Baxter Wash Rockfishing Report

   

Unlike fishing, the good thing about rock hounding is you pretty much never get skunked.   Here’s my fishing-for-rock report from the Thanksgiving 2021 weekend field trip to Baxter Wash, near Baker, CA. 

Weather:  Light winds, temperatures 75/40

Sea (Road) Conditions:  heavy sand 12” deep or more.  4wd definitely required

Anglers (Rock hounds):   13

Species caught (rocks found)

          Angel wing agate

Green angel wing agate

          Lace agate

Top Notch agate

          Blue agate nodules

This nodule is about the size of a baseball!

          Sagenite

There’s better sagenite where this came from but you gotta’ dig for it!

          Amydules and chalcedony extrusions

Morning sunlight on chalcedony extrusion

          Marble and green/purple fluorite

Emerald Green Fluorite (photo by Gabe Morley)

Entertainment value:  limits for all

Kids and campfires

Cost-free

If I don’t see you in December, be sure to join PLS for the upcoming 2022 field trip season!

‘til next time,

Rex

Tuesday, Nov. 16 Virtual Program Meeting Explores the Chixculub Impact Event with Paolo Sanchez; 7:00 p.m.

Pasadena Lapidary Society’s very own future geologist/geophysicist, Paolo Sanchez, will present “Traces of Extinction: The Search for Rocks and Minerals at Chixculub” for our November program meeting. For those wondering what the heck ‘Chixculub Impact Event’ is, think meteor meets dinosaurs. Paolo will present his current ongoing research examining tektites derived from Chixculub and what their respective chemistries tell us about the minerals and lithologies associated with the impact event, with the potential of understanding the lithology of the meteor itself.

Earlier this year, Paolo was awarded the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ (CFMS) Robert O. Deidrich Memorial Fund Scholarship for school year 2020-21. He’s been studying geosciences at UC Berkeley, working his way up to a PhD and possibly obtaining a career as a professional researcher.

There will be no Rock of the Month discussion for this meeting.

The Tuesday, Nov. 16 program meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. To join us, send an email to (new email address!)… marcia.pls.emails[at]gmail.com in advance, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line, and request the Zoom meeting link. We’re looking forward to seeing Paolo – and hope to see you virtually as well!

Thanksgiving Weekend Trip to the Cady Mountains

Seam agate

PLS will be rocking in the Cady Mountains at the end of the month. This 3 day trip will begin Friday at noon on November 26 and finish on Sunday, November 28 at 11 AM. We’ll be searching for agates, jaspers, and fluorite. Though you can make it to base camp with high clearance 2wd, 4wd is required for the rockhounding part of this trip.

Must RSVP to field trip leader, Rex, at rexch8@yahoo.com with the subject line “Cady Mountain field trip.”

Time to Go to the Sierra Pelona Travertine Claim

Whether it’s planting a new tree for the garden or extracting a boulder while mining, there’s something satisfying about digging and rocks.  No, I’m not talking about hard rock mining, for that is pure torture.  I’m talking about the Sierra Pelona claim out in North Edwards, CA, a renowned location for prize winning travertine onyx.  The only difference is that while rocks are the bane of any happy garden, the goal at the Sierra Pelona is using a pry bar to make that rock wiggle and finally extracting it in triumph.

Though hundreds of clubs and rockhounds have visited the claim over the years, this location still produces hundreds of pounds of quality travertine onyx. 

On our last visit October 30th, we were able to excavate one hundred pounds of travertine in about 2 hours.  That’s a pretty good haul for any rockhound and the colors were spectacular.  I hadn’t seen the greens that color in a few years, but it looks like the seam is into a green band right now.  Greens, reds, and even blue bands of agate make beautiful spheres or cabochons. 

The claim is open to rockhounds everywhere and though access is fairly straightforward, you’ll need a high clearance vehicle.  This is a great trip for an experienced miner or just a weekend warrior who wants to get out and smell the dirt.

The weather is cool and it’s time to get out your picks and shovels and go rockhounding.   No one knows when the green banding will run out again, so plan your next trip with your local rockclub to collect this beautiful material.

‘til next time,

Rex

Sat., Oct. 30 Field Trip to North Edwards, 7 a.m.

Our October field trip will be to Brown/Castle Butte, the Sierra Pelona travertine claim, and the Rio Tinto/U.S. Borax visitor center in Boron. This area is known for a variety of minerals, and we hope to find agate, bloodstone, travertine onyx, ulexite (“TV rock”), kernite, and petrified wood.

High clearance truck or SUV is recommended. For more info, please contact rexch8@yahoo.com with the subject line “North Edwards field trip”.

Tuesday, Oct. 19 Virtual Program Meeting Focuses on Urban Rockhounding in Tucson; 7:00 p.m.

Among some of our favorite rockhound travel guides are Dick and Mary Pat Weber. For the Tuesday, October 19 presentation, Mary Pat will take us on a Practical Guide to Urban Rockhounding in Tucson.

In a few months dealers, buyers, and collectors will gather together for the largest rockhound  event in the world.  You will find great bargains relating to all aspects of our hobby offered by vendors from all corners of the globe.  If you can’t find it in Tucson, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere.  According to Mary Pat, you will run out of money long before you cross off all the items on your wish list.

With over forty shows from which to choose, it can be a bit confusing for the first-timer.  Mary Pat will offer practical advice for navigating though the “Tucson experience” to make it both efficient and fun.  This program is jammed packed with photo highlights of the biggest club show in the world, including specimens from world class museums such as the Smithsonian and other private collections. If you’ve been thinking about visiting Tucson for the rockhound shows but have yet to, here’s a chance to see what they’re all about.

PLS member Mona Ross will provide October’s Rock of the Month talk on one of the world’s rarest gemstones, Grandidierite.

The Tuesday, Oct. 19 program meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. To join us, send an email to joenmar1[at]verizon.net in advance, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line, and request the Zoom meeting link. Hope to “see” you there!

UPDATED INFO: Stoddard Wells Rockhound Tailgate Show and Field Trip for Tri-Color Marble

9:00 AM, Saturday, September 25, 2021

On Saturday, September 25, 2021 , we’ll be headed to Stoddard Wells, CA, near Apple Valley. This outdoor rock show, which runs Sept. 24-26, is sponsored by the Victor Valley Gem and Mineral Club. It’s the 45th Annual Stoddard Wells Rockhound Tailgate. Hours: 9 AM  – 5 PM daily.

Free event, everyone is welcome! FREE Vendor Spaces, dry camping, restrooms available. First come, first served. All donations welcomed. Handcrafted jewelry, cabs, slabs, rough, and more. Breakfast and lunch available. NO saving spaces or competing with VVGMS’s fundraising activities – i.e. food, drinks, grab bags, spin the wheel or auctions. Rain or Shine!! For the show itself, it’s especially important to follow “Tailgate” signs to the show site, as the meetup location for the fieldtrip is 1/2 mile away.

Saturday field trip 9:30 – 11:30 AM is slated to target tri-color marble. Meet at Tailgate location per map and instructions below at 8:45 am. 4WD is required.
Must RSVP to field trip leader, Rex, at rexch8@yahoo.com with the subject line “Tailgate field trip.”

Tri-Color Marble photos above courtesy of PLS member Rex N.

Directions:

From I—15 Northbound towards Barstow:
Hwy 15 North THRU Victorville! EXIT at 2nd Stoddard Wells Rd at BELL Mtn. (EXIT # 157). Turn Left/East at Ramp STOP sign. STAY on Stoddard Wells Road 4 mi. until next STOP sign at Dale Evans Pkwy. Observe “Tailgate” signs high on NW corner power pole. Check Odometer here! Continue Straight on Stoddard Wells Rd. 7 miles to “Tailgate”.  Road becomes a graded dirt road about 4/10 mi. from the Dale Evans Pkwy intersection. Proceed East/NE past “Grange” fork to “Tailgate” site. Cars & RVs can make it w/ease & care; go slow and watch out for potholes. Please look for “Tailgate” signs along route. Need clarification? Visit https://vvgmc.org/tailgate.html

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pasadena,+CA+91101/VVGMC+Tailgate,+Apple+Valley,+CA+92307/@34.3692906,-117.7497546,86720m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c2c368f3ae0b77:0x12747768f808aadb!2m2!1d-118.1386005!2d34.1427587!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c483099e171ffd:0x8f0470b903f30488!2m2!1d-117.1100043!2d34.6704078!3e0

Two Fieldtrip Weekends in September!

If you’ve been looking for a chance to head out of town for some rockhound fun more than once in a month, here it is!!

We’ll be heading to Palos Verdes for agate and glaucophane on Sat., September 18.

The following weekend, we head inland to the Stoddard Wells Rockhound Tailgate to join our friends from Victor Valley Gem and Mineral Club. Their tailgate runs from Friday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 26 and a FIELDTRIP will be held on Sat., Sept. 25 to seek tri-color marble nearby.

September 18 Field Trip to Palos Verdes for Agate and Glaucophane

Boy, is it hot outside! Nothing beats summertime rock collecting at the beach!

CHANGE IN DEPARTURE TIME! Our next trip will be at 10AM to Palos Verdes on Saturday, September 18th, 2021 to collect striped root beer agates, yellow agates, and bluish green glaucophane. For more information, please contact Sue D at: apple_pis@yahoo.com

Yellow Green Agate from Palos Verdes
Glaucophane from Palos Verdes

Pics above of striped root beer agate, yellow green agate, and glaucophane were provided by PLS member Rex N.

Caltech Professor George Rossman takes a look at Chinese Andesine Feldspar for Tuesday, Sept. 21 Zoom Program Meeting

A variety of faceted andesines in table-down orientation.

There’s a controversy brewing over a new and beautiful red transparent gem out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as Tibet or an unspecified location in China. Caltech Professor of Mineralogy George Rossman will discuss his research on this red copper-carrying feldspar at our September program meeting.

The Tuesday, Sept. 21 program meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. To join us, send an email to joenmar1[at]verizon.net in advance, using ‘PROGRAM MEETING’ in subject line, and request the Zoom meeting link. “See” you there!

Image borrowed from: http://minerals.gps.caltech.edu/manuscripts/2011/Chinese_Red_Feldspar_I/Index.html