GAS HIGH PRICED: TAKE A SHORTER COMBINED FAMILY/ROCK TRIP|
It has been quite awhile since I made a deadline for the newsletter. But I wanted to thank the few that acknowledge my travel reports and enjoyed them in the last few years. Yes, that's you Susan, Bob and Ken. After all, now that I am retired, I don't have much excuse not to mention a good find when I see one, or a good site to visit.
So gas reached near $4.50 a gallon, you wanted to get away, but with the state on fire and still, at this writing, with out a budget, you just don't know. I was able to kill two birds with one stone, on a recent trip to Ashland. The family want to see plays, they new I wanted to prospect some sites, so Ashland made since and didn't cost too many cents!
It was quite smoky leaving Redding on I-5 and passing the grey fog that hid Mt. Shasta. (That is quite a fire to be able to hide a 14,000 foot mountain!) So my daughter and I looked back and forth with great reservation as we drove north up the pass over the shoulder of Mt. Ashland. The smoke stopped short of spilling over the ski hill into town. A great relief! Ah, there was the chocolate rhyolitic cliff high on the northside up on the Applegate Trail.
After a first morning of resting up after the long day drive, I was at the west coast's best non-profit mineral museum by 11am. The Roxy Ann club has run the Crater Museum in Central Point for awhile and I get inspired with all the new additions each time I visit. I was impressed this time with the thunder eggs from Deming, NM and the Oregon ones as well from close by towns like White City, Eagle Point, and Brownsboro. (All close to the museum in Central Point, next to Medford).
I had met Ken Oswalt, a Roxy Ann club member, on a previous Oregon trip. Ken is the unofficial wood expert of the club. Anyone whom has 400 lb black and orange wood as stobbers along the driveway knows something about finding wood in the region. As a true rockhound he also has quite a collection along the side of the house. He tells me by phone to come on out. We drove past Brownsboro as he pointed out ridge tops, and ranches he had found monster wood stumps and logs. Ken feels that winter is the best time to explore the BLM areas, but he warned about getting stuck in the mud going off road!!
The BLM area was a pretty white oak studded meadow. We looked for ground disturbance by the ever present gophers and sure enough he spotted a white fist size agate after just 5 minutes. Smaller pieces of agate, some blue and some red and yellow jasper were discovered in the short visit. Ken said that the winter rains wash the filmy dust that is out on the BLM now, though rubber boots work best, a clear day after a rain is optimum. We were out about an hour and headed back a bit before 5pm. He pointed out a barn that had an undiscovered "giant" tree that needed to be dug out of the earth floor. Too bad we couldn't have spent the next day on that project.
As we returned to the house I asked Ken for a photo with some of his prize pieces, like the 200 lb red and white jasper he sat on. The 400 lbs black and orange wood stobber along the driveway was quite amazing. He was nice enough to give me a couple really nice Oregon yellow banded agate to polish up. I promised to send him one of my bola ties that I now just can not stop making. It was a fun filled day and I had a play to attend that night in the Ashland theatre.
After a day off and a little smoke filtering down off the fires to the south I was up early. I drove up past Emigrant Lake, took some photos of another canyon and went up to the Applegate Trail rhyolitic site. I hammered at blue seam agate for a few hours before heading back to the family and the hotel. It was a high cloud of smoke that lingered the day and overnight for our final night. We drove to the coast and Gold Beach for the Saturday night and strolling on the beach found some beautiful jaspers and agate at low tide.
Chapman's Gem & Mineral Shop and Museum
The brochure says, "7500 square foot showroom", well I arrived at 4:55 pm so did not notice the room to the west of the cash register. I did quickly browse the floor seeing many things I find in Tucson from onyx candle holders and pyramids to Mororcan fossils. I opted to rush out back to the rock garden and look through the piles of Disaster Peak picture jasper, Montana agates, to other agate and jasper. On a sink I found some slabs and a $1.45 piece of petrified palm (the find of the visit). My wife and daughter attempted to help by showing me things but being given a little time by the staff at Chapman's I was focused on a frantic 15 minute search of the rock garden. I could have spent a lot more than the $10 but I was very satisfied with the 5 fist sized Montana agates which showed color ($3), a $5 Disaster Peak brick, and the palm. I highly recommend a stop at this south Fortuna shop on highway 101 (west side of the highway).
The rest of the Redwood Highway drive home was smoke free, shady in the giant trees, and it was nice to travel a little bit even with the high gas prices. So if you are wanting to explore the prospects just look to the closer hill.
Family of 2 $60
Jr. no Parent $15
Membership is good for one year from day you joined. For more information call (707) 528-7610 Leave a Message.
Welcome New Members:
Jeannine Breazeale (Steve's Wife)
Michael & Celine Reilly
We love to have more active members. Attend one or more of the SRMGS Meetings to get the most out of your membership! Meetings are held at the SRMGS Workshop.
September Educational Meeting
Have you upgraded your specimens and now have duplicates? Bring your unwanted specimens to Sept's GE meeting for a "rock swap". This is a great opportunity to learn
about different material and see the beauty of some unique pieces. Also, bring your favorite mineral identification book(s) to show off and help identify your old/new treasures.
Topic:Specimens & Identification books
Wednesday Sept 3, 2008
SRMGS Board Meeting:
Tuesday Sept 16,2008
Show Sign-UP Time!
We are in need of volunteers as well country store & food donations for the show. Please contact Steve, Tom or Kendra about signing up. Once your spot is confirmed you will be listed
on the website. Please check often to see where you can help out!! Thank you!
Whats new on our website?
There's a new puzzle/maze in the fun section!! There is now a sign-up page for ANYONE interested in recieving an email annoucement of our show as well as the coupon. This is a great system
for non-members to stay connected with the show.
Make a submissions to the website by emailing Kendra at webmaster (@)srmgs.org or catch me at the next meeting at the shop.
Tip of the Month:
In some displays, you want to use a slab of rock to show how it looks before polishing. Water won't stay wet, grease looks greasy, some waxes will turn white under heat, but if you rub
the surface with liquid detergent and wipe it off, there is a shine and it will show the pattern.
Metal ball point pen tubes make a good drill bit for drilling small holes in variscite, turquoise, onyx, etc. Use it for drilling holes in pen sets, beads & pendant drops. Glycerine is a good
holding agent for the grinding compound or grit. It adheres to the drill and you don't have to use a dike.
World of Treasures 7/70
.: The Gem-N-I Revisited :.
Rockhounding by a Novice
by Claire Hayes 8/78
The club had a field trip scheduled for the Black Rock Desert in Nevada over Memorial Day weekend. There have been so many articles on the different types of wood, rock, minerals, etc,
that can be found there that we were just bursting to go. We hauled our tent trailer along behind the truck and arrived at Gerlock about 9:30pm. Friday night. The rain was considerate and watied until
we had set up the tent and taken a dip in the hot springs located there. It rained at least half the night and our field trip chairman said it was too wet to go into Black Rock Saturday, we'd
have to wait until Sunday and see if it was dry enough to get through. We couldn't imagine the desert drying up that fast after all that rain.
On Saturday we caravaned to Tuledad Canyon and hunted for agate. Ray headed for the top of the hill and found some Iceland Spar Calcite. They were not the best, but we were thrilled
to have found them. We rushed down to tell the others and they were soon up the moutain hunting for calcite also.
We met another rockhound, Gil Rice from Oroville area, who showed us a perfect calcite crystal he had found. He is a long time rockhound and told us which of the agate we had collected were "leaverites"
and which would make good cabs. We heeded his advise and unloaded the fractured ones. He then told us the next place he was heading for was down the road about 5 miles for opalized wood
and he invited us to come along. Having a "thing" about petrified wood, we didn't have to be asked twice. We let one of the club members know where we were going and away we went.
We drove to a beautiful sloping hill with a view of the surrounding area that could be seen for miles. The air was warm with a gentle breeze blowing. There were other rockhounds busy
digging in holes. The petrified wood is in a vertical position so that wheat you get you earn, and the rock hogs can't take the whole log or tree. There was one tree that was eight feet
in diameter and another down in a hole thirty feet with a make-shift ladder down to it. I tried looking down, but it was close to evening and too dark to see that deep.
Ray spent some time chipping, chiseling, wedging, prying and finally got some beautiful pieces of petrified wood in pink, brown, black and honey. I just can't wait to try making
cabacons out of them.
Ray and Gil showed a couple of fellows from the Oroville club the nice pieces they had and they immediately jumped in the hole and started placing wedges and bars anywhere they could. Some one came up and
asked what kind of wood it was. I looked at all the wedges and couldn't resist replying "Wedgewood"!
When dusk came we unfolded our tent and settled down for the night. The wind rose a little and it became quite cool. The stars were so low it seemed we could pick them out of the sky
if we stretched a little. For a while we heard the cattle lowing in the darkness and then it was quiet. The silence was unbelievable after the hussle and bussle of the city. If a pin
had dropped a mile away I'm sure we could have heard it.
With the first rays of dawn I was up, but Ray had gotten up even earlier and was on top of the hill just looking at the dawn coming up, and listening to the sounds of the birds. The land
had a pinkish hue as the sun slipped up out of the mountains and started its sky journey.
As others in the group awoke, some went back to digging. Some got ready to head to the other rock hunting areas. I took one last walk looking for agate with unusual beauty.
We folded our tent, bid our new friends, Dee and Gil, farewell, and headed for Virgin Valley and the opal mine we had heard so much about.
We arrived with great anticipation after having seen the beautiful Virgin Valley opals in rock shows. We were dumbfounded to find people were crawling on their hands and knees picking up pieces
half the size of my pinky finger. One woman had been crawling around half a day and had about 1/2 inch of tiny pieces in the bottom of a baby food jar. The fee they paid was $5 each.
I looked at Ray and he looked at me. We had purchased bigger and nicer pieces at rock shows. With both of us wearing bifocals, we couldn't picture ourselves picking through tailings, so we left.
On the way back we stopped and looked over some rocks across from the area on Hidden Valley. We found pieces of carnelian, but small ones. We drove back towards Cederville over Baxter
Mountain. We saw three antelope and they were just as cuirous about us as we were of them. they just stood and stared at us, giving us a good chance to study their beauty. We also saw
two coyotes race across the road. there were the size of German Shepards and didn't want to stay and look at us. We saw a ground squirrel stand in the road and watch us drive up. He made no attempt
to move to the side of the road and I was worried for fear we would run over him. Then suddenly he did a jack-knife, shot his tail in the air and dived in his hole, which was right in the road!
The ride back to Cedarville was beautiful and as we got close to town we understood why we had seen no cars. The high country just stopped point blank and it was short switch back after switch
back right to the bottom, with trees appearing as we dropped in altitude. There was a breathtaking view at each switch back.
We headed for likey and spent a couple hours un-dusting everything so we could eat and settle down for the night. The mosquitos were in sqaudron formation and would have won citations for
bravery in attacking, but a breeze came up and kept them at bay. The next morning we started home bright and early. It was a glorious trip and all Ray has to say is "Let's go" and I'll
be in the truck waiting. I always keep half the stuff packed just in case.
2008 Gem Show Updates:
There is a big show meeting for all club members Wednesday Aug 27 at 7:30pm at the shop. The next big show meeting will be Wednesday Sept 24 at 7:30. It is important that everyone shows up to
help organize the donations and volunteers.
Vendors- Things are moving forward with the planning and advertising for the show. We have several confirmed vendors who have sent in their deposit thus far and are excited about being part of
Country Store - We have only a few items so far for the country store. We are needing donations of household items to sell, these should all be CLEAN and in working condition. This year
we are also planning on trying something new. That is having a small plant sale. For those of you with a green thumb, if you can divide some of your bulbs, succulents, or plants and pot
them up in small plastic pots that would be great. Please do not bring anything larger than 1 gallon pot. The pots should NOT be dripping wet (we are on wood floors). I am thinking,
bulbs - such as iris and glads can be sold bare root. If you can take a photo of your plant and print it out on paper that would help identify the colors and what it is for buyers
who do not have a green thumb.
Food Donations- We REALLY need people to look over the food list and sign up for items they can donate. This is the first time that Kendra & her mom will be cooking and need to
very soon what is being donated so that shopping can be done accordingly if things need to be purchased. The food list/sign up will be available at the BBQ as well as at the Educational
Security- Keith is head of the committee in charge of secuirty this year. For visual impact all security people will be in a "uniform" Tshirt that stands out to make both vendors,
and community know that we are keeping our eyes open. We dont anticipate any problems, but will help keep honest people honest.
Show Flyers- Steve is printing thousands of flyers for members to hand out. These small flyers are also the $1 off coupon. If you know of a business that will allow us to post
or leave a stack, please get a stack from Steve. The more exposure we get, the better the turnout.
Website Marketing- On the website is a link for people in the community to sign up to recieve an email notification / coupon for our show. This is something that will be on the
site year round. We are hoping to build a large database of people WANTING information about our show that will be ZERO cost advertising in future years since they will get all the
information via email. We are hoping to see a chunk of people sign up at/after this years show.
Raffle Prizes- We are looking for quality finished pieces for the larger raffle prizes. If you are skilled at wire wrapping, or have cabbed something that is dazzling in a finding,
your donation is TAX Deductable!
A Message From
Shop Fee Increase
Effective Sept 1, 2008, shop fees will increase $1 across the board. The increase will help offset the increasing costs to run/maintain a workshop.
Adults $3 per person, Juniors $2 per person. Cutting fees will remain the same and are posted on each individual saw.
Almost Election Time
SRMGS is overseen by a group of elected members to serve on the Board. Personally speaking, I have really enjoyed the postitive energy and friendships that I have developed with
the other members as a result of being a Board member. Meetings are very informative and the ideas and drive from current members is really making a difference for the society as a whole.
This year we are going to do something different. We are asking you, the club members, to let us know whom you would like to see on the 2009 Board. Suggestions will be done privately.
We prefer that you email Tom (or any of the other Board members) with your suggestion. If you are unable to access email, you may contact one of the Board members either by phone or at
the club and let them know whom you think would be a good candidate for a certain position.
Over the next month, the suggested people will be contacted and asked if they are interested in being part of the Board. So please feel free to make recommendations.
What is required of a Board member? There is a monthly meeting on the 3rd Tues of each month. Meetings typically are an hour to 90 mins at the shop. There will be a transition period to help
some of the more involved positions if necessary. Several of the positions have a short list of "responsibilities" that you would deal with if/when needed.
Final thoughts to put your mind at ease: Since the Board is run by volunteers, no one expects anyone to come in with "experience" and those with experience are happy to assist.
If you are curious or have questions about serving on the Board, feel free to hunt me down and ask. I personally feel the best quality is someone who has a positive attitude and
wants to see the society flourish. The rest is all secondary in my opinion. :o)
The following people deserve a round of applause for
their extra efforts in making our club stand out!!
Cal. F- from the Santa Cruz club who donated a box of tumbled material for our show!
Kendra & Ronnie.-Taking inventory of our purchase.
Rodney, Susan, Brett & Mike -Running the Saturday juniors program
Why do a display?
Satisfaction and pride to see your collection attractively set up.
The joy and enthusiasm is rewarding when sharing with others who share the same passion.
It's exciting to be an important part of the show.
After working diligently at our hobby, we deserve a little praise & we get this only by sharing.
It opens up opportunities to meet others who share the same interests.
Preparing for a show brings new inspiration and rejuvenates your interests.
Arranging a display makes you more critical of your material and challenges you to improve your quality.
Planning a display around a theme requires some research & you aquire greater knowledge of your collection.
Having an appreciation for the hard work to make a display, you look at them with a more critical eye and in turn find ways to improve your own techniques
in the future use.
Over the past year Nicole has given some GREAT lecture's on various topics, from the basics to details lectures on topics such like Volcanics. All classes come with
a detailed handout, examples, and plenty of enthusiasm and fun facts. Nicole's monthly lecture will continue again in October. If there is a subject you would like to learn
about, Nicole will find a way to incorporate it one of her classes.
Calling all rockhounds, we are looking for tumbling material for the 2008 show. For those who are cabbing, we are wanting your scrap, broken and end-pieces of neat material to tumble.
For those who have asked the question, size does not matter. :o)
Brown Bags Needed
The club needs large size brown paper grocery bags to be used as a filter for the oil when cleaning the saws. If when the next time you go shopping, ask for paper!
S.F. Academy of Sciences
It's going to be the talk of the town, the SF Academy of Sciences is Re-opening on Saturday Sept 26th after an extensive remodel. Saturday only is free admission and is
going to be packed with people and events, including a butterfly release during opening ceremonies. We will be having a field trip to the Academy in either Oct or Nov.
To learn more about the changes and opening events, check out their website at www.CalAcademy.org.
T-shirts on Sale
The shirts are in and they look great! We have limited sizes on hand ranging from
Child Large - Adult XXL. There are also a few womens cut tshirts left in sizes XL -2XL.
We will have the shirts on hand at the BBQ.
In The News...
Ark. man finds 4.42-carat diamond at state park
Aug 15, 2008
MURFREESBORO, Ark. (AP) A local diamond hunter found a 4.42-carat stone Friday after about a 30-minute search at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, a park official announced.
Dennis Tyrrell, of Murfreesboro, searches for diamonds about three or four days a week at the state park and has found several others before, Assistant Superintendent Bill Henderson said. The white diamond Tyrrell found Friday was his largest find so far.
"It is a very nice diamond because of its size," Henderson said. "And it has what they call a silver cape on it. It's about the size of a Chiclet gum. It's rectangular in shape."
Henderson said park officials weren't qualified to evaluate the gem's worth, but said Tyrrell's find would have substantial value on the market.
"We're talking several thousand dollars," he said, adding that he guessed Tyrrell would probably sell the precious stone.
The park is the only diamond mine in North America where the public can search for diamonds and other gems and keep them. While the site has been a park, the largest diamond found was 16 carats. Before that, a 40-carat diamond was unearthed.
September Birthstones - Sapphire
Sapphire is the September birthstone as well as the accepted anniversary
gem for the 5th and 45th years of marriage.
Sapphire, a variety of corundum, comes in all colors except red (the
red variety being known as ruby), but is especially popular in deep blue.
Fancy colored sapphires-including pink, green, orange, and golden yellow-are
magnificent when combined in a necklace or bracelet.
Prince Charles chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana's engagement
ring. The stone's durability, combined with its beauty, makes it the perfect
alternative for an engagement ring.
Ancient priests and sorcerers honored sapphire above all gems, for this
stone enabled them to interpret oracles and foretell the future. Ancients
believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Marriage
partners put great faith in the stone. If its luster dimmed, one knew his
or her spouse had been unfaithful. Sapphire refused to shine when worn by
the wicked or impure.
As part of the customary fashioning process, virtually all blue, yellow
and golden sapphires are heated to permanently produce or intensify their
As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches
and sharp blows.
Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma),
Kasmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the U.S.
Years of Experience Shared...
Cabochon Cutting for Beginners - Dopping
Stones, especially large ones, can be cabbed without dopping, but better control and, therefore, more accurate cabochons are achieved if there is a dop stick to hold.
Dop sticks are cut from several sizes (1/8 to 3/4 inches) of hard wood doweling into lengths of about four inches. One end is cut straight across the dowel and the other rounded to be more comfortable in the
hand. Very tiny stones are dopped on small nails or toothpicks. Metal dop sticks are available, but they are too costly for few advantages they have.
Dop wax is a mixture of sealing way, clay, beeswax and shellac. It can be used over and over again, but will eventually become brittle after repeated heating and must be discarded.
A dop stove is a piece of sheet metal bent into a flat U shape about five inches sqare. One can be made from a large coffee can by cuttin out an opening in the side large enough to
accomodate alcohol lamp.
Break up the dop wax into a small shallow can and heat on the dop stove. Do not let the wax become hot enough to smoke or it will be ruined and will have to be discarded. Place the
cabochno blank on the stove to get hot - but ONLY if its NOT heat sensitive. The stone must be hot or the dop wax will not stick and the stone will come off the dop stick during grinding.
When the wax is partly melted (about plastic condition) dip some up on the end of the dop stick. Press the dop stick with mold the wax with the fingers so that the wax is even around the dop stick and flares out onto the
cabonchon blank almost to the edge. The end of the dop stick must be in contact with the stone.
Heat sensitive stone can be heated by placing them on a piece of cardboard on the dop stove or on the slab of agate. Check the stone frequently to make sure it is not heating too
too fast or getting too hot. A good test fot temperature of a heat sensitive stone is to place a small chip of stick shellac on the stone. When the shellac melts, the stone is hot enough to
You do not need to be a SRMGS member to sign up for classes.
Fees are based upon $10/hr instruction.
30% of all class fees are turned over to SRMGS.
Egyptian Sprial Chain- 4 hours
Wednesday Sept 08, 6:00 to 10:00 pm
Prerequisite: Basic Wire + materials list
Fee $40. Max. Students: 6
Spirals have shown up in the traces of most ancient cultures around the world. Learn this 4000-year-old spiraling technique as you
create your own sterling silver bracelet, complete with a handmade clasp that is part of the design. We will also cover oxidizing
your chain to look more like the ancient jewelry it represents. Kendra, the Santa Rosa Mineral & Gem Society webmaster and newsletter editor,
has been really looking forward to this class! Come and spiral your heart out!
Contact Eve at email@example.com
Register at least 10 days before date of class to ensure time to order materials.
Sawing & Soldering- 6 hours
Saturday Sept 27, 12:30-6:30
Prerequisite: Basic Wire + materials list
Fee $60. Max. Students: 6
Join me for an introduction to essential techniques and tools for basic jewelry fabrication, including working with a jeweler's saw
and butane micro torch. We will make and saw jump rings, learn to solder them closed and then into a chain, melt little ball-end head
pins and touch on a sterling toggle clasp. Also covered are safety procedures, a 10-page handout and lots and lots of helpful tips.
Contact Eve firstname.lastname@example.org
Register at least 10 days before date of class to ensure time to order materials.
Remember to check the website to see the full class schedule list (includes additional months).
You can find this under EVENTS -> CLASSES.
Keith has planned a variety of trips that range from hiking difficulty
1 (low) to 5 (high).
Check the website the 2nd week of Sept for the annoucment.