Wednesday, December 16, 2009

November Field Trip Report

by Kyle Meredith (Rolling Stones 2nd V.P. for Field Trips)

The day started out with over thirty enthusiastic
rock hounds meeting in Hillsboro on a delightful
November morning. A local man walking by
commented that we had almost doubled the
population of the little town! It certainly seemed
that way as we milled around signing up new
members and greeting all the regulars.

Our first stop to look for jaspeite went smoothly,
and I think everyone found promising material
without having to venture very far off the road. We
quickly gathered everyone together to caravan to our
next stop—the Copper Flat mining area. I had a
sinking feeling as we pulled up to a locked gate with
a No Trespassing sign clearly posted. It wasn't there
last year, or even just a few months ago when David
R. had visited the site.

Not having a Plan B, we had to come up with
something fast. Some members decided to stay in
the area and look around in other places on their
own, while Sandra suggested we could reconnoiter
back in Hillsboro and she would lead us to a place
along Highway 27 to look for calcite crystals, and
Greg suggested looking for fossils farther down the
road. As we gathered again, Hal (one of our newest
members) found out from one of the locals whom to
talk to about getting a key to the gate.

What luck to find the guy at home! He called the
manager for permission and gave us the key, and we
all piled into our vehicles and retraced our route to
Copper Flat. By that time, we had lost a lot of
collecting time, so we all headed straight for the
highlight of the trip—the blue lagoon. The
unnatural blue color engendered a lot of speculation
as to how it got that way, and the selenite
crystallization occurred around the pond in many
fascinating forms to collect.

On the way home we noticed some Rolling Stones
taking their own side trips along the highway cuts.
Others had asked directions to the fossil-collecting
site. I haven't heard what kind of success they had,
but what a fine day to be a rock hound!

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