they brought out for the others to choose from.
By Sunday the crew was getting a little worn from their days of hunting, and a few headed home, while others headed back to get some more of those beautiful blue opals. I got to head into town to get a tire changed out. I wasn’t the only tire casualty on the trip.
I got back in time to join a few of the die-hard members out at the opal diggs, but wandered off to regions south of the park where I used to love to hunt. Unfortunately, the areas have been listed in books and were pretty well picked over when I got there. Some of the back roads were steep enough and rutted enough I thought better about trying out on my own, so with sunlight waning, I returned to camp and talked with a few old friends and a few new ones at the fireside. A lot of the members had already left, and those remaining were well worn and very happy. Everyone left with as much rock as their rigs would carry.
My thanks go to the members, mirage, drocknut, boxofrocks, coldwatergold, Tom, orygone, and bsky4463 (I hope I got everyone) for posting their pictures so you could enjoy our meet-up vicariously. A special thanks to Tony (catmandewe), owner of www.IdahoRockShop.com for setting up such an awesome tour for us this year. It’s going to be a hard one to top next year!