Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Club Field Trip to Luna NM

 By Anita Williams

It was a warm, clear, sunny day on Saturday as folks gathered to sign in for the field trip to Luna.  The day was quite a contrast to last month when we met for the trip on a gray, rainy morning and found Ansel there telling everyone to come back next month.  He said the roads we had to traverse to get to the collecting area were dirt and access would be difficult in the rain.  Not only that but the storm apparently dropped snow in Luna.

One month later we are back to the meeting spot at Long John Silvers.  This time the weather is perfect for the trip and after signing up we all took off heading north on Highway 180.  Our first stop was a side trip down Mineral Creek Road in Alma.  A few miles up the road we stopped to visit the gravesite for a prospector

named Cooney.  He is interred in a large boulder by the side of the road.  During his time in the Army, stationed at Ft. Bayard, he did some prospecting and found a silver deposit here in the Mineral Creek drainage.  After being discharged from the Army he returned to the area to develop his prospect.  Unfortunately he met an early demise in a skirmish with the local Apaches.  More details are included on the photo taken at his gravesite.  His final resting spot is lovely.

After a group photo, we were back on the road again.  Up and over two passes
and we finally made it to the small town of Luna.  The rest of the trip was navigating some dirt roads until Ansel declared that we had arrived at the collecting area.  He showed us a sample of Luna agate, we parked the cars, and the quest was on.  Everyone spread out on the hillside and the sound of rocks being tossed into buckets was inspirational music to our rock hound ears.

Linda and I pulled into a nice parking spot and stared scouring the ground for agates.  Agates could actually be collected right from the roadbed and ditches.  I grabbed a sample bag and a water bottle (it was HOT and we were in a part of the forest that had burned so there was very little shade).  Linda opted for a sample bag, water bottle and an umbrella for portable shade.  It didn’t take too long to get our eyes adjusted to finding agates.

There were a lot to be had in colors from light gray and white to dark purple.  The dark purple were more scarce than white and gray colors so it was exciting when one was found.  As I worked my way from the dry stream bed up the hill there was a zone with a few blue/purple agates, and quite a few with quartz crystal-lined voids.  Quite a variety of rocks in a relatively small area.  We took a break for lunch and some time under the shade of our golf umbrellas.  After a lunch we made one last look-around to see if we could find something different from what we’d already found.

Time went by quickly and folks started packing up for the 3 hour trip back to Silver City.  We were enjoying the hunt but decided that we had better get packed up too.  As we departed we made a quick stop at the top of the hill and Linda found a small plate of rock covered with quartz crystals.  Wow, that means there will be plenty more areas to rock hound on the next field trip to Luna.
We made a stop for gas in Glenwood since it was cheaper than gas in Silver City (hum, I haven’t figured that situation out yet…).  It seemed HOT, but we did not have a thermometer so I asked the fellow at the station.  He said it was 103°.  It was just too darn hot to pass up the opportunity to stop for ice cream (strawberry being the only flavor for the day) at the local rock shop.  Ahhhhh refreshing and we got to look at some New Mexico rock specimens including Luna agate and quartz clusters.  Nice way to top off the trip.

No comments:

Post a Comment