Upcoming Field Trips
For additional information contact Fieldtrip Chairperson:
Ken Orndorff at 503-339-7087
May 15, 2012
by Joe Van Cura
I have agreed to lead a field trip to Hampton Buttes on Memorial Day weekend. The Klamath Falls club usually has a field trip there that weekend and we have camped with them before. They usually have an evening potluck and a time to swap rocks, so bring something to trade. I will be getting there on Friday evening May 25th. We will be camping in the junipers on the north side of Price 12 Mile Road about 2.2 miles from Van Lake Road. There are directions in the Gem Trails of Oregon book or you can call me if you need more information.
I will also be leading field trips for the Northwest Federation on June 13-15 in the Twin Springs area south of Ontario, Oregon. We will be collecting from the Grassy Mt. area, Hoodoo Basin and a couple of other sites. There will be more information in the Northwest Newsletter.
Last, but not least, I will be leading field trips for the Prineville POW WOW. The Prineville POW WOW is June 21 thru 24. On Friday the 22nd we will be heading to Richardson's Rock Ranch. They always have a surprise or two for us and equipment out at the dig sites. On Saturday we are going to Alex McDonald's. He has petrified wood and angel wing agate. On Sunday we are going to the White Fir agate thunderegg bed and the White Fir jasper thunderegg bed. The White Fir agate bed is now under claim by the Prineville POW WOW and permission from the POW WOW is need to collect there.
Feel free to contact me if you need any more information on any of these three trips.
Tailgating at NFMS Show
info from Evelyn Cataldo, Show Co-Chairperson
The Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ annual show is in Kennewick WA from Friday, May 18th through Sunday, May 20th.
In addition to dealers selling items during the show’s regular hours, tailgating by non- commercial NFMS or AFMS members will be allowed on Sunday from 7:30AM 10:00AM. Anyone wishing to tailgate should sign up at the information table in Building 2 by 2PM Saturday. Set-up for tailgating is on Sunday morning from 7:00AM 7:30AM. Sellers must provide their own tables, no larger than 3’ x 8’. Selling will be from 7:30 AM 10:00 AM. See you there!
Field Trip to Buchanan in May
Tim Fisher of the Mt Hood Rock Club has organized a field trip to the Buchanan Thunderegg Beds for the Memorial Day weekend, Friday May 25th through Monday May 28th 2012. Digging will be with hand tools. Rod (owner of the beds) will be charging $1.00/pound for eggs you dig and $1.25/pound for already dug eggs.
Tim has posted detailed information, including directions, camping and motel options on his website, http://orerockon.com/ore_rock.htm
Scroll down to the link for Buchanan Oregon Thunderegg Dig.
Previous Field Trips
Buchanan Thunderegg Trip, September 16-18, 2011
by Tim Fisher
Hello all, I have some exciting news and I am asking that you pass this along to anyone you think may be interested in a field trip. I have managed to secure the permission of the rancher who owns the famous Buchanan thunderegg beds 20 miles east of Burns, OR to lead a rock club field trip there. The trip will be the weekend of Friday Sept. 16th to Sunday Sept. 18th (depending on the rancher’s availability). Digging will be from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. We will be digging with hand tools and he will be charging 50 cents/pound which is a very reasonable price for these much sought after thundereggs.
To the gravel quarry where we will meet up on Sat. at 8:30 AM to go to the pits. I had said 23 miles east of Burns, this is on Hwy 20, after milepost 154 you will come to the store at Buchanan, here you will turn right towards Crane. It’s a little over 3 miles to the quarry, it is on your left immediately after the road turns left and leaves the valley.
If you are planning to stay at Crane Hot Springs, it is 25 miles on Hwy 78 east of Burns just past milepost 25. From here go east to just past milepost 28 where you will turn left towards Buchanan. The gravel quarry is about 14 miles north on this road, on your right after you turn left out of the valley.
Access to the beds is by short dirt roads which are suitable for high clearance vehicles or SUVs. Digging should be fairly easy, the best tools to bring are picks, rock hammers, and shovels. Bring heavy digging tools if you want to dig to China. ? The rancher will try to get his pits cleaned out with a backhoe to prepare for our digging beforehand, but about 5 pits are currently open and should be easy to dig with some cleanout and hand tools right now. Each of the Buchanan pits contains different eggs, so there is a good variety available.
We can dry camp across the highway from the pits at a large, flat gravel pit area with a spring that is suitable for trailers and tenters, and limited camping will also be available across the highway. Other spots to camp are the Crane Hot Springs resort (electric, water, hot springs!) or the Burns RV park (all services), both less than 30 minutes from the beds. There are also a few BLM camping areas that you can use for a small fee (some may be free) nearby. Other nearby rockhounding areas within an easy drive include Stinkingwater petrified wood, agate, plume agate, Burns obsidian, fossil leaves, and more.
Everyone will be required to sign a liability waiver for the Mt. Hood Rock Club’s insurance policy which will cover us (free of charge). You don’t have to be a club member to attend. It is imperative that I give the rancher an estimate of how many people will be attending, so I need to get a count of how many people plan to attend please contact me via email or phone as soon as possible!
Email and call all your rockhound friends - we need a good turnout so the ranchers will be happy with the trip and invite us back again! Joe and Janice Van Cura plan to be there for the Saturday dig.
phone - 503-631-8961
web - www.orerockon.com
email - firstname.lastname@example.org
May 27, 2011
Field Trip Report
by Joe VanCura
In June, I will be leading field trips from the Prineville Show along with Gary Buss. The show is June 23 through June 26, with field trips on the 24th, 25th, and 26th. We will be going to Richardson's Ranch for Thundereggs on Friday, Bear Creek for petrified wood on Saturday, and Ochoco Tube Agate on Sunday.
There are also field trips from the Madras show which runs from June 29th - July 3rd.
May 2011 - Field Trip Report
by Joe VanCura
For the May field trip we went to Bruce Ferguson's (otherwise known as J2B2 Rock & Equipment) place outside of Millersburg. The weather held up and we had 24 members show up. I think everyone was able to find a couple of treasures (at 50 cents a pound you could hardy go wrong).
July 2010 Field Trip to Blue Forest
Submitted by Dan Groah
Blue Forest Petrified wood trip to Kemmer, Wyoming.
This trip is set in July because the evalation is near 7,000 feet and a fall trip here iis chancy, weather wise.
- July 10 Travel
- July 11 Travel and meet at the Fontinelle camp ground on the Green River Wyoming
- July 12 Travel to digging area (7 miles from camp) and dig
- July 13 Dig Blue Forest
- July 14 Dig Blue Forest
- July 15 Travel to Delta, Utah
- July 16 Travel 50 miles and dig trilobites (fee area)
- July 17 Travel and dig Dugway geodes and camp
- July 18 Dig Dugway
- July 19 Head for home on your own
Memorial Day Weekend
Oregon Coast Trip
We will meet at the Lost Creek parking lot at 9:00 A.M. Hopefully there will be rock showing by then. If not we will try to find alternative spots north or south from there.
Saturday, January 30th
Rice NW Museum of Rocks & Minerals
They are expecting us about noon. Rob wants everybody that will be carpooling to meet at the old K-mart on Portland Road at 10:30 am. This is near the Harbor Freight and Bingo Hall. Call Rob to let him know that you will be going at 503-371-6421.
[click here] for link to Rice NW Museum
Photos from Field Trip to Hollywood Ranch
August-September 2008 Field Trips
~ Submitted By Daniel Bontempo
Ochocos - July. By the time you read this, the 25-27 Jul trip to the Ochoco area led by Joe van Cura, will have come and gone - hopefully with lots of success stories. After we announced the idea of the trip and asked for folks to express interest and suggest dates, we heard from about a dozen folks, and settled on Sat 25-Jul for the main event. Without a July meeting, we had to rely on word-of-mouth and the list of folks who had contacted us. (In the future when we have a missed meeting, or other late-breaking details, I will try to get info on the website. This time things got away from me because of summer pow-wows and vacation travel. Getting on the field trip email-list is a good way to get the scoop on late-breaking news or changes.) The plan was to dig at Whistler Spring, Viewpoint, and Radford claims, as well as a side trip to the Lucky Strike mine.
Ashwood - August. The proposed trip to the Ashwood area in August has been canceled. Bottom line, we heard from very few people, gas is expensive right now, and Joe is reluctant to ask the ranchers to open up for a small group. Joe Van Cura has great contacts with the ranchers in the Ashwood area and would be up for leading a trip next year if enough club members are interested.
Hollywood August. Brad Newport is inviting club members who turned out with the club to dig in June, or went on their own some other time, to come out on Aug 16-17th for a tailings extravaganza. If your name is on one of Brad’s sign in sheets for a prior visit, then you can pick up wood from his large pile for just 75 cents/lb. Several clubs besides WAMS have been out to dig this year, and a lot of rock never gets cleaned off or taken away. Brad has had helpers pile up all the rock from around the pits and has done a bit of washing. He says it’s a large pile with some choice wood.
Succor Creek September. We will not have a trip to McDermitt this September, but instead will go to Succor Creek!! Tom Robertson will lead a multi-day trip on 19-20-21st September to several sites around the Succor Creek State Natural Area. Succor Creek is an unstaffed, no-fee primitive tent camping area. There's no potable water service and the park lies on rough unpaved road. http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_13.php
There is a good toilet, but bring you own drinking water. Folks can also stay at the Homedale RV park about 23 miles down the road. (I will work on a map early in September, and will send it out to the field-trip email list, as well as try to get a link on the club website.)
Friday the 21st the meet point is at the campsite at 8:30am. Digging will be at Succor Creek.
Saturday the 22nd the meet point is 8am in the parking lot of Paul’s Market in Homedale. Digging will be at Graveyard Point.
Sunday the 23rd the meet point is 8:30 at the campsite, and the digging will be nearby for Succor Creek thunder eggs. Bring shovels and picks, but we don’t plan any serious hard-rock digging. And did I mention lots of water?
Please call or email Daniel Bontempo
Daniel.email@example.com or at
541-497-7916 to sign up. You can also call Tom Robertson directly with any questions (503-363-9678)
Here’s a deal: You can leave a message on Tom’s cell phone (503-559-5179) when you set out and confirm you are attending. There is no service out at the campsite, but Tom will check messages when he goes into town. If you don’t get there, and we have your confirmation, we will try to look for you.
Carpool Anyone? At about 400 miles this is a long drive and quite a few gas $$. If you would like to find a rider to split gas, or want to find someone you can ride with, let me know when you sign up and I will do what I can to organize this.
Also check out the list of trips posted by the Washington State Mineral Society, http://www.mineralcouncil.org/field.htm - several trips for agate and jasper in September and October.
If you know of other trips, want to be on a trip-alert email list, or just have comments, you can reach Daniel Bontempo at (451)497-7916, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2008 Previous Field Trips:
There is a field trip scheduled to Succor Creek September 19-21. Tom Robertson will lead this trip.
Pow-Wow. Prineville, OR, June, 26-29th Three field trips are planned in conjunction with the pow-wow this year. They said, "We finally have the locations for the field trips. We just don't have the actual days finalized. One is to White Fir Springs for thundereggs, Hampton Butte for petrified wood, and Joe McDonald's for petrified wood and thunder eggs." Contact Rebecca at email@example.com for updates. There is plenty of room for camping at the fairgrounds. Trips will leave each morning at 8 am.
Pow-wow. Madras, OR, July 2-6th. There will also be several fieldtrips in conjunction with the Madras pow-wow. They are not finalizing the list of trips until after Memorial Day. Promotional material says, "daily field trips, dig for agate, jasper, thunder eggs, petrified wood for a fee, bring rock hounding tools." Contact Rocky McCall, (8330 272nd NW, Stanwood, WA 98292, (360) 629-2515;
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) for updates or questions. There is room to camp at the fairgrounds, and also at nearby Richardson’s Ranch.
May 17-18th - HolleyWood Ranch
The club's visit to HolleyWood Ranch on Sat-Sun 17-18th May seemed successful. Over 55 folks said they were with the club on Saturday and at least another 15 on Sunday. Owner Brad Newport was pleased with the turnout. He plans to have a Customer Appreciation Day later this summer with $0.50/lb fees. Folks signing his waiver sheets from a previous dig will be eligible, so this might be a nice opportunity for club members who turned out. (Details will be announced when available.)
February 16-17, 2008
Saturday & Sunday
Moolack Beach and Lost Creek for Agates and Fossils
WAMS Coast Trip
February 16-17, 2008
Submitted by Emily Start
Did someone say agates and fossil? Those are the key words to use to get our club members to the Oregon Coast. The weekend of Feb 16-17 was our second coast club trip. Friday folks were on their own.
Bob Manley went to Scots Point from 68th street north of Newport. He headed north around Scotts Point and a sneaker wave caught him, but he got away. Last Friday another club member, Mylon Miller, had the same experience at Scotts Point. So we decided no to do that trip on Saturday with the club.
Joe and Emily Start met club members at Moolack Creek parking lot at noon on Saturday. Joe explained the fossils on that beach to about 12 club members that showed up. The sun was shining n us with the ever present wind that kept us bundled up.
Buckets in hand we spread out and got rewarded with agates and shell fossils. It was a minus tide (.1) at 2:51pm revealing the Astoria Formation and lots of rock showing. A rock hounds dream! North of Moolack Creek, Emily Start found a skull fossil, probably a seal skull. Joe found a large vertebra, near the same location that afternoon. Everyone was successful and smiling coming off the beach.
We then headed for 68th street to go to Schooner Creek south of Scotts Point. The parking was limited, lots of rock showing, but limited finds. A few agatized snail shells, but the Astoria Formation was completely exposed and very spectacular. It looked like large loafs of bread with flat tops. The low tide also exposed 2 beautiful cedar stumps washed away from a tidal wave 700 years ago (according to Bill Orr). The stumps were 15-20 feet across and undulating like a bunch of seals frozen in time.
Seven members gathered at 5:30 for Chinese food at a great new restaurant just north of Newport on 101. It is at the old location for Rocky Joes rock shop. The building is painted neon yellow with green trim. You can’t miss it.
Joe Van Cura and Barry Ward led about 12 members at Lost Creek. I think it should be renamed Found Creek! There were 70 people besides our club members there on Saturday and 100 plus people on Sunday. Everyone was happy as that location south of Newport continues to be very productive, mostly agate, including the very popular Newport Blues and some fossils too. Joe stayed over to Sunday and so had 2 days of fun at Lost (Found) Creek! That will put you in a good mood for sure. Sunday was .5 minus tide at 3:30pm. Ideal place for rock hounds.
Thank you, Newport. Thank you, Pacific Ocean for sharing your bounty with the WAMS club. We will return to the Oregon Coast another day.
January 12-13, 2008
Saturday & Sunday
Newport for Agates and Fossils
Come for one day or two
Meet at Lost Creek south of Newport
2007 Previous Field Trips:
McDermitt Field Trip - September 27-30
Prineville Pow-Wow June 21st - 24th will be having field trips:
Friday - June 22: Maury Mtn. Moss Agate
Saturday - June 23: McDonalds Petrified Wood (Ashwood)
Sunday - June 24 - Paulina Limb Casts
June 1st - 3rd
Call Tom Robertson or Joe Van Cura for more information.
COAST TRIP TO NEWPORT
Saturday, February 24th
Aaron Currier will be leading the trip.
Call him for additional information.
This is same weekend as Newport Seafood and Wine Festival so lodging is limited.
Oregon Park and Recreation Department:
City of Newport
2006 July 6 - 8. Succor Creek
Led by Tom Robertson & Joe Van Cura
June 9 - 11. Bear Creek
Led by Joe Van Cura
February 25th - COAST TRIP TO NEWPORT.
Oregon Park and Recreation Department:
City of Newport
Due to extreme fire hazards the
Succor Creek Field Trip was cancelled.
for Sept. 16 - 18: Succor Creek, Eastern Oregon
This trip may be rescheduled for next year.
Succor Creek Web Links:
Oregon Parks and Recreation - Succor Creek State Natural Area
Eastern Oregon Visitors Assoc - Southeast Oregon Tour
Graveyard Point - General Information
Succor Creek, Leslie Gulch
Highlights include Succor Creek,a remote and beautiful desert canyon; Leslie Gulch, another canyon marked by towering redrock spires; and the upper end of Owyhee Reservoir, a spectacular rock gorge. Despite some washboarding, a couple of narrow spots along the creek, and a steep climb out of the canyon, the gravel road through Succor Creek Canyon to the hilltop above Leslie Gulch is wide, easy, and gravel. The road into Leslie Gulch is wide and gravel at the beginning and then steep and occasionally narrow for the last 3 miles, which run down the middle of a dry creek bed....
Thundereggs - Succor Creek
This deposit is in the far eastern part of Oregon almost on the border with Idaho. this was and is a very large deposit of Thundereggs. These thundereggs can get large as in excess of hundreds of pounds! But most are average sized up to grapefruit sized. Interesting specimens, but not much color. they are mostly a clear and white agate mix.
July 17: Ochoco Mountains for thundereggs
May 28 - 29: (Memorial Day weekend): Northwest Mineral Prospectors Club invites WAMS members to Quartzville Creek
Contact Kristi Edwards or Ray Plummer for additional details
June: Harts Mountain on a private claim (tentative)
May 14 - 15, 2005: Kalama/Green Mountain for carnelian
agate (limited number of attendees allowed; contact
Janine Owens for more information)
February 5 - 6, 2005: Oregon Coast Trip - Meet at Lost Creek, south of Newport on Saturday Morning. Many members will be staying over Saturday night for additional collecting on Sunday. Collecting at Moolack Beach and other areas possible.
September 11 - 12, 2004
McDermitt for wood, thundereggs and jasper [photo gallery]
Suggestions from Theresa B. for people taking this trip in the future: bring a camera, stop to admire the beautiful horses on the Indian reservation outside McDermitt, have plenty of coffee for the Burns-McDermitt drive (or plan on slapping yourself silly trying to stay awake) and stop at the Brothers rest stop on the way back - its heated!
August 14 - 15
Saddle Mountain, WA (south of Vantage) for petrified wood
In August we had another small group as Chris, Dan Groah, Ted and Gerri Silver and I headed over to Saddle Mountain, Washington for petrified wood. On Friday afternoon, Dan, Chris and I found ourselves digging in 106 degree heat. I do not recommend this. On Saturday we only dug until about 1:00 and then visited the Ginko Petrified Forest and a rock shop in Vantage. On Sunday Chris led us to a couple of thunderegg beds in Natches Washington. We only stayed long enough for each of us to get a sampling of the eggs, since we were on our way home.
For more information comments or suggestions email email@example.com.