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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Lefty,

Enjoy your fossicking! I like to hear about your adventures.
I did my first collecting trip about three weeks ago: Here in the Pacific North West, we've had the rainiest winter on record, it's done good to scour out the stream channels and expose new ground.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to cross Salmon Creek to the really big gravel bank due to the stream still running deep and fast.
The current was hellacious, and it was quite a chore to inch out across the channel.
I got to the point where I literally could touch the other bank with a 5' shovel, but could not complete the crossing due to the bed recutting itself, and dropping another foot in depth.
At this point, it was dangerous enough, and I was within 4" of the water going into my hip waders, so I slowly backed out and went to "Plan B" and dropped into a side drainage and did fairly well there.
I came home with some very nice Carnelian, a fair amount of Jasper, and large quantities of Petrified Wood.
Not many Coprolites yet (this site is world famous for them!), as the water is still quite high.
All in all, I had a great time.
I'm looking forward to another outing there soon with friends.
This year I hope to get back to Glass Butte in Oregon for more Obsidian, to a friend's Sunstone claim, and other places located a bit more local like the Zektzerite occurrence in Eastern Washington.
I would love to work my way into the Amethyst pegmatites that you have there!
Best of Luck going down into it, I hope you turn up good sized and colored intact stones.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:39 am 
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Hi Tom.

Yep, fossicking is great fun! All gems are great but I still think there's nothing quite as satisfying as cutting/cabbing something you have found yourself.

Sounds like you have access to some interesting fossicking places there! The geology must be similar to where I'm heading this weekend as it too has a lot of orange chalcedony, jaspers and petrified woods (sadly, most of the "carnelian" is not red all the way through.) No coprolites though - maybe your area contained dinosaur food plants with high levels of laxatives in them :D Is this an area of rhyolite-type volcanics?

This weekend's trip to this particular river crossing will probably be one of the last - construction of a weir to supply a city downstream of the site with additional water will begin before long and these chalcedony and pet wood strewn gravel banks will be drowned. :(

Oregon sounds like a fantastic place for fossicking and rockhounding - I particularly like some of that coloured sunstone!

We did scratch up some surface amethyst last weekend when we couldn't take the generator but as usual it was nearly all rubbish.

Image
Image

There's plenty of properly-formed six-sided crystals and some of a very nice colour - but all badly cracked and shattered.

Hopefully we'll get that generator repaired soon and I can dig down into the decomposed granite in hope of something better.

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:07 am 
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Shifter55 wrote:
Yup, heating amethyst into citrine, apparently it takes a temperature range of 400-600C to get the change going for the sources that will heat to citrine instead of lightening, which should be well within the range of a charcoal pit or barbeque.

It should only take an hour at that temperature but the difficulty may be in avoiding damage to any stones due to heating too quickly...

Unfortunately there isn't a lot of services for treating quartz showing up on google, and the only concrete data I found for treatment procedures are on this forum, but it is in line with heating tiger's eye and what a bushfire could provide to create those strange citrines you occasionally find up there.


Hi Lefty and Shifter!

Quite interesting! I would probably stick with Amethyst instead of Citrine any day, but the idea of heating up Agate appeals to me.
I find some gorgeous stuff here that is all shades of brown/honey/orange/red, and luckily at lot of it is colored through and through.
The lesser quality stuff would be a candidate for this (of course, any treatment must be disclosed).
The Agate forms in holes in the local Basaltic lava, so there is plenty of Iron around.
Yes, I concur that you have to be careful with the rate of heat change to keep the material from cracking.
If you heat and cool it slowly enough, the rocks should come through just fine.
Thanks... Now I have another project I'll have to work on!

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:19 am 
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Lefty,

Cracked or not, that's some gorgeous Amethyst! Would love to find some like that!
The collecting around here is good... We have a crazy quilt patchwork of Basaltic lavas (Columbia Escarpment) interspersed with varying thicknesses of sedimentary beds, some of them thousands of feet deep.
This leaves us with everything from Carnelian, Jasper, and Quartz crystals to "trap rock" formations and incredible Zeolites, including Calcites and sulfide ores.
There are also the hydrothermal heavy metal emplacements, as well as fossils.
Salmon Creek is a really neat area, where we have the volcanics and sedimentaries all mixed up: We have poorly consolidated coal seams there up to 2' thick (I can count between 10 and 20 exposed), Petrified Wood, and almost unbelievably, 45 million year old wood that is wood, and not petrified. It's caught up in a clay like Lahar layer the steam runs through.
This is also where the Coprolites are found, so they are not of Dinosaur age, although a lot of people try to sell them as dinosaur poo on Ebay.
Although I prefer pegmatites, I could do a lot worse than collecting here.
Good Luck with emptying out the gravel banks in advance of the weirs... It's always sad to lose another collecting site.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Tom,

it's those patchwork-like regions that are really interesting! Mine is much the same, though it's mainly igneous the geology maps I was able to get hold of show a conglomeration of different extrusive and intrusive areas rolled into one, lots of granite ranges and outcrops with both felsic, mafic and other lava types dotted all through it. I've personally found amethyst and smoky crystals, agate and non-banded chalcedony, seam agate, petrified wood, jaspers, pyrope garnets and sapphires. I've also heard of zircons and peridot but not found them. I know of the existence of grossular garnet but was confronted by a farmer with a gun who insisted strenuously that the map was wrong and I was not on the public easment I thought I was :)

Fossils are pretty thin on the ground here though. I do have a leaf imprint from the soon-to-be-gone river crossing and my old lapidary club had a well-preserved lungfish from a spot not too far away. But that's about it - probably too much igneous and not enough sedimentary ground overall. That sounds remarkable that you could have wood buried that long and not actually silicified!

Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 5:55 pm 
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Well, boys you know that feeling you get when it's time to go. Well it's hit and I tried to go. That's where it ended. Found my pulse jig in a sorry state. The box busted in places the hopper canableized. Welding equipment piled on top of everything I needed. No boys to be found.....
I've been derailed by my 2 sons in their rush to accomplish something on their own ajenda. So it's a trip to the hardware store to find abs glue to repair the jig box. Found my hopper parts on the dehumidifier! When did I do that?! Batteries on the gold screw were dead. Found my spare, it wasn't charged up either. Found the little 8" pans but my big greens are squarely planted under a flower pot. Really!! All right, this is getting rediculous. The couch in the camper has been removed and replaced by a bed. That explains the extra couch downstairs. But all my lawn chairs are missing! I found a fishing pole and my rifle if I ever do get to go I will likely be able to eat. . . Better check for pots and pans I saw a new batch of apple moonshine. I have a suspicious feeling my pots are missing. Maybe I should just have gravel shipped in.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:47 am 
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Dan&Sally wrote:
Well, boys you know that feeling you get when it's time to go. Well it's hit and I tried to go. That's where it ended. Found my pulse jig in a sorry state. The box busted in places the hopper canableized. Welding equipment piled on top of everything I needed. No boys to be found.....
I've been derailed by my 2 sons in their rush to accomplish something on their own ajenda. So it's a trip to the hardware store to find abs glue to repair the jig box. Found my hopper parts on the dehumidifier! When did I do that?! Batteries on the gold screw were dead. Found my spare, it wasn't charged up either. Found the little 8" pans but my big greens are squarely planted under a flower pot. Really!! All right, this is getting rediculous. The couch in the camper has been removed and replaced by a bed. That explains the extra couch downstairs. But all my lawn chairs are missing! I found a fishing pole and my rifle if I ever do get to go I will likely be able to eat. . . Better check for pots and pans I saw a new batch of apple moonshine. I have a suspicious feeling my pots are missing. Maybe I should just have gravel shipped in.


Don't worry Dan, I know the feeling! It seems that wherever in the world you live and prospect, there is a long off season and things tend to go missing/deteriorate over that time. Just like our generator that we forgot to drain the fuel from :oops:

Went back to the amethyst site last weekend, armed with my trusty jackhammer and the newly repaired generator. My intention was to start hammering down into the decomposed granite to hopefully find seams and vugs of better crystals. I spent about 40 minutes on the shovel, clearing the floor of the hole to expose a good sized area of the deco granite. All good, I go over to the generator, give the starter cord a solid pull - and the ****ing cord breaks!!!!! :evil: :( I mean, first pull! Thought about fixing it there and then but it was late when we arrived so I opted for hand digging instead, meaning I never got down into the deco granite (it will break with a crowbar but it's gut-busting work).

So I ended up finding a couple of bits that might facet but couldn't move the amount of dirt I wanted. I did however strike the same phenomenon as further down the road - the deep purple coloured material tends to be concentrated in patches with Rose de France and colourless material in other spots - not an even mix. That and the fact that the crystals are all very sharp-edged and often as shiny as though they had just come off a polishing lap suggests that they haven't moved far.

Took me all of about 20 minutes to fix the generator the next day - why didn't I just do that at the digging site? :?

Anyway, I'll be back there before too long, maybe next weekend - I will get down into that granite and discover those elusive seams :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:55 pm 
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Finally! A bit of a prospecting run. Heading out to Seattle to run a 35' ketch down the coast to Tillamook. It's the shake down voyage after a complete rebuild. Should only take a few days. But on the way out I have 4 days travel and 3 stops planned. One stop for sapphires in Montana, another stop for opals in Nevada, my last stop in Oregon for sunstones. Planning on bringing out the video camera. Run a little bit of gravels through the pulse jig, the other thing is to deliver a treasure chest to the boat owner. Almost done with that. Used up the last of my iron wood I cut 30yr ago. Stuff is so hard I had to drill holes for the hardware. I plan on putting a bit of seed stock in the chest from my stops. Every good pirate chest needs some bounty inside. I don't think the bronze mermaid bottle opener qualifies.
Worst case and I'm running behind schedule I will prescreen and bring home gravels to work in the garage.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:03 pm 
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That sounds like the go Dan! Be great to see a home made video documentary. That coloured Oregon sunstone looks intruiging, I can get plenty of a nearly chemically identical stone but it's all straw-coloured, no bright colours.

Still finding amethyst by the bucketfull - and still it's nearly all junk :( I did get the generator fixed up and took it down there but as much grunt as it has, it can't penetrate the solid granite very easily, just break chips and pieces off the top. It's just a matter of exercising the extreme persistence (read: delusional optimism) of the prospector until I hit a patch of good stuff. Conditions at this little spot can't have been perfect for crystal formation because most of them are partly-formed rather than proper full crystals. I did hit a little patch about 50 yards further along where many of the crystals were properly-formed six-sided crystals (or nearly so) and found a few interesting specimens of sceptres and crystal-on-crystal growths but again no faceting material.

The little creek has cut right through the granite outcrop from top to bottom, I think next time I might start sinking holes up and down that area since it might have exposed different strata of the rock - it seems like conditions for forming good crystals occur in bands and patches throughout the area (more water in the magma or slower rate of cooling perhaps?), finding them is just a matter of luck.

Interestingly, I just came across someone mentioning an old report submitted to the colonial govenor back in the 1800's that mentions gold and small rubies being found in the area I'm digging in (unless it was submitted by a geologist I tend to suspect that the "rubies" will probably turn out to be garnets but you never know). There are actually a line of volcanic cores running through the area and I believe one of them is on or right beside the next property over. I've met the new owner of that place, he came through on a quad bike while we were getting set up and I gave him a small faceted amethyst. Maybe he'll let me have a scratch on his property (it's much larger than the on I'm currently on and surrounds it on three sides) but he and his family won;t be moving up here until Christmas by which time it will be scorchingly hot and threatening torrential rain, might have to wait since I lost his number when my old phone died and wiped all the contacts.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:05 am 
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Lefty,
Great to hear you are getting some action in.
I'm busy rounding up the strayed equipment. Yes it has a tendency to stray off when I don't use it. My short handle spade found it's way into Sally's gardening she'd. It's been doing a great job. My hammers have been roofing with my boys. My buckets took minnows to the lake with my brother fishing. The list goes on for days! It's amazing how much busier my tools have been than I have.
It's an odd trip to pack for though. Have to bring all the mining and prospecting stuff. Just portable gear, and then things for a week on the sail boat.
Had a change of heart on looking for the opals in Nevada, the ones found there are bad for crazing. So I thought I'd stay north in Idaho and look for some star garnets at Emerald creek. The Oregon sunstones are a must have. A couple of the mines there have the red green colors and I will make a stop there. The public area is about the same as you find that honey, straw color but many have that nice copper schiller.
The fun part of this is I built a treasure chest for the boat. And as I stop at the different mines and digs I will add gems to the chest. I've ordered some gold coins on line and our pocket change will work for silver coins. The guys are rounding up their wives broken jewelry to add to the chest. It should be a proper pirates treasure chest upon arrival. I will take plenty of pictures and a short video or 2 of the whole trip. Write a few stories as I go. Maybe catch a few from the old prospectors on the way. Will be fun to share when I get back ( assuming we don't sink and drown) if we do there will be a great story in there about a cursed treasure. I will let you write that one.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Delivering a boat with a treasure chest aboard is a brilliant idea Dan. The perfect way to add that special, personalized touch. Last car I bought before the current one, they gave me a pair of coffee mugs - with the new one they had it waiting for us on the show room floor dressed up with ribbons but they kept the ribbons, you'd have thought they would have at least thrown in a bottle of rum or something:) Can't complain about the car though so far, goes great. The turning circle is vastly superior to that of my old D40 (which is important when trying to make your way around gullies, rock outcrops, thick timber etc). It already has it's first "bush pinstripes" from navigating my way around a fallen tree on the track and ending up scraping along some prickly lantana shrubs - but hey, it's a prospectors vehicle.

The computer broke down the other week but things actually worked out well - normally, having no computer access is like a death sentence to a 16 year old but I said to him "while you've got nothing else to amuse yourself with, why don;t you have a go at faceting a stone?" He's always said he thought his hands were too shaky but he agreed to have a go. I selected a piece of orange cristinite, not an actual stone as such but cheap (this bit was free), easy to cut and polish and looks good. He actually took to it like a duck to water and turned out a reasonably good looking 10mm round brilliant. Obviously filled with confidence, he asked a few days later if he could facet a real stone and get it set to give to a "friend". Now I have a faceting book which says that "your first few stones will be okay to give to your mother-in-law but it will be a while before you can do one for that special girl". Plus, Marjorie and I haven't even met this girl. Told him that while I thought he'd done well, he needed to be realistic about the standard of what would be only his second ever stone and that while I can facet and cab stones, I'm not a jeweller and jewellery work does not come cheap. He then tells me he's already told her he would give her something special for her birthday, which was on Thursday (this was Monday evening decides to inform me :? ) Aaarrrgh! He asked if we had any smoky quartz since she said grey was her favourite colour. Okay, we can do that, got plenty of that stuff and if this thing fizzles out quickly then it didn't cost me anything :) . The little crystals I dug out of a granite vug with a screwdriver while visiting the in-laws have a grey-ish tone to them so I selected a nice clean one and we cut another round brilliant. Again, he did quite a good job, though I came along behind and tidied up meets, polished out some scratches he'd missed etc. Quite a nice looking little stone, as common as it is smoky quartz does facet nicely.

Searched through my stuff and found a blank 925 sterling silver ring that I'd bought a number of years ago to attempt to set a stone in but failed. Pretty confident I'd be able to do it now but when I got the thing I damaged it in the attempt to set a topaz, left marks on the silver and broke the end off one of the claws. It cost me little and was just sitting there unusable so i took it to my jeweller friend who said he could fix it and set the stone no problems. I'm cutting a nice little orange zircon for him in return.

I'll take a photo of the finished piece - since it may be both the first and last time he ever sees it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:15 pm 
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Well gents I have survived my treasure quest! 5 states and back. I searched more miles than this country is wide, and gathered a treasure fit for any pirate. The booty was sealed in a treasure chest of my own making. Delivered the the captain of the September's Wind. We sailed for days through treacherous fog, heavy seas, lost our fore sail, our engine, and drifted for endless hours past the straits of Juan de fucho into the Pacific ocean at the mercy of current and tides. Finally rescued by the local natives near Neah Bay. Strange traditions, huge totems, shrouded in endless fog. We were forced to leave our shipand return to our homes inland. The location of the chest will remain a secret. Known only to the 3 crew. However there is a map revealing the locations of where the gems and treasure was found. Should the price be right I may be tempted to make a copy. As I am the only man who knows the true locations where they can be found it may be a steep price. It.cost our captn his unblinking eye, a mermaid was imprisoned in the chest as protection, and the crew was stranded on native lands. A high price must be paid for information of a treasure like this. But offers may be entertained in good faith.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:38 pm 
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I thought the mermaid might have been part of the treasure :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:49 pm 
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You really went above and beyond to create a special experience for the owner there Dan, good on you! Now he just needs to hire himself an upstanding crew to help him find the treasure - but remember to never trust the cook! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:31 pm 
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I've got pictures on my face book page. Dan Holland I'm the good looking bald guy. Can't figure out how to get them here again.

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