. . . and I still ache just about everywhere.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we didn't get to the exact location I intended. As a result, we didn't find as much of the pink chalcedony as I had hoped. Whether there will be another opportunity this spring before BF's foot surgery the end of March, I don't know.
I did make some interesting finds, however.
This doesn't look like much, but it's actually about ten pounds of purple moss jasper. I have found a few fist-sized pieces in the general area before, but this was a surprise at this precise location. It was locked in the host rock -- likely solidified volcanic ash -- and we had to hammer it out, then carry it back to the vehicles. Luckily, my photographer friend Johanna had a backpack and she did the heavy work! ♥♥
I was able to chip off a piece of it this morning, and I'll be starting it in a small tumbler load later this week to see how it polishes. There are some fractures running through the whole stone, so it's possible that it won't work for slicing -- and it's too big for my little saw anyway -- but it should make lovely tumbled pieces.
Another unexpected discovery was two small chunks of red moss/plume agate. They were lying about two feet apart in a narrow wash. I took pictures this afternoon, but the shots of the larger stone -- and it's only about the size of a ping pong ball -- came out blurry, but the smaller stone photographed well.
It's too small to make anything out of, but the red inclusion is nifty, and so is the other side of the stone, covered with little tiny but clearly formed crystals and "bots." Bots aren't really a thing; it's a corruption of the mineralogical term botryoidal (from the Greek for "grape-like") which means a stone has formed in bumps like a bunch of grapes. The "bots" on this stone are very, very tiny.
The crystals aren't much bigger!
The objective of our trip, however, wasn't purple jasper or moss agate. It was pink chalcedony. We found quite a bit, but not as much as on previous visits. Still, there were some very nice pieces waiting for us.
The desert rose on the right is one of the most perfectly formed specimens I've ever found. There is almost always a spot on every piece of chalcedony where it has broken away from another piece. This one has no separation point; it is exactly as it formed in a void in the volcanic ash.
And the bottom
It has bots, too!
We ended up with a five-gallon bucket almost full of rocks, all of which have to be cleaned. I spent about six hours on it yesterday, and that just made my neck and shoulders ache even more.
I would love to go again, but that may not be possible until fall. We'll see. We'll see.