Monday, October 26, 2009

Rockhound on the Road - Sedona Show

Vendor list

From Sedona Pines

Karen and copper

Name the mineral?

Kid's corner

Vendor name tag

Outside show

Raffle announcing

Around the show

Rockhounds on the Road

by Karen Murphy & Tim O’Donnell (club members & newsletter co-editors)

Imagine our sheer pleasure that the Sedona Rock and Mineral Club had its 10th annual show while we were visiting Sedona! We’re reasonably certain they didn’t hold the show on purpose for our visit, but we felt honored nevertheless. Held at the Sedona Red Rock High School Cafeteria on Saturday October 17th and Sunday October 18th, the show provided enough parking for all visitors. In addition to free admission, there was something for everyone, speakers, kids' crafts, meteorite and other displays, raffles, mineral identification, sphere making and other demonstrations, rocks, gemstones, minerals, fossils, beads, jewelry.

Our first impressions were the size of the show, the layout, and the tables and carpeting. The 40 vendors displayed their wares inside the cafeteria and outside under the clear sky. The layout was interesting - something we might want to institute if we’re in the new civic center next year. The layout was sort of a patchwork quilt, with square tables and round tables, almost no long lines of rows, and ample light. People were able to zig-zag around from table to table. All of the tables were covered with blue table covers. The entire indoor part of the show was carpeted, which didn’t seem to hamper the sales. Think back-when you ate in the school cafeteria, was it carpeted? Many of the vendors had rented multiple tables. The outdoor part of the show was on cement walks, some with shades. Every vendor and assistant had a name tag displayed, and in back of the name tag was a card with cell phone information of the show chair.

What did the vendors offer? Lots of jewelry! Beads, equipment, fossils, slabs, and polished specimens all abounded. Very few large rough specimens were available. Children enjoyed the free Kids’ Crafts booths, making their own beaded jewelry. One adolescent entertained her instructor with stories and jokes throughout the procedure. Did we say that there was lots of jewelry?

The Speaker sessions were a first this year. We went to a fascinating session on meteorites by Club member Dr. Carleton Moore from Arizona State University. The Club also paid for a paleobotanist, Mr. Walt Wright, to visit from southern California. He showed numerous examples of petrified wood and shared information about discriminating between coniferous and deciduous wood. He had also made a presentation at the club’s October meeting.

The hourly raffle tickets cost $1 per ticket or $5 for 7 tickets. I won the first raffle that I entered. All of the hourly raffle tickets were put back into the bucket for the drawing at the end of the show for the three grand prizes. We’re glad we didn’t win the alligator head! Maybe we just haven’t been notified of the other grand prize yet.

The annual show is their big fund raiser. The club awards $1,000 scholarships to two high school students each year. Apparently the publicity paid off. One vendor described a show for which he had been publicity manager. He sent between 20 and 30 flyers with the contract to each vendor, asking the vendors to distribute flyers at shows they went to. Some did, some didn’t.

The temperature reached a high of 87 degrees both days, and the clear sky was as awesome as our own skies. The difference is the red rocks of Sedona. Sedona is beautiful but very commercial. We prefer our little side of the world better, but when you need to get away, this area is first-rate.

This was clearly a very successful and fun show, and the 150-member Sedona Gem and Mineral Club worked hard to insure its success. See for club information and past issues of the newsletter.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moonstone - the target for October field trip

Field trip leaders Josh Reeves and Kyle Meredith - photo by Roger Dombrowski

October Field Trip Report

by Kyle Meredith, Rolling Stones Field Trip Leader

I didn't expect a huge crowd to show up for the Rabb Park Moonstone field trip after I emphasized the difficulty of the hike. All together eight of us showed up at the meeting place, including two new members—visitors from Florida who joined the Rolling Stones just for the trip. I think in spite of the altitude we'll see them again when they return next summer. We enjoyed having them along.

As we were on the trail, David showed up to lead us to his "secret" location, and he gave us some tips about where to look and what to look for. I have to admit that I found more moonstone than on any of my previous trips, and this time I was (usually) able to tell the difference between that and the quartz. (A bright blue sheen leaves no doubt when you see it. The word of the day was "adularescense.")

In the end, I think everyone would agree that it was a challenging hike. After supper I was barely able to pull my creaky bones up off the couch. If you thought you might not be able to do this hike, you were probably right. Myself, I brought home a mere palmful of tiny moonstones, but Josh found a remarkable stone that David said could facet down to a respectable 1½ carats. Roger tried to photograph it, but the color is elusive in a photo. David and some of the others also found some good stuff, plus it was an excellent day for a hike in the woods, so all in all I'd say it was a successful day rockhounding.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More, More, More

The biggest complaint we heard at the Gem and Mineral show this year was about its location. It's the same story every year. More room! More and better parking! Better bathrooms! Places to sit down! A more convenient location!

A few of us had a chance to explore the new Grant County Event Center next door to Ace Hardware. This venue definitely has more of everything!

Right now, it is configured with two very large carpeted rooms, plus a few smaller rooms. The kitchen area has a large eating space, plus access to an outdoor area configured with picnic tables.. The bathrooms are huge, and quite nice!

Be sure to let our County Commissioners and staff know that this is important to us. It would be wonderful to be able to use this new venue in 2010!