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Lacrosse
Jun 16, 2010

>:V




https://twitter.com/PaleoFeathers/s...8121051137?s=19

Hello, I'm into rockhounding. I'm part of a gem club and they go on field trips out to places to collect locally sourced gem-quality petrified wood and agate. Sometimes I strike it out on my own in an attempt to find new previously unknown sources of material. Unfortunately due to Covid, I'm not able to attend the field trips nor am I able to travel to some of the more far-out dig sites, but I still have access to some pretty cool rocks I'd like to share with you all.

Please post your cool rocks in this thread. I'll start with my latest finds:

a big white agate I pulled out of a stream in the Cascades, looks like if I cut it open it might have a cavity full of crystals


here's an agate still in its host rock that I collected a few miles up the forest road from the streambed agate


these are agates from the same location, except they had naturally weathered out of the host rock


This one was naturally cracked open to reveal an amazing banding pattern + crystal cavity


This is a load of petrified wood from Central Washington State that's currently on its fine-grit stage of polishing in my 12lb Thumbler tumbler

Lacrosse fucked around with this message at 21:57 on Aug 17, 2020

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Elmnt80
Dec 30, 2012

I write my poems in the dirt with an oily rag
I have to wear a gas mask just so I don't gag
I got a SOCOM scout and twenty extra mags
And a couple severed heads in my bug-out bag






Those are very pretty agates and I'd love to see more of your collection.
Also, if you have any books or sources relevant to rockhounding in central florida, I'd appreciate it because so far what I've seen is sadly limestone, shells, sand and more sand. Granted, I'd probably have to try looking harder when I'm out doing stuff than I do know. Maybe more inland theres cooler stuff.

me your dad
Jul 25, 2006



I found this on the bank of a creek near my house earlier this year. I believe it's an amethyst, but I don't know for sure.

Willfrey
Jul 20, 2007



Fun Shoe

Elmnt80 posted:

Those are very pretty agates and I'd love to see more of your collection.
Also, if you have any books or sources relevant to rockhounding in central florida, I'd appreciate it because so far what I've seen is sadly limestone, shells, sand and more sand. Granted, I'd probably have to try looking harder when I'm out doing stuff than I do know. Maybe more inland theres cooler stuff.

Florida has a pretty famous pay-to-dig location where fossilized shells have created cavities that then filled with calcite crystals

Willfrey
Jul 20, 2007



Fun Shoe

Two weeks I was out at a dig site for smokey quartz. Was getting skunked all drat day, hours and hours of unsuccessful digging. 'Just one more hole' and I started unearthing shards of quartz from the decomposed granite layer. It was all pretty shattered but some of it had the quartz crystal pseudoform. I collected it all just happy to find -something- eventually I unearthed a beer-can sized chunk of really fractured quartz that had one glassy side to it. Then a softball-sized vuggy chunk of decayed granite that had tiny quartz crystals in the cavities. Then one chunk of reall glassy smokey quartz before the seam went dry. Took it all home, never been so happy to have a bunch of regular looking quartz

Lacrosse
Jun 16, 2010

>:V




Elmnt80 posted:

Those are very pretty agates and I'd love to see more of your collection.
Also, if you have any books or sources relevant to rockhounding in central florida, I'd appreciate it because so far what I've seen is sadly limestone, shells, sand and more sand. Granted, I'd probably have to try looking harder when I'm out doing stuff than I do know. Maybe more inland theres cooler stuff.

I'll put some actual reading suggestions in the OP when I find time, but I'm fond of the 'Gem Trails of [State]' books. There's 'Rockhounding [State]' books but the author of the Washington State guide had several sexist comments about his wife's rear end sprinkled through the book and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Somewhat Heroic
Oct 11, 2007

(Insert Mad Max related text)

Hey! What a cool thread. I have done pretty remedial rock hounding. Out on the original Pony Express trail in the west desert of Utah there is the Dugway Geode beds. I have been twice, and was there just last month! I have a couple of really nice looking ones I have not opened because I want to cut them open properly and not just break open with a hammer.




I have posted about it some in my off roading thread I have in AI.


My smallest climbing around the pit.

Here is an IMGUR linked video showing the desert and pit. It was hot as balls.

tumblr hype man
Jul 29, 2008

nice meltdown


Slippery Tilde

You mentioned the Cascades so Iím gonna assume youíre in Western WA. Picked up Gem Trails of Washington yesterday, but do you have any specific recommendations for newbies who want to get started around here? Mostly looking for stuff to do thatís fairly easy to hike in and out of in a couple hours each way.

My Dad knew Bob Jackson back in the day and I think he had some stuff that Bob dug up over the years too, wish he was running some of his tours.

Lacrosse
Jun 16, 2010

>:V




tumblr hype man posted:

You mentioned the Cascades so Iím gonna assume youíre in Western WA. Picked up Gem Trails of Washington yesterday, but do you have any specific recommendations for newbies who want to get started around here? Mostly looking for stuff to do thatís fairly easy to hike in and out of in a couple hours each way.

My Dad knew Bob Jackson back in the day and I think he had some stuff that Bob dug up over the years too, wish he was running some of his tours.

Yeah there's the Hansen Creek quartz site off I-90 on the way to Snoqualmie. Fair warning though I hear that area is really really popular right now so go at your own risk. Here's someone's helpful guide on everything you need to know about the site: https://hansencreekquartzcrystals.wordpress.com/

Make sure you park at the trailhead with the granite boulders and not the hiking trail that's further up the mountain. The dig site is an easy 10 minute hike from the parking area along what was probably an old logging road so it has a gentle grade. You'll know you're at the digging area when you reach the end of the trail; the hill goes steeply up to the right where the dirt is a crumbly yellow clay and you'll see big craters dug into the hillside. It's very important that you don't dig under trees because that'll kill them and make them unstable. Also make sure you don't dislodge any large rocks as you dig because it's really steep in that area and they'll roll for a really long way down the hill and hit someone. Bring a digging tool like a maddock or a small shovel, and also a clarifying screen and a spray bottle of water (+ drinking water because there's no water around to refill with), as well as a hiking stick or trekking pole for the trip down the hill. You'll also need surveyor's tape for trailblazing, make sure you mark the bottom of the trail before you start climbing because it's easy to miss on the way down.

Quartz points are all over the ground there, you don't even have to dig and can just pick them up off the ground in what's known as 'surface mining'. If you're lucky you can find amethyst and smokey quartz in the area but it's mostly clear and milky quartz. The clear stuff is rare but the stuff you do find is clear as ice; definitely optical quality. I've found some the cloudy stuff with pyrite inclusions, which is pretty cool.

If you want to join a gem club basically every city around here has them. Issaquah, Kent, Puyallup to name a few. They often schedule field trips so if you want to know all the cool places to go you should join one of the local clubs. The rockhounding books usually have a directory of clubs in the back so see if you can find one in your city.

Lacrosse fucked around with this message at 04:54 on Aug 11, 2020

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009

wakey wakey to
this bowl of tasty


Yams Fan

My rock collection is super juvenile: visit somewhere, see a rock that looks neat or is a nice memento of a visit, slip it into pocket. Some of them are super illegal too! They also have a volcanic theme to them.



(sources are Iceland, Oregon, Idaho, eastern Montana and northern New Mexico)

tumblr hype man
Jul 29, 2008

nice meltdown


Slippery Tilde

Awesome thanks! Iím gonna see if maybe thereís a weekday that works best, I know the trails were packed last weekend, and that was in the gray before everything burned off.

Spent some more time with the Gem Trails book and Iíll see what else looks appealing.

Trabisnikof
Dec 24, 2005

It's always 2am somewhere.


Rockhounding owns!

I used to do some hobby prospecting in the pegmatitic dikes of southern california on the hunt for the "piggy peg" (mostly for tourmalines). It is such a great feeling to have spent hours researching and verifying legal status before driving hours into the BLM backcountry then orienteering correctly to find an abandoned mine or tailing site. Even if all I got was smokey quartz and large shorals just correctly figuring it all out was a blast. Best results were always on the pay digs but getting to meet some of the old miners usually made it worth the entry fee.

Plus any excuse to play in mud!

Lacrosse
Jun 16, 2010

>:V




tumblr hype man posted:

Awesome thanks! Iím gonna see if maybe thereís a weekday that works best, I know the trails were packed last weekend, and that was in the gray before everything burned off.

Spent some more time with the Gem Trails book and Iíll see what else looks appealing.

You could also try Red Top Mountain but I feel like driving to Cle Elum is a bit too far to go in a pandemic. Ditto to the Saddle Mountains outside of Vantage, but also it's fire season in that area and the petrified wood dig site was literally on fire last summer. I haven't been back since last April so I don't know how much damage was done.

Also RE: legality, I feel like I should put in the OP the rockhounder's code of ethics so people know what/where you cannot collect. Short version: no collecting in National Parks, State Parks, or Indian Reservations. You also cannot collect vertebrate fossils without a permit, nor Indian artifacts such as arrowheads or broken pottery.

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vortmax
Sep 24, 2008

vorticity (n):
A measure of the local rotation in a fluid flow. In weather analysis and forecasting, it usually refers to the vertical component of rotation and is used most often in reference to synoptic scale or mesoscale weather systems.


Pillbug

Have any of you been to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas? As far as I know it's the only place in the world the public can dig for diamonds and keep what they find. Of course most people don't find anything more than rocks, but the park rangers there can identify a gem and rate it for you if you do find one!

Sadly all I found when I went was some cool purple rocks.

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