Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Friday, March 4, 2011

An adventure in the Denver Basin looking for Petrified wood

A Beautiful day in the Denver Basin


Red, Yellow, Black & White Petrified Wood

I found a beautiful specimen of opalized wood over 4 years ago and have taken a few pieces of it home from time to time.  These pictures doesn't do the coloration justice, but I'll need to take it home and clean it up. My rock hounding partner Bob has wanted a piece of it for some time and today was the day.  The last  piece I hauled out was 85lbs.  Bob has put together a small sled to take out some pieces.

This log extends into the hill a few feet, don't really know how far
 A few years ago a frontage road was put in along I-25 near Lonetree.  I collected some very fine specimens of wood along that roadcut.  Last weekend on my way up to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds I noted another new road going in near Happy Valley.  I decided to go up there today and try my luck.  The road graters and earth-movers have been very busy turning over rocks.  I arrived late in the afternoon so as not to disturb the workers.  I found petrified wood shards in a few places and decided to dig in the earth with my rock hammer uphill from the site and to my delight found quite a bit of fossilized wood.  I discarded the orange jasper colored wood and concentrated on the more colorful agatized and opalized wood.  Within 1 hour I had 25 lbs.  Above are some pictures of my finds.  The fossilized bark on some of the pieces was remarkable.  I left some nice pieces behind for others, maybe I will return again another day.

I have returned to the site. See pictures below of opalized wood. Do I have it all yet? Nope, that's because I haven't told anyone exactly where it is and after every visit I rebury it. I'm tumbling fragments now and can't wait to see how they turn out. I will post a picture of them at a later date.
Log during excavation sticking out of a dry stream bed in Denver formation

Had to break it up, felt bad, but that was the only way to get it out. 

Broken piece from the 200+lb tree trunk....

Quarter placed on upper left for size. Estimate this chunk weighs 30lbs




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