Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rockhounding amidst the Raspberrys at Lake George

We've moved on from our earlier rock hounding bonanza and tried another area rich with raspberrys. I think my wife might even like to go rock hounding at this site with more berries than one could eat. For some reason nearly every dig gets filled with raspberry plants within a couple years. Evidently the turned over soil and rock is very conducive to growing berries.
I'll leave these tasty morsels for the bears
Digging where others have dug in the past can often lead to good results.  I’m frequently drawn to old digs and dig on the margins or try to figure out a pattern to the excavations and determine the alignment of pegmatites. Once you know the general drift of pegmatites under the ground you can do some probing with a pick axe and follow the pegmatites searching for crystal pockets.

Today Bob and I hiked up to the top of a ridgeline and noted that there were a few digs with quartz float scattered around.  Bob had done a number of test digs in the area and determined the pegmatites run straight up the hill.  Bob had found some plates of crystals the previous week and so after doing some prospecting on another slope I joined Bob at the top. The weather was a little sketchy with thunder in the distance along with visible rain shafts so that became a concern for much of the day, though not a show-stopper. After poking around a bit I found a small clear crystal and noted a fairly large older dig nearby. Bob mentioned he had dug on the perimeter of the old dig and found some microcline.  After studying the ground around the old dig I noticed a fairly well formed smoky plate and decided I would dig a couple feet away from the old dig.  Rule #1 for prospecting is when you find smoky quartz shards or crystals it’s time to do some serious probing and search uphill from the float quartz for a crystal pocket. The scree was churned up a bit so I figured perhaps the previous digger had just missed a plate, but as soon as I put my pick axe in the ground smoky quartz and microcline crystals started popping up out of the ground.  Pretty odd I thought, maybe the digger was looking for amazonite or some other mineral and bypassed the quartz. I pulled out a number of smoky quartz crystals along with a few plates. Bob joined me digging out the site and was as perplexed as I on why/how the previous digger missed these crystals. Most of the crystals were within 6 inches of the surface. I followed the float crystals for about 3 feet and finally I ran into a solid piece of granite with a few pieces of quartz revealing the pegmatite wall and the end of this dig.
Smoky quartz, well-formed carlsbad twinned microcline and cleavelandite were found in this pocket

On a sour note mother nature hit me with some large hail last month and caused about $25,000 in damage to my home. Fortunately insurance will cover the bulk of the damage. My neighbor had all 4 of his vehicles totaled
This 2 inch hailstone was all too common in our neighborhood. The largest I recorded was 2.75 inches that's 7cm!

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