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Wonderful Wonderstone

Wonderful Wonderstone

With only a week left here in Nevada, I couldn’t picture leaving without a last trip to my favorite wonderstone sites.  Because, ya know, you can never have too many rocks to haul when you move.   So on one of the first sunny and actually warm days in months I headed out for a day on the rocks.  While my present camera isn’t the best, I did get some pics that will give you an idea of what’s out there.

Part of a good day out.

When I got to the publicized site, I was amazed to see the traffic.  The first time I ever went to the location mine was the only rig there.  And so it was all that year.  This time I just shook my head and passed by all those people at the main site and traveled out further where the rock is colorful, but not the pink and yellow of the one I would go back to later that afternoon.  I was out to get some of all of it.  And I did.

With just a few days left until I head out for Oregon, and a few strength limitations, I was cautious about picking up the boulders I wanted.  If I’d had a jackhammer with me, I could have taken half a hill of beautiful stone.  As things were – I picked up only one actually too big to carry stones. The rest were of varying sizes.  From 3 fist sized to a few just small stones with nice banding.

At my first stop the stones were pretty vivid.

The second site I visited had the pink and yellow stone that the place is known for.

And of course the boulder. I had fun getting this thing back to the rig. Trust me on that one. I’ve carried heavier, but this was a struggle. It’s pretty thick and I’m turning into a little bit of a whimp.  Still – this is the one I HAD to have.

Looking forward to showing a few of these rocks after they’re cut.

Why Rockhounds Love Halloween

Why Rockhounds Love Halloween

T’is the season to be spooked!

Of course, summer is usually a rockhound’s biggest hunting season, but there’s a lot nature does to help us celebrate that night the spooks and goblins break through their vortex and invade us here on earth. If you don’t believe it – I have the proof right here.

There are some pretty spooky places attached to where people go to hunt rocks — and they aren’t all  ghost mining towns and eerie graveyards.

Where else will  you find as spooky a place to be close to dark than this location in Succor Creek, a favorite rockhound hangout. You can’t look at Screaming rock in the near dark without a chill or two running down your spine.

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And exactly who is this that has been sent from the netherworld to protect a great crystal hunting area in California? If you’re in the area near dark, you can almost hear the banjo playing.

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It’s not just places that are ripe for the halloween loving crowds – it’s the rocks themselves that lend us such a willing hand at decorating for fright night.

Bat cave, in Oregon, isn’t just an apartment complex for the local bats. It’s also full of jasper just screaming to be cut and included in the season’s decorations.

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Where there is someone celebrating Halloween, there’s need for a Jack 0′ lantern.  This agate nodule takes on that job for Halloween rockhounds very finely.

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Along with ghosts and goblins, and spooky places – Halloween isn’t complete without some form of zombified remains.  What could be more apropo for the savvy Halloween celebration than a diseased, leaky, lesioned brain?

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It’s so great that nature is so willing to help chill and thrill us on the night we unleash reality and run with the demons.  If you have any natural spookers – please feel free to post them in the comments!

Happy Halloween from all of us at Rockhoundstation1.com

Life’s short –  Rock hard

RHS1 Member’s Favorite Finds of 2013

RHS1 Member’s Favorite Finds of 2013

2013 was a real mixed year for members of RHS1. Some just weren’t able to get out much. Some had the best year ever.  A few of our members who were on the go have some pics to share with you of their favorite finds for the year so just sit back and enjoy their success for a few minutes. I’ve got some great pics and stories for ya here.

I’m going to start off with member Keystonecops’  find from Memorial day weekend, which I posted about before. It turned out to be his personal favorite find this year. If you read that post, you’ll see I really teased the guys pretty hard……but facts being facts, those guys find some pretty marvelous stuff and this picture will testify to that fact:

Petrified Wood – Central Oregon,  Finder: RHS1 member Keystonecops

Petrified Wood

RHS1 member, Drocknut stumbled into our forum at around this time last year. She hunted several states this year, and I wish I knew the description of her car so I could warn you not to follow her real closely. Her car makes frequent stops in rocky territory. In retrospect, one of us could have made some good money putting together a pool bet on how many stops she’d make on her way between Arizona and Montana.  Drocknut told me that she’s got several favorites, some in storage at the moment, but one particular geode she found stands out as her pick for her favorite find of 2013.

Geode,  Dugway Geode Beds, Utah, Finder:  RHS1  member  Drocknut

Utah, Geode

My Niece, RHS1 member Hotrocks, came up to visit me at every chance she got over this last year. We had some very successful hunts (a few thank you’s to RHS1 member CCanfield for a few of them) throughout 2013. The hunt that produced her favorite find for the year, a plumy, mossy agate, was our trip to my favorite spot at the Prineville Reservoir, where she picked up this little gemstone – not the biggest of the trip, and the pic doesn’t do it justice, I don’t feel. It’s a bit more translucent in person – but that’s how it is with a lot of pictures. We deal with it. Jessie is a tad fickle, so once she gets the pile of all her 2013 rocks cut, she might just change her mind, but for now – this is it. It’s cut in half, and both sides are great, but very different from each other.  How she got that cut is a mystery to me.

Plumy agate, Prineville Reservoir, Central Oregon, Finder: RHS1 member  Hotrocks:

Central Oregon, Plumy-mossy Agate

RHS1 member, High Desert Hound, is pretty serious about his rock hounding. When asking him for a picture, he couldn’t decide on a favorite – but admitted being partial to thundereegs and geodes.  This year he was invited to the Black Rock Desert with the Reno Gem and Mineral Society.  It was an excitingly successful trip for him, so he’s giving  us a taste of his favorite hunt of 2013.

Reno Gem and Mineral Society Black Rock Desert Trip:

Rockhounding the NV Blackrock Desert

Raw Geodes/Teggs, Black Rock Desert, NV, Finder:  RHS1 member High Desert Hound:

The Geodes and Teggs in the rough

Here’s how his bounty from the trip looks after he got done with them.

Sliced Geodes/Thundereggs, Black Rock Desert, NV,  Finder: RHS1 member High Desert Hound:

Cut Geodes/Thundereggs from the Black Rock Desert, NV

RHS1 member, Nate, is our go-to guy if you want to know about hunting petrified wood, especially in Central Oregon.  From the looks of the pics he sent me, though, he seems to have a knack for it when he gets away from his more familiar stomping grounds, too.

Not sure whether the stone in the first pic is what he wanted to show off or if it’s the gem sitting beside it, his daughter, Kaisey.  I’ve been in the field with her, and she’s more than a pretty face.  She’s got her dad’s talent for finding the keepers.

Petrified Log, Central Oregon,  Finder: RHS1 member Nate:

Central Oregon, Petrified Log

Petrified Wood (Gary Green Jasper), McDermitt, OR, Finder: RHS1 member Nate:

McDermitt Gary Green Jasper Petrified Wood

The reasons our favorite finds are our favorites are many.  RHS1 member, Tylers had this to tell me about his contribution to our favorites:

I have to be honest, my son found this agate.  But it was found on a much needed family vacation.  He was so excited (elated might be a better word) about his find I think that it was the the best rock of the year for me and my clan.  Not because of the size or quality, because of the memories that are attached to it.

I have to say, Tyler – with those words in mind, it might just be a lot of people’s favorite find once they see Landon’s expression of pride in the pic below. It really is a nice stone, Landon:

Agate, location undisclosed, Finder: RHS1 member Tylers’ son, Landon:

Landons special agate

And Lastly, but I hope not least, are my favorite finds of 2013.  I had a pretty great year here in Central Oregon, both with friends and just on my own with my rock hound, Ricky.  I couldn’t decide between the agates from an outcrop I discovered on a random trip out or the thunderegg I dug up at a dig another member pointed me to so here’s a sample of both, with a thanks to both Clayton and Dean who cut them for me.

Green moss agate, Ochoco Mountains, Oregon,  Finder: RHS1 admin HeySal:

Green Moss Agate

Pink Moss Thunderegg, Ochoco Mountains, OR, Finder: RHS1 admin HeySal

Pink Moss Agate

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say Goodbye to my loyal loving rock hound pal who took his leave to the great hunting grounds in the sky in November.  He left on the last good day of the year after a short outing to a local pond.  Ricky was a rescue that was dying of cancer with only around a month or two left when we met.  I was able to kill the cancer and give the old guy and I a few last years together which we spent roaming the hills and countryside of three states, sometimes with the members of RHS1, who we had some very special good times with.  I knew when I met and healed him that we only had limited time, but the love wasn’t limited, and we made the most of that time.  Ricky was somewhere between 16 and 18 when he died.

Goodbye Ricky. I miss you, buddy.  See ya on the other side…but not just yet.

Pals forever