Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Coyotes howl a welcome to a good day of rock hounding at Lake George, CO

Another beautiful day in the Colorado Rocky Mountains near Lake George. Temperatures have fallen a bit as we edge towards fall making digging in the sun a little more tolerable. I decided to take one of the younger club (CSMS) members with us today (17 years). I met Austin at our Club picnic and never ran into anyone so enthusiastic about rock hounding. After the picnic he spent 2 hours at my house looking at my personal collection and would have stayed longer but I eventually shooed him away with a box full of give-away specimens. Seeing as he has a true interest in rock hounding and appeared to have some basic knowledge I invited him to go on a daytrip out to L George with Bob and me. In anticipation of his visit I prospected a few possible digging sites and marked a couple pegmatites that appeared promising. While I always want my guests to have a memorable experience it’s mostly in Mother Nature’s hands and luck of the draw as to what we do or do not find. Despite my suggestion to carpool, Austin insisted on driving his father’s SUV to the site though he had second thoughts once he traversed the roads. As we neared the site two coyotes gave us the old stink eye in the middle of the road and then thought better of challenging a couple SUVs. The coyotes looked very healthy and have probably been feasting on the flock of turkeys we saw a couple weeks ago.
Mountain Coyote Cr: Alfred Viola
We got to the site safely enough, outfitted Austin with a pick axe and rock hammer and made a beeline to the first pegmatite on my list. I suggested we dig together and soon we were hitting float crystals from the pegmatite I had marked. Austin found some nice floaters while I slammed into a pocket. The pocket contained many pale amazonite and smoky quartz crystals. Some of the crystals look good, unfortunately the amazonite is quite pale.
Nice gemmy, lustrous smoky cleaned of pocket mud

Pale amazonite still needs a touch of cleaning to remove iron staining
As Austin and I finished up our site the coyotes began to howl and so I called Bob, my rock hounding partner, on our radios to make sure he wasn’t the coyote’s lunch and where he was digging. I found him at the top of the claim digging up 1”smoky quartz crystals. He was more generous than I with Austin and gave him about 50 crystals and then gave up his spot as well. I moved on to my other marked spot and was quickly digging out small plates of microcline and smokys. Most of the plates were of marginal quality and size, but I took some of them home and shared the rest. Austin had a good time and declared he was probably carrying at least 20 pounds more down the mountain than either Bob or me. I suggested he could lighten his load by leaving some crystals behind and he thought that was a good one. I hope Austin learned a bit about how to find crystals and will one day give someone else a few pointers.

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