Rockin the Rockies

Rockin the Rockies
Stowe Mtn

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Fall Rock Hounding Trip To Lake George, CO

Austin shows off 1st nice crystal of the day!
Austin wanted me to take him rock hounding and after hearing of a few of his negative adventures with others we picked a day and set off for Lake George. From Austin's stories it sounded like some of his "friends" are valuing rocks more than people. I had been prospecting a private claim for the last few weeks but did not have permission to take guests there so I decided to go to a reliable area where at least small crystals could be found. As I’ve said before when I take a guest I always hope we find something. Austin’s enthusiasm for rock hounding surpasses mine and I have been spoiled as of late with easy finds of amazonite so I was not sure how long I would last. We checked out an area where I’ve rock hounded before and found some small crystals and a few plates of microcline and quartz. We got started and were soon finding small quartz points and an occasional piece of white quartz. Things were going slowly and I was thinking about trying another area when I noted just a few feet away from where I was digging there were some larger pieces of pegmatite with embedded minor quartz faces. As I broke open the area with my pick axe by removing the sod from the surface I noted a small microcline group (see below).
Key to the pocket--where there is one crystal there is often more
Between the quartz faces on pegmatite and this microcline specimen I decided to slow down, put down my pick axe and take out my scratcher. Good thing I did because I soon was hitting large shards of smoky quartz and then a stout 4” smoky rolled out of the scree. Austin liked the material I was digging out and said he had never found any fluorite and sure would like to find a fluorite sometime. He no sooner spoke those words than a 1.5” fluorite rolled out of the dirt.

I pulled out a few more smokys and then turned the pocket over to Austin. I told him he could have the rest unless something unusual popped up. Within a couple of minutes he found his first fluorite ever and a number of microcline crystals. I prospected around a bit while Austin stuck with the pegmatite hoping for another pocket. Soon time was up for the day and we navigated the 4-wheel drive roads as a herd of deer looked on guessing we weren't interested in them and were just a couple of crystal hunters. Here is a picture of what I took home.  I took the best of my pocket while Austin got the bulk of the quartz crystals, along with several smoky quartz and microcline plates.
Microcline plate, 10cm Smoky quartz and Penetration twin fluorite

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