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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:52 pm 
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Got about half way through my tale, copied it to a word document so I can finish it :)


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:34 am 
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Well Lefty, it looks like we are going to tell each other stories. I find it hard to believe no one else has stories of their travel adventures! I didnt even eat beans prior to sitting down at this campfire so it cant be me that scared them off. Maybe my stories just arent that interesting? Ive got really good hunting stories, but they offend most people that dont hunt. Got some good sailor stories, but they usually offend most people that were not sailors. Some fishing stories! But im a fisherman so no one believes them anyway. Guess its back to prospecting tales? I believe its Your turn. Im gonna find the beans and a beer.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:28 pm 
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I think us prospectors must be a breed apart Dan. Mind you, this thread is getting up towards a thousand views so at least a few other people must read them - I'm glad we've be able to provide a service :)

Hmm, just looked for that tale I'd half-finished typing out - it seems to be missing from documents. Maybe I called it something else and I'm overlooking it, hope I don't have to do it over again. Hopefully I'll find it or maybe something wild and crazy will happen tomorrow when I head down to look for more crystals.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:32 pm 
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Don't worry, I'm dutifully reading and enjoying this thread. I just don't have any good ones to share myself--my dad was just too good at planning sane collecting trips I guess. I did have one field geology story that went a bit south but there wasn't any prospecting involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:54 pm 
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That's ok Stephen, I'd love to hear it anyway :D - not all of our stories are strictly about prospecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:16 pm 
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Believe it or not most of my prospecting this last month has been on-line, on facebook. I have been diligently prospecting for contacts and sources. Joined several different groups to find the resources I need to complete a couple of projects Im working on. One site I offered porcupine quills in a trade for things I may or may not need, but could be used later in another trade to get something else I need. Mostly I'm looking for black opaque obsidian. It seems my source ran out just when I need it. Got a couple of leads but they dont look to be permanent supplys only small traders emptying old stock. so the prospecting continues.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:13 am 
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Black obsidian is insanely common--I would guess the reason you're having trouble is that nobody wants to take the time to drag it to their cars given the low price. You should definitely consider going to Glassy Butte in Oregon sometime. It is a fantastical wonderland, with obsidian chunks of all kinds scattered across the surface of the ground. Black, mahogany, sheen, midnight lace, opaque greens and blues, and even the rare fire obsidian at times. All just there, for the taking. It changes your obsidian outlook forever.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:14 pm 
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Given how vulcanized my region is, it's a wonder I've never seen any. But my dad reckons he has decades ago, big chunks of glassy black material near the garnet place. We haven't found any while digging there though.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:28 pm 
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The problem with obsidian is that it's not stable long-term. So you need very recent vulcanism and a nice spot without much weathering for it to remain in place.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Ah ok, most of the Eastern Australian volcanics are very ancient as I understand it. A small section in the far north where my in-laws live - the Atherton tablelands - is apparently much more recent. I'll tell father-in-law to keep his eye out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:39 pm 
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Actually, maybe I'll tell them they should move :) ...

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Geological records have shown that new volcanoes in Far North Queensland have erupted about every 2000 years within the past 40,000, yet there has not been a major eruption there for the past 5000 years.

"A significant eruption seems well overdue," he said.


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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:09 pm 
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Here's my field geology story by the way:

I was taking an undergrad field geology course. We split into groups, and for our major project we were sent out to gather some real field data, and to this end one of my group members had a great idea. There isn't a great abundance of exposed bedrock in the American southeast thanks to all the trees and clay, but his house is near a river which has a number of rock exposures on its banks. Our idea was that we would take a boat, gently move from outcrop to outcrop, collect some samples, measure some bed orientations, and have a grand 'ol time. To this end our professor lent us a canoe, though I'd note it was meant for two, not for three large college guys. So even to start after launching into the river we were riding pretty low in the water. The river was pretty mild though, and we had an easy time gathering data on the first few outcrops. And then we heard something, a dull static in the distance. Looking up, there was something odd and grey on the horizon, and all at once we realized it was whitewater. See, while the Haw River does have some nice placid bits it's better known for its rapids, which for the area are considered rather fierce. Not perhaps comparable to the fine rapids out west, but definitely more than should be handled by, say, three guys in a canoe meant for small ponds.

So, this is where the second issue surfaced: our group leader was not nearly so experienced in operating a boat as he had made himself out to be. We made it through the first round of rapids alive but a bit battered and we capsized several times in the process. I, seated in the bottom of the boat, also got the unique joy of feeling the plexiglass bend around each rock that we scraped across. Our phones did not make it, so we were now far from help. Things calmed down a bit past the rapids and we collected a bit more data, but soon we came to a split in the river, and went down the smaller side-stream. As we were coming to the point where it merged with the main stream, a tree had fallen over the river and was about a foot off the surface of the water. This, of course, seemed to our leader like like plenty of clearance for us to fit under it.

It was not.

In a few moments we were out of the boat, each clinging to the tree with one hand and to the fully submerged canoe with the other. That wouldn't be so bad if we were in placid water, but it happens that this was the point where the little side-stream took a sharp turn and merged back in with the main river, at the site of a charming little rapid we would later learn was called "Sawtooth ledge." Needless to say, the current was rather strong. Somehow, through dint of sheer effort, we managed to cart the canoe across the river to the bank without being swept away, and walked it for a while until we were past those rapids, and we got back into the water.

One other thing we learned was that our leader wasn't great at estimating how long a boat trip would take, or at measuring where we were. We had one landmark, a large pillar that was probably once part of a bridge, to look out for which was the site where we could get out and walk to where our second car was parked. However, it was getting dark, and we came across a third set of long rapids. By this point we were all pretty tired and more than a bit worried about things, but somehow we made it through this as well, finally spotting the landmark just as night fell. We made it to the cars alive but soaked, shell-shocked, and somehow covered in ticks.

The best part of all that? We didn't get enough data so we went back the next weekend. This time we made it through the first rapid fine, avoided sawtooth ledge entirely, but broke a nice hole in the boat on the third rapids.

Our project ended up pretty good, but our third group member started not making it to meetings, and missed a project presentation entirely. Later we found out that he had contracted rocky mountain spotted fever (for those unfamiliar, it is a relatively severe illness carried by ticks in the US, ~5% mortality if I remember right). So all-in-all it was quite an experience, and I am glad I don't have to do that again.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:17 am 
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Thats a good one, I havent bent a canoe around a rock in years! That brings back memories!

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:21 am 
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speaking of obsidian, whats the rind composition? Ive got friends looking for a better way to remove it. So far it looks like scrape and grind removal or just cut it off.

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 Post subject: Re: Tales of the Roaming Prospector
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:27 am 
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I can only imagine it! Not much white water here. You can add "experienced white water rafter" to your CV. Talk about extreme geology. And it came with the added bonus of contracting a dangerous tick-borne illness. If you ever want to top that you could try fossicking on the side of an active volcano :)


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