In early august we all made our annual pilgrimage to the River farm in Deming Wa for Lammas.
Directly after my work in North Carolina was complete, I flew home and after a good nights sleep, we Watsons headed out with the local rock club the Cascade Mineralogical Society early in the morning for a field trip to the Greenwater area hunting agate, jasper, and common opal.
We mostly stayed on the main forest service roads and didn’t get into heavy 4wd trails until the last stop. Where I put the ranger in 4wd high just in case I needed some extra help getting through a couple snowbanks in the road. We probably did not need the help but it was insurance since the Rangers tires probably need to be replaced. I haven’t decided if I am going to do so, or pick up another full sized truck.
Around that point at least one low body clearance car turned back. And someone in a Prius actually made it!
All the way along the field trip the guides stopped along the way and showed us things, sometimes in specific areas, sometimes on just road cuts along the road.
Here are a few pictures we snapped on this adventure:
We had a ton of fun and brought back three five gallon buckets about half full of mostly common opal.
The Pop up camper had some dry rotted wood at the end of the kids bed slide-out. I have been meaning to tear it apart and put some new wood in place for quite a while. In theory it was an easy fix but in practice? The camper skin was really glued on and it deformed a bit as I was peeling it back. I was still able to fit a new piece of wood in there, screw it back in and glue the tin back down. The tin may never look the same but it is fully functional.
We wanted another try at the Hansen creek crystals, Saturday forecast was thunderstorms so we delayed until Sunday. Armed with our new equipment we headed back out we made it out of the house at the crack of….probably about 11am 😉
I took the gopro type camera out and made a video of the hike in, but after we got to the digging area I was too excited to document. Turns out the camera in its waterproof housing made the sound really really low. I may see if I can add subtitles or something, If I do Ill post the video later. For now you will have to do with a couple of screenshots I took and some after shots of our crystals.
At the dig area we tried one spot with limited success, but changed spots after a bit. I ended up donning my headlamp, using the new rock hammer and digging away at an existing hole under an old growth stump. I was digging the dirt and Jasmine and Jennifer and Kyle were all using the two screens we brought to sift the soil. I had a couple of minor cave-ins while I was digging and now I know why some people recommend hardhats. We found a bunch of small crystals a couple of them really clear and one Amethyst!
It turned out that the rock club had an outing that same day out to several areas we have been looking at but we did not know! We would have been able to use some of our new gear, looking forward to next time and finding something different!
For a Mothers day outing, we took a drive up to hansen creek right off I-90 and walked the trail, which I believe is actually called Humpback Mountain trail. We went on Saturday a day early as the weather was to be milder.
With backpacks mostly empty just water snacks and PBJ each we set out unsure of what we were going to find. Everyone we met on the trail seemed super friendly. We saw waterfalls and rock outcroppings and many many trees across the trail. Here are few of the photos I took.
The trail sorta ended as far as I could tell in just a mish match of holes and undercut trees and tailings of previous people on a steep hillside which was most assuredly the most dangerous part of the hike. We circled a bit and I tried to find a spot where we could all sit or dig or just not fall down the mountain and ended up at a larger hole, a fella was just packing up and generously gave us a few tips and let us have his dig.
He mentioned that him and some buddies started this dig about three years ago in this spot so that they would not undercut any live trees, and as I looked it was starting to encroach on a couple. He advised us to hop in and knock some of the sandy soil from the walls and re sift through the loose soil at the bottom looking for shiny bits. As noone gets all of these no matter how much they look.
We all pulled out our tiny flashlights that live in our backpacks and began. It was no time until we all wished we had brought our couple of headlamps, which would have allowed us to work more or less hands free.
There was really no place you could sit down, and it was not until today I realized that Kyle had his hammock in his backpack, we could have strung that up and had a nice way to get off our feet.
One of the first things I pulled out was this:
I wasn’t even sure it was a crystal it was so covered with junk but it was the right shape so we just kept going….
We ended up with quite a few pieces of “LEVERITE” that stuff you shoulda just “leave-er-right”where ya found it. 🙂 But the ladies found two or three clusters some quartz, and several small quarts crystals!
After we got back home and washed off our treasures I ordered some OXALIC ACID So we can clean up the rust or whatever is on that first one I have, and several others as well.
I also ordered us each a 16$ Headlamp that uses those 18650 batteries that I have so many of. I think those will replace the small flashlights we have in our packs.
I also splurged and got us a 5 pack of classifier screens that fit on a 5 gallon bucket we could use when we go back.
I cant wait for another go, but not today.. It is 85F outside and we are just hanging out at home trying to stay cool.