Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Return To South Denver For Petrified Wood

Andrew was pleased with this nice find

My nephew Andrew visited us for Thanksgiving Day and he decided he would like to stay with us another day. Andrew likes doing things outdoors but the Rocky Mountains are covered with snow and frost is down at least a foot deep, so I asked him if he would like to go petrified wood hunting in the plains. He wasn't sure, but after showing him some of the specimens I found in the past he was quickly on board with the plan. See Post: "An adventure in the Denver Basin looking for Petrified wood" See:;postID=3183572986641379303;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=86;src=postname As I have plenty of petrified wood from this site I planned to give Andrew everything we might find. I had found two fairly remote locations. One site with large pieces,of partially opalized wood from a petrified log and another site with more varied but scattered petrified wood. I had not been to either site for a year, so I wasn't sure what we would find. It took a long time to find the first site. I had picked up all the surface signs and the surface diggings I had done had been smoothed over by erosion. I was about to give up when I spotted an area with numerous round boulders laying on the surface. I started poking around and soon chips of petrified wood started to turn up. I called Andrew over and put him to work. After an hour or so of picking up primarily silver dollar size chips Andrew hit a nice limb piece, about 10 inches long with petrified bark and some opalization.
Nice opalized piece of petrified wood

We continued to find some nice pieces, but I was itching to show him the other site with the log of opazlized wood. We packed up and went to that site. Unfortunately after 5 years of my off and on visits to this site someone else found it and cleaned it out. Perhaps I talked too much. I was sorry Andrew didn't get a chance to work that site. We went back to our previous dig and managed to find a few more nice pieces and left Denver on a beautiful end of Nov 60F day!
Some nice tumbling material

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Legend of the Big Kahuna and Kahunasita See 9/28/13 Post

Every year a pair of eagles winters at Lake George... they have returned :-)

After finding the biggest amazonite crystal I have ever seen (See previous post "Large Amazonite at Lake George...", I decided to try and find out what is the biggest amazonite crystal ever found at Lake George. I could find no information on-line. I checked some of the on-line mineral dealers and nobody had anything close to what I found. I recalled seeing some large smoky and fluorite crystals at the museum in Florrisant, CO but no amazonites. I spoke with a few old time prospectors and they said they had heard tell of a crystal near the size of mine some time ago and referred to it as Gen Sherman, they didn't know what happened to that crystal, but they didn't believe it was quite as large as the one I found. Perhaps I should rename my crystal Gen Grant? One fellow said crystals of the type I found do not come to market, they are snatched up by the guys with deep pockets, and large wheelbarrows. I decided to expand my Internet search to largest amazonite crystals ever found worldwide, still nothing. So I tried biggest crystals ever found and then got directed to this paper from the American Mineralogist written by an Aussie:  While there was no mention of amazonite the article did talk about humongous microcline crystals measured in meters. So is my amazonite crystal the biggest amazonite ever found? Probably not, but it is the biggest I've ever seen and may be the largest ever found at Lake George CO, and that's the way I spent my Sunday afternoon as the legend of the Big Kahuna was born.
A few weeks ago I decided that I should show the crystal to folks at the Denver Museum of Science and let them analyze it and maybe help determine if it has any contenders for size weight and twinning. Who knew a museum would employ a dozen PhDs. I decided to find them something practical to do rather than their normal form of employment of giving esoteric talks that nobody but them understands (apologies to any PhDs reading this post). They seemed excited enough and after 3 emails I was forwarded to someone who is an expert in these matters. The expert never returned my email or responded after a second email, so he was either too busy to be bothered, or perhaps I got the wrong email address. I may try the Colorado School of Mines. After all they have even more PhDs than the Denver Museum.
The Kahunasita
So here is a picture of the little Kahuna. The little Kahuna or Kahunasita was found right next to the Big Kahuna. There are two contact areas on this crystal, I was hoping the Kahunasita might fit with the Big Kahuna, but no luck. You may notice this amazonite crystal also exhibits Bevino twinning. While this crystal is only 20% the weight of the Big Kahuna it's still the second biggest amazonite crystal I have ever found.