Don’t believe everything you read. Several years ago, a friend passed along a Rockhounder article from 1972, describing an accidental find of apache tears in the “Borrego Sink.” After a couple fruitless attempts on my own, I proposed this potential to our scouting committee and a real search was in the works.
On the beautiful morning of December 20th, the top dogs of our club set off with 6 human rouckhounds armed with vague 40 year old directions. Along a 3 mile stretch of route 22 west of Salton City, where these obsidian nodules supposedly were “lying about by the hundreds”, we stopped everywhere there was room for 3 cars. Spending no less than 30 minutes at each stop, we fanned out in all directions scouring for even a shard of volcanic glass. After 4 stops we threw in the towel and the only evidence of tears were those of disappointment on my face. Fortunately, they dried quickly amid the stunning geologic scenery. I guess sometimes, Mother Nature sticks her tongue out at you.
Making lemonade from the lemons we were dealt in the morning, we headed down the road toward Ocotillo Wells for petrified wood. The first hour of collecting was meager for some of us, so we backtracked a bit. Within feet of our cars there were great specimens for the Date Festival bags! As always, never being too old to learn, there was a lively discussion around what appeared to be entire logs which were buried, but not ‘cooked’ long enough become petrified. Rather, there were fragile wood-like fragments, surrounded by powdery, yet colorful hematite, limonite or related iron compounds. Of course, specimens too large for the bags, had to go home with the finder.
On second thought, Mother Nature wasn’t taunting us, just pointing us to look further to the right! By the way, for us fluorescent collectors, the wood is a beautiful yellow-orange in shortwave UV!
Footnote to trip – The AM/PM at the corner of 22 and 86 is well worth a stop. From delicious carne asada tacos to banana splits big enough for two, they have what it takes to replenish a weary rockhounder!
Submitted by Bill Beecher
The third try was the charm for this trip after two cancellations due to high winds and blowing sands. Our happy and enthusiastic troop of 18 members met at 9 a.m. at the Motel 6. After being placed into 4 wheel drive trucks, we took off to Garnet Hill at approximately 9:15 a.m.
Taking the back way, we ran into some problems, water and mud on the trail. One truck got stuck but Mike Attard pulled him out with his red jeep.
Thank you Darlene.
I believe everyone in the group found something wonderful by noon and we went back to our meeting place for a break and refreshments before driving off in search of Wonderstone. Everyone found something to take home. It was a very successful trip and everyone was a happy camper.
Submitted by John Zedler, field trip leader.
Scouting Trip, October 23, 2014
This was the first trip for our newly established Scouting Committee. We chose the area of Kramer Junction to explore.
It took us about 2 ½ hours to get there, but we were not disappointed. The area is vast, and there seems to be an endless amount of opalite in a wide range of colors, and red and yellow moss, much of it showing inclusions of fossilized stems and roots.
The Committee has determined that this would be an excellent place for the Shadow Mountain Gem and Mineral Society to schedule a field trip very soon.
Submitted by: Barbara Catlin
The passing of Richard Catlin 5/19/2014
As I write this I am very saddened to have to report the passing of Richard Catlin. We have all lost a very loved member of the club. Richard has been a member for more than 40 years. He has held many positions. Board member, news letter editor, trip leader and joke teller, sometimes telling a joke more than once but always getting a laugh. In all the years I have known him, I never heard him ever say anything bad about anyone. He was a kind and gentle soul, loved by all.
A few days ago when I spoke to Barbara, who is being very strong at this time, she told me she had a talk with Richard after his passing and told him she was mad at him for leaving before her. She explained she married him because he was younger and she wanted to go first! Well Richard i’m mad at you too.
We will all miss you and your sense of humor, jokes and words of wisdom. so i will close with these words.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good!
May god put you in charge of joke telling and if you are on the board of directors in heaven, save me a seat.
A celebration of life gathering is going to be on June 17th, Richards birthday, at Dar and Marge's house, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Any questions please call me at 760-219-4388.
President, Shadow Mountain Gem & Mineral Society.
Another beautiful Saturday for a rockhounding field trip. This time we headed for the mountains, the weather is getting warm on the desert valley floor. Our last trip before our summer vacation and the destination is Wrightwood, Ca.
We went looking for Serpentine, the state rock and my favorite, Actinolite. First stop as always was Jensen's Market for goodies and a adventure pass. That taken care of, we drove up the winding road to where the Serpentine busts out of the mountain side. Easy pickens, we found what we came for and the view was just spectacular. Next, back down to the creek bed for Actinolite. It takes a bit to adjust your eyesight to spot this mineral among all the other rocks, but once you do, they jump out at you. I don't believe anyone left empty handed and everyone left happy.
On the way home, we stopped to see our good friends at the open house party held in their NEW clubhouse for the San Gorgonio Mineral & Gem Society. A wonderful hotdog lunch with all the fixings and chili too!
This was a three society outing with the Hi-Desert Rockhounds joining the Shadow Mountain G&M Society while visiting the San Gorgonio Mineral & Gem Society.
Linda Layman and
Twelve of us left the T/A in Coachella in 3 vehicles. A short way down Hwy 86 South, Darlene radioed us to pull over; her Jeep was giving her trouble. Darlene decided to park the Jeep and deal with it on the return trip. So now we had twelve people in TWO vehicles! A little crowded, but still legal.
Everything went well for the rest of the way to the collecting sites.
The State Park Service has now limited us to designated routes in the Eastern area of this Park. We were able to stop in two locations and collect sufficient material without having to walk too many miles. Thankfully the weather was beautiful so no one got overheated.
The Desert Lillies and other wildflowers were blooming, which was a lovely added benefit to our trip!
Now for the bad news! We stopped at Darlene’s Jeep on the way home, only to discover that some not nice person or persons had stolen the battery and had taken some other items of value. We all waited while Darlene telephoned for a tow truck. Darlene and Marge assured us that the tow truck would arrive shortly, and that we should proceed without them, which we did. It was an unhappy conclusion to an otherwise lovely trip!
After we had been home for a while, we telephoned Darlene, and I am happy to report that she and Marge and the Jeep all arrived at the mechanic’s location, and home safely.
Photo credit to Linda Layman.
CHRISTMAS PARTY – DECEMBER 7, 2013
We met at noon at The Home Town Buffet in Palm Desert, each bringing a nice rock or hobby related gift for the gift exchange. After we had all eaten more than we should have, I suspect, the gifts were delivered! That was when the fun began, trying to figure out who gave which gift, so they could be properly thanked. What a delightful time of sharing!
Outside, it was a cool, cloudy, rainy day. But inside, with our group of 29, there was a lot of warmth and love!
Submitted by Barbara Catlin