|View of Devil's Head looking east|
My digging buddy Bob and I go to an area near Devil’s Head along the front range of the Rocky Mountains once a year or so. This region is known for topaz and large smoky quartz crystals. After rock hounding a few times up at Devil’s Head I believe the name comes from the fact that the devil messes with every crystal I find there. Almost every crystal I find in this region has issues. The quartz crystals are either broken or have a lot of white quartz overgrowth and I think the Devil got away with most of the topaz long ago.
We got an early start to rock hounding this day and were somewhat surprised at the number of vehicles parked along Rampart Range road. Most of the vehicles have ATV trailers so perhaps these are early season hunters or folks just out for one last vacation before winter sets in. Bob had a spot he had dug last year and I decided to do a little prospecting. I noticed a tree nearby had a lot of quartz at its base so I decided to poke around that a bit and see what I could find. Almost immediately I started finding quartz crystals. Unfortunately the smoky quartz crystals were hooded with milky white quartz which makes them unattractive and somewhat uncollectable. Still I pressed on hoping there might be a pocket with better quality crystals up the slope. I found a rather interesting alligator skinned quartz piece and hoped for better. After a couple hours of digging I hit some larger pieces of pegmatite and reddish dirt. Red dirt is often a sign of iron leaching out of a crystal pocket and such was the case again today. I discovered about a 4 foot long lenticular pocket. Most of the host pegmatite was damaged and no crystal plates were found. All the crystals in the pocket also have milky white quartz hodding them.
|Lots of hooded quartz crystals|
|Somewhat unsightly fluorite( a little cleaning may help) :-(|