Iowa - Minnesota - Ontario
- South Dakota
June 2003 Trip
Saturday, June 14th, 2003 -
Friday, June 27th, 2003
stop, Winterset, Iowa and the bridges of Madison County. After some
research, making a few contacts, and eight hours of driving, Brandon
and I arrived in Winterset. Our first stop was Roseman Bridge, circa
The bridge, like all of the
bridges of Madison County, has been restored and is closed to
vehicular traffic. This is the bridge featured on the cover of the
book, and is one of the bridges where the movie was filmed. It is also
the only one that has a gift shop, and the remains of the original
homestead nearby. While we were marveling at the construction of the
bridge, we were surprised when a young bat suddenly fell from the
Unable as yet to fly, the
young bat attempted to hide in the cracks of the beams, and was in
danger of falling into the stream below and certain death. As good
Scouts would, we rescued the young bat and returned it to a safe haven
in the rafters.
On the way
to our next stop we had to go through Winterset and discovered that it
was the birthplace and boyhood home of John Wayne, born Marion Robert
Morrison on May 26, 1907, so we took a few minutes to see the home and
browse the gift shop, and of course take a picture or two..
Our next stop was the Hogback
Bridge, circa 1884, several miles away. Having somewhat the same
structure as Roseman with the exception of the arched beam framework.
We traveled southeast of town to
view another of the bridges, but when we got to the site we found that
it had been burned, most likely by vandals. All that remained was a
small portion of the charred structure. A sad end to it's 120 year
departed Winterset and set out for Rockford, Iowa and the Bird Hill
Fossil Preserve. We arrived there with enough daylight left to do some
collecting. Bird Hill is not marked by any signs, but is shown on the
map. It consists of road cut across the lower end of the hill, with a
parking area across the road. We collected most of the fossils in and
near the parking area, and a few from the cut across the road. They
consisted of small to medium sized Brachiopods, a few corals, and some
Gastropods, all Devonian age.
As the light was failing we
headed on into Rockford with the intent of spending the night nearby.
We ended up driving the 35 miles to Charles City and staying at a
motel there, returning the next morning to Rockford, and the Rockford
Fossil and Prairie Park.
Just on the west edge of
town, the park was once a clay pit where the clay was extracted for
brick production. The sediments at the park are Devonian in age, and
literally full of perfectly preserved specimens as at Bird Hill.
We spent around four hours
there collecting before heading north. Our next intended stop was to
be at St. Paul, MN, and another brick plant / quarry. We had called in
advance to obtain a permit to collect there from the St. Paul Parks
and Recreation Dept. As we had some daylight left when we arrived, we
decided to find the site and do a quick survey of the area before
spending the night at St. Paul. After locating the park, we took a
quick 30 minute hike into the plant and assessed the area. Finding
very little evidence of surface collecting opportunities, we decided
it best to head on north through Duluth to Two Harbors to spend the
night. The following morning we checked out and headed north again.
Finding a promising beach area just north of Two Harbors, we stopped
and spent a couple of hours combing the beach gravels for agates.
It turns out that Lake
Superior agates really are elusive, at least along the north shore.
However, we did manage to find three small ones, one showing a nice
Keep in mind the largest one
in the center is about the size of a quarter. We checked out several
other beaches and made a stop at Raspberry Falls State Park
on the way and finally
arrived as planned at 5:00pm in Ely, MN where we would be setting up a
base camp for the next week. Our group of Scouts had arrived already
and was preparing to set up camp. The majority of the 31 members of
the group were staying down the road where they would be departing
from the following morning for a six-day canoe trek into the BWCA,
including my oldest son Travis (16). In all there were 11 Boy Scouts
and 12 leaders on the trek, with 5 Boy Scouts and one sibling, and 3
leaders in camp counting myself.
After setting camp,
got settled in and planned our activities for the next week, which
included fishing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and of course, for
some of us, rock hounding. On Tuesday evening we had a thunderstorm
roll in across Farm Lake where we were camped. Although it looked
fairly menacing, for a group from Oklahoma, it was just another
typical thunderstorm, fast moving, noisy, windy, and was over with
fairly quickly. As it came in from the northwest, we were more
concerned about the group out in the Boundary Waters. The storm did
make for some nice photo ops though.
The following morning found myself, Brandon, our neighbor and fellow
Scouter, Julie Davis and her 9 yr old son James headed out at 4:30am
for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and a couple of day of collecting.
We arrived in TB around 9:30am and contacted Chuck Anderson, whose
mine we would be collecting at that day, and Raymond Heitapakka, who
was going to accompany us and be our guide while we were there. Chuck
had left directions on his answering machine to get to the mine, and
as soon as Raymond arrived, we headed north again. Keep in mind that
Chuck's mine is a private claim and for the most part the area is
isolated and unimproved. We finally located the landmark Chuck had
mentioned (an old green truck), but had no idea where to go from
there. We deduced from tire tracks, that the mine must be down the
track to our right and decided to walk the rest of the way in, not
knowing the condition of the road. As we were unloading our equipment,
an old van came into view from the direction of the mine, it was
Chuck. After introductions were made, Chuck directed us on to the
mine, turns out we could drive all the way in, so we loaded up and
headed on to the digs while Chuck and his wife went to go take care of
some other business. Arriving at the mine, we found a large
excavation, and more amethyst and smoky quartz than I've ever seen in
one place. A lot of the material would be considered low grade or
worthless to those looking for gem quality stones, but for the mineral
collector, and those looking for the unusual, or for shelf specimens,
it was an ideal location. Since our visit, Chuck has unearthed
some extraordinary and unusual specimens at the mine combining
amethyst, galena, and barite!
The main pit.
This was an exposed vug approximately four feet long and two feet
From left to right: Julie
Davis, Grizzly, Linda Anderson, Raymond Heitapakka, and Chuck
Anderson. After a couple of hours of collecting, we had collected
close to 150# of material including amethyst, smoky quartz, druzy
quartz, and stromatolite
large rock to the top and left of center has amethyst, citrine, and
druzy quartz. The citrine could be due to heat treatment from a forest
specimen is covered with smoky quartz.
After giving Chuck and Linda
some specimens of Oklahoma minerals, Chuck gave me an Inukshuk
to take home to my wife. Chuck creates these for the local gift shops
and souvenir industry around Thunder Bay. You can also find them on
his auctions at UBid.
departing Chuck's digs, we headed still further north and west to the
Black Sturgeon River for a spot of fishing. Now this much I will say,
had we been in Oklahoma, we would not have been doing what we did
here. We ended up bushwhacking our way down a steep bluff to get to
the river. This seemed old hat to Raymond, problem was the deadfall
from a blow down several years earlier, and a more recent forest fire,
made this prospect somewhat interesting. The overgrowth was so thick
if you let anyone get ten feet from you, you couldn't find them. To
top it off, you couldn't really see the deadfalls buried in the thick
vegetation, so it was a matter of feeling your way down the bluff by
trial and error. After about 30 minutes of climbing over logs and
bulling our way through thickets, we finally got to the river bank. We
spent the better part of a couple of hours doing our best to find the
fish Raymond says are there, but to no avail. We decided it would be
best to work our way along the river back to the old bridge site where
we were parked, fishing as we went. This turned out to be quite an
experience also. Same deadfalls, thickets, and thick undergrowth.
Turns out it was nearly a mile along the river back to the
truck, what with all the twists and turns. We spent a few more minutes
fishing the rapids below the old bridge site before heading back to TB
for the evening.
That's Raymond off across the way desperately trying to prove there
are pike and walleye in the river.
The rapids below the old bridge site. Keep in mind we are 20 or so
kilometers back in on logging roads to get here.
There used to be a bridge here on the logging road.
spending the night at the student housing at Lakehead University (on
Raymond's recommendation), we got a fairly early start. By 8:00am
Raymond arrived and we met Crazy Don, the local Lapidary Club
president, and we got on our way to the Notyours Mine. This is
Raymond's amethyst claim. On the way to the mine, Raymond showed us
the only exposure of Unakite that he is aware of in the area, and we
collected nearly 100# of material here before continuing on to the
mine. When we arrived at the mine after traveling some 15 to 20
kilometers of less than well maintained logging roads, traversing
washouts and steep rocky inclines, we found the pickings to be even
better than the previous day. Though not being actively worked at this
time, the Notyours Mine had plenty of attractive material to collect.
Raymond made sure we got some good facet-grade amethyst form here. In
addition to the amethyst, we collected some facetable green quartz,
and probably 50# or more of tumbler grade material ranging from deep
purple to lavender amethyst, and green quartz that seemed to make up
the matrix of the veins. The green quartz is often overlooked as
lapidary material due to the demand for the high quality amethyst. We
also found some small specimens of citrine, again probably due to
forest fires sweeping the area and the proximity of the crystals to
the surface. We also recovered some nice amethyst points and some of
the infamous Canadian Amethyst that is typical of the Diamond Willow
mine locality that has the red (hematite?) coating just under the
surface of the crystals.
Unakite in the foreground.
A better section of logging
road near the Unakite exposure. The Notyours
A couple of better examples
of the points from the various mines.
were done collecting at the Notyours Mine, we made a stop just down
the road at the Danbill Mine. Raymond informed us that most of the
mines north of Thunder Bay are all on the same fault line, and you can
literally draw a line for 120 kilometers on the map that would
intersect the majority of the mines. The Danbill is located down in a
valley in respect to the Notyours Mine, which sits atop a hill one
kilometer away. There was no one around at the Danbill, but as Raymond
knows everyone around there that owns a claim, he assured us it would
be ok to tour the mine and collect a few pounds of material from
there. We spent some time marveling at the amazing vugs of crystals up
to three inches across, and collected a few points, and some more high
grade green quartz, as well as some banded crystals that graduated
from clear or milky quartz to green, then terminated in amethyst.
Before leaving we left payment in the travel trailer at the top of the
hill at my insistence. By now it was time to head back into Thunder
Bay to drop Raymond off, and with his direction, we planned to stop at
Silver Mountain on the way back to Ely. When we got back to TB and
Raymond's house, he showed us some samples of material from Silver
Mountain, including this sample of quartz matrix with Tourmaline.
The larger crystal upon closer inspection appears to be Dravite, while
the smaller crystal to the left is black tourmaline. An interesting
note, although not seen here in this picture, the smaller crystal has
a thread of native silver in it's center that the crystal has formed
around. He also gave us some large pieces of Mary Ellen Jasper (stromatolite),
and a large piece of Zebra Stone.
After leaving Raymond's place, we headed south and west for Silver
Mountain following a map and instructions provided by Raymond. When we
got to the area, there was no sign as Raymond had indicated. As there
were only two roads turning off the highway in the area, we decided
that the lesser traveled goat trail must be the one to the mine. I
drove in on the trail crossing over one hill and down through a
valley, across a meadow, at one point being challenged by a local
resident (Grouse) that seemed intent on protecting his or her
territory, to the extreme of wanting to attack my Suburban..
Note the front of my truck to the right side of the picture. After
quelling this attack, we quickly came upon a steep and rocky traverse
up the side of the next mountain. Somewhere along here was supposed to
be the mine adit, but it was apparently obscured by underbrush, and we
didn't locate it. Continuing on to the top of the mountain, we found a
good place to park the truck where we could turn around. By now we
were approximately one and one half kilometers off of the highway. The
boys headed down the road to look for the tailings pile, and returned
presently with a handful of calcite specimens. We followed them back
to the tailings and collected some samples of calcite and fluorite,
and a few samples of ore. As it was getting late in the day, we didn't
spend too much time exploring the area, and headed back down the
mountain to the highway, and on to the US border. The drive back to
Ely was fairly uneventful, until we finally got to Hwy 1. This
particular highway is narrow and winding for about 30 of the 60 miles
to Ely from Hwy 61 at the north shore of Lake Superior. I kept myself
awake and alert watching for deer which were plentiful, and seemed to
like standing at the edge of the road. I could generally spot them by
watching for their eyes at the extent of my headlights. It was close
to midnight by the time we got back to camp. The next several days
were spent hanging around base camp with an occasional excursion
looking for local material, yard rocks, and inspecting a road cut near
Winton where Kawishiwi Trail cut through a native iron deposit. We
also visited the International Wolf Center at Ely. On one of our
grocery runs we were treated to a sighting of a timber wolf along
Kawishiwi Trail. The wolf came out to the highway and loped along the
shoulder for fifty yards before seeking the safety of the timber.
According to the Rangers at the Wolf Center this was an unusual treat.
One of them has been there for two years and not seen a wolf in the
wild yet. The center has several wolves in captivity.
Brandon running with
the wolves, or rather wolf sculptures...
One of the captive wolves at the center.
evening we planned a small party for James's 10th birthday. While
doing the shopping I picked up the makings for a chocolate layer cake.
Now how would one go about baking a birthday cake in camp you ask?
Why, a couple of dutch ovens and some charcoal of course!
One of our constant camp companions and mascot was a Franklin ground
squirrel the boys named Sammy. As any good mascot would, he kept the
guys amused for the entire week with his search for scraps and
I just had
to throw this in. The lodge where we were camped (Timber Trail
Resort, Lodge and Campground) kept drawing the boy's attention to the
fact that they serve pizza. Not what you or I would call pizza
(Tony's in the box). Now you need to understand that the rules of our
Scouting campout more or less prohibit the boys from going to the
lodge to order pizza as we were doing all of our cooking in camp. A
couple of them thought they could get away with ordering a pizza while
they were supposed to be doing something else. Needless to say they
got caught. They didn't get their pizza, and as the lodge had already
put it in the toaster-oven, they lost part of their money as well. I
decided that on our next to last night in camp, we would have pizza as
the main course for dinner. Not Tony's mind you, but Sergeant Richards
Dutch Oven Deep-pan Pizza from scratch. now mind you that I have
prepared some amazing dishes in a dutch oven, I as yet had not
prepared a gourmet deep pan pizza in one. Never tell Sgt. Richards he
can't cook something in a dutch oven, I live for that challenge!
Each one of these pizzas was two inches thick and weighed around five
pounds each! Pizza Hut, eat your heart out!
the lodge owner and his wife to dinner on Monday evening and I
prepared marinated chicken breasts, barbecued in the dutch oven,
seasoned potato wedges, rolls, corn and green beans for our last meal
in camp. We found out our host was also an Okie, born just down the
road in Muskogee, OK.
morning found us breaking camp bright and early and preparing to
depart. While the group was preparing to head home, Brandon and I
decided we would take advantage of the remainder of the week to travel
to South Dakota and do some collecting there around Custer in the
Black Hills. The trekkers had returned the previous evening from the
BWCA to the outfitters down the road. After breaking camp and loading
the equipment on the bus, we followed the bus back to where the rest
of the group was waiting. We waited for them to get gear and
themselves loaded after taking the group pictures for posterity before
Note: You'll find me to the left in the back of the group in the green
shirt, The tallest one in the group to the right and behind is my
sixteen year old son, Travis. (6'-7").
and I headed for Sioux Falls, SD, via two-lane highways through
Minnesota. Our travels took us through iron country, and Itaska
County, home of the third largest free-standing sculpture, the Iron
Itaska County is the heart
of iron country, and the surrounding area is literally one huge iron
ore deposit, We stopped and collected samples from one of the many
spoils piles which were literally hundreds of feet high.
The native iron occurs as
veins of nearly pure iron and as nodules in some samples while the
host rock is laden with iron oxide compounds. Further along we took
time to stop at Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone, MN. This
area was known to the Native American peoples for generations. They
would come here to mine the pipestone which occurs in a thinly bedded
layer below a heavy quartzite cap rock. They would mine the pipestone
to carve their peace pipes and other ornamental items and effigies.
Before mining the pipestone they would make offerings to the Three
a series of huge
granite boulders carried there by glaciers from Canada, and deposited
nearby when the glacier melted. The granite boulders were once one
huge boulder over fifty feet in diameter before being broken apart by
the glacier. The Three Maidens sit adjacent to the largest quarry in
the area. One has to wonder how the native Americans managed to mine
the pipestone from under several feet of hard quartzite.
We got this piece from a
nearby shop. Approximately 6" x 10" x 3/4" thick.
after leaving Pipestone we noticed the sky was looking very menacing
to the east. As we headed south, we could see the storm coming as the
winds picked up across the open plains. We didn't get far when the
storm caught up with us. Suddenly there were hailstones the size of
golf balls splattering on the highway at a 45 degree angle, and the
only thing I could do was pull off of the road and wait it out.
Several of the hailstones smacked into the truck, hitting the windows
and the roof. Fortunately, it passed quickly and didn't do any lasting
damage. However, later in the evening as it moved into South Dakota,
the storm spawned a tornado and did some damage in east central SD. As
we headed on south to Sioux Falls, I listened to weather reports as
there were numerous tornadic storms moving north out of Nebraska into
SD. We decided we would go to Mitchell, SD to spend the night which is
about 60 miles west of Sioux Falls, Halfway between Sioux Falls and
Mitchell, the storms caught up with us again. We were forced to take
shelter at a rest area on the interstate while one severe storm
pounded the area. High winds, hail, and heavy rains kept us stranded
for about half an hour. As we headed for Mitchell, the weather reports
for the area had tornados all around the area, including the Mitchell
area, Sioux Falls, and everywhere in between, in short, we were
surrounded! Despite the storms, we got to Mitchell and finally found
the only motel room left in town. Seems everyone was vacating the
highway the night of June 24th. The one benefit of getting the last
available room in town was the whirlpool tub, a welcome luxury after a
week and a half of camping and rock hounding.
morning again found us on the road headed for the Badlands National
Monument. Our first planned stop of the day. We made one stop at the
Petrified Gardens, and found it to be a private enterprise, with a
nice collection of petrified logs from the Badlands area. Their
admission price was something like $3 a head to see the collection and
tour their private museum.
the largest of their specimens. We continued on to the Badlands which
also charges a fee to enter the area. We entered the park and stopped
at the first parking area we came to. Seems funny, but I believe I
have a thirty year old photograph of myself standing in the same place
from where I took this photo of Brandon.
Funny how you remember things like that, the view hasn't changed much
in thirty years. The following picture was taken as we were exiting
the park and heading for Rapid City. I never can pass up a
chance to get Old Glory in a photo..
Our next stop was Mount Rushmore, how can you visit the Black Hills
without stopping to view one of the most monumental mountains in the
Rushmore was carved between 1927 and 1941 by Gutzon Borglum and over
400 workers. We picked up souvenirs in the gift shop for the family
before heading off to see the progress on the Crazy Horse Memorial.
The stop there was very informative. I was not aware that the Crazy
Horse Memorial was a private enterprise. Actually, it's a labor of
love and a way of life for the widow and eight of ten children of the
sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, who was an apprentice of Borglum during
the carving of Rushmore. The carving of Thunderhead Mountain began
with the first blast in 1948. You can read the entire history of the
Crazy Horse Memorial here: http://www.crazyhorse.org/story.shtml.
There is also a live web cam. When visiting the memorial, rock hounds
and visitors will be pleased to note that for a small donation, they
can take home a piece of the mountain. There is a hopper near the
studio exit where you can pick out a piece of the blast rock to take
home. The mountain is primarily granite pegmatite, and your piece of
the mountain may contain a wide range of minerals, including
Lepidolite and tourmaline.
We went on
into Custer after leaving Crazy Horse and found a room for the night.
After getting checked in we decided to go scout the area we planned to
collect in the next day. Following the only reference we had, we set
off in search of Teepee Canyon. Finding what we thought was the road
into the canyon and the dig sites, we found that recent rains had left
the road somewhat challenging for a two-wheel drive. Backtracking, we
decided to check out the area just west of Jewel Cave National
Monument at the Hell Canyon trailhead. As we were pulling into the
parking area at the trailhead we met a family of rock-hounds just
preparing to leave. The father enlightened us as to what they had
found and showed us some of the material they had collected. The dry
creek bed in the canyon floor was yielding fortification agate,
jasper, and surprisingly, a nice specimen of orange calcite from a
boulder that had been previously demolished by another collector. We
headed off to scout the canyon floor and collect a few samples before
dark. We were able to locate the calcite remnants which included a 15#
segment of the original boulder which must have been in the range of
50 pounds or more of orange calcite. There was evidence of dogtooth
termination at the surface of the specimen, and the internal structure
appeared to have a cone-in-cone formation to it's growth. We collected
samples of the calcite, including the 15# fragment. We also collected
samples of fortification agate, and jasper before heading back to the
truck. Some of the pieces weigh in over 10#. You can find additional
pictures of some of the specimens at the following link: http://home.att.net/~stonebones/HellCanyon.htm.
I'm now being told that what I believed to be Teepee Canyon Agate may
not be such, or at the least not good quality specimens as there is
very little banding in the agates. We decided to come back the
following morning and collect below the highway toward the lower end
of the canyon. The following morning we made a stop at Wild Bill's
Antiques and Rock Shop just west of town and checked out what they had
there. We picked up a couple of local specimens there, one is a piece
of Tuffa Stone (petrified moss) which apparently can only be found
near Hot Springs, SD.
We also stopped
at a couple of road cuts on the way back out to Hell Canyon for
quartz, muscovite, and black tourmaline specimens. In addition, I also
found a 10# specimen of feldspar, which is mined in the area for
Also present were
biotite mica and schist, as well as some low grade rose quartz. Note:
there is only one operating rose quartz mine now around Custer, the
Scott Rose Quartz Quarry. Wild Bill's gets their material from the
quarry, and it is some of the best I've seen for color and size, with
virtually no fracturing. I noted boulders of rose quartz at various
places around town, and at Wild Bill's that were in the 500# to 1000#
range, nearly four and a half feet in diameter. Thinking I would have
time to visit the quarry, I didn't purchase any specimens there. We
headed on out to Hell Canyon and discovered we had run out of buckets
to put material in, so before collecting we headed off to Newcastle,
WY just across the state line to find some. On the way we were amused
by a cloud formation that happened to be about the only cloud in the
sky, Use your imagination here...
purchased a few 2 1/2 gallon mop buckets we headed back to Hell Canyon
and spent the better part of four hours collecting in the canyon below
the highway. Our specimens again included fortification agate, jasper,
and a small boulder containing Lepidolite. Inside of one rock I broke
apart to extract a fair amount of red jasper, I also found dendrites
in a light green matrix of softer material as yet unidentified.
The sample also contains dog-tooth calcite crystals.
specimen that Brandon found in the canyon was a large specimen
approximately 10" in diameter and around 2" thick of
dolomitic limestone with a perfect 2" circular vug that runs
completely through the specimen and is lined with 1/4" dog-tooth
HELL CANYON MATERIAL
out around 2:00pm planning to stop at the Scott Quarry on our way out
of town, but apparently missed a turn and ended up in Custer State
Park. We decided to continue on our way. Heading south from the park
we entered Cave of the Winds National Park. On our way through the
park we got a surprise when I rounded a curve and found a very large
buffalo ambling out into the roadway. He paid us no mind as we
followed along until it was safe to pass, and still our presence
didn't seem to concern him a bit. He kept right on ambling as we
stopped long enough for Brandon to get a picture of his front side
verses the one of his backside I had taken while waiting for a safe
place to pass.
Further along we passed a
large prairie dog town, you could hear them calling and barking as we
drove through their territory. Further still we passed an entire
herd of buffalo grazing alongside the highway.
planned stop was Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in northwest
Nebraska. It's name belies it's content as Brandon discovered. The
monument is located at Agate, Nebraska, and it's focus is an ancient
freshwater shoreline now standing far above the surrounding
countryside. The main focus of the monument is the corkscrew burrows
of prehistoric beaver, or so
it is believed. While interesting and informative, the monument lacks
staying power for the average visitor, unless you're just going for
the hike of course. There are several interactive trails. So much for
Nebraska. We stayed on the road for several more hours, stopping to
sleep in the truck at a rest stop west of North Platte. Friday morning
we were back on the road by 7:00am headed for Monument Rocks National
Landmark in western Kansas. We stopped in Oakley, KS about 20 miles
north of there to visit the Fick Fossil Museum which features among
other things a collection of over 11,000 sharks teeth collected in the
area. The majority of the fossils are Cretaceous in origin and were
collected by Ernest and Vi Fick, as well as some collected by the
Sternberg family, the namesake and major contributors to the Sternberg
Museum at the Fort Hays State University campus in Hays, KS. More info
can be found at the following link: http://www.oakley-kansas.com/fick/.
The Fick museum is worth visiting if you find yourself in Oakley.
continued on to Monument Rocks National Landmark and spent a while
exploring there and taking pictures.
The monument rocks are home
to an aviary of swallows, not being a bird watcher, I couldn't tell
you what kind, but they build their nests using mud and grass high up
on the sheer walls, quite industrious birds they are as the next photo
our last stop before heading back home to Broken Arrow. Nearly two
weeks has passed during this period, and still I was ready to keep
driving, keep collecting, and keep exploring unexplored dig sites. I'm
not so sure Brandon agreed, I think he was ready to go home. We drove
straight through that evening and were home before dark. On a closing
note, one of the best things about this trip was spending time with my
son doing something we both enjoy. Although there were times we
disagreed as to whether to keep collecting or go find food, (it's a
long time between breakfast and dinner, who has time for lunch?) I
suppose I can get a little carried away sometimes, and finding that
next good piece of rough that I know is just another ten feet away
makes me forget all about needing food. Occasionally I would hear the
usual questions or comments of "When are we going?" or
"Dad, I'm hungry!" but for the most part, we had a great two
weeks together. I hope it will make a lasting impression on him and be
an experience he can look back on one day with a smile...
need to thank Herb ("Mr. B"). When I arrived home I had a
package waiting for me from Japan. Herb sent me a wonderful selection
of Jomon artifacts he has collected, and they now proudly reside
displayed in my living room.
Thanks also to Donna Hansen
from Walla-Walla, Washington who sent me a package with petrified wood
from Saddle Mountain near Matawa.
And so concludes this two
week episode in the life of a rock-hound.