Field Trip - Colorado River - "No Lake" Lakers Jan 12, 2020 15:02:02 GMT -5 Fossilman, quartz, and 7 more like this
Post by NevadaBill on Jan 12, 2020 15:02:02 GMT -5
This is going to be a quick and dirty field report. It will be smaller, low resolution pictures (so they load faster), and less dialog than most I think.
I have wanted to make this post for many months now, but have really not had enough pictures or enough what I would consider "interesting shots" to actually make a field trip report out of it. I have been out to the Colorado, in several sections of the river over a half dozen times or more.
The mountains surrounding this stretch of the river are filled with rocks of all types (Gold, Silver, Copper especially, as well as Agates, Cherts, and all sorts of Metamorphics. They all just get pushed down hill, in to the big 'ol river, and picked up in the swift current.
The Colorado has been a mighty force of nature for a long time as we know. The areas which I focus on, are down stream from the actual Hoover Dam. Let's just say that most of the work was done, long before the dam went up.
I go to Laughin / Bullhead City area a lot, or Davis Dam, or other strethes where I can easily park, and walk down to the river to collect without braking any laws.
This is kind of what it looks like. Miles and miles of round rocks. And wide.
Most of the rocks I pick up are medium to larger size. Here is a box of large varieties. I also pick up much much larger ones for the yard. I will get in to those as well.
Here is what the smalls look like. There are smalls, all the way down to a centimeter in width or so. I find that some of the prettiest rocks I find are the smallest. I will not be really displaying any of the finished smalls in this trip report. Just the big ones.
After walking around for a couple hours or most, I usually find myself a nice backpack full of rocks. I take out the largest, and then wash down the others. Here is a random shot from one of my trips. you can see that the rocks range from being pretty out of round, to almost perfect ovals in some cases.
Some can be real funny shapes. I call this my dinosaur bone. It's not of course. It is a softer rock, and this is the best that I've been able to polish it to date, but the thing is so funny looking. It is very rare to find this kind of soft rock. The underside looks just as odd. I like the colors. It is a desk paperweight.
I find a fair bit of this type of rock too. I call it the Gila. But I cut it up and polished the pieces from it.
You can see that the colors go right through. That was important to me. I wanted to be able to tumble down to a nice shape and use for tumbles, and pendants and stuff. I have some finished of this very rock.
It takes a pretty good polish. I think the one on the left looks like a Dachshund puppy.
I would like to post beautiful and interesting pictures the locations, but they are mostly just this. Long stretches of rocks after rocks. Some scooped in to piles by dredges, and some just out there where the Colorado left them when the water was much higher.
It can get very hot out there in the Summer. This is what the vehicle told me it was on one particularly hot day after returning to the car when leaving. I think this number is a bit high, but Laughlin does get hotter than Vegas, and it was hot.
Another bunch of rocks. This the large gold pan, so you can kind of imagine the scale a little better. But there are all varieties of rocks here. Mostly cherts and poor sidimentaries and stuff.
There are some very large metamorphics out there. I happen to think this is a Gneiss. The rock (red) is more chert or Agate like than anything else. It is very hard. It has been heated up and twisted together with lesser hard rocks to form a stone. This one is in my garden.
Ok, here is what they look like when they are polished. I always like these Colorado rocks, since they are mostly round to begin with, and I don't need to do much Stage 1 with them to get the imprefections out.
As you can see, there are all types. And almost all of them take a really good shine. These are hard rocks. The exception being the Red one with light Red stripes through it, at the 11:30p position in the above picture.
On one hot day I found myself in kind of a dumping area of rocks. These piles were moved here by machines at some time or other, and I am just going through them. The problem is that these are in a depression, where the air is not moving. So it turns the space in to kind of a oven or kiln.
Here are more examples of that twisted stuff. It is hard to polish these outright. They contain too much junk rock or just really soft stuff mixed in with the good stuff.
Hopefully this close up allows you to get an idea for the composition of some of these. I have sliced many open, and found everything from clear Agate to colorful Cherts. Mixed in with the junk rock. Kind of like twisted candy.
I also find these. And these types are some of my favorites. They are "waterline" rocks. It appears that the water has stained these. But in fact, the lines go straight through to the other side. These examples are football sized, and smaller. Also yard rocks. Some can be very pretty. And they take a great polish!
More gathered rocks.
More finished rocks. These are dry. Most all of them take a really good shine. See the ones with lines in them? They turn out to be pretty neat looking rocks that round out the tumbles real well. Lots of variety here.
I often wonder what it might be like to wander along the banks of the Great Lakes! I am really jealous of the wonderful rocks that come from the great North and their lakes.
Well, some times with a spray bottle of water, I can kind of have the same kind of fun walking around trying to spot some good ones. I think it is pretty neat actually that I get to do this.
Take a look at the wild colors in this one! Bright, dark red. With yellows twisted in to it. Another garden rock. These all pep up really nice when Las Vegas gets occasional rains now and then, and water hits them.
Another picture of the car temperature from another day. I was sitting in the depressed quarry, and picking out rocks, with not much a breeze to cool off with. At times I felt the shirt melting right off my back it seemed. Heat exhaustion is a real thing. So I got out.
Another new batch of rocks. I can process these faster, since Stage 1 is shorter. I can also use small, medium or large rocks, to help to tumble all of my other regular nicer Jaspers and Agates, and Cherts too. I can balance the tumbler load better.
All different kinds of rocks represented here. I wish I knew them all.
More large potato rocks! Those lines go right through. Solid! Occationally you will have a rock that is cracked on one of those lines going through though. These are some good ones though.
Some day, I get get an old cement mixer (the small kind) and try to polish these. They will polish well. These are wet in the picture though.
And here are some more finished ones, too. I like the varieties. And colors too. Again, these are the mediums to larger ones. The smaller ones are even more pretty.
Miles and miles of shoreline to walk. Mostly garbage rocks. but some good ones all over. I never have to dig. Just pick them up from the surface.
Another pile picked from another day. These are all wet of course, but give an idea of variety.
See the rock at 3:00p or so? The red one with the white line? Keep that in mind. I finished that rock. Or a piece of it.
More finished, polished rocks. I might have 50 lbs of them.
Some of the rocks, I shape on the grinder, and then polish, and use for pendants. Here is one. It is more green than the picture shows.
Here is another. This was done before I knew how to polish a rock, actually. But I like the colors a lot.
This one is more transparent. Maybe an Agate. Maybe not. Pretty red though.
And here is the one that I was just talking about. The 3:00p rock from that earlier picture. Well, I cut it in half. Here is half, and I have one more half yet to make another pendant or something with.
Here is a chert I think. I like the colors. Almost looks like Jasper. Maybe it is? I really can't tell.
This is going to be the last post for a while, as I am getting on an airplane, bound for the far East, and won't return until February some time.
I might have internet for some of it, so I'd like to check in, or follow up on this post if I could. Just a heads up, if I don't.
I just wanted to share one of my favorite places to find rocks, while I had a chance today.
Thanks again for stopping by!