Lavic Siding February 13th, 2021

Miles from Pasadena, about a third of the way between Barstow and Needles, is the sleepy town of Ludlow, CA.  Most of the time, people never even notice it’s there, unaware that a well known jasper collecting area beckons in the blistering desert heat.  Such is Ludlow most of the year. 

Ludlow in the dead of winter is totally different. The ground is stripped of vegetation, blown away as tumbleweeds, or consumed by moisture-loving denizens of shifting desert sands.  The barren landscape causes the jasper to magically appear on the desert floor waiting for us to pick it up.  February’s trip will be on Saturday the 13th, to the renowned Lavic Railroad Siding jasper location near Ludlow, CA.  Our meetup spot is 148 miles from Pasadena.  We’ll meet there at 9 AM. Late arrivals will miss the fieldtrip. Read on for further information.

All colors, shapes, sizes of jaspers and agates cover the ground at Lavic Siding.

Since this is a semi-local trip, it will be for one day only.  We’ll explore the traditional Lavic Jasper collecting areas and the brindle jasper location in the foothills north of Ludlow.  

A high clearance vehicle is required for this trip, but 4wd is always better. Attendees will need to sign a waiver of liability.   RSVP is required.  Please email rexch8[at]yahoo.com for directions, inserting LAVIC FIELDTRIP in the subject field of your email.

Red, ochre, brown, black… jaspers, agates… one in back has some drusy.. all found in the vicinity of Lavic Siding.

QIA PowWow at Quartzsite, January 2021

A peek inside one of the display cases at the QIA PowWow 2021, held last month.

Pasadena Lapidary Society member Sue Pang shared some pics she’d taken during her visit in January to the annual QIA PowWow in Quartzsite, AZ. Members who didn’t make it out there this year were certainly there in spirit, as we’re not just lapidarists; we’re ROCKHOUNDS. For those who don’t know, the QIA PowWow is a rockhound’s mega candy store.

A Noreen Jasper slab from Australia fills the bottom of this lovely pine needle basket, created by Pamela Caskey. Pamela has taught other basket weavers.
Vendors George and Sharon hold spiderweb stromatolite at last month’s QIA PowWow in Quartzsite.
Artist Pamela Caskey developed a way to set pictures in resin to use them as basket bases.
Polished slab base in basket and lovely pendants below were on display at the QIA PowWow in Quartzsite last month.
One of the many unusual stones offered by vendors at the annual QIA PowWow in Quartzsite, AZ… leopard agate
Some sizable chunks of beautiful Lapis Lazuli, at vendor booth of a past year’s QIA PowWow in Quartzsite.

Quartzsite January 2021

Members of Pasadena Lapidary Society, along with most serious rockhounds, wait anxiously all year to make the 3-1/2 hour trek to Quartzsite, AZ in January. Some stay right into February, camping nearby in order to go rockhounding at their leisure, and others check in to the few motels in town or travel the 22 miles back/forth to Blythe, CA for lodging.

One of the biggest draws in Quartzsite is the QIA POWWOW, always held the third week in January. This year the POWWOW runs from January 20-24. If you’ve never been, the POWWOW is like a huge swap meet focused on gems, minerals, rocks and everything related. Admission is free and so is parking. Here’s a weblink to check it out: http://www.qiaarizona.org/.

There are other rock shows being held throughout both months, two of the most popular ones being Desert Gardens https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Event/Desert-Gardens-Rock-Gem-and-Mineral-Show-667193560050537/ from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, and Tyson Wells https://www.tysonwells.com/. Here’s the calendar of events from the City of Quartzsite website: http://www.quartzsitecalendar.com/

Self-professed as “The Rock Capital of the World”, Quartzsite is a town in La Paz County of +/- 2,000 inhabitants that swells to a couple of million in January and February each year. Situated 125 miles west of Phoenix at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 95, it enjoys a close association with the Colorado River, just 18 miles to the west.

DesertUSA

Town of Quartzsite

Christmas Tree Agate

We couldn’t resist sharing pics of Christmas Tree Agate, found by a member of Pasadena Lapidary Society while out visiting the Southern Cady Mountains/Lavic Siding area.


North Cadys Fieldtrip; Nov. 27-29, 2020

PLS Members visited one of our favorite spots for gemstones in the North Cady Mountains, about three hours northeast of Pasadena, over Thanksgiving weekend.

The Cady Mountains have produced more gemstones than almost any other Southern California location and we explored the northern part of the range, looking for jasper, agate, fluorite, calcite, and amethyst in places where few rock hounds go. You can join us in the Cadys sometime in the future, by becoming a member of Pasadena Lapidary Society. Check out the photos below to see some of our finds.

Black and blue agate

Blue agate

Botryoidal blue agate

Jasper agate

Calcite with fluorite

Mud tube agate

Orbicular red jasper

Top notch agate

PLS Takes a Look at Picture Rocks for January 21 Program Meeting

One happy Geode!

Pasadena Lapidary Society members are continually picking up rocks, wondering what might be inside if cut. More often than not, as one might guess, the inside of a rock can be very similar to the outside.  Every now and then, however, we’re happily surprised to find a sparkling cluster of crystals, bursts of unexpected colors or even images inside a rock.  These images can be eerily realistic, or perhaps resemble an impressionist painting of beach scenes, faces, landscapes, etc.  Ken Rogers of the Culver City Rock & Mineral Club, will be the featured speaker at our Tuesday, January 21st meeting when he discusses “Pictures in Rocks”.  Attendees of the meeting are encouraged to bring their own favorite picture rocks to share on the Display Table.

Our January Rock of the Month talk will be presented by PLS member David Lacy with a focus on Feldspar.  Did you know that Moonstone and Labradorite are feldspars? Come to the meeting to find out more about this luminescent mineral.

The Tuesday, January 21st meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Main Library at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101.  Open to the public. FREE.  Come join us for some rock fun!

NO DECEMBER PROGRAM MEETING

We will be holding our annual Christmas Party instead of the December program meeting. The members of Pasadena Lapidary Society wish you a lovely and memorable Holiday Season.

PLS November 12 Meeting Features Kokoweef Caves

illustration source: Kokoweef.com

Pasadena Lapidary Society’s November meeting is being held one week early — on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Have you heard the legend of the river of gold in the Kokoweef Caves of the Mojave Desert? Several versions of the story are out there, involving three Paiute brothers, George, Buck and Oliver Peysert, who discovered a limestone cave with a huge crystal stalactite and an underground river containing gold.

Pasadena Lapidary Society member Carolyn Duncan, who visited the Kokoweef Caves some 30 years ago and brought back specimens of cave onyx, will provide a presentation on this legendary part of the Mojave Desert. She will be displaying some of the specimens at the meeting.

Junior PLS member, Alyson Nishimura, will discuss rocks and minerals of the Yermo, CA area for the November Rock of the Month Talk.

Our meeting will be held in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium of the Pasadena Central Library at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91101. Tuesday, November 12, 6:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.